We hope that the following reports encourage you to continue praying for our brethren across the globe—and that they help you to feel a deeper connection with your fellow members of the body of Christ, no matter how far away they may be!
Mindanao Leadership Conference
Twenty-five men and women from across Mindanao and Metro Manilla attended the 2021 Leadership Training Conference held November 18–20 in Valencia City, Central Mindanao. The theme of this three-day event was “Working Together in the Same Mind and Judgment,” taken from 1 Corinthians 1:10. Regional Director Robert Tyler gave an excellent lecture on Church government, while other lectures discussed the importance of developing leadership and working together to achieve the sevenfold commission of the Church. The conference also included a song-leading workshop, a Question and Answer session, and a Friday evening Bible Study. The Sabbath service was livestreamed to most of our local congregations, which gave some of our men the opportunity to speak online for the first time. The men also participated in a Spokesman Club meeting in the evening and enjoyed further opportunities to develop their leadership and speaking skills. This centralized leadership training event was the first after a long hiatus.
The conference aimed to help our men develop a unified approach in doing the Work of God and give them an opportunity to build ties and connect with the ministry from all regions of the country. There clearly is a great benefit to keeping this program going, and we are already looking forward to conducting another one. We would appreciate your continued prayers and support as we ask God to open even more opportunities to help effectively feed the flock and preach the good news of God’s Kingdom, not only in the Philippines, but around the world.
Myanmar and Thailand Update
Our Myanmar brethren have been courageously dealing not just with COVID-19, but with the ongoing challenges of internal conflicts and civil war. Some have had to hide themselves in jungle areas to avoid confrontation and potential conscription into the military. Despite this, members in Thailand and Myanmar were still able to rejoice together—some in person and others online—in keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. Twenty Thai members had the privilege of observing God’s Feasts at Tak Andaman Hotel & Resort, in the Mueang Tak area—a district in lower northern Thailand. Brethren from Singapore, Myanmar, and even the United States also tuned in to services via the online livestream.
Although the death of Mr. Thomas Tial Hoe has undoubtedly affected our brethren in the Chin State, God blessed us with the ability to deliver spiritual food each day of the Feast in three different languages—Karen, Thai, and Burmese—which greatly aided our diverse membership scattered across the region. Feast messages focused on developing God’s holy and righteous character, on the importance of families to society, and on the wonderful gift of God’s Festivals to humanity. Many brethren remarked that the messages provided a deep level of spiritual understanding and that they felt moved and motivated to make important life changes, which has been exciting to see. Despite the tests and trials many of our brethren faced—and continue to face—we are grateful to God for blessing us with such a positive and spiritually motivating Feast. We would appreciate everyone’s prayers for His continued protection and guidance.
For more than a year, the Malaysian brethren have been experiencing lockdowns due to COVID-19. Brethren have congregated at home and tuned in to Sabbath services from Adelaide, Australia. On a brighter note, God has opened new doors through Facebook to preach the Gospel in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and India. There have been many literature requests—almost 3,000 in Malaysia alone as of this writing—in response to the Facebook advertisement campaigns. We pray this can continue going forward.
The Kuala Lumpur congregation, along with a few Johor Bahru congregation members, also recently celebrated the anniversary of the Church of God in Malaysia. About three dozen brethren met for Sabbath services and enjoyed a delicious BBQ dinner that evening, as well as a trivia and games night. The following day, members came together for a day of fun, food, and fellowship. Young and old enjoyed pool activities such as water polo and concluded the positive afternoon with a tasty lunch. Brethren had a wonderful time together and grew stronger in unity and love.
—Rajan and Ronald Moses
Brethren in India, much like many of their brethren around the world, have for some time had to gather together online for Sabbath services. The small but dedicated Imphal group here is made up of six wonderful families and includes eight baptized members. Although family income has been negatively affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we have not lost heart, and we are thankful to God for His truth and for keeping everyone safe.