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Gary Fallesen

Mission Moments: Philippines

A reawakening and a call to action

Ace Concordia, holding a precious Bible in the Kankanaey language, at meeting with SIL Philippines in February.

By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ

From delivering the Word of God in the north to partnering with a ministry on Muslim Mindanao in the south, Climbing For Christ is again active in the Philippines. C4C Philippines, once our fastest growing and most active international chapter, experienced a season of dormancy the past two years.

But C4C Philippines has been resurrected. It is risen!

Since spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley and I visited the Philippines in early February, C4C Philippines has held two “Base Camp Sessions.” These meetings have resulted in planning for Project C4C Kibungan, an initiative to equip local leaders to carry out the work started on 19 evangelic expeditions from mid-2008 to early 2016. Ace Concordia and Gutch Gutierrez will lead a scout team to the village of Poblacion in the northwest part of the province of Benguet later this month.

“Although I still don’t know what God is cooking up,” brother Ace said, “I can sense He’s preparing the ingredients.”

Part of the training program will, ideally, include further distribution of the Kankanaey-language Bible. Ace met with SIL Philippines, which is preparing a rare printing of Bibles and wondered if Climbing For Christ wanted to place an order. We would like to purchase 1,000 Bibles at a cost of US$6,000. Prayerfully these funds will be raised through our Project Living Word. Please consider helping.

Pastor Joshua Simbran teaching in a church on Mindanao.

While C4C Philippines continues to push the Gospel into the north, we’ll also be coming alongside Pastor Joshua Simbran in Mindanao. Ace introduced Jordan and me to Pastor Joshua in Manila. It was a divine appointment. We have felt called to serve on Mindanao, and a survey trip already is scheduled with Pastor Joshua.

This is God timing.

We heard from a ministry in the Philippines that senses an urgent need for action. Islam seems to be growing on the islands. Muslims are being sent out to do business with and make persuasive offers to convert people to Islam.

“If an area comes to have 10 Muslims, Islamic leaders in the Philippines will build a mosque and a madrassa (Islamic school),” the ministry leader told Christian Aid Mission, which added: “Complementing this strategy is a longstanding encouragement for Muslims to take non-Muslims as wives, convert them, and further populate the land with Muslim children.”

This may sound hard to believe. But consider that the Philippines is 82.6 percent Catholic, according to the Joshua Project. “Most Catholics in the Philippines are animists involved in rituals to appease spirits,” Christian Aid Mission stated, “and they know very little of the Bible.”

Tribal people are not only taken advantage of by shamans; they also could be exploited by Muslims. This news comes to us as doors are again opening to Climbing For Christ in the Philippines.

Mindanao, in red, has been designated as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. A proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would give five provinces with sizeable non-Muslim populations the right to declare sharia (Islamic law). Reportedly, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte supports the BBL, which is designed to stop decades of violence by Islamist separatists.

Related stories:
  • A bend in the road” by Ace Concordia (March 1, 2017)
  • “Building ‘a little church’ in unfriendly mountains,” The Climbing Way (Volume 38, March 2017)


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