From the monthly archives:

December 2002

A Letter from Willie Yator

by Original Author on December 7, 2002

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

We now have about a hundred baptized ministers meeting every Sunday with congregations all over the Philippines. Of these ministers 42 are ordained and the remainder are pastoring a congregations they have begun through weekly cottage Bible studies. They generally meet in homes of the membership in nipa huts they have built of light natural material, bamboo, coco lumber (coconut tree) and nipa (palm tree leaves for the roof). Several have been able to build concrete structures but they are still in the minority. As funds are available I have given financial assistance to some of our ministry based on work accomplished, financial need, and location of their ministry (it is much more expensive to live in the large cities rather than farming areas). I receive correspondence almost each month from our ministry which helps me keep up with their progress.

Enclosed in this article is a letter from Elder Warlito (Willie) Yator who has for several years served churches in the western peninsula of Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao.

November 7, 2002

Dear Brother Harter,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

I would like to inform you of our baptism services conducted last November 3, 2002 at the beach of Naga, Zamboanga, Sebuguey Province. We baptized 15 souls. Elder Conrado Candones (a minister recently ordained in the month of October) and I were the officiating ministers. (Picture of the baptism is at the end of this article).

I will give you an update of my ministerial labor during the year of 2002.

(1.) Basic Bible training for families, including young people and children.
(2.) Numerous baptisms in different areas.
(3.) Opening of two new fellowships:
a. Tilubog Grace Primitive Baptis Fellowship
b. Guintoloan Grace Primitive Baptist Fellowship
(4.) Church anniversary meeting July 6.
(5.) Regular training of our young ministry:
a. Brother Edgar Brava
b. Brother Angel Batulan
c. Brother Abondio Panataria
d. Brother Felizardo Banados
e. Brother Ronie Abella
(6.) Ordination of Brother Conrado Candones.
(7.) Constitution of extension fellowship into a church at Marsolo, Naga Grace Primitive Baptist Church.
(8.) Joint fellowship each month of Pagadian and Naga Church.
(9.) Evangelism with several cottage Bible studies in different areas.

Your Co-Servant,
Warlito Yator

This letter is a little more organized that most of my correspondence as to his labor. But I hope it gives you a little better idea of the independence of the labor of our ministry. I rejoice each time a minister takes the responsibilities of the growth of their churches and acts independently. Please pray for our young and zealous national ministers.

Your Servant in Christ,
Gus Harter
Willie Yator’s Picture

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Update of the Work

by Original Author on December 2, 2002

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid?

OUR SAFETY

Many have called and were concerned over the political instability of the Philippines and with our lack of putting updates on our web site White Unto Harvest, thinking we might be in harms way. Thank you for your concern and your prayers. We have been in hotels and shopping centers that experienced bomb threats. The Canadian and Australian Embassy both closed for fear of terrorist attack. However I am thankful to report that by the kind providence of God I, my loving wife and many children are well and at present safe. Please forgive my delay in informing you of our circumstances. We beg an interest in your prayers. For several weeks Betty Jo has experienced some physical difficulties from many of her infirmities caused by Lupus. But it is our hope and prayer that she will soon improve.

PERSONAL NOTE

On a further personal note, because of our large family we purchased a large home. The house had been foreclosed by the bank and vacant for the past two years. The former owner had striped the home of everything movable even light and bathroom fixtures. However the house structure was sound and we were able to purchase it at bargain price. For the past few months we have been renovating and repairing this structure. We moved in last week even though the work was not completed. We are still living out of boxes and suitcases, adding to our already confused household. However the end of work is within sight. Our new address is as follows;

43 Azalea Street
Ladislawa Garden Village
Buhangin, Davao City 8000
Philippines

Telephone No. 011-63-82-221-0171
Tele-Fax No. 011-63-82-225-1326
Cell Phone No. 011-63-916-325-6634

The best way to send mail is P.O. Box 82333, Davao City 8000, Philippines. My e-mail address is also unchanged, gbharter@mozcom.com.

THE OF THE MINISTRY

For the past three months I have traveled extensively among our different ministries throughout the Philippine Island. By our Lords abundant grace we have seen a new burst of growth among our churches that is most encouraging. Several areas have doubled in membership by the addition of new congregation. Most notable in this evangelism is Iloilo including Northwestern Negros, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City area, Pagadian City area, Metro Manila, Davao City and an entirely new area Surigao City. Following this update I will write on each of these areas with pictures and human interest articles to give you a better understanding of the progress. As the vision we have shared of the growth of the church in the Philippines becomes a reality, I beg an interest in your prayers that our Lord will grant judgment and wisdom to aid in their maturity, unity and soundness in the faith. My warmest appreciation is extended to you for your help, prayer and concern for this ministry.

BEAUTY FOR ASHES

Betty Jo in spite of her many infirmities has continued to save the lives of many little children who would have died without the care of the services of Beauty for Ashes. As is necessary she has had to delegate much of the work because of her care for the children in our home. But she daily has hands on care and close over site of the work. Our children home (orphanage) is growing. We have rented a second home for their benefit to separate the physically well orphans from those sick at the clinic. Elder Rolly de Guzman and his wife Liza will be in-charge of this home. With their three little boys they have adopted three little girls of which two are blind. They are excellent parents. They have lovingly reared their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Remember to pray for them in this wonderful work of mercy. The addition of Beauty for Ashes has greatly increased our joy and fulfillment in this labor. It has also opened many doors of opportunity to preach the truth.

CONCLUSION

We have completed two years of labor in this distant land. I miss my children, my grand children, my friends and my church that I served for thirty years. But we have found fulfillment in our labor. To broaden the vision of our people to evangelize other lands and plant churches in different cultures and countries is to us an extreme joy. We count it a great blessing from God at our age to have the opportunity of this new work. We pray before our labor is done that our vision would not be dimmed nor our natural strength abated.

Your Servant in Christ,
Gus Harter

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