From the monthly archives:

February 2003

Elder Donnie Halbgewachs

by Original Author on February 24, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

The enthusiasm and excitement Brother Donnie brought in his preaching was welcomed and a great encouragement to me. He felt at home and was not hesitant to participate in every condition we found to speak. He identified with the old and young. He spoke with boldness and confidence to the ministry but gentleness and tenderness to the young. With the sick and hurting children he and Barbara reach out with compassion. This is a couple Betty Jo and I saw of similar desire to serve and give themselves. Enclosed with this article are a several pictures that show him speaking and giving to our people.

Your Servant in Christ,
Gus Harter
Pictures of Elder Donnie Halbgewachs

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Update of the Work

by Original Author on February 24, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter
As the war clouds continue to spread over Iraq the fear of unrest on the militant Muslims in the Philippines rises. The Mayor of Davao City, Rody Duterte called a special meeting of all Americans residing in our city to share his fear for our safety. He is a strong law and order executive and pledge with in his ability to keep us from harm. He further stated that if 911 is called, it will be answered within five minutes. I appreciate his desire to keep us from harm. However these things are out of our control. We must depend upon an omnipotent and omniscience Lord to be our protector. I pray for our President that he will be given wisdom in his decision that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life. I pray for my beloved America that these storms we are facing may bring a greater dependence on our Lord. May God bless America again.

The work of evangelism, as well as the deepening of the faith of our present churches, is continuing to grow. We have just under a hundred congregations at various stages of growth. The majority are pioneer works being established in a simple form of worship and resting on the finished work of Christ. They have the same love of the Doctrines of Grace that our churches in the states have. Whenever I visit, they bring new people, and desire another discourse on grace. Whenever I do deliver a practical message, I always couch it with grace so that all will understand the order. Grace, then duty, the giving of life, then the proper action.

During the past month I took and extended tour among most of our churches. I visited most of the areas with the exception of a few which were experiencing a rise of insurgence. I try to act responsible and with good judgment. Elder Donnie Halbgewachs traveled with me. Part of the trip we took our wives Barbara and Betty Jo. The visits were of great profit. To have Donnie and Barbara with us was an extreme encouragement. During the journey we baptized 18 in Surigao City, ordained Elder Salvador Palma in Iligan City, and constituted the church that he serves. This dear brother is an excellent minister and has great promise. We met with a group of new preachers in two cities open to our doctrine. We also met with several new congregations that were interested in uniting with Primitive Baptist. Before leaving on our journey we found an excellent home to rent for the Halbgewachs. They plan to move here as soon as they sell their home. I know all the emotions of this type of move, and I beg you to pray for this wonderful spiritual couple.

Elder Halbgewachs has served the church in Cozad, Nebraska for the past 28 years. They build a beautiful new building a few years back and many were added to the congregation. His brother Howard and his parents are members of Cozad. They will be leaving four children, parents, grandchildren and the warmth of the security of America. Having given up the church several months back they have called Elder Tommy Bond to serve them and he has accepted the church. Brother Donnie and Barbara are bringing six children by adoption with them and Barbara’s mother. This will bring a vast change in their life. Their children and parents hate to see them go but are very supportive in their decision. Please pray for them and especially that their home will be sold quickly. We need their help.

We are presently encouraged by Brother Chris Fulmer who has taken a year leave from Delta Airlines to work with us in the Philippines. He is the son of Elder Jimmy Fulmer and the grandson of Elder H.D. Fulmer. He is a spiritual young man who is willing to do whatever service he can do for the churches, our clinic for malnourished children, as well as the home for abandoned children. May his tribe increase.

During this month the Lord granted us two wonderful blessing which were answers to my personal prayer request. We have about 2,500 Primitive Baptist in the Philippines. Most of our members do not own a personal Bible. It has been my desire to give every baptized members a Bible, and Shiloh Church in Stephenville, Texas has made this desire a reality by providing the funds to purchase them. Forms have already been sent to all our pastors to give us a list of their currently baptized and faithful members. We will give them the desired Bible in English, Tagalog, Cebuano or Ilongo, and put their names in gold letters on the outside. Most of our churches have no songbooks and sing from a few sheets of Xerox papers with only a few songs to choose from. Knowing our need, the Old School Hymnal company gave us a good price on the # 12 books. Combined with the generosity of a kind Deacon in Georgia, we will be able to provide sufficient songbooks for each of our Churches and Fellowships. For these blessing we shall thank our generous friends, and praise our gracious Lord.

Beauty for Ashes is proceeding well. They not only continue to save the lives of many little children with hands on care. They hold symposiums with Universities and Colleges on practical application of nourishing children. We go to villages and teach young mothers how to nourish their children with available and inexpensive foods. In the past month, as the success of this work has spread, several tribal groups have pleaded with us to start clinics in their areas. They have offered to give us land and help us put up temporary buildings, which are made of bamboo and palm leaves for roofs, called Nipa Huts. We do not know where this work will lead but we will continue to serve these good people with whatever funds are provided. This opportunity to serve as the Good Samaritan is our joy. The energy that Betty Jo has been able to put into this work is amazing to me. She has the compassion of loving mother but it is coupled with the courage of a lion. She plunges into a new challenge without fear of failure. But it doesn’t matter how busy we get or what deadlines, she always has time to hold, love, and care for the children, especially those who are sick and hurting. I thank my God for my life’s companion.

Our children at home are doing well. In our new house we have a large room with built-in desk for each child, for home schooling. Betty Jo has an organized program, which fills their mornings learning reading, writing, and arithmetic. She supplements it each day with memorizing Bible verses, moral lessons and the learning of Cebuano (the local language). Bea and Hope are doing excellent in college. They both are at the top of their class academically. Bea is studying nursing and Hope is studying Premed with desire to become a Pediatrician. Please remember to pray for our tribe at home.

We have much to encourage us in our labor, but face many problems daily. Your concern for us and correspondence has been a great blessing. Thank you! Please continue to pray for us.

In the month of April I plan to bring four ministers to the United States. We will visit several churches for around three weeks. I have not finalized my plans as yet, I do hope to see some of you at that time. We have not as yet secured visas for the ministers. We ask your prayers regarding this matter.

Your Servant in Christ
Gus Harter

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New Congregation in Guimaras Island

February 22, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter While traveling with Brother Donnie Halbgewachs, one of our most encouraging steps was at Guimaras Island of the coast of Iloilo. An able minister by the name of Efren Delmo serves a delightful congregation of dedicated members who submitted to baptism while we were there. Two of their members […]

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Surigao City

February 22, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter The continued progress of Brother Tony Decena and Nick Dahilan of Surigao City has been a great encouragement. While Brother Donnie was with us, we visited this lovely area. After the meeting we baptized 19 more of their congregation. We have another meeting scheduled this month and they expect […]

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Ordination of Elder Salvador (Buddy) Palma

February 22, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter Several months back, I wrote of the baptism of Brother Buddy and his wife Cora. Because of his preaching on election and particular redemption, he was asked to leave the Bible Baptist. Since that time he has met with a faithful band of believers for seven months. While Elder […]

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Little Dana Lyn Is Still Improving

February 21, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter While meeting at Negros Island, I traveled to Silay to visit our first church constituted on that island. Dana Lyn, the little girl who had heart trouble is a member there. She was in our home for a year to our delight recieving treatment. She is continuing to improve. […]

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Linangtayon Village and Carmen

February 21, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter Linangtayon Village While on the preaching trip to the Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City area in December 2002, we took an unscheduled visit to a remote mountain village to visit with a minister who had been serving the only church in the area for 24 years. His […]

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Preaching Trip to the United States

February 20, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter During the month of April I plan to bring four ministers from Manila to United States and visit several churches. I have not finalized our plans as yet but we will be at Bethany’s Annual Meeting the first weekend. The ministers are Elders Manny Briva, Dominador Lozada, Ronaldo Lopez, […]

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Elder Donnie and Barbara Halbgewachs Plan to Move to the Philippines

February 10, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter From January 17 thru February 7, Brother Donnie and Sister Barbara made a special trip to the Philippines to find lodging for their large family. They also wanted to see first most of our work throughout the islands. It was a tiring and difficult trip, visiting in excess of […]

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