|Letter from the Filipino Church in Tel Aviv|
Dear Friends and Supporters of the Ministry,
We want to show you this letter as an encouragement and testimony of God's work through the Food Project 2008/2009. In no shape or form do we want to bragg about this, but we clearly want to show you how good God is and in what ways, He decides to use us.
The Pastor who wrote this letter is the Pastor of the church, in where Dov and Maxim are meeting with the people they are ministering to while out in the Red light district and drugg addict area of Tel Aviv. We have had a blessed time with him, while we are there and are so greatfull that our ministry partners are able to use the facilities of the Filipino Baptist Church in Tel Aviv, Israel. May God bless you and move you, while reading this, like he moved our hearts.
Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. II John 3
How are you Pastor James? I do believe that you are well and the favor of our living God abides in you as you serve Him. Concerning me here in Israel, I can say that God is good to me and to the ministry he entrusted in my care.
Before I go further with my letter, I would like to share with you a wonderful true story happened the night you came in our place and how you became the Lord’s answer to my prayer. It seems strange but I believe God is behind it. Last December I was burdened with more than twenty pastors in my province in the Philippines who serve in the tribal people at the mountains knowing that they only receive 20 dollars each month as their income to support their basic needs and their family needs. Receiving this amount would last only for four days or a week and yet how amazing the Lord hath preserved them for their untiring devotion in serving Him to the less fortunate people. As I heard this news I thought that this people deserve to be happy with their family on Christmas day. Without hesitation, I send my money which the Lord gave me and to their very surprise three days before the Christmas Eve, these faithful pastors were truly grateful to the Lord they serve and some of them have their eyes wet with tears for receiving a monetary gift. Sharing them my penny leaves me 200 shekels on Christmas. Then on December 28 we celebrate our post Christmas celebration. And on the said celebration we have a portion of “Gift to Jesus” which we use for the construction of a campsite in the Philippines. An hour before our Christmas celebration and with my 200 shekels left in my pocket I prayed to our dear God saying, “Lord I am going to give this 200 shekels left in my pocket and I know you can provide for my need this coming week and with courage I said, Lord you can multiply this money for me this coming week and turn your favor unto me once again”. Four days had passed and on the fifth day God proved that when we pray and believe something will going to happen. On the evening of that fifth day, you became the Lord’s answer to my simple prayer. When I open the small envelop you handed me, I was very surprise because the Lord multiply my 200 shekels into 200 US dollar bill. Interestingly, I am now age 27 and serving God for almost six years and it is my first time to receive such big monetary gift in my twenty seven years. It might be a small amount for the one who work there in America but honestly it is a big amount for a Filipino like me. When I look back the day when I started in the ministry until last year, the 200 dollar you gave me is already my five months allowance in the Philippines which I need to spend wisely and carefully. Another four days had passed and God surprisingly return my 200 shekels by using another person. What can I say now? I confess that from a distant heaven God listen to our prayers and He answers our prayers and most of all, God is able to use unknown people to prove that He is a powerful and sovereign God. As I opened your gift that night, a tear of joy and thanksgiving falls in my eyes for turning His favor in me once again. I want you to know how blessed I am that night pastor through your life and by your kindhearted spirit. My prayer is that God would bestow His unlimited blessings to your life and to your ministry now and for many years to come. I am now looking forward to see you again on your next visit here in Israel and if Lord’s willing, I want to invite you in advance to speak in our Filipino congregation for it is a great joy and a blessing to us to listen to the Lord’s servant like you.
About me now, I am going to Philippines on March 24 for my vacation and for my long awaited wedding day on April 18 and probably coming back on month of June. The ministry here is goes well by the grace of God. I have three scheduled Bible studies weekly and on month of June we have a baptismal trip in Jordan River to baptize six newly converts because as of now it’s still cold here. About the Bible study of pastor Dov to the Russians, it is going well and these past weeks they have the average attendee of more or less twenty. Partnering with this kind of ministry is a joy to me and a wonderful experience. Pastor Dov always tells me that maybe someday I will start a ministry like this and now the Lord is preparing me.
For now, this is all I can say and let me say thank you again and may our good Lord keep His face to shine upon you and to your family. God bless you my brother in Christ.
In Christ Service;
PRT. ARIES P. PADUGA
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