Even before COVID-19 began devastating lives, trials of another nature this year were already battering a native ministry leader in the Philippines.
The year began with the death under suspicious circumstances of one of his native missionaries working in an area of violent opposition.
“At first I thought that he had a motorcycle accident, but when I went back last February, it was confirmed that he was clubbed in the back of his neck and left half dead on the road,” the director said. “We had brought him to the hospital but, sadly, he died.”
Before that, a pastor he had grown close to since childhood died suddenly after they had enjoyed catching up on each other’s lives at a pastor’s conference, he said.
“We talked about family and ministry, and then he had to go home to buy milk for his baby. He planned on coming back right away. When he reached home, he had a heart attack and died,” the director said.
“This was his first heart attack, and he was only 43 years old.”
In March, he and his wife lost their adult daughter, whom they had adopted when she was 11 years old.
“She felt intense pain in her left leg for two weeks and was rushed to the hospital; she was administered 1000 cc of blood, but that did not ease the pain,” he said. “We transferred her to another hospital, where she was diagnosed with acute blood cancer. She passed away March 16, and we buried her March 21.”
As the director’s wife was tending to their dying daughter, she received word that her niece and the niece’s 4-year-old son had been hit by a van speeding out of control as they were waiting for a bus, he said. They were killed instantly.
Another loss had occurred shortly after the funeral for the ministry leader’s pastor friend. For two weeks the director and his wife had cared for his wife’s aunt, who was suffering from constant stomach pain before she died of liver cancer.
“Amid all of this happening, we remembered James chapter 1 – that the testing of our faith produces perseverance,” the director said.
“We are so deeply hurt, but the blessing is that as I preached at their funerals, many souls came to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. While all of this was happening, our team was able to pursue our heavenly mission to reach the unreached with the Gospel.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for these Christians as they spread the Gospel in areas of poverty and persecution.