Philippines Mission Report
12-27-07 to 1-7-07
“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."
On December 26 our family left Kyiv, Ukraine and flew to the Philippines Islands. My family came to Philippines to study Exodus and encourage the co-workers there, but in the course of our visit we were greatly encouraged by them. We want to thank Chicago UBF for sponsoring our trip to the Philippines. Philippines UBF was pioneered in 1985 when my brother came as a medical student. Dr. Samuel caught him and commissioned him as a missionary from Chicago. In Philippines he met a medical student William Altobar, who faithfully studied the Bible with him. Later Shepherdess Sarah Mina also began to study the Bible. But after graduating from Medical School in 1989 my brother left the mission field for personal reasons. Dr. William was at a lost but he decided to remain and take care of the sheep that was left. He delivered Sunday messages based on Dr. Samuel Lee’s manuscripts. He also did Daily Bread faithfully. One year later he established his house church with Shepherdess Sarah Mina. He also attended international conferences in America and after the conferences he studied the Bible with Dr. Ben Toh. Because there were no missionaries in the Philippines, God became his shepherd and the word of God his guiding light. Philippine UBF is self-supported by his salary. He makes a low salary working as a medical doctor in a public clinic. Though the pay is low he is free to carry out the work of God. God gave his family three children but one son died at the age of three because of heart malformation. Though their family is not rich, they adopted two more children who were abandoned in his clinic. Shepherdess Sarah had a hard time to take them but one day while doing daily bread she was convicted by the one word, “every soul is precious to God.”
Not only did they adopt physical children as their own, they also adopted and shepherded college students as their spiritual children. Sometimes Dr. William even paid for their tuition and allowed them to live with his family. Many of them are medical and nursing students. Because Philippines is an English speaking nation, many of these medical and nursing students go aboard working as doctors and nurses in English speaking countries. One such example is Dr. Jacob Canales. He was the top medical student but could not overcome his homosexual desires. But through one to one Bible study God healed him and he could establish a house church with Lady Sarah and now they have three children. They also went out as a missionary family to London. There he passed his medical board exam and is actively participating in London UBF. He feeds many native English students and even takes turns delivering the Sunday Worship Service message. Another family that was sent out to England is Matthew and Best Sumbicay. Misn. Best grew up as an ugly duckling among her 4 talented and beautiful sisters. But through Bible study, Dr. William gave her the name “Best” because before God she was the best in her family and in the whole country. Now among her sibling, she alone has an intact family while they are all divorce. The Sumbicay have an independent chapter two hours away from London UBF. They are both nurses and they have four children. They are very active in the work of God there. When they joined London UBF for conference Misn. Moses Yoon rebuked the Korean missionaries to serve others like Misn. Best Sumbicay. Then there is Misn. Faith Montefalcon. When she came to Bible study she was a very dangerous Samaritan woman because she was so beautiful. But through Bible study God healed her. Shepherdess Sarah said she was the most diligent and hard working woman she ever met. She became a Rebekah and decided to marry Shepherd Rene Montefalcon who was in the past a homosexual. He is the ancestor of faith in UAE, United Arabs of the Emirates in the Middle East. Now they have one son and she is working as a nurse there. Most recently Misn. Mark and Hannah Calalang were sent out to Cleveland, Ohio. Misn. Mark is a nurse and Misn. Hannah is studying to take her nursing board exam. They are an active members in the ministry. Soon their chapter director will be leaving and Misn. Paul Hong of Toledo is encouraging them to be an independent chapter. It seemed to me too premature and I voiced my opinion to Dr. William and he said, “I thought I was premature to be the Philippine director when your brother left. But God helped me and he will do the same with Misn. Mark’s family.” Amen. May God do so.
Now in Philippine UBF remains three house churches, Dr. William Altobar, Shepherd Timothy Ipapo and Shepherd Jonathan Reytos, and one missionary from Chicago, Misn. Susan San Marcos. Shepherd Timothy and Esther Ipapo have three children. One of their daughter contracted liver cancer three years ago and was very critical. But through the prayers of God’s servants their daughter is now normal and healthy. They have many sheep in the best university in the country, the University of the Philippines and at Medical Central Manila where Shepherd Timothy works as a nursing instructor. Shepherd Jonathan and Grace Reytos have three children. Shepherdess Grace has been coming to Philippine UBF since she was 10 years old in CBF. She is the niece of Shepherdess Sarah. When she became a young lady she had a boyfriend. Shepherdess Sarah challenged her to either give up her boyfriend or Bible study. She began to cry so much that Shepherdess Sarah thought it was because she couldn’t give up her boyfriend. But later Shepherdess Grace said that the thought of not having Bible study anymore brought her such great sorrow. When she gave up her boyfriend, he became faithful and became a good shepherd and in God’s time they established a house church. Now Shep. William is praying to send him to Lebanon as a care giver for Shepherd Teddy Hembekides’ father and as a missionary. Misn. Susan San Marcos lived and worked illegally in Chicago for many years to send money to her family in the Philippines. But through Bible Study in UBF she was convicted that this was not right before God and decided to return to the Philippines to be united with her family and serve Philippine UBF. She is Dr. William’s most loyal prayer mother and supporter. In every issue she always backs up Dr. William and accepts his direction. When he told her to dance for the Christmas conference she did so even though she is a middle aged woman. When Dr. William gave her direction to have two more children, she adopted two more sons. She has been a source of comfort to Philippine UBF and an active Bible teacher and fisher of men.
There are many more heart moving stories among the sheep and shepherds there. Philippine UBF is a manger ministry. They own no land or center. They rent a small termite infested building. They have their worship service with an attendance of 30-40 people in the courtyard because they have no room inside. On the outside Philippine UBF looks so small and poor but inside is the life of God because she has shepherds who live by the living word of God. Through Exodus Bible study we learned, God heard the groaning of his people in the bondage of Egypt. God wanted to free them. How did he do it? He sent them one man, Moses who as a baby was destined to a watery grave, but God drew him out of the water to be the deliverer of his people. The Philippine Islands is surrounded by water. She is called the paradise of Asia. My family saw beautiful waterfalls, volcanoes, lush tropical forest, endless clear water beaches and colorful coral reefs. But her people are suffering from poverty and sin. There are 80 million people and because of the instability of the government, the Moslem religion and pseudo Christian religion, like Inglesia Christos, which do not believe in the deity of Jesus, are growing. But through the shepherd life of Dr. William and Sarah Mina there is a great hope for Philippines to be a kingdom of Priest and a holy nation. It only takes one man to change a nation. May God protect and bless Dr. William to be the Moses of the Philippines. Amen.
ONE WORD: I am sending you to bring my people out.