4000-190-Eyestone, Joel and Betsy

We serve in mission administration and mobilization of the local Filipino church for missions, particularly outreach to international university students from closed countries in Asia.

Church planting in the Philippines has resulted in rapid growth since 1970. In recent decades, the Philippine church has begun to embrace its role in taking the gospel, not only to other Filipinos, but also to the world’s yet unreached peoples. However, missions education is still needed in most local churches. The Philippines has become host to thousands of international students from other parts of Asia. Yet, the Philippine church largely fails to recognize the opportunity for gospel witness to unreached peoples within their own borders.

As the field administrator, Joel helps all the WorldVenture ministries in the Philippines to function smoothly in areas such as church planting, seminary training for pastors and missionaries, teaching of MK’s, and urban poor transformation.

Betsy develops promotional and training materials specifically for equipping the local church for international student ministry in the Philippine context. Together, we serve as facilitators for the Kairos Course which gives an overview of what God is doing in the world and how we can participate.
The challenges in mission administration are the fluctuation in personnel and changes in technology that force us to rethink our structures and procedures. The main challenges in mobilizing local churches for cross-cultural disciple-making are communicating the vision and generating interest.

Joel: I have lived more than half my life outside the USA. Raised in the Philippines by parents who had hearts for helping others, I grew up with an affinity for people culturally different from myself. Gifted by God with the motivation to serve, my heart has always been stirred by people in need, whether in need of a helping hand, or in need of God’s forgiveness and grace. When I was five years old, I realized my own need for God’s forgiveness and salvation. At eleven, God called me through a message by my dad to dedicate my life to God’s service. As a young adult, I returned to the Philippines for a short-term mission stint. I attended a conference during those 18 months at which God laid a challenge on my heart: "Help establish an evangelical church within easy reach of every Filipino." In 1988, Betsy and I landed in Manila, to help build God’s Kingdom in this island nation. Our journey has included church planting, leadership training, youth ministry, and mission administration. Betsy: I was born and raised in Washington State in a home with a heart for missions. My most memorable family vacations were at Mount Hermon, California attending missions conferences. I wished my parents would become missionaries, but God’s plans were longer range than that. I studied at Biola University with the goal of teaching at an MK school overseas, and spent a summer teaching English in Japan. When I met and married Joel, God’s plan took clearer shape: raising and teaching our own four boys, and serving the world around me in various ways—church children’s ministries, college campus outreach, disciple-making among women, building a youth center, and most recently, establishing an alternative school for teenagers and young adults who were not able to finish traditional school.
Philippines, Asia