Having served in the Philippines from 1988 to 2021, we wrapped up our ministries in the Philippines in August, 2021 and moved “home” to Washington State. We are now transitioning into new ministries based in Washington. Our new ministry plan has four parts, and all but one are largely continuations of what we were doing in Manila for the last few years.
One – Mobilizing God’s people to be on mission with him. We use classes and workshops to educate, inspire and get God’s people involved in what he has called them to be and do. We believe that every follower of Jesus has a part to play in sharing the blessings of God’s love and transforming power with those who do not yet know him, whether that is across the street or across the ocean.
Two – Leading international students to be disciples of Jesus. We are working to develop International Student Ministries at colleges and universities in Southwest Washington. In tandem with mobilizing, our goal is to coach and partner with fellow believers in local churches, to reach out to international students and other immigrants from unreached people groups living near us.
Three – Joel is still serving as the Philippine Field Treasurer and member of the Philippine Field Leadership Team.
Four – The new part of our ministry is serving our parents who need a helping hand with daily life. They have sacrificed and served us for all these years, and now it is our turn to bless them as they lose strength and ability to keep up with things.
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.
Publications by WorldVenture:
* Waiting, Day 23