Serving in leadership training in the Philippines –
Located on the edge of the 10/40 Window, the Philippines is a strategic hub for leadership development and church planting throughout Asia. The need for more Asian leaders is unprecedented and the Philippines is poised to help. It has a strong evangelical church, a growing missionary vision, and the privilege of open theological training. We feel God has uniquely prepared us to help groom these men and women for the task.
For most of our time in the Philippines, our primary ministry was church planting, helping start two churches in Davao City, a city of more than 1 million people on the southern island of Mindanao. As these churches began to stand on their own, we turned our focus on raising up and training pastors, missionaries, and other leaders. In 1993, we helped start and taught at Koinonia Theological Seminary, an interdenominational seminary started for that purpose. Along the same lines, we have been involved in training and encouraging a fellowship of churches to plant new churches in neighboring communities.
In 1999, the Lord gave us a new vision for mobilizing and training Filipinos and other Asians to help in the harvest in greater Asia. They moved to Manila, where I teach missions and church planting at the International Graduate School of Leadership (IGSL). She teaches counseling in a certificate-level program for wives of seminary students. IGSL trains students from over 20 different countries–students who represent the future leadership of many Asian countries and areas of the world that are often beyond the reach of traditional Western missions.
East and South Asia have the most populous people groups in the world, and more than 87 percent of the least reached people groups live in this area. The majority of Asians adhere to the three largest non-Christian religions of the world (Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam), religions that are the most resistant to the exclusive claims of Christ.
Because most of Asia is part of the developing world and most Asians are first-generation Christians, they often lack the confidence, training, and finances to oversee and expand the fledgling churches that they shepherd. Pray that through these leaders “the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored” (2 Thes. 3:1).