NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2023
We in the Hosea team are having a busy time as we near the end of 2023, with several Scandinavian ministers visiting the Philippines. Nathan and his disciple and have been there for some time and Markus Lastikka, a doctor from Finland, has participated in our medical mission, together with two local doctors and five dentists.
The mission took place in two separate locations, with several Mangyan tribes people coming for treatment at the first one. Pastor Billy Balsamo was in the supporting prayer team and he also had the role of counselor and evangelist ministering to the patients. The Lord really surprised and amazed us, as we saw several supernatural healings especially in Markus's department! Clearly God wanted to make this an extra special mission by dispatching his healing angels to care for several of the patients who came to us. The approach we used was that each patient was first examined and then they were prayed for by our team. One patient hobbled in with the aid of walking sticks but the Lord blessed him with healing and he walked out leaving his sticks behind! And he was just one of several who experienced miraculous healing.
The second of the two missions was held at Mamburao School. Seriously ill people were being brought to the school on various means of transport often accompanied by relatives or friends. Markus went out to them, firstly to examine them and then pray for them. He prayed for a patient who had a paralyzed hand, problems with their legs and excessive sweating -- they received complete healing and left with each one of their medical issues resolved. Another elderly person came with disabled legs supporting themselves on sticks. They too were healed and were able to go home without walking aids.
Women's body was healed
Hosea's ministry has branched out in so many different ways that I just don't have time to describe them all. But one of them close to my heart is our prison ministry, where we attempt to reach out to areas where other missions do not go. Recently we visited a prison holding 640 convicts serving life sentences in an area where the terrorists are active, so we were accompanied by guards. Never before had the gospel been preached in that prison. The results were glorious with hundreds of prisoners committing their lives to Jesus and several receiving miraculous healing too. But what about follow up for these new converts? Our Hosea pastors will visit the prison and hold Bible studies for these new believers. We welcome your prayers for the gospel message to reach the other prisoners too. Funds are also needed to provide practical help for them as well as God's word. The love of God extends to even these poor convicts because to Him every human being is precious. Now is the time of harvest: the crop has to be gathered when it is ripe.
Another man's healed from legs
Our schools in the Philippines celebrated their foundation days, a really important anniversary in the life of the island. We marched through the city of Mamburao in procession, stopping all the traffic since we were more than 1000 people in total. Another great opportunity to preach the gospel in the city as the crowds gathered for the celebration held at the central conference arena.
In our school in Tonga there was an end of year celebration. There was encouraging news from some of our former pupils: the star student from Tonga's biggest high school was chosen to speak at the annual celebration. In their speech they made special mention of our Hosea primary school, saying that it had given them such a good start in their education. And we have been delighted that so many of our other graduates have excelled in their high school studies too.
Hosea student of Tonga Foundation Day at Hosea school
This is such an encouragement since our work has not been easy in past years. Without going into details I will just say that even our fight to keep the school open in Tonga has been a real challenge. Many other schools have not managed it and have had to close. We are the only Christian school in Tonga and we are not giving up. Our headteacher Dorothy is like Deborah in the Bible in her courageous fight to turn the seemingly impossible to become possible. Please keep praying for Dorothy so that our school can continue its excellent work. As we read in Galatians 6:9 -- Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
With blessings to you all for the Christmas season