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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
December 2023

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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.

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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.

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Another man's healed from legs

Hosea Schools

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.

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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

Anne

 

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Mangyans had bravely formed a choir and even composed a song. We have now more than 40 adult students in the school, their ages varying from young to old. They told us that they were now able to vote for the first time in the elections. Earlier they had had to give their voting slip to others to fill in, without knowing what they wrote in them, because they could not read or write.

When the Mangyan students were singing their song, I was standing in the back of the church. Suddenly I noticed four small children hiding between benches. Our teacher said that they were our students, and she then went and asked why they were not among the other children. One of them explained with tears, that they were so hungry that they could not go to sing. I was so surprised to learn that they were already 6 year olds, even though they looked more like 2 year olds, skinny and bony small children. Nheng commented that this is due to malnutrition, which is the reason why all these tribespeople are so small: their continuous lack of food stunts their growth. We brought a 40 kg bag rice with us and also other foodstuff and fed them all after the meeting, thanks again to the donors! We made so much food that there was enough for evening meal as well.

Last spring Hosea organized a medical mission for the Mangyan tribe. We also left some medicines with the local Pastor, so the tribespeople could be given help later as well. The Pastor said that some Mangyans come even at night begging for help in their desperation. Also some people from other tribes turned up for medicine and were given some, for it is hard to turn desperate people away without help. Now we are in the process again of collecting funds for another medical mission, which should happen sometime next year.

While we were in the Mangyan village, I recognised that most of them were walking bare foot again. I wondered what had happened to all those sandals which had been donated for them a year earlier. The Pastor laughed and explained that the Mangyans have a peculiar walking style, they step heavily on their heels and that wears out the heels of the shoes very quickly. That means that they will need a new pair of sandals every year. One man had a good pair of sandals slung over his shoulders, so I went and asked him why he didn't use them. The man replied: “I don't want to use them as they would wear out. When they hang on my shoulders everyone can see that I have shoes.” So this man had still good shoes, while others had worn theirs out”¦ Now, who is the wise and where is the wisdom here?

We also distributed a bag full of clothes. Birgit and Ulla went to buy some more and as always the Mangyans put the new clothes on top of their old rags. They can't see any reason why the old clothes should be taken off, so they carry their whole wardrobe with them all the time. The same clothes are worn day and night and the extra clothing keeps them warm at night on the mountains. The price tags are also left on, so everyone can see they are new clothes.

Hosea's second fishing boat is now operating on the eastern side of Mindoro Island (Oriental Mindoro) where it is manned by our Mangyan pastor, thus serving the Mangyans also. There are more fish now on the Oriental side of the island because big Indonesian fishing trawlers have appeared close to the Occidental Mindoro shores (the western side of the island). Occidental Mindoro is facing the open ocean, so Indonesian factory ships come close to the shore and take in all fish, big and small, diminishing the fish population. Locals usually fish with spears, sparing spawning fish for reproduction. They understand the laws of the nature and know that spawn fish are needed to keep fish stocks -- you cannot empty the ocean of fish. Local small fishing boats can't drive away large foreign fishing vessels, so locals are deprived of their fishing livelihood.

The Hosea Filipino team want to send their heartfelt thanks to all the supporters and prayer warriors. They and also our students keep praying for you. They understand that it is because of you, your prayers and your donations, that they have this wonderful opportunity to get an education and thus a good start to their lives. It was really great to meet some of our very first students, the ones with whom we started this ministry in the Philippines. It was so wonderful to see the fruit of this work. Many parents are also saved as they attend our weekly Bible studies.

Great blessings from the islands,

ANNE

 

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