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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
November 2018

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NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2018

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to say that we have had several joyous surprises recently in Hosea’s ministry, after the difficulties resulting from the typhoons hitting the islands of the Philippines.

On my latest Philippines trip I was joined by visitors from Sydney and Canberra - Helena Pekkarinen and Seija Rönneberg. A huge thank you to Sydney's Lutheran church which donated funds for the medical mission just when I thought it was impossible to get funding for this project. A team of doctors from Manila and a pharmacist from Mamburao City came along as part of the project. Several of our Hosea team have been trained in medical aspects and the project went ahead with no hitches. Two dentists also accompanied the team and a pharmaceutical company in Manila donated the medicines needed. Seija brought vitamin drinks with her for the children from a Sydney pharmaceutical company. These vitamin supplements were vital because the children from the tribes suffer from malnutrition. Meals were also provided in several tribal areas of the island. We had also been given quite a number of bibles to pass on, most in English but even some in the Tagalog language. New converts simply don't have bibles there and because our work is progressing fast, the need is great.

We also visited a high school in the Bulalacao area where our young Norwegian evangelist Nathan was invited to preach the gospel and where 80% of the students are from the Mangyan tribe. it was very moving to see these students weeping as they received Jesus into their hearts.

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Conversation with Vice Governor on Mindoro

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Preaching to the kids

Nathan continued the trip visiting schools in a wide area and found every single school open to the gospel. He received many invitations to return because the results were so significant. He was also invited to speak at a conference of teachers for the whole island and many of the teachers approached him afterwards asking for prayer. I am so delighted and surprised by all that God is doing on the island --such a contrast to schools in the west that are typically closed to the gospel. During the first few days around 500 students came to Christ and the work continues in the schools and prisons. My part of the work continues to be with the folk living in slums: this division of labour suits this Grandma very well - especially to be preaching to the children! These little ones are wonderfully real with some of their comments and it is such fun and joy to me to work with them! Hundreds of children were saved during the trip, with Helena and Seija taking a big part in the evangelism. A big thank you too to Nea from Finland who worked in the youth team. She did great work for Hosea in the Manila area, even though when she first arrived the typhoon hit and prevented her from travelling any further than Batangas. What a dramatic and climactic experience it was for this dear young lady! A third Hosea church has been planted in Manila and also in the tribal area we have established a third working base and church.

During our visit we were also invited to the wedding of one of our teachers, Sharon Sim. The mayor of Mamburao attended the wedding, as well as a surprise guest, who asked me whether I recognised him. He reminded me that we had first met in jail for political prisoners and terrorists. He explained that the prophetic word that I had given him there had come true. I remembered that years earlier when I visited that prison this man had come to me for prayer, but I’d had no idea who he was. The Lord had given me a word for him about Joseph who had also been wrongly imprisoned. The Lord said that like Joseph this man would be released and would take up high office on the island. And this is exactly what happened…. He became deputy governor and now he even governs those people who wrongly accused him in the first place. Our meeting led to a very interesting discussion around God’s goodness and faithfulness to us, even through times of difficulty.

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Meeting with the Lord Mayor

Isn't it wonderful how God's word bears fruit and indeed God has done the same through the ministry of Hosea, because he has really opened doors for our work. Of course I know that there is no retirement in the Lord's work but those with younger legs than mine may well find it easier to trek around the mountains and jungles of the island! That is why I want to encourage you to pray for my Norwegian colleague Nathan that he would get sufficient financial supporters to enable him to demonstrate the necessary income requirements for obtaining a residence permit for the Philippines. He already has a visa but in order to get the residence permit he needs to have evidence of sufficient financial income.  Award of this permit would make my workload much more reasonable. I would also like to send Nathan to Papua New Guinea to visit the Hosea churches and schools there - the journey would be a lot shorter from the Philippines than from Norway. Nathan has not asked for income for himself but instead he works on the same basis that I do. Of course we have to follow the visa and permit laws of the Philippines so please pray that Nathan receives sufficient support to meet the requirements for residence to be granted.

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Medical Mission

What I've described is only a tiny fraction of what God has done on Mindoro island. He has opened the doors of revival and touched adults, young people and children across all strata of society. As Psalm 107:35 says “He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs”.

Blessings

 

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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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