Attendance at a Church That Has Been Reduced to a Family Event… the Philippines in Desperate Need for Recovery in the Power of God’s Word
▶ The church on the middle of the village is no longer in use (photo by the GNPNewspaper)

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Bible passages are written on street electronic boards in the Philippines, where Catholicism accounts for nearly 80 percent of the total population. A cross is placed in the center of each public car, and drivers often touch and pray while driving. On the beginning of Lent, services are held in public places. When people are asked if they believe Jesus is a Savior, of course, they answer that Jesus as  Savior. They look like holy men who have already welcomed the gospel who is Jesus Christ. There seems to be no need for evangelists anymore because there’s no persecution against evangelisms. But many times, people are deceived by that holiness shown.

The reason they go to Catholic church or protestant church every week is simply because their parents were Catholic, just following their traditions. So going to church is just one familiar event. However, they do not fail to attend worship. They fear that they will not be blessed or harmed if they do not attend worship. It’s a totally a faith that of  pursuit of good fortune.

Abortion is forbidden here. So they don’t actually have abortion. However, people are sexually promiscuous. Even if they’re addicted to entertainment such as alcohol, cigarettes, and homosexuality, they don’t feel guilty. These are not exception for many (protestant)Christians in the Philippines. The students who came for studies, too, attend church while  still living sinful lives that is labeled as “culture”, but it goes against the Bible thoroughly. The reason why they attend church is for the fellowship with people not with Jesus Christ.

Since beginning Bible study among the Korean students from Korea in the second half of 2018, I learned more about the reality of  students studying in the Phililppines. It is so rare and precious that young people repent and go to the place of God’s Words every day while comparing/reflecting their lives with the life the Bible speaks. There are young men who are ridiculed for… not drinking because he anounced to his friends that because he has repented from his sin, now, he doesn’t drink liquors anymore at the drinking party, and who used to hide his being Christian wanting not to be bothered in his school life, however, realizing that is not right before God’s Word and pledge to stand as evangelist and to share Gospel, and another who, agonizes over the reasons God sent him to this land. I do hope and pray that they will become small sparks and become capable Christians on this land so that many students learn to live by God’s Words.

A  Young Man Who Has Declared to Obstain from Drinking

Memebers of local churches don’t know the Bible well and they too  are accustomed to Catholicism, so they feel satisfied by attending service once(a week?) and listening to the Word once. Except for a few large churches that teach Words systematically, most members who attend churches, still do not read the Bible and could not learn the Word of God. Because, the People in this country typically don’t like to concern deeply and are simple. They don’t want to exert effort more than certain degree. There is no system to teach the Bible systematically. In the midst of this, heretical churches seduce people with Bible verses.

Even worse, many churches are shutting down because they are unable to stand on their own feet. There are many churches with nameplate, yet abandoned, and ,other churches, with no workers. Because of their living is not guaranteed, the church workers give up their mission from God.
What this place needs is proper teachings of God’s Words. The members need to be trained to read the Bible. Because, they regard the Bible as fairy tale books and do not consider it has somethings to do with their own lives, and think that God doesn’t intervene in their lives, so they are sick and poor.

So, I feel the importance of training the high school/junior high school students to read God’s Words every day. The youth are finding little by little that God is the Master of their lives. I am seeing the Word of God is changing the youth and making them strong. I’ll continue this work even if it takes time. It is meaningless to invest a lot of time and money unless they are armed with God’s Words and prayers. [GNP Newspaper]

From the Philippines: Kim Hyo-young, A missionary

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