As we look back at 2016,
we are in awe of what God has done
through you and Fruit Bearers Ministries!!
1) Fruit Bearers provided monthly support for 130 families.
This is mainly in the support of one child going to school
but it actually helps the whole family
because we give the support money directly to the family.
Whatever is left over after school expenses
is available to the family for food, clothing and other necessities.
2) Fruit Bearers were involved with 9 different medical procedures.
We helped with cleft lip surgeries, cleft palates,
prosthetic limbs, heart surgeries,
dental work and more!
3) Fruit Bearers supported 2 churches on a regular basis
started 2 new churches, and plans
to build 2 new church buildings this year for those groups.
4) Fruit Bearers staff members held Vacation Bible Schools
in 20 different locations for over 600 children
plus parents and other adults in the community.
5) Fruit Bearers witnessed 41 people
making a first time profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
6) Fruit Bearers baptized 7 people and 3 more were planned
just shortly after the new year.
7) At the peak of our busiest time, in the span of one month,
Fruit Bearers had contact with 1,151 people
through some sort of ministry.
8) Fruit Bearers was invited into a new school classroom
where they lacked books, paper and common teaching materials.
We are now supplying materials,
teaching sign language to deaf students,
and teaching the parents of deaf students.
9) The Pastors on staff with Fruit Bearers are
leading Bible Studies in 6 different locations
and the staff is teaching sign language to teachers,
and deaf students and their families.
10) Fruit Bearers hosted two groups of young people from the USA:
Senior High Youth Group from
Adventure Community Church in Duvall, WA
and Junior High students and their parents
from Hillside Academy in Duvall, WA.
11) Fruit Bearers was involved in 2 feeding programs:
a church of about 200 (twice a month)
and a group of 50 kids (every Saturday — including a Bible Study)
12) Fruit Bearers holds a church service for deaf adults,
meeting at our office each Friday night.
13) Fruit Bearers supplied water purifiers for 5 families
and building materials for a family whose home burned down.
14) Fruit Bearers hosted a college intern for 2 months
from Boise State University.
15) Fruit Bearers helped with building plans
and supplied building materials
to a widow who lived in deplorable conditions
To God be the glory for this past year!
People facing disability have truly been empowered.
Lives have been impacted and changed!
Please join us as we thank God
(1) for pouring out His favor,
(2) for our small, but dedicated, staff in the Philippines,
and (3) for choosing to bless others through Fruit Bearers Ministries.
We have certainly had a busy last few months in Negros Oriental! Fruit Bearers Ministries participated in a Sunrise Easter Service with several hundred other Christians, we hosted a team from Duvall, Washington to do soccer camps and provide water filters to needy communities, we have continued to bring sponsored children and their families a monthly reminder that God loves them and takes care of them, and we have seen incredible growth happening in a few of our home churches!
One story we wanted to share more in depth was this last minute opportunity on Easter Sunday. Fruit Bearers’ own Pastor Jade took our newly purchased vehicle, rounded up people from our church in the hills and took them down to Dumaguete (the biggest city on the island) for a sunrise Easter service at Calvary Chapel, a church of several hundred members.
Last October, at a fundraiser in Billings, Montana, Wes and Judy presented a need for a vehicle to transport tables and chairs to Vacation Bible School sessions in the mountains, transport families to and from Dumaguete for medical or other needs, and various other uses. Through the generosity of several donors we were able to acquire this beautiful van/truck, which is made to seat 18 people.
Now let’s get back to Easter Sunday! The congregation at our church in the hills decided they wanted to attend the big service in the city. So they got up at 2am, started walking so they would all be at a single location together, and called Pastor Jade at 4:30am, saying they were ready to be picked up.
The service was a beautiful time of worship and before heading home the group stopped in the big public market. What a great experience!
This van has become the best thing to happen for Fruit Bearers Ministries in a long time. We look forward to seeing the new ways God plans to use us to show His love to the people of Negros Oriental, Philippines.
Please join us in thanking God for the foresight of the need for a vehicle of this type, for providing the funds to get it, and for linking His Kingdom (both Billings, MT and Negros Oriental, Philippines) in such creative ways.
During the months of April and May the schools in Negros will be out for “summer” vacation. We are looking forward to TWENTY ONE planned Vacation Bible School sites! After last year’s big response to the 10 VBS sessions Fruit Bearers Ministries was able to hold on the island, we are looking forward to this busy season!
Fruit Bearers Ministries did not set out to organize these Vacation Bible Schools, but as we grew in our relationships with families of disabled children, we realized the influence these families had in their own neighborhoods. And because of the aid we provided the family, the neighbors were curious about WHY we would choose to help. The answer? Because Jesus loves them! We have had numerous requests for more VBS! So, while the activities are geared toward the neighborhood children, we see the good news of Jesus’ love reaching the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, as they stand around, taking in the Truth.
We are praising God for these curious people in each of these communities. We are so grateful for the support we are receiving from friends and supporters in the USA, and for two missions teams coming to join us in our efforts as we empower people with disabilities in the Philippines. We are thankful for the opportunity to be Jesus’ hands and feet here in Negros Oriental.
Would you please join us in prayer as we enter this busy season? We want to remain healthy and strong physically, travel safely through many areas of Negros Oriental, grow relationally with the people in these communities, and clearly share Jesus’ love with them. We want to be vigilant, to hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance in each of our efforts. We are also praying that the seeds of Truth planted in their hearts will grow and transform their lives.
In Isaiah 55:11-12 the Lord says,
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Our prayer is that this summer the words of Truth would fall on soft hearts, and that as God’s desires are met we might witness something extraordinary. As we teach children and their families about Jesus (children that live in the far-flung hills and mountains of Negros Oriental) we expectantly watch and wait to hear the mountains and hills burst forth in song!