Our mission efforts in the Philippines consist of support for Samuel Sinco, in the province of Aklan.
Samuel “Sammy” Sinco was born in 1961 in the Philippines and was baptized into Christ in October 1988 by an American missionary. Since then, he has been very active in the church in Metro Manilla. He married his wife, Janel, in 1994. They have two children, Camille Patriz and Samuel Jr. In 1997, Sammy became a self-supporting preacher, helping to establish the church in Taguig City where he served as an evangelist for two years. In 1999, he moved his family to Butuan City to attend Sunrise Christian College. Two years later, and at the request of the church in Cebu City, he moved his family to Kalibo Aklan on Panay Island. From there, he does mission work throughout Panay and Boracay islands. The church in Kalibo currently has twenty adults and a dozen young people actively involved in worship services. Children’s Sunday school has an average of ten. Total membership is now about forty and growing.
Greetings to you Brother!! June, 2021
The 2nd Aklan Church Leaders Meeting, Lectures and Fellowship (ACLMLF) held on May 29 in Banga Chapel was a whole day affair attended by some male members who are concerned in the Lord’s work, the participants could learn more Bible; talk about the continuing church works; have fellowship, and have fun together. There is a need for this kind of gathering with the church leading men in times like this, to encourage everyone that we should not feel dismayed but to go on in the midst of inconveniences that this COVID situation is bringing. For some members, their desire of coming to the church is affected; there are those who are “missing” since the outbreak last year. ACLMLF will be a help to constantly recharged the church leaders; we decided to meet every 3 months, it would be 4 times this year as against 3 times only as we planned before. The next event is set for the 3rd week of August; this time we will make it a whole day program plus overnight sleepover; hoping that the imposition of authorities regarding “COVID restrictions” is not too stringent by then. For our lectures last meeting, we studied “False Philosophy of Man ” such as Materialism; Atheism; Humanism; Naturalism as against the Gospel of Christ. Four men including myself (Sammy) took a turn in presenting the topics, it was very delightful and profitable because the men were challenged to do research, study, and deliver what they have gathered. We could say that was practical learning and additional skills training for them. We planned that on every ACLMLF event, a new set of speakers will be tasked to present topics, they would be chosen from among local men membership and me as the mainstay. Activities include fellowship; we ate common food prepared by the ladies and played some fun games like Corn Hole after Lectures. We also had a business meeting hour before the dismissal, we discussed things concerning church works. New uniform collared T-Shirts and token of appreciation for the participants were distributed, and that adds up to fun. It would be helpful and better for the ministry to keep hold of the motivation and voluntarism of these men as we were able to spend time and money; it is effective, for they are not losing excitement especially during hard times.
The CPI Bible School led by its director Bro Jun Patricio organized another Online Lectureship on June 12 (The Philippine Independence Day from Spain in 1898) with the Theme: “The Truth Will Set You Free”. For the 3rd time I was tasked to speak on the topic: “Freedom from Denominational Ideas/Concept” focusing on unscriptural ideas promoted by some brethren, especially “the church needs to change spirit” and “the sectarian copycat religion”. We know that this is a controversial thing to be tackled but we need to study the issues because they now seem to cause confusion in the body of Christ in the Philippines. The entire Lectureship was broadcasted via FB Live platform from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM on that day. We are thankful that up to this time we receive no negative reactions so far. Many among the FB Live participants or viewers expressed appreciation for having the event organized. There will be another CPI Lectureship coming in July or August. CPI maintains regular online classes three times each week which we have a part of the job also.
The current COVID Situation in Aklan affects our movement; it is more than three weeks now that we cannot cross to another town due to “strict border restriction”, travel is meant only for the front-liners and “essential travelers”. There were reports of deaths and an increase of positive cases in the Province during these weeks, so the authorities closed all the town borders to control the crisscrossing of the populace. Today the Governor issued an order that this arrangement will be extended for another two weeks. Barbershops, restaurants, cafes, gyms, internet shops, resorts are all closed again except those in Boracay which by the way, open to local tourists coming from Manila and other cities but we, who are residents are barred now to enter the Island (Aklan residents are shouting “unfair ordinance”). Worship gatherings are allowed but limits only up to 30% capacity of the venue, reduced from 50% during the lenient months. The Police are dead serious in apprehending violators; one church gathering of Pentecostals near our place in Bakhaw Sur was penalized with a huge sum for not observing properly “the ordinance”. We remind the family heads to again step up in leading home worship until the “strict border restriction” is lifted.
In Metro Manila, a beloved couple who are also leading members of the church in Taguig (our former home congregation) passed away because of COVID virus complications; bro Cesar and sis Bing Guling. Their 5 children haven’t got the chance to care for them when in the ICU; they were not allowed to do so, and when Bro and Sis Guling expired, their remains were brought straight to the incinerator. So sad, the children are not given the chance just to have a last glimpse of their parents’ natural remains. After cremation, the kids brought home the ashes of their mom and dad. It happened so fast, they died less than a week from their hospital confinement. We are praying for the surviving family member’s fast recovery from grief and trauma; we are also sending some help for them. May the Lord guide us to stay safe and healthy.
We are constantly connecting online with our friends that we are ministering the Gospel. It has been almost 6 months since we baptized a person. We are praying for our friends to grow in their faith in God that leads to salvation.
Brother, this would be all we can update for now. Warmest regards and thank you all so much for your love, prayers, and support.
In HIS Service,
Sammy & Janel Sinco