With the recommendation of Saipan Community Church pastor Steve Dame, Global Missions recommended Alvin and Juana Rebong to National Missions for a church planting assessment. Alvin and Juana have been a critical part of the Saipan Church leadership, with Alvin serving on the board of elders. They are an important component of the cell group program at SCC as well as worship leadership.
We had planned to have the Rebongs at the Summit this year, but visa issues caused a slight delay. They were able to attend the Church Planting Assessment Center near Seattle, Washington, where they received a green light to plant.
On August 23 the Rebongs came to Poplar Bluff to visit with denominational leadership concerning their potential as church planters here in the United States. It is both an exciting and challenging step for General Baptist working together doing what they cannot do alone. A foundation was laid for a potential church plant when the Rebongs met with National Missions Vice President Vince Daniels and President Daniel Dunivan.
The Rebong’s journey began in the Philippines, where they were born and raised. Alvin has served as a contract worker on Saipan for the last 20 years and married Juana four years ago, who joined him in Saipan. Coincidently, the General Baptist work in the Philippines began with the conversion of Vincente Silincino, a contract worker on Saipan, that would eventually result in the establishment of the General Baptist ministry in the Philippines. Vincente Silincino was led to the Lord by missionary Ed Stevens in the 1940s.
Now the Rebongs, a Filipino couple, are coming to the United States to plant a church with General Baptist National Missions. It has been an amazing journey. With the Rebongs receiving the green light to plant, they join the Filipino General Baptist community in launching new churches for General Baptist. Last year, General Baptist planted a church in Japan with Filipino leadership.
Your church and its involvement with Global and National missions has made this possible. Together, God has allowed us to see even greater potential for our missions strategies and programs that our forefathers could have imagined.