Republic of the Philippines
Area: 300,000 sq km
The Philippines is composed of 80 provinces; 7,250 islands, of which over 700 are inhabited, 11 of which contain the vast bulk of the population. The largest are Luzon (116,000 sq km) in the north and Mindanao (102,000 sq km) in the south. Over 75% mountains; prone to devastating typhoons.
Population: 93,616,853 Annual Growth: 1.83%
Official language: Filipino (based on Tagalog), English Languages: 181 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Challenges for Prayer
Pray for the less-reached peoples and areas. Great progress has been made in reaching out to isolated tribal peoples all over the islands, so much so that of the 17 remaining indigenous and unreached peoples, only two of them practice mainly tribal religions. The rest are Muslim. Pray for the Church to be stirred up in loving concern for Muslims and led into wise ways of reaching them.
a) Mindanao has a healthy number of evangelicals, but growth slowed recently and revival is needed. Continued violence between government forces and Muslim rebels, and deep resentment of the Maguindanao, Maranao and Iranun, are all major obstacles to witness. Please pray for Christian concern for them and for national missionaries to have a desire to witness to them. There are also tribal groups of on Mindanao that are still unreached. Pray that the Matigsalug Bible Institute will continue to be a source of training for tribal pastors who will proclaim the gospel to their various tribes.
b) Visayas is in some ways the most needy region of the country. Christianity is widespread, but too often very nominal. The islands of Samar, Cebu and Leyte all see growth but remain well below the national average for evangelical presence.
c) The Sulu Islands, between Mindanao and Borneo, are the home of the Muslim Tausug, Sama(3), Sinama and Yakan peoples. There is a significant breakthrough among the Sama Bajau Sea Gypsies who moved to urban areas of the region. They now take the gospel back to their home areas.
d) Palawan – a long, isolated island – is rapidly developing, with many new Tagalog and Muslim immigrants.
d) Luzon. Praise God for church growth in the north-central mountainous area, where many of its peoples – the Ifugao, Bontok, Kankanay, Kalinga and Isnag – see the beginnings of people movements from animism to Christ. The Bicol region remains the neediest, with Albay Camarines Norte and Catanduanes provinces having the lowest evangelical percentages. Many small, semi-nomadic, hunter-gatherer Dumagat (Agat, Alta, Arta, Ayta, other) peoples live on the typhoon-lashed, rugged north and northeast coastal mountains of Luzon. Few are Christian, and the task of church planting is complex.
Christian support ministries for prayer:
a) The General Baptist Church of the Philippines, Inc. (GBCPI). GBCPI was formed in 1957 as the national body of General Baptists in the Philippines. Today it is composed of the various districts (associations) and churches of the Philippines. Dr. Abdon Canonoy currently serves as president of GBCPI.
b) The General Baptist Bible College, Inc. (GBBC). GBBC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Over the years it has produced the majority of the pastors and christian educators for GBCPI and other evangelical groups. In recent years GBBC has added a basic education department composed of an elementary and high school as well as the college program. Under the leadership of Dr. Joyce Porcadilla GBBC moves forward with a bright future. The Matigsalug Bible Institute (MBI) serves under the director of the GBBC board and continues to train tribal leaders for ministry as it has done since 1978.
c) The Philippine Bible Society. The PBS(UBS) is extensively involved in translation, production and promotion of the Bible. Millions of Bibles, NTs and portions are distributed every year. Pray for the Bible to make a deep and lasting impact on lives.
d) Bible translation has been and continues to be a major ministry of a number of agencies. Of special mention are SIL and WBT’s affiliate organization, The Translators Association of the Philippines. By 2010, 25 Bibles and 67 NTs were completed. There are another 54 active projects and 14 more with translation needs.
e) Christian radio. FEBC and TWR between them broadcast over 2,000 hours of programming a week in 20 languages for the Philippines. This is in addition to the many local Christian radio stations, both Catholic and Protestant/Independent. Pray for the effectiveness of these broadcasts in reaching unbelievers and in helping disciple believers. Pray also for the fruitfulness of outgoing shortwave broadcasts to Asian countries and regions more difficult to access – especially China, Siberia, Indochina and Myanmar.
f) The JESUS film, available in 36 languages, has been seen by around 75% of the population. In a recent initiative, all of the country’s 122,000 police officers received a copy of the film on DVD.
The General Baptist Bible College – GBBC exists to train and equip generations for Christian service. Hundreds of alumni today serve in the field of ministry, education, music, business, and even in governmental service. GBBC has been training pastors, Christian education workers, and school teachers who serve the Philippines. Classroom instruction by well trained faculty is complimented by ministry practicum in the field. The student body is energetic and ministry minded, expressing a deep heart and compassion for the people of the Philippines.
Founded by General Baptists in 1965, GBBC has been training pastors, Christian education workers, and school teachers who serve the Philippines. Classroom instruction by well trained faculty is complimented by ministry practicum in the field. The student body is energetic and ministry minded, expressing a deep heart and compassion for the people of the Philippines
The purpose of the Matigsalug Bible Institute is to train Christian workers and pastors for the tribal areas. MBI makes theological training available at an entry level for those who have not completed high school. When young men and women enter MBI they are trained not only how to preach, but how to work as well. They are assigned duties on the property such as farming or facility maintenance to subsidize their costs.
Founded by General Baptists in 1978, the Matigsalug Bible Institute in Mindanao, Philippines has been training pastor and Christian workers for ministry in the tribal areas of Mindanao. The staff members, the students and their families live in a community and are growing in their Christian walk. Many great steps have been made to make the school less dependent by planting the rice fields and raising tilapia. Students may also be sponsored for $200 for 1 year.
Students are required to perform a 2 month practicum each year. For those 2 months they are assigned to churches in their home association. Upon graduation they are free to pastor churches on a full time basis.
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