Mission update (March 2009)

calvin_preaching_smWe continue to hold worship services and a catechism class on Sunday afternoons at a rented office space about 20 minutes from our home. We average about 10-13 faithful adults and 5 children every Lord’s Day. I planned to start family visitation last week, but had prior commitments, so I plan to visit one family this week. I am praying for guidance on a prospective Bible study for several poor mostly Roman Catholic families about an hour away from our home.

My one class at Presbyterian Theological Seminary, about 1-1/2 hours away, is ending in two weeks. Since I only travel there one day a week, I am considering teaching a couple of classes next semester to maximize my time there. I also continue to preach and lead worship services in a Reformed church in a province about five hours by bus from our home. This church is part of the United Covenant Reformed Church in the Philippines (UCRCP), a federation of one organized church and two church plants. The church plant that I am laboring in now will eventually be part of this federation.

Because of our financial difficulties, I have minimized my activities related to Mars Hill Study Center. I have also given a notice to cancel my lease at the office by the end of March, but the landlord was gracious enough to extend my lease for free for one more month and offered to lower the rent. This is also the place where we hold our worship services. I am now talking with a retreat center operated by the United Methodists to rent a space there for half the rent I am paying now. My activities in promoting the church plant have also been limited to word of mouth, again because of our finances.

Regarding our search for a mission organization, Mission East Asian National Support (MEANS), a Chicago-based sending and partnering board, has temporarily accepted our application. I will be sending letters to all our other supporters that they can now send their tax-deductible gifts to MEANS, which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation.

MEANS was founded in 1971, and two years later was granted federal tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It has been a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since 2000. Because their staff is made up of volunteers, 93 percent of donations to MEANS go towards their mission partners and projects. You can view their latest financial report at the ECFA website.

You can now send your tax-deductible gift to our ministry through MEANS, using the address above. Please remember to write a note saying that the gift is for us. Thank you for bearing with us throughout this difficult and confusing transition period.

If you want to know more about MEANS, here are some contact information:

Mission: East Asian National Support
PO Box 8434, Bartlett, IL 60103
Tel. no.: 1-630-542-2168
Email: info@meansusa.org
Website: http://www.meansusa.org/

I also have a one-page information sheet about MEANS available for download here.

About Nollie

Associate Pastor of Trinity United Reformed Church in Walnut Creek, CA. Assigned as missionary to the Philippines. Lives just outside Metro Manila with wife and daughter. Three older boys live and work in CA.
Joel de Leon says:

Pastor Nollie,

I will pray for you. Although I know that I do not have the funds to help you financially since I too am struggling with finances, my trust is in our sovereign Lord who is the one who makes us go through these difficulties for the testing of our faith, that it may be proven genuine (1 Peter 1:6-7).