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Philippine Mission Update Information

by Steve Clark

Bro. Steve Clark

     On November 11, 2014, my Dad, Bro. Thomas Y. Clark, passed on to his eternal reward.   His many years of service included serving as a minister for several churches of Christ in the Louisville area, and also as the Director of the Philippine Mission Fund. Dad loved the Philippine work, and it was always on his mind wherever he went. After Words of Life founder Bro. Robert Boyd passed away in 1986, Dad first traveled to Mindanao to meet Bro. Cyrus Gesulga, and he assured him that we in America would not let the work die. Dad made many subsequent trips to the islands of Mindanao, Leyte, and Bohol, and he spent countless hours teaching and counseling the younger preachers there. At the time of his first visit, there were only a few churches of Christ on the large island, but now there are over 50 congregations, and most are experiencing steady growth.

During the last 10-15 years, Dad’s abilities began to weaken, and he could no longer travel overseas. I began to help him with the work of handling the contributions, sending the monthly lovegifts to all of the preachers, and coordinating efforts and projects with Bro. Cyrus. Slowly but surely, Dad’s love for the Filipino people began to spread to my heart, and I soon realized that, since Dad could no longer travel, I should go to visit and encourage our brothers and sisters in Mindanao.   On that first visit of several weeks, Bro. Cyrus kept me busy every day, and we traveled hundreds of miles to visit dozens of churches, some in remote areas, some in small villages, and some in larger cities. Everywhere I went I fell in love with the Christian people I met. They were mostly very poor Filipinos who loved the Lord, and they seemed to me to be happier than many of us who have much more!   I made a second trip a few years ago and was able to meet many more preachers and church members who have become dear to my heart!

When Dad passed away, my first thought was how I could once again assure our Filipino brothers that they would not be forgotten. In a country where the minimum wage amounts to about $35 per week, our lovegifts have become so important to preachers who need assistance, even if they also have a part-time job. I knew that I would need help with the work, and I immediately asked two individuals if they would be part of an advisory board to help oversee the effort.

Bro. Larry Miles has long been involved in the Philippine work, even before Dad became the Director. He has always been willing to handle any project, and he has worked as Dad’s assistant for many years. He agreed to be on the board, and I know he will continue to be an invaluable asset to the work.

I next thought of my longtime friend, Bro. Richard Mullins, whose family has very close ties to the Philippine work. His brother, Bro. Earl C Mullins, Jr., travelled to the Philippines with my Dad, and he also developed a love for the Filipino people. Richard’s father, Bro. Earl Mullins, Sr., not only made a visit to Mindanao with my Dad, but then he and his wife, Sis. Ragena, actually moved there and lived with the Filipinos for nearly a year. When I asked Rich if he would consider helping us with the work, he said that he would be honored to do so!

I now feel assured that with the help of these two men, and with the help of all of you who support the work with your contributions and prayers, we can once again assure the Filipino Churches of Christ that we will not forget them. In fact, I hope that we can enter into another era of even greater work for the Lord in the Philippines!

One Response to “Philippine Mission Update Information”

  1. Ron Bartanen says:

    Our sympathy to Bro. Clark’s family, fellow-laborers and friends. T.Y. and Evelyn were an encouragement to us when we were at Ky. Ave. church. We have many “precious memories.”

    In Christ, our Hope,
    Ron and Doris Bartanen

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