New Church Start and Reviving Local Congregations
Tupi, South Cotabato
In Tupi, South Cotabato, Grace UMC for sometime appeared to be a dead church. For sometime there was no activity and the church building is dilapidated. Starting this year, when Central UMC in General Santos took the challenge to revive it, worship service now continues. In any given Sunday, no less than 30 persons are now back in worship. The church building is being renovated. Four new pews made of hard wood have been added.
Bindoy, Negros Oriental
In Bindoy, Negros Oriental two new church buildings have dedicated. One is in Barangay, Matubato which was dedicated on January 25. The other was in Barangay Canluto which was inaugurated last February 21. The construction of these buildings was made possible through gifts of our Korean friends (individuals) who shared part of their financial blessings.
Since we organized the local church in Tacloban City, Leyte, some seven years ago, the congregation has worshipped in many different places. At present our members worship in a house church where the pastor also lives. It is a small house where an average of 35 people worship every Sunday. Last January I met a pastor of one local church in Maryland, whose family roots comes from Leyte. After discussing with her the mission work in Leyte the pastor immediately gave a substantial amount, which became part of a down payment for a lot we are purchasing for a future church building. The lot where the future church will rise is immediately opposite (across the street) the new Medical Center (Tacloban doctor’s Hospital).
The lot has already been visited by prospective partners to build the church.
Garden Island City of Samal
The Youngwoollim World Mission Society Inc. through its chairperson, the Rev. Young Sun Choi, a Korean Missionary working in Samal Island, Davao del Norte, offered to donate to the East Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Inc. two church lots consisting of 1366 square meters with two church buildings having a total floor area of 247.5 square meters in Samal Island, namely “Samal Methodist Church and Grace Methodist Church.”
The Bishop together with the Rev. Reuel Miguel (District Superintendent) and Rev. Francisco Bilog (Administrative Assistant) had an ocular visit on the intended donation and found it a very good place for church mission. We have recommended for the acceptance of the donation, the papers of the donation, is now being processed by the lawyer hired by the Rev. Young Sun Choi.
The team of 10 persons from the California Pacific Filipino Caucus arrived in Dagumbaan last March 3, and worked for one week for the completion of the construction of the Dagumbaan United Methodist Church. The coming of the team is an on-going program of Volunteer in Mission from our partner United Methodist churches in the USA. They contributed $10,000 for the completion of the church and came personally to work one week which concluded during inauguration service for the church building. The local pastor commented, we “experienced one of the best expression of our “connectionalism” in The United Methodist Church.
The church building of the Compostela UMC is nearly completed. We must remember that the construction of the church was first sponsored by the First United Methodist Church in Davao City, then last year the VIM team from Texas United Methodist churches came to work for one week and contributed money for the materials but the construction was not completed. The Chapelwood VIM team from the Texas Conference was able to raise $8,571 for the completion of the church building.
Valencia City, Bukidnon
A new church building has been built in Valencia City, Bukidnon. The congregation started worshipping there since September last year.
Victory United Methodist Church
A new church building of Victory United Methodist in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur was inaugurated last Feb. 7, 2012. The new church building of this church started as a local initiative project and supported by the local church members but due to lack of funds construction was very slow. The Rev. Choi, Yong Hee, a south Korean Missionary and Associate members of the East MIndanao Philippines annual Conference offered to help in the construction. The construction then that completed the building was sponsored by Senior Deacon, Mr. Byun, Jae Byung, a member of the Sihwa Emmanuel Methodist Church, Sihwa City, South Korea under the leadership of the Senior Pastor, the Rev. Kim, Ju Young.
The only United Methodist Church in Bohol, which is located in Sagbayan Sur, is one of the fastest growing church in the Eastern Visayas District. There was a significant increase in the church membership, the church building was refurbished, and improved like new building. They have increased their pastor’s support to Ph. 3,500 with 13 month plus travel expenses. Their stewardship giving was very significantly increased, manifested as example their February income amounted to Php. 23,467.00. This conference year as of February 2012 their total income is Php. 107,913.60.