December 17, 2014
Dear Prayer Partners,
“I thank my God every time I remember you; in all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,” (Philippians 1:3-5)
These words were often on my mind as we both felt your prayers in this difficult but ultimately gratifying assignment! We’ll try to explain as you read how God has providentially taken us in unexpected paths outside our comfort zone. We are SO VERY GRATEFUL for your prayers through this, and for those who sacrificially continue your financial support that allows us to expend all this energy on new learning at our age! THANK YOU for partnering with us in these vital ways, enabling us to confidently pursue God opening new doors for us to help train church leaders and campus ministries to better fulfill 1 Peter 3:15 “…always being prepared to make a defense [Greek: “apologia”] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you”!
What is Bible Apologetics? And how did we get involved teaching it?
During my February visit after super-typhoon Yolanda, I was requested by faculty of Doane Baptist Seminary to return in Nov. to help launch the new Master of Arts in Ministry degree by teaching my specialty: Bible Apologetics (defending the faith), since our focus is evangelistic Apologetics ministry. But 2 challenges: (1) I’ve never liked classroom teaching! My comfort zone is teaching with PowerPoint seminar or workshop style, NOT lecturing from a desk or lectern. And (2) I had never had a course in Apologetics! In seminary I deliberately opted out because it is traditionally taught in philosophical arguments. Boring! What we can see now is that God was teaching us anew Isaiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, declares the Lord.
Encouragement came in my class-prep research when I discovered a new focus in Apologetics among seminaries listed by AiG as believing Genesis is literal history: Creation doctrines, not philosophical wisdom, must be our Apologetics starting point! Why not start where God does: revealing Himself as All-Powerful All-Knowing Sovereign Creator! God then led us in what I call our “crash course in Creation-based Bible Apologetics”:
March 1: Mike Riddle, CTI trainer & AiG adjunct, taught us “Basic Creation Apologetics” in El Cajon, CA;
March 5-9: At Shepherd’s Conference the very next week Brazilian pastors sought me to discuss inviting me; April 26: Answers in Genesis Video Conference training at the Creation Museum, suggested by Mike Riddle;
June 2-6: Creation Apologetics Teachers College, Ridgecrest, NC, 40 attendees, talk by Mike Riddle;
July 6-Sep 21: Asked by Elders to teach a 14-Sunday Apologetics SS at our church, Gold Country Baptist;
Oct. 10-11: Attended Masters College-sponsored Institute for Creation Research Apologetics Conf. at GCC;
Oct. 17-19: Mike Riddle Advanced Apologetics Workshops at Gold Country BC. We left the following morning!
At last I felt almost ready when our plane touched down in the Philippines. First stop was cool mile-high Baguio City (see top-most star on the map above) where we had wisely scheduled our first week for rest and recovery from jet-lag in our mission’s vacation cottages. We enjoyed re-connecting with ABWE Missionaries Ben and Sarah Horton and family. When we flew to Iloilo (see map, we had another week before my class began to settle into our missionary apartment on the 3rd floor of Doane Baptist Church, and get my 109 page course syllabus printed and collated!
The course was taught as a module: 30 hours on-site instruction November 5-14, four hours daily for 8 school days, follow-up with research papers monthly thru March. Students are in blue uniform, and white for the young lady, who happens to be a former science teacher from the university where Donna and I worked as Peace Corps science-teacher-trainers 45 years ago!
Our National Director, Dr. Vic de Paz (pictured next page) arrived the 2nd day of class after his special trip from his Creation Science Training center in Leyte to be Jerry’s teacher assistant (TA), which Jerry greatly appreciated, especially with some cultural issues needing Bible answers and sensitivity.
Here’s why we call it PRACTICAL Apologetics:
What a blessing it was to see these students each giving their own oral presentations our last day with them! Donna and I graded them using the student evaluation criteria Mike Riddle used on us. By the end of the semester in March when they finish their 3 follow-up defense papers, they will surely be fully equipped to train church members and young people to defend the inerrancy and reliability of Scripture from the very first verse!
Other Related Ministries in Iloilo
I was informed when we first arrived that I would be preaching 2 Sundays, and was also asked to practice and sing with the Seminary faculty at a Pastor’s conference our first night there! We also were able to spend time with Pastor Balm Escobar of the church, and Dr. Kent and Dra. Sandra Pool (ABWE Missionary friends teaching at the Seminary)
Perhaps our greatest joy was meeting with our growing Doane Baptist Church Creation Evangelism team.
Pastor Peter ministers as IT specialist; Ella (MD) (Peter’s wife) teaches at a nearby Medical. school;& presents there and in schools; Rex: business owner who helps present in schools; Pastor Jan Digno, Minister of Worship and Evangelism at Doane Baptist Church, who heads up the Iloilo team, preaches regularly, teaches Science & the Bible at Doane Baptist Seminary, and is working on his PHD in Education. Carla Rojo, Manager of our resource room & presenter.
Dr. Vic de Paz partners when needed with the Doane’s Creation Science Team, and has formed other evangelistic partnerships with campus groups and pastors’ fellowships nationwide, coordinating with schools and universities. His newest partnership is with the University of the Philippines Manila Medical College campus where his eldest daughter is a highly respected scholar and researcher. A large nearby church has partnered by providing an empty office across from the Med school, which he plans to develop as a 3rd Creation Science Resource Center! Praise God! He recently wrote from Tacloban, Leyte, that he and his wife survived the recent super-typhoon "Hagupit" (Tagalog for “Whiplash”) in their new church home, sheltering neighbors in the downstairs sanctuary.
What's next for us?
We desire to contact like-minded profs of Genesis-believing seminaries in the US and around the world who may want to partner with us training church leaders to equip God’s people with “weapons of our warfare [that] are not of the flesh, but have divine power for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every lofty opinion that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
for continuing good health and strength for God’s Plans for our 2015 and beyond:
- January: Wisdom to strategize partnerships worldwide for training creation evangelists & church leaders.
- February: Start translations of our training materials for year-end trainings in Brazil.
- June: possible return trip to the Philippines to assist training for new Creation Science Campus Evangelists. (Please pray for wisdom in deciding about this trip.)
- Oct-Nov: Brazil trainings in churches & seminaries for Creation-based Evangelism & Apologetics.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and God Bless you all!
Jerry & Donna Layton
October 20, 2014
Dear Prayer Partners,
We would appreciate your prayers as we make last minute preparations for our trip to the Philippines in just a couple of days! We’re scheduled to leave October 20 and return November 20.
Jerry will be teaching a 2 week graduate-level module at Doane Baptist Seminary in Iloilo, which he calls “Practical Bible Apologetics” with an emphasis on Creation Apologetics. It will be a 2-week modular format 4 hours per day over 8 class days to 12 or more students of the new MA graduate-degree program starting this semester. He just finished teaching a 14 week Creation Apologetics Sunday School class at Gold Country Baptist Church in Shingle Springs CA, and much of that material will be incorporated into the course he’ll be teaching in the Philippines. Jerry chose to not take Apologetics while he was in Seminary, so he has been feverishly comparing course outlines from Genesis-believing seminaries, and needs lots of prayer as he finalizes his course syllabus and notes! It is our hope that we might be able to also teach this on other mission fields as needed, as long as the Lord continues to give us the health and finances to continue traveling.
During breaks from teaching, we’ll enjoy times with Vic DePaz, Jan Digno, Carla and the Creation Evangelism team at our Iloilo headquarters in Doane Baptist Church. Vic continues to be very active in Creation Science Campus Evangelism partnering with campus groups throughout the Philippines. We had also hoped to visit Vic in Tacloban Leyte, where Jerry visited him last February in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. But Vic reports that the airport is currently closed for repairs, and suggested it would be better if he joined us in Iloilo. It is still our hope that Vic and his wife, Elaine, might be able to move from Tacloban to Iloilo, once the typhoon ravaged churches in Leyte that he is assisting are stabilized. Prayers are appreciated.
On our way out of the Philippines we’ll visit new-missionary friends who are supported by Gold Country Baptist Church, Allan and Sandi Luciano, who live in Metro- Manila. Alan is ministering at Expositor’s Academy, part of TMAI (The Masters Academy International), dedicated to raising up pastors who preach God/s word accurately and clearly. We’ve prayed that our Apologetics course will open doors through ABWE and TMAI. We are also making plans for a trip to Brazil this time next year, initiated by ABWE missionaries, Jerry and Lynda Neuman.
Please pray for our good health and safety, and for our prospective students.
- Now: Final preparation for our October 20 departure and traveling mercies.
- Oct.22-28: Baguio City ABWE Doane Rest cottage overcoming jetlag, and final class preparations.
- Oct.29: Arrive in our Iloilo Creation Science Apartment, final arrangements for teaching and other ministries.
- Nov.5-14: Jerry teaching “Practical Bible Apologetics” Doane Baptist Seminary, for students to learn and apply.
- Nov.8: Reunion with Doane Baptist Church Creation Evangelists, some new team members, and Vic De Paz.
- Nov.18-19: Visit TMAI missionary friends Allan & Sandi Luciano (supported by our CA church) in Metro-Manila.
- Nov.20 The long cramped flight back home, exhausted but refreshed from wonderful fellowship with partners!
April 22, 2014
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support that enabled Jerry’s strategic visit to the Philippines Feb 10-24. Our Goals: (1) We hoped to convince our Filipino Director, Vic dePaz, to move from typhoon-battered Tacloban City to the residence intended for them in our central headquarters; and (2) Strategic planning with our Creation Science Team at our headquarters in Iloilo City, headed by Pastor Digno assisted by our resource administrator, Miss Carla Rojo.
Jerry’s first 3 days were in Tacloban, Leyte, hoping to convince Vic and Elaine dePaz it’s time to move to their designated residence at the Creation Science Resources headquarters in centrally-located Iloilo City, Panay, where his leadership expertise is greatly needed. He is willing to move, but not immediately since other encouraging ministry partners were already helping him construct a 2-storey building on dedicated church land to become his Creation Science Leyte office downstairs, a local residence upstairs, as well as adjoining Sunday Worship Center.
Jerry then flew to Iloilo, and Vic came later to meet with the Iloilo Creation Science Team and church pastor to share his new partnership plans which he hopes will provide ongoing local support for Creation Science ministry. They invited BOTH DONNA AND ME to return this fall to (1) upgrade current Creation Evangelists, (2) help train future Creation Evangelists and (3) teach a Masters-level Creation Apologetics class for the Doane Baptist Seminary.
On his homeward-bound trip through Manila, Jerry met with our newest partner, Vic’s Manila-based visionary investor friend who shared his plans for supporting Creation Science by tapping Vic’s agriculture expertise for “Agri-Missions”.
PRAY FOR OUR SUMMER CREATION EVENTS & TRAINING:
We’re so excited and honored to be officially connected as Volunteers for Answers in Genesis (AiG) Video Conference Coordinators. We’re especially thankful to Mike Riddle, AiG adjunct speaker, for his Creation Apologetics Basics March 1 in Santee, CA and July training in NC (listed below) equipping Jerry to teach it effectively!
Please pray for traveling mercies, health and safety, and that we’ll be good students as well as teachers.
- April 26 (Sat.) VOLUNTEER VIDEO CONFERENCE COORDINATORS TRAINING: AiG Creation Museum, KY.
- June 2-6 CREATION APOLOGETICS CONFERENCE: Blue Ridge Mountains, Ridgecrest, North Carolina.
- July 21-25 ANSWERS MEGA CONFERENCE: Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Santa Ana/Orange County, CA.
- June-Aug Jerry will teach CREATION APOLOGETICS as a Sunday School class at Gold Country Baptist Church in Shingle Springs CA (to be expanded into the Masters Level course for the Philippines this November).
FAMILY PRAYER REQUESTS: Please pray we might be a blessing as we visit and spend time with each
- Son Phil, wife, Jaime and 5 kids, as he pastors a growing congregation here in Shingle Springs CA
- Donna's 90-year-old mother in Boulder Co, declining strength: Visit 1st week of May after VCC Training.
- Son Mike, wife Jen and 5 kids in Williamsport PA: Visit 2nd week of June after Apologetics Conference.
- Daughter Laura, husband Jason, 2 boys in Anthem AZ. Visit either before or after AiG Mega Conference in July.
- Daughter Lisa, husband Ethan, 3 kids in LA.: August vacation, together with Phil and family, at Hume lake.
February 3, 2014
OUR HEART-FELT THANKS to all who gave to ABWE’s Typhoon Relief Fund. The relief work continues both in Leyte and Panay. Our national Creation Science missionary director Vic de Paz (& wife Elaine), residing in Tacloban, Leyte lost almost everything in their severely-damaged rented house including their Creation Science Resource Center. They are still in Tacloban, and thanks to the generosity of Elaine’s sister, they are staying in her home while she’s away. This has enabled them to be active in the distribution of relief goods, and they have also hosted relief workers in her sister’s home. The photo shows Vic with one the teams who partnered with him to distribute basic essentials in blue bags from the truck behind them.
Please pray for Jerry who will be making a short trip to the Philippines Feb 10-24. The purpose of this quick trip is (1) needed encouragement of Vic & Elaine de Paz in Tacloban, Leyte as they evaluate future housing and ministry location options and (2) visit our Creation Science Center in Doane Baptist Church, Iloilo City for consultation, encouragement and planning. Jerry will also consult with our on-site ABWE missionaries and Filipino ministry partners of Vic and Elaine, as well as make plans for a return visit (together with Donna) to do updated training for our Filipino Creation Science Evangelists, as requested by Pastor Jan Digno who heads up our Creation Science team in Iloilo.
Jan Frederick Digno spearheads the Creation Science Team Ministry of Doane Baptist Church in Iloilo. He writes some amazing things: Last school year, God opened 21 schools for symposia and video showing. They report an overall attendance of 4779 students and teachers, 3096 of whom made professions of faith on the Lord Jesus as Savior. Local pastors were trained to follow up new believers to conserve results, Alleluia! With Team members Carla and Rex, they continue training new school presenters through CSETI: Creation Science Evangelists Training Institute to meet requests. Very exciting to me is that for the past two years, Doane Church has used Ken Ham's "Foundations" as material for their discipleship program.
Answers in Genesis Upgrade Training: For some time we have wanted to establish an official relationship with AiG, we are thankful to report that it has finally happened! The day after Christmas Jerry was notified that we are accepted as AiG (Volunteer) Video Conference Coordinators. We’ll be equipped with an arsenal of presentations which can be adapted to our ministry. We’ll start training March 1 in Santee CA followed by April 26 at the Creation Museum in KY, and will be able to share what we learn with our Filipino Team when we return to Iloilo together later this year.
- PRAY for VIC & ELAINE DE PAZ: wisdom regarding future housing & ministry location.
- PRAY for JERRY: to encourage and wisely advise Filipino ministry partners Feb 10-25.
- PRAY for our much-needed UPGRADE TRAINING with Answers in Genesis after this trip.
- PRAY for the planning and timing of a RETURN VISIT (both of us) to the Philippines to share our upgraded Answers in Genesis training with our Filipino Creation Science Evangelists.
- PRAY for our desire to connect with INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS interested in training for Creation Science Campus Evangelism in other Catholic-majority countries (South America).
November 18, 2013
One of the strongest storms in modern history hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013 and quickly barreled across its central islands. We have many friends and ministry partners in this part of the country where we ourselves have also lived and ministered. We have two Creation Science resource centers in this area, one in Tacloban, Leyte, in the home of our Philippines director Vic DePaz and wife, and the other in Doane Baptist Church in Iloilo City, Panay where we have a team of Creation Science Campus evangelists headed by Pastor Jon Digno and Pastor Balm Escobar of Doane Baptist Church.
All our Creation Science workers are safe! Praise the Lord for His mercies!! Vic DePaz called us from Tacloban (11/13) to tell us they are evacuating to Manila where his two daughters are in college. (We believe they were sheltering elsewhere when the storm hit, which may have spared their lives, since they lost the roof and ceiling of their 2 story rental home, while the first floor was flooded to the ceiling!) They lost everything in their home, including the Eastern Visayas Creation Science Resource Center. Besides being homeless, hungry, and thirsty, he said it was becoming too dangerous to stay there. So, despite their servant hearts, the lack of remaining infrastructure was making it impossible to help others. The typhoon veered slightly north when it reached our former hometown of Iloilo City on the central Philippines island of Panay, sparing our ministry partners at Doane Baptist Church and Seminary from the brunt of the storm, but the northern part of Panay was hit hard! Now they are involved distributing relief goods throughout the island.
- Pray for safety for Vic DePaz and his family. Vic’s oldest daughter (who is in medical school) and others are in the process of evacuating family members to bring them to Manila. It is a long, difficult and dangerous road trip, even in the best of times!! Latest word is that they have reached their rendezvous point in Samar (neighboring island) and are now heading back.
- Please pray for our ABWE missionaries in the disaster area: The home and ministry center of Jim and Allene Latzko in the hard-hit area of San Jose, Leyte near Tacloban sustained severe damage. They were in the states when the storm hit, and Jim is flying back Nov. 22 to help in the relief efforts. Please also pray for Kent and Sandra Pool in Iloilo City, island of Panay, as they work with Doane Baptist Seminary, Doane Baptist Church, and other church leaders to bring relief to the hard hit areas of Northern Panay.
- Please pray for the success of time-sensitive relief efforts to bring drinking water, food, medicine, medical treatment, and communications to the wide-spread disaster areas.
- Please pray that God may be glorified as our missionaries and national partners provide relief and the hope of Jesus to the people of the Philippines. Filipino Church members have been sacrificially aiding their fellow believers in the disaster areas, and there will continue to be so many needs in the weeks and months ahead! Churches, homes, hospitals, schools, libraries and resource centers will need to be rebuilt, and Bible school students may need special scholarships to continue their studies if their families resources were lost.
September 9, 2013
Report on Summer Conference Travels
Thank you so much for your prayers while we were away from home for 2½ months this summer driving back and forth across the United States. Our trusty 2001 Buick, with over 100,000 miles on it, performed flawlessly, and gave us good gas mileage. Our ministry included 2 Creation Conferences, 5 Creation Geology field trips in national parks and landmarks, and 2 church ministries (one of which was teaching our son Mike’s Jr. High SS class!) We were especially blessed to be able to spend time with each of our 4 children and 14 grandchildren, and Donna got to spend time with both her brothers while we were in Colorado. Their 89 year old Mom is still adjusting to her new independent living situation, and we would appreciate continued prayers for her.
Jerry’s 8-day Christian Leader’s Grand Canyon Rafting Trip was absolutely amazing! It was truly a life-changing experience which we’re still sorting out in our minds! Soon we hope to find the time to incorporate his pictures (as well as those we took in the Petrified Forrest and Painted Dessert in AZ) to update our PowerPoint about fossils and age of the earth. We also took pictures in Dinosaur Colorado/Utah, and Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, Colorado, which we want to incorporate into our Dinosaur PowerPoint.
Creation Conference for Filipino churches in Union New Jersey July 27-28:
Thank you for your prayers! It took a lot of preparation, and while Jerry was rafting the Grand Canyon, Donna spent long hours revising our PowerPoint presentations and handouts so Jerry could finalize everything when he got back. On the way to New Jersey, we were blessed to be able visit the Creation Museum in KY and attend the Answers Mega Conference in TN, after which we visited our dear friend Rick Faison who spoke with Jerry in South Africa, and met his lovely wife Vickie. We enjoyed doing the Filipino Churches Creation Conference in New Jersey, and although Jerry was tired after speaking 6 hours Saturday, and 3 more Sunday, we were energized by the good response and renewed fellowship with our Filipino brethren! Our host, Pastor Solomon Reyes, is brother-in-law of Victor De Paz.
Praying for God’s Clear Guidance in Future Creation Ministry Options
God has made it clear that He is still using us in this ministry, so we are in the process of evaluating various ministry opportunities for the future. We had plenty of time for talking as we drove, and we came to the conclusion that Jerry’s most urgent need for the immediate future is to write a book about our Creation Science Campus Evangelism Ministry experiences in the Philippines. We’re going to need lots of prayer!
Our Philippines Director, Victor De Paz continues entering open doors throughout the Philippines. Pray for him and his board of ministry directors as they seek ways to financially indigenize the Philippines ministry. We had hoped to visit the Philippines this year, but would appreciate your prayers for wisdom re-scheduling sometime next year, to encourage the ministry of Victor and our resource/training center in Doane Baptist Church.
Fall Projects and Prayer Requests:
- Updating our PowerPoint Presentations, especially focusing on Age of the Earth issues.
- Begin work on our book about God’s amazing works in this ministry in the Philippines and Asia.
- God’s clear leading and direction for our future ministry in possible new partnerships.
- Timing of visit to the Philippines ministry, hopefully early next year.
- Victor’s continuing Creation speaking ministry and expanding partnerships.
- Donna’s 89-year-old Mom adjusting to her new independent living apartment in Boulder CO.
July 2, 2013
Special Trainings & Filipino Churches
We have definitely felt you prayers through our busy season of preparing new Creation messages, and seeing God provide surprising new opportunities for upgrade training. For those of you supporting us financially, we are overflowing with gratitude that in our “active retirement” we’re seeing God fulfill the desires of our heart for a Creation Ministry in America as well as developing networks for more worldwide outreach.
Spring Speaking Schedule
Developing New Creation Messages: Last April, after attending the Redding CA “Alpha & Omega Conference” I had the privilege of presenting my version of “7 C’s of History” in our California home church (pastored by our son Phil), and also in 2 chapels at Providence Christian school. In addition, I spoke 5 times in 3 Sacramento area Creation Clubs (twice in 2 of the clubs and once in the other.) I gave my newly created “Creation Astronomy” message as well as other requested messages declaring God’s Truth and refuting compromise.
Summer Schedule Cross-Country Ministry and Family Visits
- June 29-July 6: With Donna’s Mom in Boulder CO, readying her house for sale. Visited Lisa & Laura on way, and also took a short Creation Science field trip to see the Petrified Forrest & Painted Dessert in Arizona.
- July 6-14: Grand Canyon Ministry Trip with Christian Leaders, learning & networking.
- July 18-21: Visit Creation Museum near Cincinnati OH researching future ministry connections.
- July 22-25: Answers in Genesis MEGA Conference, Sevierville TN, learning and making new friends.
- July 26: visiting Rick Faison, my NASA trained co-presenter in South Africa last October.
- July 27-28: NJ Filipino Churches Weekend Creation Conference, six 90-minute interactive presentations.
- July 29-Aug.8: Visit son Mike & Jen & 5 grandkids, one we’ve never seen or squeezed yet!
- Aug 9-12: Dinosaur National Monument field trip, eastern CO border, during Drive home.
- Aug 17-24: Hume Lake cabin family vacation with 2 of our kids and 7 of our grandkids.
Spotlight on Victor De Paz, Filipino Director
Vic writes in his most recent Update Report: “I thank God for a great opportunity of a Honorary Doctorate Degree which improves our credentials for speaking on campuses. Our God has lots of surprises.” The Vice President for Graduate Studies (in the blue hood) is one of the many Filipino Creation Science presenters who have been trained by Vic. We’re thrilled that Vic is building partnerships for evangelism with God-gifted men around the Philippines, and internationally. Recently he and his wife were invited to Thailand for Creation Sunday in a Filipino-planted church. We’re praying about the best time in the near future to visit again for encouragement, upgrade, and meet Vic’s partners.
- Traveling mercies as we drive cross country
- NJ Filipino Creation Weekend: six 90-min messages.
- Timing of our next ministry trip to the Philippines.
- Wisdom as we start networking to expand our stateside ministry opportunities with ministry partners.
April 22, 2013
REJOICE WITH US! We asked you to pray that we’d be successful helping Donna’s 89-year-old mom Maggie Bailey move to a safer “Independent Living” home. And PRAISE GOD she did make the move this past week, actually after both Donna and I (Jerry) had to leave for home in CA. Donna’s brother who works at a Boulder CO theater had some time off and the help of a friend to move her. She’s now comfortably settling in to Golden West Senior Living Apartments just a few blocks from where Wayne works as an actor at Boulder’s Dinner Theater. She has a recently remodeled room with a view of the Rocky Mountains, good meals and weekly cleaning and linen change. Most important, she is now much safer from the falls she experienced in her home.
Thanks to you who prayed. Also my Tuesday night talk at a Sacramento Creation Club went very well with your prayers, and I’m already prepared for next Monday night at another club.
April 9, 2013
First of all, we once again express deep appreciation to you for your prayers which gave us much-needed strength to keep our 2012 ministry commitments and grace for anticipated re-focusing and upgrading of our Creation ministry in 2013. If you have given financially, we are doubly thankful.
It has been quite some time since our last update, and we are sorry. But God is working something new in our lives, although we are not quite sure what yet, so we need your prayers as much or more than ever! For the time being, our gracious God has placed us in a family “crisis” in Longmont CO helping Donna’s 89-year-old Mom move to senior-safer living after a fall that broke her pelvis. Because we are right at the point of making critical decisions and the move itself, we will just outline here what is on our hearts, and will update you as we’re able.
Our PRAISES for God’s gracious provisions and empowerments
- for Creation Science Campus Evangelism continuing and even expanding throughout the Philippines under the dynamic leadership of our Filipino director Vic de Paz and Creation Evangelists like Jon Digno, Carla Rojo, and an expanding host of others. See page 2 of this letter for Vic’s summary and Prayer Requests.
- for exciting Spring & Summer Creation Speaking Schedules for Jerry: April-May at local Sacramento Creation Clubs, and July in New Jersey “Creation Science Weekend” for area Filipino churches!
- that all of our children and grandchildren are living for Christ, and the joy of living near some of them, as well as being able to see the others during our ministry travels!
- that we were able to free up a month to assist Donna’s 89 year old Mom in Colorado after she fell and broke her pelvis. At her request, we’ve been able to reserve an apartment for her in a senior apartment complex in Boulder CO where she won’t be alone, and can take her meals in a dining room. Jerry flew back to Sacramento this last weekend, while Donna has stayed behind to help her Mom sort & pack for the move.
Our PRAYER REQUESTS related to our praises and joy of ministering
- PRAY for our Filipino director Vic de Paz who has a very busy “April-May Summer” schedule speaking at church conferences around the Philippines and training new Creation Evangelists, and Thailand ministry.
- PRAY as Jerry prepares 4 messages on his favorite topic: “Why Genesis is Foundational to Effective Witnessing & Evangelism” at Sacramento-area Creation Clubs: April 16 and 22, and May 21 and 27.
- PRAY for Donna preparing her message for ladies May 11 at Gold Country Baptist Church, CA.
- PRAY as we plan with the Filipino coordinating pastor for our upcoming Creation Science Weekend in New Jersey July 27-28 for area Filipino churches where I’ll speak all day Saturday and Sunday.
- PRAY for us to know what God plans for our “active retirement ministry” after these events, specifically seeking a closer relationship with a Creation Ministry for self-upgrade and scheduling speaking engagements, since we have no definite schedule beyond July, except for our Idaho supporting churches early next year.
- PRAY for God’s wisdom, clear direction to all concerned, and a double portion of servant attitude for Donna & her brothers (one in CO and the other in GA) as they help Mom Maggie move from her home to her reserved senior apartment in Boulder CO. Also, please pray for her many difficult adjustments ahead.
Again, we are so grateful for your prayers that our lives and ministry will daily and always honor and glorify our great Creator who is our Savior and Sustainer of all His creation, in whose name we declare His great works daily in our witnessing and living the Gospel in the eyes of those who need to hear the message more clearly and with His mighty resurrection power working in us by His Holy Spirit!
September 17, 2012
We’re Back! And we’re praising God for 12 marvelous ministry-packed days in South Africa with our hosts Joshua and Heidi Ausfahl and so many new friends. God went before us and gave us strength for the action-packed days that seemed like non-stop speaking engagements in schools, one university, churches, and wonderful fellowship with believers excited about our ministry in that “Rainbow nation” as they proudly and appropriately call themselves because of the delightful range of skin shades in their mixture of tribes and people groups. In addition to intensive ministry, we were treated to a relaxing safari through a game reserve where we saw lots of wild animals, and a trip to a lovely beach on the Indian Ocean.
We won’t give our full report now because we scheduled a few days here in PA with our son Mike and family, whom we haven’t seen in over a year and we’re getting acquainted with one of our newest grandsons, 3-month-old Elijah.
Donna was a speaker for a ladies’ Bible study group. Our messages powerfully reinforced one another, and together we equipped local Christians to defend the Bible as historically and scientifically accurate and authoritative from the very first verse, and presented Genesis foundations of faith in the schools and Zululand University. God gave us evidence that souls were saved and believers strengthened in their faith.
We thank you all from the depths of our hearts for your prayers and encouraging responses to our previous prayer letter, especially prayers for Donna’s recovery from surgery so she could be with me. We sensed your prayers daily, and we continually gave thanks for your intercessions as we followed God’s sovereign leadings from one speaking opportunity to another. We sensed at every stage of the conferences and school seminars that our awesome Creator God was glorified. And we thank Him for your partnership with us.
Thank you so much for your interest & support of our ministry!
August 24, 2012
“His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Donna's surgery was initially scheduled Tuesday morning, but the surgeon wasn’t feeling well and rescheduled it for Wednesday (yesterday) noon. We believe that was all in God’s timing, allowing the mysterious mass to shrink even more to a hard “jelly-bean” size, which made the surgery much easier.
Please pray for an uncomplicated recovery, strength, and quick healing for Donna. The Dr. won't give clearance for Donna to travel until the official biopsy comes out (no later than next Monday), but he's quite sure it isn't cancer, so we should both be able to travel to South Africa together. Donna is scheduled to get the stitches out next Tuesday morning, and the first leg of our flight leaves that evening!
Thank you for your prayers and notes of encouragement, and do keep praising our Creator God who is also Healer and Sustainer, and also keep us in your prayers that God’s traveling mercies will be upon us.
Thank you so much for your interest & support of our ministry! To God be the Glory!
August 16, 2012
SOUTH AFRICA CREATION CONFERENCES, August 31-September 9: Jerry Poster SACC 22balong with Rick Faison (from Philadelphia) and Johann Kruger (local CMI Director), will be speaking at two weekend Creation Science Conferences. The first will be at a church in Durban August 31st thru September 1st, and the second will be in Richard's Bay September 7th & 8th. Our host, ABWE Missionary Josh Ausfahl, has also arranged seminars in schools for Jerry during the week in-between the two conferences. Be praying for the many details that have to all come together before we depart Tuesday August 28!
SURPRISE SURGERY SCHEDULED FOR DONNA: In the midst of busy preparations, these past 3 weeks became unexpectedly stressful when Donna awoke July 27 with a large painful lump on her neck. This led to many rounds of visits to doctors and dentists, antibiotics, and lab work. Thankfully, this week’s biopsy didn’t find cancer, but there were some atypical cells that may mean trouble; so the surgeon says it must be removed immediately. Donna's surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday the 21st of August. That's only a week before our scheduled departure for South Africa on the 28th! Our doctor says he prefers 10 days recovery minimum, but today indicated he’ll wait to see how she does. We feel peace from God that even if Donna isn't allowed to travel that soon after surgery, Jerry will definitely make the trip, Lord willing. But we need lots of wisdom in deciding what to do, and would appreciate your prayers!
- Genesis Exegetical Commentary (First draft), Preaching Notes from Sermons by Pastor Phil Layton: compiled as a GIFT to attending South Africa pastors, with the help of 14+ members of our home church Gold Country Baptist!
- Conference Messages coming together, after much-needed revisions with updated material and relevance.
- Our Philippine Director, Vic DePaz's, very busy speaking schedule: Recent highlights include Pastor's & Leaders Apologetic seminars July 7th, 9-14,and August 4th, as well as church conferences July 10th & August 12th. Praise God for this indefatigable man!
- Donna's surgery August 21st to remove a cyst from her neck: Skill for the surgeon, and an easy recovery.
- Focus as we finalize Jerry’s PowerPoint presentations and prepare for our Aug 28 departure to South Africa.
- Vic DePaz: Creation Apologetics training workshops this month with trainees coming from as far away as New Jersey and Canada, along with locals, followed by practicum seminars in schools and local churches.
July 12, 2012
Praise God for Another Grandchild
Caleb Andrew Trepepi was born Sunday morning July 8 to our youngest daughter Lisa and hubby Ethan. We praise our Father God for the perfect timing as we were just finished with Family Camp and able to drive Saturday through the night to meet him in the hospital the next morning. As we write, we are staying with them (and 20 month old big sister Julia) to help out for a few days.
Praise God for Spring/Summer Ministry Blessings
Jerry has had preaching opportunities in our local church and also spoke to two different lo local creation clubs.
Jerry spoke at a Public school noon Bible Study on “Dinos in the Bible, sponsored by one of our church members. More than 30 middle-schoolers attended, and we have other invitations to speak on Creation Apologetics in local public schools next school year.
Jerry was a VBS teacher for the Juniors-age kids (9-10 yr olds) teaching the Answers in Genesis IncrediWorld Amazement Park covering Genesis 1. What a joy to team-teach our 30+ Junior-age children in Creation Apologetics!
On the final day of Family Camp Jerry taught the little kids 2 songs about Dinosaurs in the Book of Job: Behemoth and Leviathan. What a joy to see their lively responses!
Praise Updates from the Field
Jon Digno from Iloilo trained at Answers in Genesis in April, gave an echo seminar for church members & Bible School students in Philippines.
Victor de Paz active doing Creation Evangelism Seminars in Manila and Sothern Philippines. Also friends from New Jersey and Canada visiting in the Philippines have asked for Creation Evangelism training.
South Africa Creation Conference Aug. 26-Sept. 10 is being planned by our missionary friend Josh Ausfahl. Jerry will speak along with two other Creation speakers in the cities of Durban and Richards Bay, on separate weekends. During weekdays, they are hoping to schedule us in public schools and universities, like we have done in the Philippines since South Africa also allows for Religious Education. PRAY also for the other speakers preparing: Richard Faison of Philadelphia Society for Creation Science (PSCS Ministries). and Dr. Johan Kruger of Creation Ministries International, South Africa.
Victor scheduled to speak in Cambodia at evangelist LIFE Camp Aug. 26-31.
Scheduling reports to our remaining supporting churches this October-November.
February 2, 2012
We want to express deep appreciation to you for your prayers and financial support which enabled us to keep our 2011 ministry commitments. We were away from home more than 50% of the time in 2011, and we praise the Lord for His amazing grace and traveling mercies.
Our 2011 ministry travels took us back and forth across the United States, and also to Asia. Last year got off to a slow start for Donna when she fell and tore the MCL tendon on one of her new knees, forcing Jerry to travel alone to speak at the Hong Kong origins conference and visit our Creation Science Team in the Philippines last February. Thankfully, Donna's knee healed without another surgery, and she received clearance from her Doctor to begin traveling in May. This enabled us to report together to 10 of our supporting churches and the ABWE board, as well as travel to Asia last November and December. We traveled to 3 different Asian countries, as well as 3 cities in the Philippines, arriving back home in California just before Christmas. After all that travel, it is definitely good to be home for a while to rest and get caught up on correspondence!
All Asia Creation Conference (held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 15-17)
It was a blessing to attend this historic conference sponsored by Answers in Genesis, and it was a privilege for Jerry to be given one of the speaking slots. Delegates came from 20 different countries, and we counted at least 16 delegates from the Philippines which was the biggest delegation from outside of Malaysia. Attendance broke all expectations, and local Malaysians swelled the crowd to as many as 1,000 people in the evening sessions. Jerry was asked to speak on the topic "How to start a creation ministry." Our heart is for campus evangelism , so he challenged the delegates to not only give answers to Christians so they can defend their faith, but also to use creation apologetics to evangelize the schools in their countries, like we are doing in the Philippines. Pray with us that many more will catch the urgency of our vision!
Philippines Creation Science Team Highlights
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth!" (3 John 3: 4). Even more rewarding than any speaking opportunities Jerry had this last year, was the privilege of seeing Filipinos carrying on the ministries we started. After attending the conference in Malaysia, Pastor Danny Balm Escobar of Doane Baptist Church, asked the Iloilo Team to echo what they had learned in a Creation Science Sunday. Jerry and Vic dePaz are standing with the team at the picture on the left. (We tagged those who attended the Malaysia Conference.) It was a thrill for us to sit back and mostly just listen as Pastor Jan Digno (speaking at far right in photo) led the services and gave two excellent Creation Science PowerPoint messages from the material we had given him.
Shortly after our return to the States, our Philippines Director, Pastor Vic dePaz wrote: "Ptr. Jan Digno and our Iloilo Team had a powerful impact in a Youth Conference at the end of the year... indeed he is endowed with double share of my passion concerning the proclamation of the glory of God. There is nothing more encouraging in our ministry than to see someone catch your passion."
Pastor Jan Digno also wrote us about that youth conference: "There were at least 1000 young people from all over... I am amazed that many young people and youth workers were still not knowledgeable about Creation Science. After the sessions, many approached us to be our possible contacts for symposiums in their churches, campus ministries and youth camps... Please pray for these opportunities as a gateway for salvation of souls and opening of the eyes of the students."
Other 2011 Asia Ministry Highlights
After the conference in Malaysia, we also traveled to Davao City Philippines where Jerry spoke at the 27th Anniversary of Harvest Baptist Church, the church we had helped establish during our first missionary term. Pictured with us is Pastor Salvador Caspillo and his wife Grace, who were with us from the very beginning. (Actually he is the one who helped Jerry get started doing Creation Science Seminars in the schools way back then.) We praise the Lord for their faithfulness! Harvest has started 8 daughter churches in outlying regions of the city and also has a Pre-school and Bible School.
2012 Ministry Opportunities
This January, the Iloilo Creation Science Team was invited to speak to 3 geology classes of a church member, who is a professor at Central Philippines University.
This first week of February, Pastor Vic and Pastor Digno, along with others from the Iloilo team are traveling to Davao City to further train Filipinos in Creation Apologetics and evangelize local campuses there. One of the team members will soon be leaving as a missionary to China. Please pray that she will be able to use Creation Science in her new assignment, and also for her replacement on the team.
Also, our Filipino Director, Pastor Vic dePaz, has opportunities through the church missions program to use his background in agriculture as a bridge for Creation Science whenever he travels to Indonesia to do what our partnering church calls "Agri-Missions."
We will soon be scheduling visits to our remaining supporting churches this year, and if the Lord continues to give us strength and provide enough money in our mission account for overseas ministry travel, it is our desire to continue to serve Him worldwide. The people in the Philippines want us to visit every year to upgrade and inspire then. We have also been contacted by a fellow ABWE missionary in South Africa about the possibility of conducting Creation Apologetics training for their fellowship of churches later this year. We would appreciate your prayers for wisdom!
Pastor Jan Digno of our Iloilo team just wrote that he has been invited to attend the International Training Seminar at Answers in Genesis in Kentucky this April. Please pray for all the details to work out, especially his visa.