Dr. Jerry and Donna Layton
ABWE - Iloilo City, Philippines

February 21, 2018

Routine follow-up blood work from Jerry’s prostate cancer surgery two years ago found evidence of a microscopic colony of reproducing cancer cells that evidently escaped during the surgery. Body scans indicate it has not spread to the bone, so doctors believe it is still curable. With that goal in mind, Jerry is currently undergoing 7 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week, until March 1st, followed by time for adequate rest and recovery. Obviously, this is not what we expected to be doing at this time, but we also know that God has a purpose in this, and we are confident in his love for us as he works out his will in our lives.

While the Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome, his burden to strengthen the churches prompted him to write; and likewise, Jerry, with the mentoring of experienced colleagues, is using this time of restricted travel to write and self-publish a book entitled The Gospel Begins in Genesis. This synopsis of our Creation Worldview Seminar will be our way to declare God’s power and mighty works to the next generation.

Jerry’s book will highlight the foundational importance of Genesis in God’s pre-planned redemptive history: from the “very good” six days of creation, which each refute an aspect of evolution theory, to our need for a spiritual new creation in Christ, and ultimately the promise of bodily redemption in the new heavens and new earth. Jerry sees the need to produce this, but has often felt overwhelmed by the task; so we are asking you to pray for him to have the self-discipline and wisdom, as well as God’s special grace for both of us to complete this project!

Thank you for your partnership with us, both in prayers and financial support, which enabled us to make three strategic Philippines and Singapore ministry trips last year! Jerry‘s seminars in one TMAI-sponsoring church and 2 other like-minded churches helped him develop the outline and material for his upcoming book. As a way of saying thank you once we’re able to travel again, we would like to present all or part of our Creation Worldview Seminar in as many of our supporting churches as possible. We’ll soon begin scheduling those visits.

Our overseas ministry opportunities come by invitation, and Lord willing, we hope to have the continued financial support and good health to also be able to make plans with those who have expressed an interest in having us minister overseas.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for continued strength and good health for Jerry as he undergoes and recovers from radiation, and that the Lord would be pleased to heal his cancer.
  • Please pray for Jerry to have the discipline and wisdom needed to write and self-publish his book The Gospel Begins in Genesis in the recovery months ahead.
  • Please pray for wisdom in scheduling visits to supporting churches this year, as well as planning future overseas ministry trips with those who have expressed interest, as the Lord provides.

 

October 7, 2017

Thank You, All Who Prayed for This Trip

God gave traveling mercies for Jerry’s 10-day trip, which included a last-minute re-routing and change of airline due to flight delays. He ended up on a direct flight from LAX to Manila, allowing him 8 hours uninterrupted sleep! God gave good health and strength for his busy speaking schedule during his 6 days in Davao City, where we served during our first term of missionary service. Jerry spoke 21 hours: 5 hours in church settings, and 16 hours of Creation Evangelism.

His invitation focus was to speak at the 62nd Anniversary Celebration of Heritage Baptist Church, where we worked as part of a church strengthening team in 1983. He also spoke mid-week at Harvest Baptist Church, our first church planting based out of Heritage in another part of the city, which is still pastored by our Filipino church-planting partner, Salvador Caspillo since 1984. What a joy also to speak in his Bible School!

The Heritage Baptist Church anniversary celebration on Sunday September 24 was truly a joyous event, and it was followed that afternoon with a well-attended 2-hr. Inter-church Creation Science Symposium.

6 Days of Creation Science Campus Evangelism

In addition to speaking 5 hours in church settings, Pastor Philip Fernandez, who is also national director of Campus Bible Fellowship, scheduled Jerry for a 2-hr. radio interview and 14 hours of Creation Science Campus Evangelism in local schools and universities during the week. (One venue was forced to cancel when a last-minute holiday was declared by the President of the Philippines, but the other 6 were not affected since they were scheduled on other days.) Jerry was thrilled to be able give his 2-hour Creation Science Symposium in schools: contrasting Creation Science as The Alternative of Evolution. We are rejoicing that there is still a wide-open door for this message that wins many to Christ!

The school venues included 2 major universities, 1 Career-prep college, 2 high schools, and 1 Medical School Bible-study group of 20+ students from India. This last one really touched Jerry’s heart! Organized by the pastor’s wife, Jenna Fernandez, who is a surgeon teaching at the medical school, many of these Indian students still call themselves “agnostics” from religious backgrounds; but all enjoy studying the Bible and attend Heritage Baptist Church! Jerry enjoyed their questions being uniquely related to their religious backgrounds, and one young woman expressed worry that if she openly professes Christ, her family will disown and possible harm her! Please pray for this young lady and for Jenna Fernandez and this unique cross-cultural evangelistic opportunity. Also, please pray for the Heritage Baptist Church student workers who are following up students who filled out salvation-decision slips after Jerry spoke.

Although it was a busy schedule and the travel was exhausting, Jerry came home energized and rejoicing for all the Lord did during this trip to the Philippines. Lord willing, we hope to have more ministry opportunities like this!

Isaiah 55:11-12 “My word… will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it: 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace. the mountains and hills will burst into song before you.”

Please Be Praying With Us

  • Isaiah 55:11-12 “My word… will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it: 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace. the mountains and hills will burst into song before you.”
  • For Jenna Fernandez as she mentors her Indian medical-school students: that they all may find peace and joy in knowing Christ as personal Lord & Savior.
  • For the Lord’s leading regarding future ministry invitations.

God Bless you all as we pray without ceasing!

September 12, 2017

Yes, you read that right! On Saturday Sept. 16, Jerry (alone this time) will be flying to Davao City for just 10 days Sept. 16-26. He is invited to speak for the 62nd Church Anniversary of Heritage Baptist Church, where we started out as missionaries in 1983. And don’t worry (but do pray), they consider Davao to be safe under Martial Law, with wise precautions, and we do have the blessing of our ABWE Regional Director on the trip. Click on highlighted links for info.

The new pastor there is Philip Fernandez, a Master’s Seminary graduate, who has been a dear friend and ministry partner in campus evangelism. He was in Singapore where we both attended the Aug. 7-11 The TMAI Asia-Pacific Regional Summit, which he attended as a partnering church pastor. What an unexpected blessing when the group from the Philippines greeted me with my Creation Seminar songs! Their song leader was Errol Parpa who assisted me in early days and is now a pastor. Although we had previously turned down Philip’s invitation months ago, he enticed me to reconsider with promises of Creation Evangelism in schools, plus mid-week speaking at our nearby first-term church-plant, Harvest Baptist Church, plus strategic visits to schedule a future TMAI Creation Worldview Seminar.

Donna and I returned Aug. 17 from the Philippines after 2 and ½ months serving as temporary managers for our ABWE R&R Guest Cottages in the mile-high Baguio City. THANK YOU to all who prayed for us, because we felt your prayers as we struggled to master the book keeping for the often full-compound of mission-group retreats! We loved being back where our kids enjoyed family vacations growing up as MKs. And I loved daily morning devotions in Genesis with the 4 wonderful Filipino staff workers.

Jerry also gave two Creation Worldview Seminars. First, we traveled to a TMAI partner church 4 hours away, where he taught 8 hours over 2 Saturdays to an overflow crowd of more than 466, organized by their vibrant youth group, and attended by all ages. The Sunday morning service also was packed out, and we were blessed by the unquenchable enthusiasm of those attending. The second was a shortened version at nearby Baguio Baptist Church, where the all-day Saturday (5 hours only, plus Sunday) was well attended with riveted attention, despite the heat that weekend. We were amazed by some who recounted attending our seminars years ago! One even told how he still does follow-up seminars in schools.

So please be praying for our remaining days of preparation, and for Donna left behind (with 10 grandkids nearby).

PLEASE BE PRAYING FOR THESE STRATEGIC DIVINE APPOINTMENTS:

  • Sat. Sept 16-17: 26 hours travel (includes layovers) Sacramento to Manila
  • Mon. 18: 2-hour flight to Davao City, rest & recover from jet-lag.
  • Tue. 19: Campus Evangelism, 1 in the morning & 1 in the afternoon
  • Wed. 20: morning-visit a local pastor whose church hosts a TMAI Pastoral Training Center; afternoon-speak at the Bible School of Harvest Baptist Church (our 2nd Davao church planting); evening-preach at Harvest Baptist Church, pastored by Salvador Caspillo since our church plant
  • Thu. 21: Campus Evangelism, 1 in the morning & 1 in the afternoon
  • Fri. 22: Rest in the morning; Ministry with students from India in the afternoon
  • Sat. 23: Inter-church & inter-bible school Creation Worldview Seminar; 4 or 5 hours
  • Sun. 24: Heritage Baptist Church 62nd Church Anniversary, preaching in the morning
  • Mon. 25: Rest ½ day, then 2-hour flight to Manila guesthouse.

Matthew 9:38 (esv) “Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

  • Tue. 26: 24 hours travel (includes layovers) back to home!
June 5, 2017

We are busy packing for our next ministry trip to the Philippines June 12-August 17. We will be filling in for the managers of Doane Rest which houses our mission R&R guest cottages in the mile-high city of Baguio, in the mountains of the northern Philippines, where our family often vacationed. It will be nice to be there again, even if it is not for a vacation.

Baguio is about 4 hours north of Manila by expressway followed by a winding mountain road. Hot season is April and May, and schools are on summer break. Rainy season starts in June, which coincides with the start of the new school year. It is also typhoon season, and Baguio is sometimes in the path of these storms.

In addition to managing Doane Rest, Jerry also will be doing some weekend Genesis Apologetics Seminars. Local Pastors have expressed an interest and we will schedule with them once we arrive. He has also agreed to travel to Manila to speak the weekends of July 8 & 15, and has been busy updating his handouts in preparation for this. He’s been having some last-minute glitches with formatting, and prayers are appreciated as he finalizes and sends them off.

Jerry has an opportunity August 7-11 to attend The Master’s Seminary International (TMAI) Conference in Singapore, which would give him a chance to interact with personnel from other centers in Asia. Please pray for wisdom in deciding whether-or-not he should go.

As you may have heard, martial law has been declared for 3 months on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines which has a substantial Muslim population in some areas. Since Baguio is on the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines we are not affected directly, but prayers are appreciated for peace and order in the southern Philippines. We lived in Davao City on the island of Mindanao during our first term of missionary service, so we have many friends there.

Praise: We are so thankful for the ministry opportunities the Lord is giving us, and for you and your prayers and financial support that enable us to still “declare [God’s] power to the next generation”! We praise the Lord for Jerry’s successful surgery for prostate cancer last year (March); our ministry trip to Fortaleza Brazil (September), and Jerry’s ministry trip to an un-named country where he joined a colleague to teach (November).

Prayer

  • We are excited and looking forward to this next ministry trip and would appreciate your prayers!
  • For strength and clear minds as we pack and prepare for our June 12 departure, as well as traveling mercies, rest, and good health as we travel and settle in.
  • For clear minds and a smooth transition as the managers orient us to our responsibilities at Doane Rest. (We are scheduled to arrive in Baguio before dawn on the 14th, and they leave on the 16th.) Pray that we will be a good host and hostess for the guests. Also pray that the compound might be spared any damage in the event of a typhoon.
  • For Jerry to clearly communicate the truths of Genesis Apologetics as he travels to Manila to speak July 8 & 15, as well as other local seminars which will be scheduled.
  • For wisdom deciding if Jerry should attend the TMAI conference in Singapore August 7-11.
  • For peace and order in the southern Philippines.

 

December 21, 2016

Dear Family and Special Friends,

We are so thankful to have each and every one of you in our lives! As we look back on this past year, we realize it was an eventful year, and we could not have done all this without God’s help in response to prayers!

The first half of the year found us dealing with the unexpected diagnosis of Jerry’s prostate cancer, followed by successful surgery and recovery. We praise the Lord that he is now declared cancer free, and despite delays we were able to travel and minister as Jerry recovered. The above photo was taken in April, when all 4 of our kids got together to encourage Jerry shortly after his surgery. It was the first time for them to be together in 5 years.

The second half of the year we did a lot of traveling, beginning with a cross country drive pulling our travel trailer to attend our ABWE Missionary Enrichment Conference in Virginia, where we were able to catch up with missionary friends from around the world that we would never see otherwise, as well as spend time with our son Mike and his family (6 of our grandchildren aged 1-13) in Pennsylvania. We also made time to visit both of Donna’s brothers (in GA and CO) as well as former missionary colleagues along the way. We even got to tour the very exciting newly opened Ark encounter in Kentucky with former missionary co-workers, and camped in Yellowstone with other missionary friends.

We traveled to the Northwest in May to present Creation Science at a homeschool convention, and took two overseas trips to give Creation Worldview Conferences. We traveled together to Fortaleza Brazil in September, and Jerry traveled alone to a limited-access nation in November. In both countries, church leaders who attended expressed appreciation that their eyes were opened to critical issues of Bible inerrancy, and we have been invited back to conduct further trainings. After the holidays we plan to send out a year-end ministry report with more ministry details.

After so many years of living overseas away from family, we really treasure having family nearby. When we are home, we have the privilege to sit under the ministry of our son Pastor Phil Layton at Gold Country Baptist Church in Shingle Springs, CA. We are blessed to be a part of a wonderful church family there, and it is so nice to have Phil and his family (5 grandchildren aged 6-13) living nearby. Our blessings have recently increased, because our daughter, Lisa and her family (4 grandchildren aged 1-6, and another due next May) have just moved to Shingle Springs from southern CA! Just last week they were able to purchase of a lovely house very near the church we now all attend!

Both of Jerry’s sisters will be visiting us for Christmas. Our daughter Laura and family (2 grandchildren aged 13 & 17) planned to visit this Christmas from AZ, but due to circumstances beyond their control, they have had to postpone until March.

We love each and every one of you, and thank you for your love and prayers! May the God whose “Word became flesh” bless you this Christmas season and throughout the coming year!

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16