Finishing Our First Term Well!
We have begun our 7-8 month furlough. We are presently in Sydney, Australia until June 30th, helping our daughter Kaitlyn get settled into her new chapter of life.
She'll be living and working and eventually studying here. It will be hard to part, but we know the Lord is providing for her. It's also a bit of a family vacation and graduation present for the girls.
Enjoying one another in Sydney! Kaitlyn will stay, but the rest of us arrive at LAX on June 30th!
Meeting up with some kangaroos!
Feeding cockatoos in Hyde Park!
We began serving in Manila in February 2013. It has been on our heart and a continual item of prayer that we will finish well and have opportunities for ministry when we return. The Lord has answered those prayers.
We had wonderful ministry opportunities that ran right up to the end. We also see great opportunities on the horizon upon our return about February 2017.
After our girls' graduation on June 3rd we had to move the contents of our small 3 story rental into a much smaller 3 bedroom apartment near Faith Academy. This was the Lord's provision at the right moment for a difficult situation.
Here's what happened for us and the opportunities for us and Equip Manila following furlough:
Baptist Bible Seminary and Institute
Working at BBS&I has been an amazing opportunity! Instructing in the Pastoral Ministry Department for 3 years, I've been able to teach, train and mentor probably upwards of 250 seminary students!
Many of these students have graduated and are serving in churches as pastors or Bible women or as part of internships and church staff! Others are still studying as 3rd and 4th year students this year.
Biblical Hermeneutics Modular-Intensive Course Students!
Modular Course - My last BBS&I assignment from June 6-10 was to teach a Biblical Hermeneutics course to 30 students. This was a one week intensive course of 6+ hours for 5 straight days of lecture and discussion.
Modular course students working on their exegetical method papers!
Listening to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Authority of the Bible!
We had an absolutely fantastic week and the experience stretched me quite a bit. My students were both lively and eager. At the end of the week we said our goodbyes, but we are certainly are not finished.
These students have been given an assignment plan and deadlines to send these to me by email. They have until the end of August to provide me with their 14 exegetical papers, 4 article response papers and take a test as well.
In addition to all this, I am happy to report several exciting things:
- I received a warm and uplifting send off from the faculty and student body! Their love and appreciation were very inspiring.
- I have received an invitation to return to BBS&I and work further in this vital ministry of training of the next generation of Filipino pastors and teachers.
- I was informed by the President of the BBSI Board of Trustees, David Sariga, that I have been voted in as a member of the board! I'll begin that role when we return.
- Finally, I've been given the role of "resident agent" for our colleagues in the Philippines, which means I am responsible to help our colleagues secure the renewal of their 9G visas.
- Please continue to pray for faculty and students at BBS&I and for me as I take on these roles in the future.
Kim has worked hard as a HS mathematics teacher and discipleship leader of senior girls. She has worked to bring a high level of teaching standards to her work with missionary kids, as well as a focus on biblically grounded discussions and counseling.
Kim's students have obviously benefited from her work and they expressed much gratitude for her being their teacher. Also, her work has been recognized by the FA leadership as she has received an invitation to return to teach and serve at Faith Academy in 2017!
Kim with two of her senior students from math and discipleship, Bekah and Kimberly, whom we connected with in Puerto Galera!
Her heart's desire is in the midst of all the normal things that must happen in HS education of missionary kids, she'll be able to get at matters of the heart with her students.
Kelly and Kaitlyn graduated from Faith Academy on June 3rd and it was a special time for all of us! They had great teachers and made wonderful friends who come from places all over the world. It was a blessing for us to have them attend this great school.
Graduation at Faith Academy 2016!
Now the two of them are heading into their new chapters of life. In Sydney Kaitlyn will be living with colleagues serving in missions here. They are graciously helping her with a place to stay and leads on jobs.
Kaitlyn hopes to study in a program at the TAFE university system in dental assisting and hygiene for about 2 years. She needs prayer for finding work as soon as possible in Sydney and the eventual switch to a student visa.
Kelly and Kaitlyn in Sydney near Sydney Harbor and The Rocks!
And on Bondi Beach! We are so blessed to see how the Lord is providing for Kaitlyn through the Mayo family, receiving some important visa documents and several potential job interviews before we leave!
Kelly has a plan to study nursing at Liberty University in Virginia. Her goal is quite specific. She wants to work as a labor and delivery nurse. She will be with us this summer in CA until classes begin in August. She needs prayer as the final steps come together.
Emmanuel Baptist Church
Our brothers and sisters in Christ at EBC have been such a blessing in our lives. I was able again to preach at EBC on June 12th from 1 John 1:1-4. It was related to the theme of Partnership and Fellowship in Christ. It wa a fitting theme to finish with as we truly have been partnering in ministry with the members of EBC.
Some of the pastors of EBC involved in the regular rotation of preaching and the Preachers' Fraternity!
Various training and outreach opportunities have been highlights of the partnership in the last 3 years. I shared with them again about the joy of being led to them on one rainy Sunday morning in our first year here. Numerous members came to ask if we will return. What I liked very much was working in partnership with the other preachers at EBC and look forward to further Preachers' Fraternity meetings when we return.
Institute for Practical Theology
We have Approved Workmen Training events already lined up for when we return in and around Manila. My work in Baras will continue when I return. Four other venues are pending further arrangements. The Common Church Issues Workshop for Emmanuel Baptist Church will most likely be arranged for right after we return.
NOTE: We are experiencing some recent problems with our email at email@example.com. Please communicate with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the time being.
Thanks for praying! Follow us regularly on Instagram at #equipmanila and #kimic83_
Sanay bumuhos ang pagpapala ng Diyos sa inyo. (May the Lord richly bless you),
Robert & Kim Clark & family