Many have asked us about the Philippines related to the fact that it is over 80% Catholic and what is it like serving in a country like that.
We usually answer generally that Filipinos are open to speaking about a good many things related to Christianity and the Bible, even with a Protestant. Yet, as soon as it gets too personal to their own life or a change in their belief and method of worshipping God, the doors tend to close.
This is clearly the area to focus on in prayer, namely, that the Holy Spirit will convict them of their need of the Savior's forgiveness once and for all. It is not a power encounter, but a truth encounter they need.
With that in mind, I hope that the testimony of a former Catholic priest might help you as you pray for the majority of Filipinos. Many believe they are Catholic, thus they are Christian, yet we know from Scripture they are essentially false converts who have not yet been born again.
I have been reading slowly through several books during furlough, but I have put those aside for awhile to read "Truth Encounter: Catholicism and the Holy Scriptures" by Anthony Pezzotta.
I have posted about him before on Facebook. I was intrigued by his testimony presented in chapters 2 and 3, which is entitled "The Truth About Salvation".
It is too long to post here so I will provide highlights from it, which I think will be just as powerful as reading it all. This will be presented in two parts. I will use a bullet point style of presentation which might help since it is lengthy...
-"While studying in England I began to have serious doubts concerning doctrines of my church which I found difficult to reconcile with Scripture. My doubts continued even after my ordination, but I ignored them and plunged into my studies.
-After ten years of hard work I returned to my home in Italy for a year of rest and recuperation. My doubts revived and increased in number...as did my determination to find satisfactory solutions. I pondered deeply the doctrines in question...doubts persisted, some stronger than ever before.
-Upon returning to the Philippines, I remember laying aside all my books of theology. I was determined to focus full attention on a single Book, the Word of God, particularly the New Testament.
-The Bible became my only source of wisdom, teaching, preaching, meditation and reading. In a short time my doubts began to disappear.
-At the end of January 1974, I was in Santa Cruz, Laguna, south of Manila, where an attractive Baptist church had just been built. I had never been in a Protestant church.
-I walked in quietly and was warmly greeted by a friendly Christian believer, who insisted on introducing me to the pastor, Rev. Ernesto Montealegre.
-We talked together for a couple of hours..I doing all I could to make him a good Catholic and he quietly answering all my questions. Of course I did not succeed in converting him...neither did he convert me to Protestantism.
-Many of his answers struck me with great force, so that at the end of two hours, I left with multiplied doubts in my heart.
-From that day on a period of Calvary started for me: sleepless nights, agonizing indecision and frightening lack of courage to profess the truth of Scripture.
-Gradually I began to see what the truth was, but I did not know what to do - until the night of February 20, 1974.
-That night I was alone in my room and for the first time in my life, I truly prayed. I asked Christ to take over because I don't know what to do. For the first time I felt I was the chief of sinners.
-But what kind of sinner you might ask?"...to be continued in the next email update.
Pray for the truth of the gospel to satisfy the agonizing doubt or blatant false teaching that Catholics of the PH believe in. Thanks for praying!
As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "Always respond to every impulse to pray...".
Click here to visit our website for more information and how to pray about Kim's work at Faith Academy. http://www.equipmanila.com/faith-academy.html
Click here to visit the Needs List Page of Faith Academy and pray over it for the Lord's provision of missionary teachers and administrators for the upcoming school year, which essentially begins in July. This is the longest needs list in their 60 year history. https://faith.edu.ph/prospective-staff-info/needs-list/
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