What a week we had at camp! We ended up with 1,109 in attendance from all over Manila and the outlying areas, and over 200 of those students got saved. Of the three girls that Amanda helped lead to Christ, two of them were ones that we sponsored. So we just wanted to say big thank you for helping us send those girls to camp this year!
We also helped sponsor two sisters that had faithfully been attending our youth ministry. They have been active in the youth group and sang in the youth choir led by Amanda. The choir performed at our church’s Christmas party last December, and the girls’ mother, Christine, came to hear them sing. We had great conversation with her and invited her to church, but we never saw her after that. Four months later, the Sunday after camp, the girls brought their mother to church and she got saved! So exciting to see those two sisters work together to bring their mother to the One who has changed their lives.
God is still at work in the Philippines and he needs workers in the field. We know that this is where God has called us and He has much more in store for us. As we completed our internship in Manila, we had to say goodbye last week to those that we have ministered with and to during the last year and a half. It was very hard to leave, but it is only a temporary goodbye, as we plan to return as early as next summer.
Please pray for us as we continue to raise support to return to the field as soon as possible. We also wanted to ask for your prayers on our upcoming travels…at the end of the summer we are expecting our first little one! Then we will really need your prayers as we tote her around the country, as well.
Thanks again so much for all of your faithful prayers and support!
Amanda and I want to personally thank you for supporting and praying for us over the last 16 months. At the end of April we will complete our internship as TEAM missionaries with the BBFI and return to the States to be approved as career missionaries. It will be hard for us to leave, as we have seen the Lord create strong relationships in the ministry we’ve been a part of.
During the last year, God has allowed us to minister in the open doors of San Roque National High School. We’ve had the opportunity to hold acrobatics classes, as well as Music and English workshops. Many of these students have been able to get plugged into our youth services, but there are still many to be reached. Our summer camp is coming up soon, and we have a great opportunity to reach these students. The administrative staff from San Roque has already asked if 60 of their delinquent students could join the camp.
April 17-20 will be our summer camp, where we are expecting 1200 students to attend. It is our desire to sponsor at least these 60 delinquent students (one bus) from San Roque. The total cost of one bus for a full week of camp will be $2,345 or $39 per student. If you are able to help us send these students to camp, donations can be sent to us through the BBFI with “Camp” in the Memo. Anything extra that comes in will help other students within our ministry with their camp fee.
Again, thank you so much for your support and prayers, and we look forward to reporting to you all that God has done through this year’s camp.
Amanda and I are excited to share with you the new opportunity God has given us this past month. Since January, we have been helping SBC plant a church in Antipolo, and the Lord has blessed the work. We have seen the church grow and many new families attend, and we had 72 in the adult service on Sunday. However, there is still a great need for a youth ministry to be started.
Last week Amanda started teaching a Sunday school class for some of the high school girls that were visiting for the first time. This week, there were five girls and they all received Christ as Lord of their lives. This has reaffirmed the need, as well as our desire to do more to reach the youth in Antipolo.
School is starting this week, and we will be visiting the principals of three high schools near SBC’s new church plant. We will be offering the schools the church’s services of teaching acrobatics, drama, and English for the students there.
Please pray that these schools will be open to us working with them and that the youth ministry will grow out of the relationships we build with the students here. And continue with us in praising God for the work that He is already doing here; for the five young women who gave their lives to Christ this past Sunday. We know that it is through your prayers and support that God is allowing us to serve Him here in Manila.
Last month we shared with you the story about Edmon, a young man who the Lord has been using to reach many of the students in Makati. We asked for prayer that the Lord would continue to use him. Well we want to let you know that these prayers were answered last week
Amanda and I just completed our first experience of camp here in Manila. Over 950 students came together for 4 days of games, friends, and many challenges from God’s Word. One of the students that came was a girl named Jhoan. She had attended the acrobatics class a couple of weeks ago with her brother (one of the guys Edmon had invited) and it was then that Amanda and the Makati youth were able to invite her to camp. Well, during the first evening service of camp, Jhoan came forward to receive Christ. Amanda was able to counsel her and lead her through the prayer of Salvation. This is an exciting story of what God did at camp, yet Jhoan was only one of the 299 students who called on the name of the Lord for Salvation.
On the last night of camp, we had 165 students surrender their lives in service to the Lord’s ministry. Edmon was one of those who made the commitment. That evening he shared with me that he did not know what God’s plans were or how the Lord was going to use him. I told him that God was using him already, and that God had even more in store for him. Please continue to pray for Edmon as he discerns God’s Will for his life. Thank you again for praying and for helping us sponsor 50 students this year at camp.
When Edmon first started attended the acrobatic classes at Pio Del Pilar National High school, I knew right away that he would be a fast learner. He was a tall and strong nineteen year old, who many of the younger boys looked up to. He was also an excellent student from the start.
Acrobatics is not the easiest thing to learn, and there are many bumps and bruises that go with it; yet whenever I needed a volunteer, Edmon was always the first to respond. I remember telling him that the more time he spent walking on his hands, the bigger his arms were going to get. I was really praying that his interest in acrobatics would grow and that the youth services he attended would strengthen his new found faith.
Since those first classes with Edmon, Amanda and I have seen him develop into a strong leader. He has become unashamed of his love for the Lord and regularly invites his peers to the fifth floor of the school where we teach students more than just how to ride a unicycle. Just last week, sixteen new high school students attended the youth service. Half of them had been invited by Edmon.
We praise God for the young men and women we get to serve alongside and it is our prayer that God raises up more leaders like Edmon. Please pray for the ministry opportunities that we will be a part of this summer. Camp is coming up this month and it is a great opportunity for many students to surrender their lives in service to the Lord. Please continue to pray for us as we work and minister to the students here.
Unicycles, juggling, and tumbling…this is what many of our days have consisted of these past few weeks. As of today, we are currently teaching acrobatic classes in 3 different high schools. This has been a great opportunity for evangelism and discipleship, as we have been able to get these students through the doors of the church.
Our highlight in this particular ministry has been the partnership we have been able to make with one of the schools. Pio del Pilar National High school is a campus that SBC has been ministering to for several years, but this year we have been able to start an actual church service on campus. Every Saturday, we join the students and staff of SBC Makati to put on an acrobatic/martial arts class in the school’s gym. There is always a youth service to follow, and in the past 4 weeks, we have seen 39 students give their lives to Christ.
Please pray for the continued strength to serve the Lord here in Manila. The acrobatic classes are only one of several ways we are serving here, but it is a daily reminder of how God uses practical ways for His Gospel to be proclaimed. We are in need of several more unicycles, juggling equipment, and tumbling mats. Please pray that the Lord would meet the needs we have for the opportunities He is giving us. Once again, thank you for your prayers and support.
Ingat Po Kayo (Take Care),
Brent & Amanda Longenecker
This is the last update letter we will be sending from the States. Amanda and I just bought our plane tickets yesterday and we will be flying to the Philippines on November 3rd. God has continued to provide for our financial needs and we are excited to report that we are at 96.75% of our support.
We’re so thankful that even during our deputation, we have had many opportunities to continue doing ministry. Even in the month of September, we were able to see 5 students give their lives to Jesus Christ. One highlight from this last month was the opportunity to be a part of an event called Radically Committed. It was an event at Independent Baptist Church in Grove, OK where students were challenged to fully commit their lives to the call of Christ.
During this next month we will continue doing ministry, as we will be a part of a Fall Festival with South Side Baptist Church in Springfield, MO. We will also be with a youth group at Abundant Life Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit, MO. Then we will be in a Missions Conference with Liberty Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, TX.
We are continuing to get the last of our paperwork ready for our visas. We will apply for our missionary visas once we arrive in the Philippines. We are so anxious to get started in the work that God has called us to in Manila. Please continue to pray over this time of transition and preparation.
Thanks again for your faithful prayers and support.
Brent w/ Bethel Baptist Youth at "Radically Committed."