From Danny — The past few months have been challenging for me. After I returned from the revival and ordination service at Honda Bay Baptist Church in Palawan, I came down with a severe case of Dengue Fever. (You catch it through a mosquito bite.) This is the first time I have had Dengue, but I knew enough about it to know I had the symptoms of it. Sure enough, the test confirmed it. It landed me in the hospital for a few days but, thankfully, the Lord blessed me with a full recovery. I had a biopsy done on a spot on my chest and it came back as skin cancer. Thankfully, it was not the type that spreads but nevertheless, I had to have it removed. Praise the Lord I am fully recovered from both.
Currently, we are partnering with a local pastor/church planter, Vincent Ferrer, with six different missions — BMC Upper Pintur (Landfill mission), BMC Southville in Rizal, BMC Calmay and BMC Carael in Pangasinan, BMC Quezon Province mission and BMC 1k2 near Rizal. I have the privilege of visiting, and sometimes preaching, at each mission. We are thankful for all the Lord has done in each mission and covet your prayers for workers in each one.
We will be on furlough from December through mid-March. We would love to come by and share updates about the ministry with you. If you are interested in hearing more about the ministry in the Philippines, please send me an email at email@example.com.We would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support for the past 10 years that we have been blessed to be missionaries in the Philippines.
• Relief Bags Ministry — First, let me say thank you to everyone who has continued to support the relief bag ministry. Due to the illness mentioned in the previous article, we have not been able to conduct as many as we would like, but thankfully, we will do as many as we can before leaving on furlough. The Lord continues to bless through this ministry by opening doors for sharing the gospel and also establishing new Bible studies. We have been able to create many new relationships that have resulted in leading some to Christ.
Pastor Jemuel’s brother from Mt. Zion Fundamental Baptist Church helped us with this distribution by sharing the gospel presentation before we distributed the relief bags. If you would like to donate towards future Relief Bag operations, you can send your donations to the Missions office designated “Danny Ballard/Relief bags.”
• Landfill Mission Project(BMC Upper Pintur) — Praise the Lord, we celebrated the anniversary of the BMC Upper Pintur (Landfill Mission) a few weeks ago. It was a stormy day with lots of rain and mud, but that didn’t keep the people away. We are thankful that the Lord has provided some much-needed workers to help with the mission, but we are still praying for a full-time pastor because the harvest is plentiful.
• Honda Bay Baptist Church Revival & Ordination — I had the opportunity to travel to Honda Bay Baptist church in Palawan (for the first time since the pandemic began) for their revival, the ordination of Patrick (a Bible college graduate and member of VSM Philippines) and the dedication of their new church building. Their old church building was destroyed by the typhoon. It was a blessing to celebrate with them, and see lots of new faces and many old friends. The VSM Philippines team committed three plus years to Honda Bay Church, and there has been much growth, spiritually and physically, in the young people.
• Quezon Province Mission — BMC Quezon is one of the missions that is far in the province. When you arrive there, you are greeted with fresh air, green plants and lots of nature all around, and some of the nicest people you could ever meet. I go once a month to the mission for ministry. On a recent trip, Rita was able to go and do several workshops with the ladies in the area. In one of the workshops, she shares the gospel as she makes a flower arrangement using different colors, similar to the wordless book. In the other workshop, she was able to show them how to create a flower arrangement out of things you can find laying around the house, in the woods and just everyday things. They are looking forward to when she is able to come back and conduct more workshops with them.
My last trip to BMC Quezon was the weekend that Typhoon Karding hit the Philippines. The activities and services were not affected by it, but it made the ride home that Sunday evening very interesting as it was making landfall and the wipers on the ministry vehicle decided to stop working. The Lord kept us safe as we traveled on the six-hour trip back home.
This area is deep in the province but has so much beauty. There is no evangelical church anywhere near this area and the people are in desperate need of hearing the gospel. Please be in prayer for God to send us a worker that can be in the area full time. We are praying for the funds to make the building secure because, currently, nothing can be left in the mission after the services.
• Cancer Support Ministry — We are thankful things have finally opened back up here in Luzon, allowing us to resume some of our ministries that were affected by the pandemic, including the Cancer Support Ministry. To show you how the Lord works on our behalf, Rita and I were talking about the Cancer Support Ministry and wondering if they would allow her to begin again. I suggested that she just go by the hospital and check to see and, to her surprise, when she got there, the staff greeted her and told her, “We have been trying to get in touch with you because we wanted you to begin the ministry again with the cancer patients.” God had already opened the door for her to start back. This is a striving and profitable ministry that has exploded since she started back, and we are thankful for how the Lord has blessed in this ministry.
A Note from Rita — Their names are Gemma and Emma, a Filipino mother and daughter who live in an area called Santiago near us. One day, when I was walking some little girls home from Children’s Bible study who just happened to be talking about their birthdays, out of nowhere a thin lady came from behind the bars on the front of her house and said, “It’s my birthday, too.” I had given one of the little girls a gift for her birthday, so when the woman said this, I didn’t know if she was telling the truth or not. But, to be hospitable, the next time I walked past her house, I brought her a bag of buns just in case it was her birthday. She told me it was not her birthday, but that was her way of getting my attention. Most Filipinos in this area are too shy to talk to me because they don’t speak English, but she did and spoke it well.
I began stopping Ballardand talking to her every time I walked by her house and a friendship was growing. I invited her mom and her to my house but she said, “no.” When I asked why she said, “I don’t know if I am welcome.” I was shocked! I told her she was definitely welcome, and we set a day for both of them to come over. We made paper butterflies, and I had the opportunity to share Christ with them. I could tell the daughter’s heart had been touched because of the tears in her eyes.
I led both of them to Christ the next time I passed by her house, and I asked her if we could do a Bible study together at my house where it was quieter. She gladly agreed. We have our Bible study once a week, and they are growing in Christ daily. The daughter interprets the lesson for her mother so she can participate. We have grown into good friends over the past few weeks, and we look forward to our weekly Bible study together.
• For God to raise up more workers for the five different missions and outreaches.
• For each individual ministry (Bible studies, Missions & Outreaches, Cancer Support Ministry, Relief Ministry, Children›s Ministry and Compassion Ministry) with the individual families, the new mission projects and as we share the gospel with the individuals we come in contact.
• That each family that we minister to through the Relief Ministry will receive Christ as their personal Savior.
• For our upcoming furlough.
• For Pastor Vincent Ferrer and his health.
• For our health and safety.
• For our daughters in the states.
• For all those who are supporting us with their prayers and financial blessings.
• For safe travels as we travel to the missions in the north and in the south.