Partner Update – Paul + Debbie Howell

Update on the ministry of Paul and Deb and the TEAM in Mindanao

May 8, 2021

This is going to be a long letter as there is so much to share, so please bear with us. While we are here in Perth, the Lord is doing amazing things in every corner of the work in Mindanao. Covid has not shut down the ministry even though cases are rising in our nearest city of Cagayan de Oro and even though the rate of daily deaths in the Philippines is still quite high and borders open and close. But despite this, the ministry teams and evangelists are working harder than ever and much ministry is taking place both in the church family groups and in new villages who want to be taught the way of salvation. Pictures speak a thousand words so maybe a few pictures will show you a few highlights of the past few months.

Family groups gathering in various villages to be taught!
The mature women from the churches in the Dulangan, visited their new sisters in Man-ai  to fellowship with them, encourage them and to also strengthen and help Abegail and Jie-Jie, the young missionary women serving in Man-ai alongside their husbands.
Women ministry team in Ricodo, tireless in visitation and prayer for the needy and the discouraged, on their way even on this rainy day to minister.
The evangelist team from Cauyunan and Tumpagon, on their way to teach in the new area of Patag, answering the call from that place for someone to come over and teach them the Gospel.

The school ministry is still closed as there are no face-to-face classes in any of the schools in the Philippines, but the youth ministry is really thriving in the churches and the women scripture teachers are using this time to hone their teaching skills, to deepen their understanding of the Word as they study together on a weekly basis and to minister to sisters in Christ they have never met before in the remote outreaches.

Paul and I have been working on the “He Wants You” evangelism series from here in Perth – co-working on this project with a team of about 12 different co-workers who are in 4 different locations in Mindanao! The English version of this series and the Talaandig version have been totally revised and finalized up to Episode 28, and we are currently working on the Cebuano version.

We also have wonderful news: the draft of the Higaonon New Testament which our co-translator, Ryan Duwang and his wife Sarah have been working on is now in its final stages!!!! One of our big jobs at the moment is reading through this with the team to complete all the final checks.

This is Ryan (right) and the team helping him with the final checks.

Our beloved co-workers Ernesto and Jane Lopez (pictured here with the whole Lapoc missionary team – bottom right and third from right in the second row) were finally able to move up to Lapoc and they are overjoyed to be there and busy with lots of ministry even while they still settle in and get unpacked.

Because of Ernesto’s effort – the computers in all the regions have never worked as well or as smoothly and Jane and Ernesto have been helping with many other aspects of ministry also.

The missionary team in the newest region of Baungon have grown with the birth of a beautiful and healthy new baby to Jovanie and Jess Cole.

The latest news of us (Paul and Deb) here in Perth is that we are having beautiful family times, love being home with Jubab…. are thrilled to be partnering in the finalizing of the Higaonon New Testament and in the Cebuano “He Wants You” evangelism series, even from this distance away from Mindanao, love having Zoom meetings with the leadership and phone calls…. thank you so much Lord for this technology….and are looking forward to driving over the Nullabor desert next month to share about this amazing work in South Australia, Vic and NSW before coming home Lord willing in time for Jubab’s birthday which is a special day we don’t want to miss. Early in the new year, we hope to make a similar trip to the Northern Rivers area of NSW and to Qld before returning to the Philippines.

Our Team’s Prayer and Praise Points:

  • Pray for our current big building project of building missionary housing and a church building in the Baungon region.
  • Pray for our 21 missionaries: the Lapoc team, the Balintad team, the Ricodo team, the Baungon team and the Man-ai team.
  • Pray for Jun and Mara Daguing and for Christine Mogpo, our three Bible College students who graduate this month and return home to their home churches of Tumpagon and San Aquino.
  • Pray for our travel to the East Coast, for safe driving and for the things we share to be a big blessing to each one who hears these things in the churches and homes we visit.
  • Praise for the amazing things God is doing that have already been mentioned in this update.

Thank you so much our beloved partners in the Gospel for all your prayers and giving that makes this ministry possible and is for the glory of our Lord Jesus!

Lots of Love….Paul and Deb