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Fellowship Bands in the Philippines

May 2023

We returned from the Philippines once again on May 19th. The number of Leader Development Groups and fellowship bands continues to grow.  We continue to put the Inspire materials to great use.  The use of fellowship bands, peer coaching, and the study of leadership principles in our Leader Development Groups is having a huge impact on empowering our leaders.  They are really appreciating having a safe place to share about their lives, their families, and their ministry.  This is quite counter-cultural for Filipinos since they do not typically share on this level.  But we continually get great feedback and affirmation on these groups.  Recently, David White of Philippine Challenge and the “dean” for church planting in the Philippines for over 35 years encouraged us to keep doing what we are doing.  He said that most Philippine pastors stop learning and growing after they complete their formal theological education.  

January 2023

Our trip to the Philippines in January went very well.  The Juan Project* Conference was a big success once again as we celebrated 6 years of the saturation project. We had around 400 people attending at 9 different locations as well as online.  We are just rejoicing at what God is doing:

  • We are now seeing fourth generation churches planted.
  • We have gone from one to 159 partners in the work.  Many are independent churches, but we are working with 10 major networks or denominations.
  • Six years ago, we started with a focus on 5 provinces.  This past year we have had staff in 11 provinces and influence in 10 more provinces.  We will move into two more provinces this year.
  • We have grown from basically 18 workers to hundreds of workers and volunteers.
  • A strong prayer movement underlies everything that is happening.
  • We are seeing lives, families, and communities transformed for Christ.

We have also started Leader Development Groups.  The groups meet once a month for three hours and are a combination of a fellowship band, peer coaching, and leadership training. We use the Inspire material** in the fellowship band portion. We started with four groups in August 2022.  Six months later when we were there in January 2023, I learned that we have now grown to 34 groups.  

In our Module 1 of the Disciple-Making Journey training in session six, we focus on how to have fellowship bands.  Again, we are using the Inspire format** and show Phil’s video on the ethos of a fellowship band.  A requirement for anyone attending Module 1 (and then Module 2) is that they must either become a part of a small group or a fellowship band or start a small group or fellowship band.  I have no idea of how many fellowship bands we have at this time.

We are headed back to the Philippines in May and we need more Inspire resources. Thank you for your ongoing prayer support.  Your prayers are deeply appreciated.  Prayer is at the root of everything we are doing.  God deserves all the glory and praise for what is happening in the Philippines.

Larry and Sharon Freed, are missionaries with OMS. Read more about them here.

*The aim of the Juan Project is to reach everyone in five provinces (Aurora, Leyte, Pangasinan, Samar, and Tarlac) and two ministry areas (students in the five provinces and Overseas Filipino Workers in 10 countries)Read more here.

**Larry and Sharon are using the following Inspire resources. Click the titles to find out more. 

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