The Church Planting Journey: A Personal Perspective from Mark Pedder, Philippines
Eighteen months after God spoke to my heart I went to Manila, with no plan, no clear vision, no strategy and definitely no money - the idea was ‘to see’. I went and wandered alone around Manila. I began to stumble into these large slum squatter areas (clearly I was not on the tourist route) and began to preach Christ and pray for the sick. There were some salvations, a few miracles. As I wandered the Lord showed me a vision of the harvest falling off the vine, a country where the harvest was ready but rotting and being wasted, with very few gathering it. Then He showed me another vision - churches without walls, churches made out of the masses of poor people, no buildings, nothing flash, just lots of people, a living, breathing church.
God has graciously allowed us to see a number of churches planted, dozens of leaders developed from people we led to Christ and various ministries being released as our disciples grew and developed into men and women of God in their own right. It’s been fun to watch, and I feel very privileged to have been part of what God has done so far.
We started in Baseco, then Fairview, then Don Bosco and now Parola…but it’s only the tip of the iceberg in the plan of God. Baseco and Fairview are both run by local leadership, and now only need the absolute minimum of input from me.
Baseco always has lots going on; new salvations, new leaders, new bible studies and plenty of great miracles throughout the year.
A number of small business ideas have been started by various leaders and members of our church there - efforts to break free of the restraints of poverty. We will also have our first student graduate from College this year, which is a real milestone. Don Bosco is now very much up and running with men’s, women’s and youth ministries all starting last year. This year there is a plan to start a children’s ministry too. Our church in Fairview grew in numbers last year and is very much self sufficient in all ways. There are some great young leaders rising here.
The new ministry in Parola will be very much my personal focus for the next 12 months. This is so exciting. I can personally go back to pure evangelism and pioneering which just thrills me and gets me excited, and can now do it with a solid local ministry foundation under my feet.
The original purpose of God in sending me here was that He put a burden on my heart for the country, not just for Baseco slum and not just for this city of Manila. In the book of Acts we see a ministry that was to start in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and then go to the ends of the earth, speaking of ever increasing spheres of influence. Our Jerusalem is established, now it’s time to move into Judea.
We really appreciate those who support us and hold us up in prayer. Please continue in your efforts.