BATANGAS CITY, Philippines – About 875 poor families in Barangays Balete and Puyo, Batangas City received a copy of the Ilaw sa Tahanan (Light to the Home) Bible on August 9, 2003 in a distribution activity spearheaded by the Philippine Bible Society and 12 church-affiliates of the Elders of the City Ministerial fellowship.
Answer to prayers
“This is an answer to our prayers,” said Pastor Jun Aballa of Remnants of God Family International Ministry. He’s been living in Barangay Balete offering pre-school education to children in the area as their ministry. “We’ve been conducting Bible studies among the parents of our students and we find it difficult sharing God’s Word to them without copies of the Bible. This partnership with the Philippine Bible Society is truly an answer to our prayers.”
This sentiment is shared by American Missionary Steve Siebert who has been ministering in Batangas City for three years now under Jesus the Anointed One Church. One of the areas he’s especially attached to is the community in Puyo situated in a 3.3 hectare lot near Batangas port. This new site is home to about 175 poor families relocated by the Philippine Ports Authority. Bro. Siebert has been conducting Bible studies in some of these homes and find it difficult encouraging them to keep studying God’s Word when they don’t have a copy of the Bible.
A regular member of PBS, Bro. Siebert often visits the Bible Society office in Manila, requesting for free Scripture tracts and copies of the book of John for the 21 Days with John program which he employs in Bible studies. The free Bibles produced through the Ilaw sa Tahanan Program was a welcome answer to his prayers for the residents of Puyo.
Busier work ahead, newly formed partnerships
With the family Bibles placed in every home, Pastor Mars Verano, Chairman of Elders of the City and Pastor of Christ is the Answer Photo: Volunteers help distribute family Bibles to 700 homes in Barangay Balete.(Philippine Assemblies of God) in Balagtas, looks forward to a busier ministry and larger harvest. “The people were very happy to receive the Bible,” he reported adding that in the whole block they visited, only one house declined the copy of the Bible. “We are now looking forward to following up these families with the help of Pastor Alex Perez Lighthouse Christian Community (Church of God Worldwide Ministries) and Pastor Aballa.” Lighthouse Christian Community and Remnants of God Family International Ministry are two of the churches actively ministering within the area. After the Bible distribution activity though, they find themselves gaining partners from other churches within Batangas City.
To date, PBS has distributed 8,890 copies of Ilaw sa Tahanan Bibles in relocation sites in Bulacan and Batangas. PBS is working on another distribution activity, this time in Payatas, Quezon City.