Castro's Courier

April 2016

What is mission?

"Mission is first and foremost about God and His redemptive purposes and initiatives in the world, quite apart from any actions or tasks or strategies or initiatives the church may undertake. To put it plainly, mission is far more about God and also who He is than about us and what we do. " --- Timothy Tennent
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TAP 13th Biennial Conference

Staying in a place where the temperature is 42°C, you will wish to have a break in a really cool place. The Lord heard and brought us to Thailand to attend a media consultation where the venue is quite cool. Then we joined TAP 13th Biennial Conference in Baguio City with about 22°C. For us, it was a time of refreshing! And it was also a time to fellowship with colleagues, hear encouraging reports, inspired by devotional speakers talking on the theme: New Challenges, New Opportunities as well as meet partners. Please pray for our newly elected set of leaders as they face challenges these two years.

Final Review of Full Story Set via Skype

A challenge of doing things together when we are not face to face was turn into an opportunity, when in March 26 to 27, the final review of the 31 chronological stories was completed. Praise God for providing 10 testers and the good internet connection. This was done via Skype with IbuE and those testers in 'Padi' while Lito and Jing in the Philippines. We listened through the audio recordings of the entire panorama in one sitting. It is important to do this Final Review in as concentrated a time as possible, so that the content of all the stories can be considered as one big story.

One of the testers, ustadzah/religious teacher told us, “In Padi, there are many who are demon-possessed. They were disturbed by evil spirits from everywhere, from cemetery, banyan trees, spirits occupying a place, in springs also...etc. Everywhere there is evil spirit. It depends on our faith. They were possessed by the devil because their minds are empty, not concentrating on something, their minds are wandering. An empty mind, essentially no faith in God, can be possessed by evil spirits. And only a shaman can drive out these evil spirits.

This story of Paul casting out demon from the woman in Philippi is very interesting for me. This is a miracle! Paul could cast out demons or evil spirits from this demon-possessed woman with his words only…using in the name of Isa Almasih. It is because of the power of Isa! Why he has the power? Because he believes in Isa. No need to go to the shaman, only by the power of Isa Almasih.

Congratulations Ciela

Before we departed for Thailand, we were able to attend Ciela's third quarter awarding ceremony. However, we were unable to attend her school's award banquet. Praise God for Jing's sister who is always there to accompany Ciela. Our girl is doing good in school. Her awards as Level 1 pupil are 1) Honor A (ave 99.21%), 2) Most Progress, 3) Worshipper Award, and 4) Most Joyful. We are blessed having her as our daughter. When we talked with her about our inability to attend some of her school activities, she understands us.

April 28 was the second court hearing of her adoption, Jing's mother was ready to witness and Ciela was willing to be interviewed by the Judge hoping to help hasten the process. We were saddened because our lawyer did not come. He was not feeling well according to the court personnel who informed us. Please keep us in your prayers, for God's intervention for the completion of her adoption.

Praises and Prayers

Praise the Lord for:
  • Ciela is doing good in school and growing a good girl.
  • successful final review via Skype of 31 stories.
  • the opportunity to join media consultation in Thailand.
  • TAP 33rd Anniversary and its 13th Biennial conference.
  • the Holy Spirit inspiration and guidance all throughout the process of the storying project.

Please pray with and for us:
  • high quality recording of the 31 stories on June 6 -10 and the Holy Spirit's inspiration to the storytellers. Then the distribution of the recordings, and for the Padi to hear and get engaged with the stories. May the Holy Spirit use these stories to reveal the One True God to them.
  • partnership meeting with like minded people who are reaching out Padi.
  • second EthnoArts workshop and finishing well of the Phase 2, and the Lord willing the start of the phase 3.
  • preparation and provision for the wedding of IbuE's daughter.
  • an honest and peaceful Philippines national election on May 9.