July 23 2018
Can God work in an environment of bitterness, discouragement, and broken relationships?
The Juan Project, a saturation project in the Philippines, seeks to multiply disciples, leaders, and churches. But, as the work expands, God brings healing and transformation to individuals, relationships, and communities as well. Here are some stories of this change.
Winnie, a pastor’s wife testiﬁed that she used to resist the ministry. She had strained relationships with the leaders of the church and other workers. Since she attended the Juan Project’s basic coaching training and got more involved in the additional trainings, her encounter with the Lord has changed her heart. She has started building relationships with the leaders of the church. Now, she has better working relationships with the leaders as they serve the Lord together.
Years ago, leaders chose to leave their denomination. Pain, hurt, and bitterness resulted. The present denominational leader involved in the split, humbled himself in a Juan Project training and apologized for past wrongs. A leader of those who had left the denomination also apologized. Reconciliation among former colleagues occurred. Today, they are working together on the same team for the saturation vision of the Juan Project among overseas foreign workers.
Pastors are also confessing how their relationship with their children has changed when they changed their approach. This was one of the results of coaching and of the work of God in their life.
As others see or hear of this transformation, reconciliation, and multiplication, the work expands into other provinces.
In preparation for the training in one of these provinces, the project manager for The Juan Project ran three ads on Facebook. On the first morning of the training, a pioneering church planter saw one of the ads when he opened Facebook. Immediately, he called and asked if it was too late to register for the training.
This pastor appeared at the training in the afternoon. He attended the rest of the training. As the training came toward the end, the pastor confided, “I was ready to give up and walk away from ministry. But, today, I am reborn. I have new tools to take back and use with my people.” A five-dollar investment in three Facebook ads led to the renewal of a discouraged pioneer church planter. He went home a new, energized worker.
God brings healing and reconciliation so that multiplication occurs.
July 3 2018
The Philippines – a Christian nation. Not really. In its research, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) revealed that 90,500,000 Filipinos have never experienced a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That represents 90.5% of the population.
Our Every Community for Christ (ECC) leadership team there knew that without some change, we would never make a significant dent in this statistic. We went to prayer. After four days, the Juan Project emerged.
The name for the Juan Project comes from the name Juan Dela Cruz (Juan for short), which has come to represent every Filipino individually and all Filipinos together. The aim of the Juan Project is to reach every “Juan” in five different provinces (Aurora, Leyte, Pangasinan, Samar, and Tarlac), and two people groups (students in the five provinces and Overseas Filipino Workers in 10 countries). We desire to plant a healthy, reproducing church in every sitio or purok (the smallest governing unit in the Philippines) in the five provinces. And, we will plant a healthy student ministry at each of the public college and university campuses in the five provinces.
We have completed the first year of the Juan Project. The first six months started slowly. In those months, we focused on building capacity, raising prayer support, building partnerships, offering training, and continuing to support the other ministries of OMS Philippines as they have contributed signiﬁcantly to the saturation vision of The Juan Project. The fruit has come in the past six months.
In terms of capacity, we have grown from seven church multiplication facilitators (CMFs) to 25 CMFs and associate CMFs. Each works in a province to come alongside churches and organizations to cast vision, train, coach, encourage, provide prayer support, and instill accountability. We also have 54 trained facilitators who form the training teams to equip lay people to reach their families and communities for Christ. One hundred and fourteen new prayers groups have formed. Prayer walks and overnight prayer meetings are common. We work with at least 30 partners. And, in the last year, we have held 54 trainings, involving 895 people from over 100 churches.
The results: 216 groups started, 361 people equipped and mobilized, and 1,913 people who have entered into a relationship with Christ. A small but important turnaround.
Pastors now testify that their passion for church planting is rekindled, their perspective challenged, and their minds opened to church multiplication. PTL!