In 1998, God gave us a new idea for how to reach to street people in Davao. We named the ministry ERM - Evangelistic Reach-out Ministry. We opened our home every Tues morning and gave coffee before Bible study and a sandwich or fruit after. We learned each person’s name and encouraged them to memorize Bible verses. We gave 4 cups of rice. The group grew from 15 to 300 over the next several years. Drunkards became Believers. Live-ins got married, newly-saved got baptized and many began to attend the Sunday Fellowship which had already earlier begun in our home. In 2005, the Sunday Fellowship moved into town and ERM took on a new direction. Those coming asked to be able to come because they desired to love the Lord and not look like it was to get rice, so we gave small gifts of soap, sardines, coffee, shampoo, or other such things instead. Those attending were mostly Believers with a desire to live changed lives and needing extra encouragement. As their lives became more orderly, they were no longer drunkards. It was time to reach out in another new way to those on the street that did not feel comfortable in the church sanctuary. ETC – Evangelizing and Training for Christ – began. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings the side section of the church was open for people to take showers, wash their clothes, listen to Christian music, Bible, watch Christian video and receive 2 cups of cooked rice.
In 2013, ERM was combined into ETC. ETC continues to be a blessing to the church as a way of reaching to the broken and discouraged. Many have had an earlier encounter with God, but their drunkenness removed them from feeling they could ever again be in contact with Him. They are blessed as they are renewed to again be a person of value. In 2015, ETC made a change again. It meets on Mondays and Thursdays, begins at 5:30 with prayer and Bible devotional, and later serves coffee and bread. Some are now attending church and one young man is in leadership. We have been blessed by seeing lives changed and families become somewhat functional.
One very effective tool for evangelism in the Philippines has been the use of tracts that give biblical references for the Gospel. Along with the tracts, either a key chain or a pin is included with Clear, Yellow, Black, Red, White, and Green colors on them. The colors help gives a reference for the Gospel story. The message for both the key chains and the pins is the same:
We also have started training the youth to use the Evangecube as a tool to help share the Gospel as well.
Many of our members sort garbage for recycle. Some beg. Others sell used clothing. Three families are successfully selling ice cream. Four are making and selling baskets. We are praising the Lord that a few of our 20 – 30 year olds are getting jobs as employed. All too often the poor struggle with authority too much to accept or hold a daily job working under a boss.