From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of u s. – Acts 17:26-27 (NIV)
ICOC Philippines used to send out mission teams to places without disciples. In the last decade, however, the start-up ministries from a city or province where disciples have relocated have begun organically and have turned into healthy, growing churches.
ICOC Digos in Mindanao started this way when a family of disciples from the Davao church, decided to stay in their home city instead of going back and forth to Davao City. ICOC Digos was inaugurated as a church in October 2019 after other family members and relatives also became disciples. A couple from ICOC Digos, Niño and Lowie Mercado, currently leads the small church there. The ministries in Masbate and Siquijor in the Philippines were born this way, too.
From One Man
Former ICOC Naga missionary, Fernan Montales’ humility and brokenness along with God’s grace paved the way for him to get restored to the faith during the lockdown after 17 years of spiritual wandering.
He experienced financial hardship when he left Naga and returned to his hometown in San Fernando, Province of Masbate, not even being able to afford fare to attend service at the nearest ICOC Church located in Legazpi City, Albay Province. Later on though, he got a teaching position from the Department of Education, a surprise blessing from the Lord!
Tatay Erly and Nanay Lina Lee, who led the church in remote Ticao Island in Masbate Province where Fernan was attending, returned home after becoming disciples in the United States. This awakened Fernan to the core that it motivated him to undergo the restoration study series online with the ICOC Albay brothers.
After repenting of all his sins, he was restored. Since Fernan’s restoration, his 15 others have been baptized.
In 2013, Daisy Alam returned to her birth home in Siquijor for a vacation and she reached out to her cousin, then based in Dumaguete City.
Her cousin, also a native of Siquijor, got baptized in the same year and became a disciple after a series of Bibles studies with the brothers.
Daisy’s mom, Reina Larot, also studied the Bible and then got baptized in 2015.
ICOC Dumaguete minister RJ Daguinod said, “From then on, more of their relatives were reached out to and Dumaguete disciples started going there regularly for mission journeys.”
Daisy’s cousin later visited a friend in jail and shared his faith with him. His friend and his four other fellow inmates responded to God’s Word and became disciples.
The Siquijor House Church currently has 16 faithful disciples.
The Siquijor House church disciples with their friends during their 2019 Christmas party.