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Ramon and Nini Margallo, RC International’s team leaders to the Philippines, have just returned from their latest mission trip there. Nini shares an update:
“God’s provision was upon us as Ratio Christi Philippines held a three-event apologetics marathon:
1) Pasig City, Metro Manila hosted by Baptist Bible College of Asia and Global Surge Ministries.
2) Iriga City, with the help of InterVarsity student leaders.
3) San Fernando, Pampanga hosted by CLASP (Church Leaders Association Serving Pampanga).
We were joined by three other apologists who met each other for the first time – Tim Foutz (Washington), Thomas McCuddy (North Carolina), and Dr. Juan Valdes (Florida). Topics included but weren’t limited to discipleship, science, philosophy, history, counter-cults and social issues. The social issues included abstinence, abortion, same-sex marriage, and sexism. Still, the gospel was presented within the talks.
One of God’s blessings was that Ratio Christi had the privilege to share the presence of a 100-year old Yemeni Torah scroll that travelled all the way from the United States (shown in photo at left. More photos below this article).
Many attendees have shown interest in joining Ratio Christi. This could result in five or six campus chapters in the foreseeable future (previous trips have already resulted in Growing Interest for a chapter at University of Philippines Diliman). Further partnerships are being forged such as a master’s program in apologetics. Also, CLASP wanted further apologetics training for their pastors as the lecture in counter-cults was an “eye opener.”
Although it was our desire to hold an apologetics event in Iriga City, initially it was not part of the line- up. We were simply there to visit family. But because of an eight-hour bus ride a day earlier, we decided to get massages to relieve backaches (1.5 hours for only $5.00!)
A male therapist, Elijah, noticed the cross in the Ratio Christi logo of Ramon’s shirt. Elijah asked, “Sir, are you a Christian?” Ramon answered, “Yes.”
That initial exchange brought us to his pastor later that day, then to three other pastors the following day, then to InterVarsity student leaders the next day. An interesting side note: Danmel, one of the InterVarsity leaders, had become a believer in Jesus Christ during the first Iriga City apologetics seminar in 2014. What an encouragement on how the Lord is doing great things through the ministry!
In the meantime, my brother Mel, who retired in the Philippines from the U.S., helped us secure a venue at the University of Northeastern Philippines. So by God’s grace, in ten days of planning, we had an all-day educational seminar in science, philosophy, and history.
The attendees in all three events were thankful for Ratio Christi's presence. Here are some of their remarks:
Johnny: “I would like to use your lecture in a youth camp.”
Abby: “A big thank you. I will be able to use what I learned for our youth missions.”
Marck: “I would like to ask a favor - if I can have the copy of the files of your topics on apologetics so that I can study it well and share it to others.”
Christian: “I am so blessed to be involved in that event. I love to learn more about apologetics and to become deeply rooted in Christ.”
The day before we flew back to the U.S., a gentleman approached me at the guest house where we were staying. He told a story that a mom at his church is distraught because her 15-year-old daughter said, ‘Mom, I no longer believe in God.’ This is another reason why in 2018, Lord willing, we will be back in the Philippines, full time. Whoever is reading this is now being recruited to be our prayer partner!
Indeed, our mission trip was full of surprises. But the Lord, who gets all the glory, knew this all along.”
Christ’s love in us,
Ramon & Nini Margallo
Ratio Christi Philippines
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