2020 may have been a breeding ground for viruses, but it was also a breeding ground for healthy, thriving house churches! The Covid restrictions completely shut down all large gatherings for many months. While some churches struggled with doing online services, and others were unable to adjust in successful ways, our experience has been “the church has left the building!” Frontline Worship Center has seen an unprecedented multiplication of house churches, going from just 53 such gatherings to nearly 100 in just several months!
It seems the church worldwide may be undergoing a shift from a dependency on modern buildings, fancy lights and expensive sound systems, to more personal, passionate, and biblical communities. In the grassroots, rural, mountainous areas where many of our pastors work, it is clear that “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Ps. 34:10) It is also clear that the church is not dependent on material fixtures, or large resources to grow. People are coming to Christ daily, and life-changing stories fill the conversations in the homes in which they gather.
Not enough can be said about the hard work, passion, and dedication of the Frontline pastors. One pastor has been able to gather, minister, and pray for local government officials every week, with many of them coming to know the Lord. Many once seldom-churchgoers have now become regular attendees of home fellowships and active members reaching out into more communities as they can. All this happening with no internet or equipment; but simply hearts on fire for Jesus! What the enemy has planned for evil, God can and is turning into good. Praise God!
After several months of lockdowns and fear, and the difficulties of transitions that come with management changes (several of our ministry staff returned to the USA and Canada in early 2020 because of Covid), the new year has been a welcome change in the atmosphere at Face the Children (FTC). The children are more appreciative of the open and spacious place they call home (Frontline Camp), and have also successfully transitioned to a homeschooling type of situation. Teachers from Frontline Christian Academy visit three times a week to help with studies, and so far, so good!
This past Christmas season, through the generosity of partners and donors, the children were blessed with new bicycles. While walking through the compound, one now has to avoid the traffic of children on bikes!
Local support has also grown; with a nearby mall donating teddy bears to the children and another organization beginning to regularly send hygiene items for the children.
The feeding programs of Frontline’s Compassion ministries also resumed in January. Although they look a little different than before (packed meals instead of eating together, etc.) due to certain restrictions still in place, they are still welcome meals to fill hungry bellies and souls. Hospital visitations are still not allowed, but Frontline’s hospital ministry is still able to provide financial help and prayer support to the sick and the poor.
God is one who makes ways where there may seem to be none. Thankfully, Frontline can continue reaching and loving people in the name of Christ.
Halfway into a challenging school year, teachers and students have adjusted well to online and modular learning. Frontline Christian Academy (FCA) teachers have gone the extra mile and regularly visit Face the Children (3 times a week) to help the children with their lessons. With face-to-face classes still being prohibited, students are eager to attend classes once again. Along with most of the world, FCA is hoping for a positive change and a return to some normalcy in the near future.
The new school building isn’t filled with students as hoped it would be, but it is still being used to “reach and help people find their way back to God.” FCA now hosts a midweek staff worship service, and the building is also home to Frontline Worship Center’s “city” site. Also, Frontline Business Solutions has taken up residence in a vacant wing.
The annual gift-giving of FCA last December was, again, the biggest year since it began. In a year of uncertainty, and scarcity for many, it was amazing to see this event nearly double, going from 430 grocery packs (December 2019) to 800!
The weekly feeding program of FCA has also successfully adapted to the new regulations. Although it is now monthly instead of weekly, the recipients are just as happy. Because covid regulations still prohibit mass gathering without a permit, sharing meals together in a large gathering isn’t possible. Instead, FCA faculty and staff prepare, pack, and distribute homemade meals in the nearby needy communities, along with a colorful Bible story printout for children to read and learn from.
Frontline’s Social Enterprise undertakings are faring well as the new year has started. Frontline Business Solutions (FBS) (www.frontlinebusiness.com.ph) has successfully moved its operations from the previous venue it had rented for 10 years. The first “move” was actually to work-from-home during the several months of strict lockdowns. More recently FBS has moved into and is now enjoying the third level of the new Frontline school building, where it will remain until the school is able to resume face-to-face classes and attain maximum enrollment. After several months of strict lockdowns, being able to work together physically has raised spirits and brought joy to the workplace. Please pray for the entire management team as they navigate through this new year, and seek to grow.
The new sewing factory, Frontline Threadworks (FTW) (www.frontlinethreadworks.com), was hit much harder because of the pandemic, as all 60 sewers were without work for nearly 9 months. But in the past few months the Lord has been bringing in new clients and projects.
It seems the industry may be picking up again. Though the new jobs are less than ideal, they are welcome undertakings. As of February, 48 employees are able to report work! The new factory is 90% completed, and FTW plans to move in this month. This move will allow FTW to take on larger and more profitable jobs, and hopefully to provide meaningful work for more people in need.
Please pray for 1) complete funding for the new factory; a $22,000 payment needs to be made mid-2021 on the construction loan, 2) more projects, and 3) David Covic and his wife Aiza as they continue to manage and lead this enterprise.
Director of Compassion Ministries
Director of Church-Planting
Rhoda Lynn Pessina-Dayo
Director of Education
God has always been faithful, but sometimes we tend to forget in the face of our fears. This past year of lockdowns, social stress and unrest has tested us in many, and serious ways. We face many challenges. At times we waver, wondering, “How will we make it through this dilemma?” Or, “How will we meet these liabilities?” But then I am usually –– again and again –– left amazed at God’s provision. And it always blesses and impresses my heart!
If there is one thing my wife and I have learned to appreciate in 40 years of missionary service, it is the partners God gives us. Moral and financial support has never just dropped out of the sky. Rather, it always comes through loving and faithful partners like yourself. Thank you for being one of the Frontline friends that God uses to accomplish His work. We appreciate you, and you are a regular portion of our daily prayers.
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