Philippines (MNN) — Spending the night alone in a canoe on the ocean would be daunting for just one night. But would you do that for five months? One pastor did — for the sake of the Gospel.
Pastor Vedasto “Veds” Subiaga felt a burden for a group of small, isolated islands in the Philippines to know Jesus. He set out for the islands in a canoe. But when he got there, the villagers wouldn’t let him on the island.
Rather than go home, Pastor Veds lived on his boat offshore for five long months and built relationships.
Bill Passons with AMG International says, “The interesting fact about that is the fact that he can’t swim, which is a crazy thing! I recently visited this island and we took a 40-minute boat ride in a motorized boat. So you can imagine how long it took him to get there…and then staying every day on the boat [with] storms and whatever may come up, but he knew God had called him there.”
Eventually, Pastor Veds got to know one of the village leaders there. The leaders was impressed by Pastor Veds’s heart for the people and became curious about the God he served.
“He realized that he needed to know Christ as his personal Savior,” Passons says. “[After] the village leader accepted Christ, they were able to start a small church there and the village was very welcoming to Pastor Veds.”
Today, there is a thriving Christian community on several islands in the region because of Pastor Veds’s faithfulness to the Gospel.
“It’s just a great example of when God calls you to do something, it may be difficult. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to have instant results. And we’re not really guaranteed any results. But if God has called you to do it, then you should be faithful.”
AMG supports several church planters like Pastor Veds in the Philippines. They come alongside pastors to get the church started until it can become self-sustaining and begin to reach others.
“You can sponsor a national leader that is planting churches in the Philippines. Our desire is just that the Gospel would go out…and that those churches would grow organically as people come to faith.”
Please pray for spiritual encouragement for pastors in the Philippines who are telling people about Jesus in the face of hardship.
Passons also asks for prayer for Pastor Veds. “He is still a faithful servant, still ministering to churches, and actually is helping to…come alongside younger church planters that are also going out. So pray for him in those roles that he would be a good leader and that God would continue to use him to plant churches there.”
Header photo courtesy of Mike Aunzo via Unsplash.