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Rural pastors receive Bibles, resources

By November 4, 2010

Philippines (MNN) — Over 700 pastors
and Christian leaders have received resources and training at four conferences
in the Philippines. Christian Resources International
was able to send a team of people and an entire shipping container of Bibles
and other materials to help the Filipino Christians better teach the Word of
God. 

"We invited pastors, church leaders, Sunday school teachers, youth and
children's ministry people…and we gave them a full day of teaching and
training, and then supplied them with bag-loads of really neat resources that
they could take home with them and apply immediately to their own individual
ministry," said CRI's John Lowrey. 

On this trip, CRI targeted Christians in
the rural parts of the Philippines, where many pastors had never owned a Bible,
much less a commentary. 

"There's just nothing like being there
in person to put a Bible into the hands of a pastor that's been praying for one
for years," Lowrey said. "They just laugh,
and they want to dance and sing and they are so excited. Some want to give you a big hug, and some
just go silent. And some stand and just
cry and cry, and they just can't believe that their prayer has been answered."

Biblical training and resources are
virtually impossible for Christian leaders in rural areas of the Philippines to
obtain. It is difficult for them to
complete a high school education, much less a seminary degree. Many pastors have to spend most of their time
farming — as much as 40-60 hours a week — in order to provide for their
families. Even if Bibles and Christian literature
were available, these Christian leaders would never be able to afford
them. 

The potential impact of this ministry is enormous, Lowrey said. Only God knows how many lives could be
impacted by those 700 people, just in the next year alone. "Any pastor out there can understand the
difference it would make in his ministry to go from no resources to having a
good study Bible and a couple of commentaries, and how that would really change
his ability to preach, teach, and impact lives." 

Lowrey thanked supporters of CRI for making the trip possible. He said another trip to a new area of the Philippines
is tentatively planned for February 2011. 

"CRI supporters do all of the work really," he explained. "They give the materials, they give the funds
to ship them, and then I get to go and be the one to hand them out. That's one of the reasons why we have started
doing these trips and taking teams with us, so that other people can understand
what a really exciting privilege that is. And what greater ministry could I have than to be the face of CRI in a
foreign country, putting the Word of God into people's hands?"

The Christians who attended the conference need the prayer support of
their fellow believers. Although they
read and speak English, English is not their native language, so pray for the
Holy Spirit to give them good understanding as they study texts in English. 

"Many of these guys have just a really, really tough situation, that
they do have to work these more-than-full-time jobs just to feed their
families," Lowrey said. "And then they
have all the responsibility of ministry also. So it's easy for them to get weary in well-doing, and they get tired. Satan beats them up, and they get discouraged. So pray for their encouragement." 

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