Western Mindanao, Philippines – COVID19 update

Greetings in Christ Blessed Name! I want to inform your good office of the negative effects of COVID-19 on the 14 churches of the Original Free Will Baptist Churches of the Western Mindanao District. We are now suffering from no gathering, no worship, no going out, and no visitation. Everyone is under self-quarantine and these orders are from our national and local officials. If anyone violates these orders, they will be arrested and fined a 10,000 peso penalty.

Due to unpreparedness, no one among us has enough food supplies for consumption. Almost one month now we are under self-quarantine. We have to stay home with no work due to social distancing. We are afraid that this might last for many more months. What happened to our livelihood, our farm products, root crops, flowers with no buyers?

Praise God, it is good we are living in a remote area and most of our members are indigenous people who could survived by eating root crops as our regular meals, such as cassava with cassava leaves as our vegetable, gabi and gabi leaves, and camote ( sweet potato) with camote tops. We are only eating rice for dinner to economize our supplies until this crisis ends through God’s help.

Church programs and activities are suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic, like fellowship in Lanipao, prayer and fasting in Malamba, church visitation at Kalapanit and Kayopaton. But we never lose hope. God is in control of this pandemic and in just a little while it will end. Thank you to our national officers, Pastor Dario Basingil and Ma’am Susan Basingil, who are doing the best they can to communicate with us to see if we are all well and in good condition.

Thank you to our Foreign Mission Director who is still sending our love gifts even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you so much and to God be the glory.

AIDA ASTILLA-ABO, District Superintendent