A Remote Village
It took Pastor Arnold six hours to hike over the mountain to the Aeta village of Nagsasa. There was no more direct way to get there overland. On the east, north, and south sides of the village are mountains, and on the west is the South China Sea. The Aeta are a marginalized tribal group in the Philippines.
He went to train the Aeta people of the village who became Christians after watching the Jesus Film. Then he would have a six-hour hike to get home. He could only make the trip twice a month because of his responsibilities as a church pastor in San Martin, a nearby town.
How did he come to the remote village, you may wonder? In addition to pastoring a church, Arnold also serves as part of a church planting team with a local ministry called Aetas Bible Study Center. He and other pastors conduct surveys, visit villages, and establish contacts to identify places where they can start new churches. Pastor Arnold and another pastor showed the Jesus Film in Nagsasa in April 2020. Twenty Aeta adults accepted Jesus as their Savior that day, so a new congregation was established. The new congregation would need help in learning to pray, worship, and understand the Bible.
The Need of the Aeta People
The new Christians in Nagsasa needed teaching to grow in their faith. They needed to be discipled and trained. The challenge was to make sure they would receive the help required from trained pastors, which was made more difficult by the village’s remoteness.
It is easier and quicker to reach Nagsasa by boat, taking only two hours instead of six, but renting a boat costs $100 each way. Arnold and Pastor Wilson Ladringan, the head of Aetas Bible Study Center, did some research and discovered that a small boat accommodating 10 to 12 people would cost $2,000. They prayed about getting a small boat so they could help the Aeta in Nagsasa.
A Church Helps
New Life Community Church, a small congregation in Pennsylvania with a heart for the Philippines, learned of the need for a boat and decided to help. Pastor Gideon Gaitano shared the need with his congregation for three Sundays. Despite limited gatherings because of COVID, they raised $1,600.00. Two couples gave the remaining $500 to purchase the boat. Pastor Gaitano was grateful that Bo Barredo of ANM had shared the need, so their church could be a blessing to Pastor Arnold.
A Win for Everyone
Wilson Ladringan, the Aetas Bible Study Center director, emailed Gideon Gaitano: “Your donation to buy a boat will [help our pastor] going to Nagsasa and sharing God’s love with the Aetas there. It is a great source of inspiration and encouragement to all of us in serving our Lord even in these difficult and perilous times. We are so encouraged to know that we are not alone here, that we have brothers and sisters in Christ at New Life Church who love and care for us.”
Pastor Arnold responded this way: “Praise God for this boat! I will no longer climb the mountains to reach Nagsasa. I have a boat to use in going there. It is now easier and faster for me to reach Nagsasa using this boat.”
Gideon Gaitano at New Life Church wrote, “As a result of our church responding to your need, God blessed New Life with a doubling of our regular offerings!!! Truly we cannot outgive GOD!!”
The biggest winners are the Aetas of Nagsasa. Now they will be ministered to more frequently. They will now be part of a church family. The help they are receiving from ABSC and ANM will be a testimony to the goodness of God and His people.
You can help church planters like Arnold reach the next remote village with the gospel through your donation. Send your tax-deductible donation here.