A new mission in the Philippines
Pastor Alvien De Guzman was not looking to start a new church. Instead he was looking to be faithful to God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions. When the congregation to which he was called in metro Manila began practicing open communion and allowing women to serve as preachers, he and his family faced a difficult choice. In his words, “It never crossed our mind, not even in our wildest imaginations, that a day would come when we would have to leave this visible fellowship of believers with which we have spent precious years of our earthly lives. But the day did come. With a heavy heart, we made a painful decision: our loyalty to this visible fellowship ends where our loyalty to the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions begins!”
But what would De Guzman do now that he was without a congregation? Where in the world would he find a church body that holds to the truth of God’s Word? He found his answer on the WELS website. In an email to WELS World Missions, he inquired, “What’s the probability that WELS will consider doing mission work here in the Philippines?” Little did he know that God was going to use him to open the door for WELS to enter a country of 100 million people.
In early 2015, representatives from the WELS Asia-Pacific Rim Administrative Committee conducted a colloquy with De Guzman and determined that he was in doctrinal fellowship with the WELS. It became clear that this man and the nucleus of believers who meet in his home are committed to reaching out into their community of Novaliches (Quezon City), outside of Manila.
Pastor De Guzman requested copies of The Promise and The Road to Emmaus to bring the message of God’s grace in Christ to a largely Catholic population. He began translating these materials in the local language of Tagalog for WELS Multi-Language Publications. He organized a door-to door-canvass, conducted a vacation Bible school, and implemented an evangelism program, Each One, Reach One.
Through the encouragement and (minimal) financial support of WELS, De Guzman is once again proclaiming the truth of the Scriptures in his new church home, Law and Gospel Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Robert Raasch, WELS Asia-Pacific Rim Administrative Committee member
WELS is continuing to support De Guzman and Law and Gospel Evangelical Lutheran Church with monthly contact and some financial aid. De Guzman is continuing his work translating Multi-Language Publications’ materials into Tagalog. He plans to attend Multi-Language Publications’ translating seminar in January, which is taking place in Hong Kong.
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Author: Robert Raasch
Volume 103, Number 01
Issue: January 2016
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