In recent years, the Philippine government has been in civil conflict with rebels situated in different parts of the archipelago. The end to a long history of clashes between the Philippine government and communist groups in the country is something that the government would like to achieve in the safest, most peaceful way.
The island of Mindoro is one of the many islands in the Philippines where rebels are staying deep in the mountains. Home to thousands of the Mangyan minorities and communist insurgencies, the local government units and various facets of the community are finding ways to help and reclaim these individuals to live and find their place back in the community.
Plans and Strategies for Mindoro
Through Adventist World Radio (AWR) and other local Seventh-day Adventist institutions and organizations, Adventists sought to implement strategies to introduce Jesus to everyone on the island.
The island-wide evangelistic efforts, which began in 2016, were followed by evangelistic meetings in 2021 and, most recently, in April 2022. These efforts led to the baptism of thousands of individuals who decided to follow Jesus.
These initiatives opened opportunities for digital evangelism through AWR to connect with difficult-to-reach mission fields and break down walls and reach hearts that initially were hesitant to the gospel message.
Hundreds of former rebels and members of minorities have decided to put down their weapons and surrender their lives to Jesus.
“God works mysteriously in so many ways,” AWR president Duane McKey said. “It was only through God’s leading that these changed hearts are made possible and through His message broadcast on the airwaves.”
McKey said that God’s message needs to reach “the deepest of the jungles, so that more and more people can get to know of the soon return and the blessed hope in Jesus.”
Churches for Newly Baptized Members
New members need a place to continue growing and building a relationship with their Savior. To address the growing number of members, church leaders and members are building new churches in various parts of the island.
AWR, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and the local Adventist union, conference, and mission overseeing the island of Mindoro worked collaboratively to establish these houses of worship. The Adventist Church plans to establish more churches on the island to cater to the socio-religious needs of the community.
New Radio Stations Soon to Rise
As part of the continuing effort to support evangelistic initiatives of the church on the island of Mindoro, Adventist World Radio also established radio stations located strategically in several places on the island.
Stations are located in Roxas, Calapan, and Pinamalayan in Oriental Mindoro and in San Jose, Sablayan, and Mamburao in Occidental Mindoro. All stations are expected to be up and running in April.
“There are still many things to be done, but these small steps allow the gospel message to move forward,” Robert Dulay, AWR assistant to the president, said.
Despite the pandemic challenges, local church members remained resilient and optimistic in pushing through these projects.