Category Archives: Manila Udates

Daily Following Where The Spirit Flows…….

My special spot for Devotions and favorite place to sit
My special spot for Devotions and favorite place to sit

What is your idea of the perfect home? Perfect place to live? Perfect job? Perfect relationship?

We may have our ideas of what the perfect life looks like, the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect place…. But living day-to-day following the flow of the Spirit is ultimately so much more fulfilling and refreshing than anything we could possibly do on our own.

Throughout our lives, we have lived in many different places, in varying degrees of conditions, different lifestyles etc….. but as we reflect back, the most fulfilling times in our lives, have been when we were in places that were not comfortable, and quite often not what we had planned for ourselves. Typically at that moment, we may not have seen the bigger picture, but looking back, we can see how God moved in and through and how that event or time made an impact on our lives, our ministry and our outlook.

Living daily, often moment-by-moment going where the Spirit flows takes a conscious effort to think outside of the box. Looking beyond the situations we face at any given moment, to what God might want to teach us through what is going on in our lives. It is in this place that we find fulfillment and purpose.

The Motocross Messiah Fairground Fellowship officially recognized on November 19th.
The Motocross Messiah Fairground Fellowship officially recognized on November 19th.

When we came to Manila to serve as the Regional Communications Coordinator and wife, we never dreamed we would be a part of an out-of-the-box organic church plant at a motocross racetrack on Sunday mornings. We never dreamed that we would don the gear and get on a dirt bike and take a few lessons. But as we came alongside a young pastor who was feeling the tug of God in his heart, to leave the comfort of an associate pastor position in a large church, this is where we found ourselves.

The people we meet on a weekly basis, the lives we are fortunate to share with on a daily basis, have been a blessing to us in a way that we never could have foreseen. Stepping away from the traditional church on Sunday mornings, with the singing and the order of worship that we were used to, was not an easy decision to make. We had to look beyond our comfort and what we were familiar with, to what God had for us. The doors He was opening for us to walk through. And after a while, this has become the new normal and we love it!

We continue to see lives changed or refocused, marriages strengthened and families united. We see others putting their faith in God and not in themselves, or their circumstances. This is where the real blessings come in! As we see what God is doing in and through them, our faith is bolstered and we eagerly seek what God has for us next! We expect to hear the Holy Spirit prompt us daily; urging us to speak to someone, giving us an open door to walk through and with each encounter, our faith is strengthened.

wpid-IMG_2443.JPGLife is not just a bed of roses, there are a few thorns in there, but we choose to look past the thorns, to see the beauty of what God is creating. There are days when the rain is pouring and we are at the track in the mud and yuck and only a few show up and we wonder, “What in the world we are doing?” There are days where nothing seems to click and the traffic is bad and we are late and we just can’t seem to catch a break. But as we continue to focus on the Lord at the start of every day, spending time in prayer and reading the Word, we refocus on the bigger picture. We see the opportunities God places before us and the relationships He brings along that are not only for us to share with others, but to encourage us as well.

whats-in-your-hands-ballersAs you look at your life, where God has placed you and the skills, passions, abilities, and life experiences that God has put in your hands to serve Him, may you sense where the Spirit is flowing and follow, keeping your eyes on the Lord and daily spending time in the Word. You will be blessed and life will never again be the same!

So Much for Which to be Thankful!!!

sunsetting_piWell, it’s almost 9pm here in Asia on the night of Thanksgiving.  It has been a full day –  in the office, meetings, chapel service, ministering with team members, answering scores of email.  Now the sun has settled brilliantly into the blue oceans on the western side of the Philippines, as it makes its way to bring Thanksgiving Day to North America. God is good!

I have stopped several times today and pondered how thankful we are.  How thankful that God has given us one more day to serve.


Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.

Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV)

Jessie and Noortje were able to come and experience our jeepneys!
Jessie and Noortje were able to come and experience our jeepneys!

Every day is truly a gift from Him.  We thank God for the safety of travel over literally tens of thousands of miles by air, train, jeepney, bicycle, car, and foot.  How many times have we narrowly avoided accidents?  Through it all, God’s protective hand has been with us.

House Bible study.
House Bible study.

We thank God for allowing us to serve in many capacities.  From sharing the story of missions and challenging others to use what God has placed in their hands; their time, talents, skills and passions… to sharing in house Bible studies, or traveling to different countries encouraging, sharing, and teaching.

Connie traveling, sharing, speaking, teaching - Myanmar.
Connie traveling, sharing, speaking, teaching – Myanmar.

Then there is the “outside of the box” ministry that we are so privileged to be a part of.  Meeting at the motocross track each Sunday, sharing the word of God with those who might never enter the four walls of a traditional church.

The Motocross Messiah Fairground Fellowship officially recognized on November 19th.
The Motocross Messiah Fairground Fellowship officially recognized on November 19th.

We celebrate that on November 19th, we were able to recognize the Motocross Messiah Fairgrounds (MMF) fellowship. We are now a recognized organic church ministry!

Tangible hands and feet of Christ during times of greatest need.
Tangible hands and feet of Christ during times of greatest need.

But more than being recognized as a church, we are a faith community that is living out what it means to be the tangible hands and feet of Christ.  To serve our brothers and sisters in their times of celebration as well as their times of greatest need.

Journeying life together. We are so blessed by our Filipino Family.
Journeying life together. We are so blessed by our Filipino Family.

One of our greatest blessings for which we are thankful – YOU!  We are so blessed to have family, friends… faith communities literally around the world who lift us in prayer and partner with us in ministry.  We are continually overwhelmed that you have allowed us to serve as your ambassadors here on the Asia-Pacific Region.  This is an honor and privilege that we do not take lightly.  We couldn’t be here without you there.  Together we are making Kingdom impact.

Connie traveling to share in Myanmar
Connie traveling to share in Myanmar

Today, as you gather together as friends and family, sharing the goodness of our God and giving thanks, know that 15 hours away, across the international dateline, on the other side of the world, we are giving thanks and praying for you!  Thank you for being such a vital part of our team!

May our Lord abundantly bless you and your family during this season of Thanksgiving.

Yours and His for the harvest,

Todd and Connie Lou


Latest World Mission Communications Global News Video

One of the primary responsibilities of the Regional Communications Coordinator (my job – Todd) is keeping the global church connected with what is happening in Missions on the Asia-Pacific Region.  We have taken it a step further.  Since I am so blessed to have a tremendous team working with me, we are wanting to provide updates from the mission work on every region!  One of our interns, a graduate from Olivet Nazarene University, Rebecca Moisio, who has been working with us here in Manila since October of 2015, has been doing a tremendous job of putting together these news pieces. (Feature image is from the Myanmar District Assembly – another post will be coming about that trip!)

Check out this latest video.

WMC News: New JESUS Film Translations, Taiwan Earthquake, and a Need for Shoes from Asia-Pacific Nazarene on Vimeo.

Your Prayers Are Needed…and are being answered!

Over the last several months, we have been so very blessed to be part of planting a church in the downtown Makati area of the greater Manila.

We would like to introduce you to one of our newest attenders – Roldan Imbo.

Roldan has been an orphan for many years, living at the Village of Hope.  In June of 2015, he began studying under scholarship at the Philippine Missionary Institute, pursuing a Bachelor of Theology / music.

Updates are being added to the end of the story.

Sam praying for Roldan
The Gencon Makati Church praying for Roldan this past Sunday night.

Over the last few months, Roldan has been on a very difficult journey.  In August he was diagnosed with infectious endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart valves. It apparently is a result of a reactivation of rheumatic  heart disease. In the Philippines, with antibiotic treatment only, it has a mortality rate of around 80%.

During the ensuing treatment, Roldan experienced acute kidney failure and then liver failure.  Through much answered prayer Roldan has overcome these obstacles and is now moving towards open heart surgery.

Roldan has truly won the hearts of the medical community.  Several of the doctors have provided discounted fees. has partnered with Village of Hope, and is providing a means for donations. Praise God, the more than $30,000 USD needed for the life-saving, open heart surgery have been raised.

Roldan is scheduled for a tri-valve replacement on Wednesday morning, December 9th, Philippine Time.  This will be around 3pm, Tuesday, December 8th, (U.S.  Mountain Time). 

Would you PLEASE commit to begin earnestly praying for Roldan, for the doctors, for a successful surgery, and recovery.   There is much power in prayer – and right now – we need a global prayer team to lift up Roldan, and his family from the Village of Hope!

Roldan with Ministry Team
From left to right – Connie, Roldan, Todd, Pastor Sam Tamayo


*** Tuesday, December 8th, Evening Update

Roldan has been admitted to the hospital for pre-surgery preparations after a very long admission process (he was 21st in line for a room).

There are many key people who are part of this story – one is Ricardo.  Ricardo has been part of a training program for young adults who are learning how to give back blessings to the community.  He has been actively involved with Village of Hope, often working overtime at his job to fund his involvement with the mission.

Even though Ricardo was scheduled to leave and go on to a career-advancing training program, he postponed his training so that he could stay by Roldan’s side!  Whether it be at home, at the hospital, at church, or traveling in-between, you will not find Ricardo far away – a formidable Guardian Angel!

From the people who are physically by Roldan’s side to those who are praying from around the world – everyone is needed!  We will continue to keep you posted as the journey continues over the next few days.

Roldan and Ricardo
Roldan and his Guardian Angel – Ricardo.


*** Wednesday, December 9th, 12 noon update

We have been speaking with Jam (who is a nurse and coordinator at the Village of Hope Orphanage where Roldan has grown up) she is at his bedside around the clock with Ricardo.

From Jam: “This is Roldan with his IV line already in. NPO (nothing orally to eat) since 5am. He is hungry but since he is ready, he is keeping it together. Monitoring his sugar too. Labs came in and they are all in the normal ranges! Oh thank God! Hemoglobin, platelet, prothrombin and thrombin time, magnesium, Na, K, Creatinine.  Waiting for the orderly to shave his chest, and then it is off to surgery. The large needles for the catheter did concern him, but we are trying to help him keep his mind off of these things.”

20151209 1200 Prayer Map
Prayer Map of those who are praying from around the World as of noon 12/09.

We are praising God for the number of prayer warriors who are committing to pray:  As of noon, Philippine time, there were 480 documented people praying for him from 26 nations. Nations: US, Philippines, Canada, Australia, NewZealand, Mexico, United Kingdom, Thailand, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Japan, St. Lucia, France, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, European Union, Indonesia, Northern Marianas, S. Korea, Guam, Singapore, Ghana, Qatar, Uganda, United Arab Emirates.

When Jam shared this with Roldan his response was, 
“Wow! (in his usual shocked reaction) Too many places!!”  

Let’s get a few more places praying for Roldan today!

*** Wednesday, December 9th, 10:30 PM, Philippine Time

Please see this post from the founder of the Village of Hope Orphanage, Jeanette Auxtero Propp.

Thank you Lord for getting Roldan Imbo through his operation! Thank you friends and partners for praying. He just got taken to the recovery room. Please continue to pray that there are no complications and pray for a fast recovery. I can now breathe a little bit. Thank you for being there for Roldan.

The surgeon reported that the tricuspid valve had improved, so they only ended up replacing the Mitral and the Aortic, so only a two valve versus three valve replacement. He will be under observation for the next 24 hours for stroke, aneurysm, etc.

*** Thursday, December 10th, 11:00 AM, Philippine Time

Jam David from Village of Hope shared this great news today!

“He woke up! Smiled, gave us a ‘salute’ sign!  – Oh that moment!  14 hours to go (critical post-operative monitoring).  Now he feels hungry!

Thanking God also for the worldwide prayer group! (I have seen the update last night!) We can feel your presence from this part of the globe.

We managed to practice signs that he may use while in there if he can’t use his hands and lips. And he remembered! He is recuperating faster than expected, which is a good sign.

SPAGHETTI. That is what he wants to eat when he is able.”

20151209 just prior to surgery
Roldan – photo taken just prior to being wheeled into surgery on Wednesday.

Please continue to keep Roldan, Jam, Ricardo, and the team in your prayers – these are critical hours and days as his body responds to this life-saving but body-traumatic surgery.

*** Thursday, December 10th, 8:00 PM, Philippine Time

Roldan has now passed 24 hours since the heart valve surgery.  Jam from Village of Hope, the nurse and caretaker for Roldan, provided this update tonight:

Roldan Early summer
Roldan earlier this year when suffering from liver and kidney failure.  He’s come a long way!

“Roldan’s intubation tube is out. They are continuing to keep a close eye on his heart rate because it is still faster than normal, at around 105. He was on Digoxin prior to the surgery (helps make the heart beat stronger and with better rhythm) and his medical team plans to put him back on it while continuing his Penicillin. 

The nurse said that they will start him on clear fluids and if his throat can tolerate that, he may have a soft diet soon. He is begging his nurse to give him some pineapple juice – but that will have to wait for now.  With the IV pain medication, he is in and out of consciousness.” 

We are praising God for the progress so far! Please continue to keep Roldan, in your prayers.


*** Friday, December 11th, 1100 AM, Philippine Time

jam David
Jam David

The journey of recovery continues it has now been 38 hours in the Recovery Room.  Jam from Village of Hope has been able to be in Roldan’s room, talk with him, and encourage him.  She shared this morning that she was able to tell him about all of the people praying for him, he was very encouraged.

heart pillow
Roldan’s heart-shaped pillow.

Roldan’s heart rate is still elevated and he has been afraid to cough because of the pain.  He is doing well on his breathing (deep breathing encouraged post surgery). Most of the lines are out.  He will need to be transfused with additional blood as his hemoglobin is low.  Doctors will also be running a urine culture to check if there is any infection.  He will possibly transfer to an ordinary room anytime today.

“I am really thankful for this team…it is big and God made sure that every part has been taken care of.  God is awesome!” – Jam David

Please continue to keep Roldan, Jam, Ricardo, the medical teams, and the Village of Hope family in your prayers!



The Time is Now – We Must Be Strong and Courageous!

These are truly some challenging times in which we live…but they are not so different from the times of the children of Israel in Egypt, the days of captivity in Babylon, the days of the First Century Church.   The Word of God continually reminds us that if we are truly Christlike in our daily lives, that if we truly live counter culturally, that if we are salt and light, that we will be persecuted by the world.

19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.… John 15:19-21.

This morning as I reflect on the news out of France regarding the coordinated terrorist attack, the news out of Indonesia “Churches being burned on instructions from Imam.”  I am reminded of the Lord’s charge to Joshua:

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:7-9

We bear testimony to God’s graciousness and provisionment as He has truly been with us wherever we have gone!

Connie and I have had a tremendous few months of ministry.

  • IMG_4244
    Teaching in Taiwan

    Traveling to Taiwan, teaching a seminar and visiting 20 of our churches over the course of 10 days.

  • Teaching a Course of Study to developing pastors in a house setting in a Creative Access Area;
  • Connie speaking in Angeles City, Northern Philippines.
    Connie speaking in Angeles City, Northern Philippines.

    Traveling to various locations here in the Philippines, speaking and teaching on behalf of Nazarene Missions International and Sunday School Discipleship Ministries International.

  • Helping to coordinate a joint motocross race and evangelistic multiple-band outreach concert.
  • Continuing to partner in Ministry (preaching every other Sunday when in country) at our Makati (business district of Manila) GenCon church plant.
  • Partnering in weekly small group Bible studies.
  • Small Group Bible Studies

      Small Group Bible Studies
  • Hosting weekly worship team practice and Bible study in our World Mission Communications Studio.

    Worship practice in our WMC-AP Studio.
  • Helping to Facilitate two Regional Conferences and annual meetings in another location on our region.  In this particular instance, we had over 300 delegates from across the region attending plenary sessions and workshops, along with evening worship services that reached nearly 500 in attendance each evening over the course of 5 days.  The WMC-AP office (our team) handled all of the media and design support for the events, as well as logistics of registrations and reservations for delegates.
  • So much more has happened – it would take pages to report it all.

As we roll into nearly the middle of November, the agenda is still full, and we would so greatly appreciate your prayers:

Prayer Requests:

  • Please continue to pray for the two girls of one of our team families who were struck by a car while on their way home from school.  DAUGHTERS OF FAMILY IN CAA HIT BY CAR, CROSSING STREET NEAR SCHOOL *** SECOND UPDATE
  • Pray for the timely return of our Visas.  Our resident Visas expire on the 15th of November.  We have been working on renewals for a couple of months, but due to various challenges, they are still in process.  We need these soon for upcoming travel.
  • Upcoming trip to Taiwan for another 22 church visit, teaching trip, November 25-December 8.
  • Global NMI and SDMI conferences.  Connie and I will both be going in different directions.  Connie to the East Coast of the U.S. for the global NMI conference (she is NMI Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region), Todd to Europe for the global SDMI conference.  Please pray that these conferences would be Spirit led, and that leaders would be open to hearing from the Lord as He provides His vision, plan, and purpose for these ministries.
  • Travel to Myanmar for orality story training.
  • Travel to a Creative Access Area to teach another Media course.
  • From now until the first week of February, we will be away from our home here in Manila for all but about 24 days.
  • Lord Willing, we are planning to arrive to Boise on December 23, to spend some time with our Family, for Connie to do whatever tests are necessary to be considered for a donor match for her brother Curt, who has been in an ongoing courageous journey against cancer, and to love on our new granddaughter.  We will leave from Boise and begin 5 weeks of heavy traveling.

    Flying over Southern Malaysia
    Flying over Southern Malaysia
Thanks for your continued prayers as we go!
Thanks for your continued prayers as we go!

As I close, I thank you for taking the time to read this post, lift us in prayer, and partner with us in ministry.  As we serve on a region of some 2.8 billion people, with 2,000+ spoken languages, 135 cities of more than one million inhabitants, and at least 1,270 Unreached People Groups comprised of more than 675 million people, please pray that God will help us to catch His dream and vision for this region.

May God bless you and your family, and help you to remember that in the face of the world in which we live, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Yours and His for the Kingdom,

Todd and Connie Lou

Partner in Ministry – Link to donation page.

Extreme Work and Witness Teams Needed in Saipan.

Once again we have been a bit behind the times with our blog writing.  As the chief writers for the Asia-Pacific Regional website and the seven social media channels that we manage on behalf of the Region, it seems that we are always writing, just not on our own blog!!!  I did want to get this urgent request for Work and Witness teams out to all of you so that you might be able to share it with your churches.  More to come…just as soon as I complete writing the quarterly activity and strategy reports for our ministry, and then proof the 70+ page strategy report for all ministries of the Region.  My eyes get tired 🙂

What is our Jerusalem? The battles rage but through Christ, we will persevere with INDEFATIGABLE resoluteness.

As we look back over the past couple of weeks, we are amazed at the spiritual battles raging across our Region.  The urgent prayer requests from our field have been coming across my desk at an increasing rate (several are listed at the end of this post).   But…with those requests have also come multiple praise reports!  God is at work…we just need to continue walking towards Him with indefatigable resoluteness.

I wanted to take a moment to share a challenge that has been on my mind the past few days, inspired by scripture and thoughts from Lloyd John Olgilvie, “God’s Best for My Life.

What is my Jerusalem?

What Christ has committed to us, plus our commitments to obey, equals our Jerusalem.  Luke 9:51-53

There is a Jerusalem for all of us for which we were born and to which our life is leading. Jesus set His face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) knowing that there He would have to face the cross and die for the sins of the world.

There at the crossroads He had to make a commitment. One road led back to Nazareth, the other to the frowning fortress of His enemies who were plotting His demise. He could have returned home and lived a safe, secure life, instead, He set His face to Jerusalem and the cross for which He had come to earth.

What do you imagine His face looked like, set for Jerusalem? I imagine – Determination, faithfulness, trust, and INDEFATIGABLE commitment to do the will of God.  An unchangeable resoluteness to follow through with His mission.

We all have a Jerusalem. And then little Jerusalems along the way.

Our Jerusalem is whatever prayer has discerned is the Lord’s will for us. It is a symbolic city of reality rather than a wish-dream and easy religion. It is COMMITMENT instead of COMFORT. But we can set our faces to our purpose with joy and not grimness.

Because Christ has gone before us, and now goes with us, we have His victorious presence to give us raw courage. Once we have committed our lives completely to Him, then we are able because He is able. His strength flows through us as we attempt great things for Him and by His power. After He has control of the nerve center of our wills, He can use us to do the otherwise-impossible. Just as Jesus went to His Jerusalem believing in God’s vindication, so too we can live out our commitment knowing that He will have the final word.

What is your Jerusalem?

banner-prayer-web2Here are some major prayer concerns for our region at the moment:  (Links to the articles for more information)

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and partnership with us as together with you, we serve here on the Asia-Pacific Region.

An Amazing Opportunity…thank you Lord!

IMG_3448Connie and I are continually humbled and amazed at how God allows us to have a small part in his work.  The Lord is always in the process of putting together a beautiful quilt work of time, talents, people, resources….  When I was working with Hands of Hope Northwest as the Executive Director, the HOHNW team was sending containers of hope all over the world.  To-date, I hadn’t been on the receiving end of a container.  That changed this month!

This last year a need was presented to me here in the Philippines by a Christian Birthing Center.  My immediate thought was, “Hands of Hope NW could make a difference here.”  Even though we were no longer officially connected to the organization, once you are a part of Hands of Hope, a piece of your heart will always remain.

We contacted Debbie Wheeler, the new Executive Director, and the rest is history.  God did amazing things from funding to customs to items on the container that literally arrived the day they were needed.  Our God is so very good!  Enjoy this short video of the celebration of the container arriving!

Spiritual Highs, Lows, Triumphs and Tragedies…Our Lord is Faithfully in the Boat with Us!

Living overseas is not so different from life in one’s home country.  There are those moments of great highs, and moments of incredible lows, but one thing is for sure, as followers of Christ, we have the confidence that wherever we are, our Lord walks the path with us!

Connie sharing W&W Opportunities with conference attendees
Connie sharing W&W Opportunities with conference attendees

The month of September was a great high as we had a tremendous time of speaking and meeting brothers and sisters united in Christ and Mission across the United States.  We visited the Eastern, East Central, and Northwest Work and Witness Conferences (representing the Asia-Pacific Region) and then completed speaking tours on the Oregon Pacific and Northern Alabama Districts.

Todd speaking at NW Region Work & Witness Conference
Todd speaking at NW Region Work & Witness Conference

The month included over 5,000 miles of travel in cars and innumerable miles of air travel. Through it all, your prayers of protection on our behalf were answered!

Here we are celebrating Work and Witness Together
Here we are celebrating Work and Witness Together

We want to thank all of the families who hosted us in their homes and churches, those who shared their passion for mission at the conferences, and those who are praying about an opportunity to serve in Work and Witness here on the Asia-Pacific Region!

Aunt Beverly, faithful, loving Aunt and prayer warrior!
Aunt Beverly, faithful, loving Aunt and prayer warrior!

During our travels, God ordained the time for us to be able to stop and visit Todd’s Aunt Beverly and family.  She had recently been diagnosed with cancer.  We had no idea that the Lord would call her home so quickly.  We feel so blessed that the Lord allowed us the opportunity to be home with family (even for just a few hours) when Aunt Bev finished her valiant race here on earth.  We know that she is now one of the great “Cloud of Witnesses” who is continually cheering for her family! We will miss her notes, Facebook posts, and encouragement.  She has been a faithful prayer warrior on our behalf for many, many, years!

Pastors Conference in S. Korea
Pastors Conference in S. Korea

Within just a few short days of returning to Manila, Todd was on his way to South Korea to take part in the Annual Regional Advisory Council Meetings, Field Strategy Coordinator Meetings, and 60th Anniversary Celebration of Korea Nazarene University, our largest Nazarene University in the world.

Retired and current missionaries from KNU who returned for celebration.
Retired and current missionaries from KNU who returned for celebration.

It was a great time of engaging with leaders from around the Asia-Pacific Region, celebrating the incredible accomplishments of KNU, and welcoming back some of the founding missionaries who began the work in Korea.   Stay tuned for a great video story of God’s hand in action many years ago, and the impact on the Korean Church today as a result of that miracle.

Connie at work in the World Mission Communications Office in Manila.
Connie at work in the World Mission Communications Office in Manila.

Upon completion of the meetings, Todd returned to Manila with new vision and strategy for the year ahead, and word of a newly appointed assignment for Connie.  As of this week, Connie has now been appointed to serve as the Regional Nazarene Missions International (NMI) Coordinator.  She will be serving together with the former coordinator, Pauline Sheppard, who retains her elected position as delegate to the Global NMI Council from the Asia-Pacific Region.  In this role, Connie will be working with the 6 field strategy coordinators, 46 districts, and thousands of churches spread across the Region; an area that includes 40% of the world’s population and 30% of the global land mass.  This assignment is so much greater than any one person.  We are clinging to James 1:5 and claiming the wisdom that God promises to give to those who ask.

Baby Floyd Berita at Hospital

Coming off the incredible high of the meetings in S. Korea, we were faced with a tragedy here on the campus of Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS).  One of our students and his wife who are from Papua New Guinea, lost there newborn son less than 48 hours after his arrival to the world. Baby Floyd White Berita fought a courageous battle against a neonatal pneumonia and the Lord chose to take him into his arms last Saturday.

Baby Floyd’s father, August, at memorial service.

Todd was by the family’s side for nearly 36 hours of the battle and was there to pray with them when Baby Floyd went home.   The student body of APNTS asked Todd to share at the memorial service on Monday.   You can imagine how difficult this was as we prepare to be grandparents for the first time in just a few short weeks.  Todd shared on the storms of life and how in the midst, Jesus as he was with the disciples on the sea of Galilee, is right there in the boat with us.

APNTS Family gathers for prayer around the Berita family.
APNTS Family gathers for prayer around the Berita family.

Over our years of missions, through typhoons, engine failures, wars, evacuations, illness, and trials, we have found this to be true – God is always faithful to be in the boat with us!  We will never forget Christina’s (Baby Floyd’s mother’s) words, “You are my father and I am your child, and I will walk this rough path, but when I get to heaven I will ask you why!”    Please continue to pray for the Berita family.

Container from Hands of Hope Arrives at Shaloam Birthing Center
Container from Hands of Hope Arrives at Shaloam Birthing Center

As Todd shared at the service, praise God that after every storm, the sun comes through!  We ended this week on a tremendous high.  Over the past several years, our whole family has been involved with helping to load containers of donated medical supplies and equipment at Hands of Hope Northwest in Idaho.  This week was the first time that we have had the incredible privilege of being on the receiving end of such a shipment!

Todd and Pami Ellis (Director at Shaloam) looking at the supplies, thanking God for his faithfulness.
Todd and Pami Ellis (Director at Shaloam) looking at the supplies, thanking God for his faithfulness.

About one year ago, we were introduced to two birthing centers here in the area of APNTS, on the eastern edge of Manila.  These centers take care of mothers who might not otherwise have access to healthcare.  The centers not only treat the physical, but address the spiritual as well.  All mothers are engaged in bible studies and discipling as part of their pre-natal care plan. During the visit, we were so impressed by the incredible need.  So many people, so few supplies and equipment.  We knew we had to help!  Hands of Hope NW was contacted and they jumped into high gear.  Over the course of a year they prepared a container, raised shipping funds, and shipped this container of love and hope to the Philippines.

Doors of the container from Hands of Hope are opened at shortly after midnight!
Doors of the container from Hands of Hope are opened at shortly after midnight!

Saturday morning (November 8th) at 12:00am, the container arrived at the Shaloam birthing center.  Due to restrictions, the container had to be unloaded immediately.  Several of the young people from Taytay First Church of the Nazarene (Generation Congregation) grabbed the opportunity to be part of this compassionate ministry.  In just 90 minutes, the contents of the 40 foot container were unloaded and organized into the storage facility at Shaloam.  The smiles on the faces of the workers were life changing!  Gurneys, Exam Tables, Incubators, Cribs, Consumable Supplies, Diapers, Wheelchairs, Crutches, and on and on.  The blessing of this container will touch many, many lives, and serve as a very tangible demonstration of the hands and feet of Christ in action!  Thank you to everyone who took part in this ministry.    Watch for an upcoming video on this in the near future!

Sunset over Manila October 25, 2015 024

Well, it is Sunday afternoon and the sun is setting over the western skyline of Manila. Thank you so very much to each and every one of you who have faithfully, prayed, paid, encouraged, sacrificed and partnered with us here in ministry.  It takes a team to do mission!  No one person or couple could do it on their own.  We are able to be here because you are there, and together great things are happening for the Kingdom!

May God bless each of you, your families and ministries, in the days ahead.

Yours and His for the harvest,

Todd and Connie Lou

Answers to Prayer…the Journey begins!

Manila Airport
Sitting in the Manila Airport, waiting for our flight to depart. Manila – United Arab Emirates – Washington DC

Connie and I are sitting here in Terminal 1 of Manila International Airport, waiting for our flight to depart for the Middle East and then on to Washington DC.  We will be at the first regional Work and Witness Conference in about 48 hours.  You can see the travel and speaking schedule here.

We are so very blessed!  Quite literally, we have received notes and comments from around the globe from friends and family committing to pray.  God is answering!  Connie’s shoulder is feeling much better.   Her range of motion has increased substantially and the aching pain has decreased.  The blistered area of her eye (the entire sclera – white area) has resolved with the medication.  We are both feeling much better, fevers resolved, and we are ready for the next 4 weeks of conferences and speaking!  God Is So Good…and we are so blessed to have such a tremendous prayer team.  Thank you from the depths of our hearts.

Many of you receive an email each time we post and we don’t want to flood your inboxes over the next few weeks, so we are starting a special page on our site to share news about this trip.  You may follow along as we post praises and prayer requests, but you won’t automatically be sent updates.   Here is the link

The WMC-AP Team as we said goodbye this afternoon before leaving for the airport.
The WMC-AP Team as we said goodbye this afternoon before leaving for the airport.

We would so greatly appreciate your continued prayers for:

1)  Dr. John Mullins, Shauna, and their family (see the specific prayer request).  We are hoping to visit with them in person on September 8th, and to be able to spend time in prayer with these dear friends and partners in ministry.

2)  Kudjip Nazarene Hospital Surgeon Dr. James Radcliffe, as he is scheduled to have a tumor removed on September 9th (see his story here).  Also pray for the rest of the doctors and the team in Papua New Guinea.

3)  Our World Mission Communications Asia-Pacific Team, as they work on many projects over the next couple of weeks.

4)  Our several friends and family members with cancer.  The Lord knows their names and we would appreciate your prayers.

Thank you so very much for being part of our prayer team.  We truly couldn’t be here without you there, praying and paying the price.  Together, we are reaching the Asia-Pacific Region for Christ!