Tag Archives: Manila

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

Arrived in Manila to an AWESOME welcome by the team!


Friday, June 19th, 12:18pm Manila Time (That is for you Mom Landreth 🙂  )  We arrived yesterday afternoon and God truly blessed all of the details.  All of our action packers arrived safely, immigration went very smoothly, and we cleared customs without any problems.  Pastor Elmo and Tata were waiting at the arrival area with the vans, and after some heavy traffic, we arrived at Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary.  God was truly in all of the details.  We did find out that Courtney’s return date was just one day longer than a standard tourist visa, so this will cost an additional $75.00, but that was the only glitch.

We were welcomed with open arms by our team – such a tremendous blessing.  The apartment was furnished, counters stocked with some food to get us going, and even a great welcome sign on the wall.   This is the rainy season, so the temperatures are warm and the atmosphere is very muggy.  It immediately reminded us of our years in Yap, Micronesia.   The air conditioning unit was down, so it truly was like home in the islands, where power was so expensive that we didn’t even have AC.   We made it to bed with some cold showers and fans blowing.

The jet lag did catch up with me.  I (Todd) awoke at 12:00am local time (10:00am Mountain Time) and was wide awake until about  5:00am local time.  We all discussed that we were only going to “think” in local Manila time.  Unfortunately our bodies didn’t get the message.  It did though, afford me the opportunity to get into Lee Strobels, “Case for Faith” which I have been wanting to read for quite some time.

This morning in the office, we started out with team devotions at 9:00am, and then moved into a meeting with Dr. Bill Kwon and Grace Tia (manager of World Mission Communications – Asia Pacific).  It was a good initial orientation into what lies ahead.   I am 100% assured now that it is only by God’s grace and strength that we will be able to accomplish the task that is set ahead of us.

Final note…went out to start the car, battery dead.  Looks like I will get to start mechanic work the very first day here.  Glad I threw some tools into our action packers!

Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement,

Yours and His,
Todd

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World Mission Communications Team with a welcome sign in our office.  They had a similar sign in our apartment!  Such a great family!

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Dr. Kwon’s daughter – the youngest member of the welcoming team.

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The team enjoying snacks from Cabela’s…had to bring a little Idaho with us to share!

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Posted from Todd while traveling.