Statistics communicate that nearly 90% of people in the Philippines are Christian. Although those are comforting numbers, I would argue that due to an incorrect theology, many of the people here are more “religious” than living in relationship with Christ.
More than half of the Philippine population is under the age of 20 and desperately needs the truth of the Gospel. So, when God called me to this country, he placed a special burden on my heart for its youth.
God has opened the door for me to speak at many schools throughout the country. At each school, I always present the Gospel and have witnessed children of all ages come to know Jesus.
Although I speak at schools on every level, I particularly like speaking at high schools.
For these students, a religious spirit is not the only obstacle they face. Sexual immorality is a struggle amongst this generation and it’s very normal to witness young couples living together before they are married. As a result, the Philippines has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the world.
I recently had the opportunity to speak at a school to approximately 1000 students. With this many students, the school had to separate the youth into two sessions, one being in the morning and the other in the afternoon. I went on stage for the first session at 8am and I spoke on the importance of purity and then challenged them to follow Jesus.
Out of the 500 students, many responded and accepted Jesus as their Savior! Three of the students even came forward to publicly share with their classmates about how they had been convicted of their sin and chose to pursue a relationship with Jesus!
Needless to say, God was moving in a big way.
As I was leaving the school, I was involved in an severe automobile accident. Long story short, a majority of my day was consumed with obstacles surrounding my wreck. I really believe the enemy was at work trying to prevent me from speaking at the 2nd school that afternoon.
But thanks be to God, because He made a way!
Not only was I able to speak at the school that afternoon, but God moved in a miraculous way. As we worshiped, we went out and prayed for as many students as we could. Countless students accepted Jesus as their Savior and many were healed of things they had been battling.
There was one girl that I prayed for in particular, that God placed on my heart to rebuke the spirit of fear and depression. Please keep in mind that I do not know this girl or know any of her struggles. After we completed worship, that same girl came forward and asked to share her testimony. She said she was a Christian but had been battling fear and depression for a long time. She had so much faith that God had healed her earlier while we were praying that she wanted to stand up in front of her peers and share her testimony. How’s that for overcoming fear?
I truly believe that she was set free that day. I’m so amazed at the goodness of God!
God is doing an amazing work here in the Philippines. Students are being challenged in their purity and I also feel that this culture is hungry for the truth of the Gospel.
The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Each time I look out and see hundreds of young people with all their brokenness I pray for more laborers in the Gospel. I don’t have enough hands or time to pray with them all, but I believe God will bring more alongside me.
Please join us in praying for more laborers to join our team.
Pray for a revival amongst the hearts of students.
Pray for a culture change in how they pursue purity.
To God be all the glory.
By: Tom Gustafson
To learn more about Tom and his ministry, click here.