Pioneer Church Planting in Mindanao
A Strategic Vision
Davao Strategic Outreach assists in church planting among unreached people living on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines. They are focusing on the Aeta tribe who live in the Matigsalog area. The Aeta tribal people are farmers scattered among the mountains of the provinces of North Cotabato, Davao, and Davao del Sur.
DSO lacks the funds to substantially support their rural church planters, but even if they did have sufficient funds, the Aeta would view church planters as outsiders rather than members of the community. So DSO church planters move in and become part of the community, working as farmers. They are growing cassava roots and raising livestock, all the while sharing the love of Christ with their neighbors. Becoming a part of the community and living as the local people has resulted in their being accepted by the Aeta people. And it is providing the church planters with a means of becoming self-supporting.
Current church planters are in need of help, and many more church planters are needed in Mindanao, where there are hundreds of such villages. You can help each of them to get started by donating as indicated below:
Rural Church Planter Needs
Pigs-$50 each: Pig farming is a popular means of making a living in Mindanao. A male and female pig are needed for each church planter. This project will help make the church planting missionaries self-sufficient. Once a church community is established, the pioneer church planter will be given another pair of pigs for his next church plant, while the established pig farm remains to help the new pastor.
Testimony from the Field
Two pastors came down to the city during the holiday season (as they do annually) and we gave them some used clothing. They mentioned to us that the horse we had delivered to them through Christian Aid funds was pregnant at the time. It delivered a foal, which was given to another church planter. Now the horse we gave has "befriended" a neighbor's horse and is expecting once again! Her foal is designated for another church planter in the mountains in a neighboring tribe about ten miles from the first one in Paquibato.
The wife of a church planter explained: "Praise God for my new horse! Where we are in the mountains, there are no roads, and we travel very steep paths. Sometimes we were lucky enough to visit three families in one day before the daily rains came." The woman glowed as she spoke. "But now we have...a HORSE!" Suddenly the woman stopped talking. I looked up to see what was wrong, and watched as the woman sobbed. "I-I am s-so amazed at God's providence. H-he KNEW our needs. He KNEW our struggles. He KNEW our vision and calling to reach the unreached mountain Aeta tribal people for Jesus. B-but it was sooo hard! Month after month we'd labor, hiking hours and hours, yet with so little to show for our endless work. Now we can, on our new horse, visit close to a dozen families a day! Praise God!"
Horses-$150 each: Missionaries reaching tribes in the mountains of Mindanao need horses and other forms of transportation. Presently they have to walk many hours to get from village to village to preach the gospel. If they had better transportation, they could reach more villages and be more productive in their work. The best means of transportation in these mountainous jungles is horses, but their cost is often prohibitive for missionaries. Horses enable missionaries to reach jungle areas where there are no paths and where motor vehicles and bicycles cannot go. Horses can also multiply through birth, ultimately providing transportation for other church planters to reach even more villages. Many rural church planters need horses. At this time, horses cost about $150 each, and the ministry is in need of at least 20 of them.
Boats-$1800 each: Boats, being so expensive, are only purchased or built when there is no alternative transportation. Presently, two boats are needed for church planters. There are some areas, such as Samal Island off the coast of Davao City, which are only accessible via raft or pumpboat.
Funds from Christian Aid donors have helped DSO build a boat for church planters in Sarangani, Davao del Sur. Even local government officials expressed their appreciation for the boat, as those islands – home to more than one unreached people group – cannot be reached any other way.
Goats-$60 each: There are several advantages to providing goats to the rural church planters. Goat meat is not as appetizing as pork, so church planters are not as tempted to eat them before they reproduce. Goats eat any and everything, which makes them easy to raise. Their milk can be used or sold by the church planter, and they easily reproduce. They do not cost much to get started. There are presently at least 50 church planters who could use goats.
The church planters associated with DSO are committed, Bible-believing, sacrificial workers, who are doing their best with what they have. They are being used by God in wonderful ways. But often they could do so much more with help.
Use the form below to contribute online to support Davao Strategic Outreach. Or call us at 434-979-5650 to contribute by phone. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid, P.O. Box 9737, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 801DSO. Thank you!
How you can get involved: