Due to the very low wage scale of their congregants, most of our Filipino pastors receive less than $200 per month in tithes and offerings. In spite of this, our ministers continue to be aggressively evangelistic. Most churches are engaging in home bible studies, and some are even conducting crusades. Several pastors are starting daughter works and others oversee multiple churches. But, because of the tough economic circumstances, few congregations here are ever able to obtain a building without help.
I’m convinced that few things in missions can deliver a bigger “bang for the buck” than building a church. In the short term, a new building gives the local congregation a big morale boost and creates buzz in the community. Over time, that same building becomes the spiritual home for the church family, providing a sense of strength and continuity.
I’m thankful that over the past 11 years, we’ve been blessed to build 61 new buildings and make major renovations on 5 others. We currently have 11 building projects either underway or pending funding. Initially, most of our buildings were “native” structures made from wood and bamboo with a thatch roof. These could usually be built for less than $2,000. Nowadays most of our buildings are made from much more durable cement blocks and steel, but even these are amazingly cheap by US standards, with a typical 30x30 building costing $8-10K to build utilizing our own construction teams.
The vast majority of these buildings have come from churches in the USA who have sponsored a building project. We owe an extreme debt of gratitude to each of them, as well as all you who support the Philippines mission with your prayers and finances.