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Dear Praying Friend,
We have been looking forward to sharing this update with you. Three months ago we left for Manila and arrived safe and sound. Saying goodbye to family and starting over completely in a new culture brought a swarm of emotions. (You can read our thoughts on the plane here). Joel preached his first sermon in the Philippines the day after arriving and two days later began teaching classes.
 
Here are a number of praises:
  • We found a house that is perfectly suited for our family at an ideal location for transportation and our ministries.
  • God has given us countless blessings as an encouragement. Joel found a good bike for commuting; we have been able to negotiate the city without getting lost; most exciting, a taxi driver read our tract and commented that he had received assurance of his sins being forgiven. God knows that our weak human hearts seek for encouragements at these times!
  • Teaching has been a joy. It's wonderful to fulfill your calling and finally get to work on the field! These classes have not been merely academic—each has been personally, spiritually edifying. This semester I taught Introductory Hebrew, Church History, 2 Corinthians in Greek, and Preaching III.
  • Another privilege and joy was teaching two block classes. The first one was taught to pastors from a restricted access country on preaching from the Old Testament. The second was with 28 pastors in Mindanao on Greek and exegesis for ministry.
  • The Lord helped us relationally, emotionally, spiritually and physically during the initial months of transition. This time has been a whirlwind between ministry needs and the endless elements of settling in. We are only getting started, but as a family we have experienced strong confirmation that we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. God has been so good to us.
Earlier this semester I stood before 25 students in church history. We talked about the apostle Paul and how God used his ministry across the mediterranean world. But one important point is that the early church's growth wasn't due to Paul. Some of the places he visited already had churches before he ever arrived. The primary way the gospel spread was through "insignificant" individuals - this merchant, that farmer, someone else's slave. And as these anonymous, forgotten but faithful believers shared the gospel everywhere they went, the truth turned the world upside down.
I'm confident that some of the students I stood before that day will do the very same thing—quietly, faithfully, courageously sharing the gospel everywhere they go. Are you ready this week to faithfully share the gospel that transforms lives?
Thank you so much for your support and prayers.

Joel, Sarah,
Jeremy & Zachary Arnold
 
Special thanks to Graceann from Jennerstown, PA who designed our header this month!
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