Letter from Mike: Philippines – April 2017
A thrilling prophecy in the book of Isaiah foretells the conversion of Muslims, who in the Bible are referred to as the people of the east. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. . . . Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory.” Isaiah 60:1, 2, 5–7. The nations mentioned in this prophecy are the descendants of Abraham who became the “people of the east” or the Muslims. Genesis 25:1-5; 29:1. I don’t believe a Christian living right now could doubt we are in an era of great spiritual darkness; but God has promised that in this dark age He will shine through His people to shed light and truth to those who are in the prison house of sin and darkness.
Isaiah’s prophecy became very real to me after traveling to the Philippines just recently. Many Muslims occupy the southern and western portions of the island of Mindanao, and as we traveled in this region, visiting the churches in the province of South Cotabato, we baptized many Muslims who have come to the Seventh-day Adventist message. One Islamic convert stands out in my mind—a man named Ruben who had been a high-ranking ostad (preacher) in the Islamic faith. He related to me that the Qur’an itself was what first made him aware of the Sabbath message. He read in the Qur’an that those who didn’t keep the Sabbath would receive a judgment from the Lord, and the passage brought him great perplexity. The word for Sabbath in his local dialect is Sabado, which he knew to be Saturday. Yet he had been taught from a child that Friday was the holy day for Muslims. He decided that he had better seek an answer to this dilemma about which day was to be kept as a holy day, for fear that God would bring a judgment upon him and his family. He began praying that he would be led to someone who could give him understanding about the Sabbath message. A few days later he met Pastor Temtem! Soon Ruben invited Pastor Temtem to come to his home to study the Bible and the Qur’an with him and his family. From these studies he learned the Seventh-day Adventist message and finally gave his whole heart to the Lord. During my trip, I was privileged to witness this man’s baptism, along with his family’s.
If you would like to help the workers in the Philippines reach more people like Ruben, mark your donation “Philippine Workers.” Let us pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit’s power to reach those in darkness.
In His service for the Kingdom,
P.S. Read the full story about Ruben’s conversion in the upcoming Mission Projects magazine!