Saturday, June 25, 2022

MZBC-CAMP 2022 - an update for Sat. (06/25/22)

Dear Praying Friends,

What a special blessing it was for WT and Joe to be able to experience Mt. Zion's Summer Camp ministry. Both of them came in as Junior Campers and we wish to thank Hunt Valley Baptist Church, Hunt Valley, MD for sponsoring the boys' tuition. The week of Camp (June 20-24) was packed with activities, preaching, teaching, devotions, food, laughter, and excitement. We are rejoicing that many souls got saved, and many more made decisions following the challenges they heard from the guest preachers. We just want to thank Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Brogue, PA (our sending church) for their burden and labors in hosting a lot of young people and adult helpers from at least 15 churches. Bro. Eric Ramos (Fairhaven Baptist Church, Chesterton, IN) was the Teen Camp speaker, and Bro. Tom Geer (Capitol City Baptist Church, Austin, TX) was the speaker for the Juniors. They both did an excellent job. We praise God for solid, Biblical preaching and teaching, and our prayers are always that decisions are made and kept which are based on Biblical precepts rather than just the emotions. Our Camp Director, Pastor Todd Henricks (Assistant Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church) did a great job leading the summer camp ministry. The camp ministry was a wonderful success because many men and women prayed and served and did their best to serve the Master. We are so thankful to God for such an important and impactful week. I was asked to address the Junior campers for two split sessions, and Marcia and I sang a duet on the Monday Evening Teen Service. I think, now that camp is over, it is safe to say, that the Hardeckers are just plum happy campers. Pun intended!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Update: Friday, June 16

Greetings Praying Friends,

God is good. The Children's Sunday School class has experienced an influx of children since the loosening of the lockdown on March 1 of this year. The children have been in lockdown for 735 days (including no face to face schooling for those varied lockdown level days). In addition to the Children's Sunday School ministry, the workers launched a "Salvation Class" for children that are interested in something more. One girl (Jessica) whom I reported about in our May newsletter has gotten saved, and she is continuing with both classes and has invited other friends to join in. This past Sunday (06/12/22) we had a record number of children both in Sunday School and in the Salvation Class. Bro. RJay has successfully been filling in for me on Sundays. He will also fill in for me next Wed. (06/22/22) for our Wed. Night Bible Study since I will be working at our church's summer youth camp ministry. Bro. RJay has been covering various aspects of Salvation in the AM service and How to Study the Bible in the PM service. I have been teaching/preaching through the book of Psalms for our Wed. Night Bible Study and the brethen and others have access to the study via our Facebook page, SermonAudio webpage, and/or YouTube Channel. The brethren in Tuktukan are doing well. Please pray for safety as they continue to assemble and minister to the city and villages through various outreach ministries. Pray for the new souls to be saved, and for those who are saved to grow spiritually. We are blessed and glad for the visitors that come our way and we continue to ask God for a couple of good, well-discipled families to join us - that would help with the ministry tasks, for sure.

The Metro Manila area has seen a spike of COVID cases but the inter-agency task force has decided to extend the Level 1 lockdown till the end of June (06/30/22). The case for returning the Metro back to a Level 2 lockdown is not out of the picture. Please pray that the pandemic would be classified as an endemic, and that the emergency status may be relaxed.

Marcos Jr.'s inauguration is set for Thursday, June 30th. Please pray that the Philippine Government and local government units would repent and believe the Gospel to the salvation of their souls. True sound mind comes from knowing and serving the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1:7). We know, from the Scriptures, that world-leaders don't have this sound mind because they don't willfully acknowledge God, His Son, His worship nor His Word. In a sense, we live in this "present evil world" (Galatians 1:4), but the Lord Jesus has not left us to flounder. Instead, He has warned us when He warned His sleepy disciples in the past, and we must take heed to His warning as a guide for us today: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41).

Marcia and the boys are doing well. The time for our return is nearing (our return flight is scheduled for Monday, July 25). Please pray that there would be some significant progress by way of re-entry of the country, this would help us tremendously not to waste time, money, and energy. We are trusting in God, no matter what the future holds. Our vision and desire has been to establish (really, almost, replant) the work in Tuktukan, and to see what else the Lord would have us to as far as starting and establishing other missions in Taguig City. Your prayers for a national breakthrough and personal safety is greatly appreciated.

The boys are excited (and so are we) to be able to our church's summer youth camp for the first time, this year. They are both in the Jr. Camp section and this is a dream come true for us. God is good.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Another update: May 28

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for taking the time to read and pray. Recently, I was approached by a Bible College senior who explained that she is praying for our family. What a gift! I just want to say "thank you" to all of you who uphold us in sincere prayers to God Almighty, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit on behalf of our family. Thank you!

Marcia's arduous and six visits to the dental office is finally over. We praise God that the last procedure which was scheduled for another week was "moved up" due to a shift (probabbly a cancelation by someone) in the dental office. As a result she was able to get her last cleaning and fillings and that completes her dental saga. We appreciate the dental care in the Philippines but the dental care in the USA is much better. Praise God for opening up the opportunity to get it done sooner. We have many brethren at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Brogue, PA (our sending church) who need the Lord to open up and/or move up their respective surgical/medical needs and we ask that you would pray to that end.

The boys are working through their home school needs - taking a break for the furlough due to the lockdowns, and even working around the furlough, has obviously slowed down their 2022 educational process, but Marcia and the boys are diligently continuing their necessary "days" and putting in their time for an effective home school. Unlike most of the students in the Philippines - who took a two-year plunge in their educational process due to the lockdowns - we are thankful that the boys are carrying on just fine. Not a snow-storm nor a world-wide pandemic could stop the home school - Wow!

Last Sunday (05/22/22), I was able to visit the loving and supporting church in Pittsburgh, PA. Ambassador Baptist Church under the watch-care of Pastor Mark Montgomery. It was such a blessing to report back to this faithful and missions-minded assembly. Dr. Montgomery hosts a Bible Institute for church members and interested Bible students, and I just appreciate his preaching and teaching ministry (he truly feeds the flock of God with the precious words every Sunday, mid-week service, and even more via the Bible Institute). Joseph and I got to visit with them.

I was asked to speak at Mt. Zion's home school graduation ceremony this past Friday (05/27/22). It was a wonderful time to thank God for His goodness and to celebrate the students and parents of the church's home schooling families from kindergarten onto high school. I preached from Psalm 18:30 and encourage the graduates to remember God's way, God's word, and God's warfare.

On this Memorial Day weekend, we will get a chance to be with Gospel Light Baptist Church in Millersville, PA with Pastor Andy Almanza. It will be wonderful to re-connect with them, their church members, and for me personally, I will love to see Dr. Lee Henise and his precious wife, Sis. Gloria. They are like Aquila and Priscilla - just two dedicated church-planters. There is much to be thankful for their love and friendship over the years.

Philippines News: Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won the six-year term Presidential elections in a landslide. This is not good, but God is in control and we trust Him in all this. The pandemic lockdowns continue though it remains in "Level 1" (until June 15) following unbelievable mass gatherings all over the country due to political campaigning (which is actually a good sign that indicates that perhaps a shift to the endemic phase should be practically imminent - of course, the slow process is painful, but we are trusting God for that, too). As it stands our return at the end of July looks positive though we will need to do all the song and dance (excuse the term) for COVID theater as we return in July (unless things change for the better). And so, we ask that you continue to pray that the Philippines would open up.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bill


Friday, May 20, 2022

Not a Normal Request But an Important One

Dear Praying Friends,

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is expected to decide on the "Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization" by the end of their term (the SCOTUS terms go from the first Monday of Oct. to the first Monday of Oct. of the following year). Well, while we are waiting for their decision, and due to a breach or a "leak" we know that the potential to reverse this godless, bloody, and evil murder of human life precedent is a possibility. Here is where you can help. I am sure there is more you can do, so just take this with that in mind:

1. Pray. Pray that the conservative justices would do their part and protect the most fundamental right to life, especially for the most helpless and "voiceless" of humans - the unborn. Pray for their safety (both the conservative justices and the unborn). Pray that souls would get saved and politicians would too. Pray that Christians would take their discipleship seriously and grow as a result of this national issue.

2. Write to Congress. Even now, states and fed lawmakers are scrambling to prepare for a landmark reversal ruling from the SCOTUS. Therefore, we must do our part and be the voice for the "voiceless." Take time to email/call/write/communicate to your state and federal representatives and let them know what you think and believe about this issue.

3. Be a witness for the Lord. Our hope is in the Lord and not on men, especially politicians. The most important message is that of repentance and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ because when a person comes to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus that is the change that will last for all eternity, and that alone transforms the entire human condition.

Thank you for your time. Please share.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bill

Monday, May 16, 2022

Greetings and May 16 update

 Dear Praying Friends,

God is good! He is faithful, loving, merciful and kind. We give Him the praise and glory for healing us from a terrible bout with the common cold-virus with all its ugly side-effects. AMEN! Praise God for good health. We have all recovered!

We praise the Lord for allowing us to spend time with Bro. David "Preacherman" Barker, and his precious wife, Sis. Mary. Even from my Bible College days, Bro. David has remained faithful to the word of God and is a fine servant of the Lord. He is an itinerant preacher sent out by Fairhaven Baptist Church in Chesterton, IN and his special emphasis is on scripture memory. You can visit his website here to see more information about them. It was a joy to be able to re-connect with them after not seeing them for at least six years (probabbly more). Bro. David was able to preach and teach at our sending church (Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Brogue, PA) yesterday, May 15.

Marcia and the boys are doing good. They are continuing the task of homeschooling as we are starting to lessen our travels while we are nearing our departure and return to the Philippines.

The national/local election in the Philippines is finished and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. along with Sara Duterte were elected by a majority of the people to be the next president and vice president of the Philippines for the next six years. Our prayer is that they would both repent and believe in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that they would allow us to live peaceably. The lockdown status remains at level 1 (again, Metro-Manila has only seen a loosening of the lockdowns on March 1 of this year after 735 days of varying degrees of lockdowns). Our prayer is that the country would acknowledge natural immunity and would move on and declare an endemic to this present "pandemic" pestilence.

The work in Taguig City continues, so please pray for their safety, and power as they endeavor to see souls saved and disciples being strengthened.

WT and I were able to visit a couple of New York churches, and next week (05/22/22), Lord willing, Joe and I will be able to visit a faithful, supporting, PA church. We got spend sometime with Dan and Heidi Butler (my brother and sister in law), following the evening service at their church.

Once again, thank you for your love and prayers, be encouraged in the Lord and give God the glory!

Sincerely,

Bro. Bill

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Greetings and Update (05/08/22) - Mother's Day, and Lord's Day Sunday

Dear Praying Friends,

We want to thank and praise God for giving us a place to call "home" from traveling what seems like all over the mid-west. We all got some type of the cold bug - but praise the LORD it isn't COVID, and even more so, we are on the mend - AMEN!

Marcia was able to be with Harvest Baptist Church in Hagerstown, MD and give a special challenge to the women who gathered for fellowship in honor of Mother's Day this past Sat. (05/07/22). We got to meet two Filipino hotel clerks and give them several gospel tracts from Harvest Baptist Church. They were so friendly and professional (of course, they are Filipinos after all!). I got to witness to them about the Lord. Please pray for them to come to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We will get to enjoy the fellowship of our sending church this Sunday and we look forward to it. I will be with a supporting church in NY for the weekend of May 15th and another supporting in PA for Sunday, May 22.

The boys will enjoy being able to stay back and resume their homeschooling activities and regular ministries and activities at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Brogue, PA. Truthfully, everyone is about done in concerning long-haul travels, though we are praising and thanking God for His safety and provisions along the way.

Tomorrow is Election Day for the Philippines. Please pray for peace and safety and no incidences of vote corruption. We are determined to serve the Lord regardless of who wins the presidency and local governing units but it would be easier to have a leader who fears the Lord - and we surely pray to that end.

We wish everyone who is a mother a Happy Mother's Day, and for the rest of us who have a mother, we wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day. Joseph (our nine year old) wants to know when is Son's Day? HA! Keep on dreaming the dream, Joe.

Sincerely,

Bro. Bill


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Greetings and update for May 3 (05/03/22)

 Dear Praying Friends,

God is good! Bro. RJay Pangan has commenced teaching and preaching the word of God to the precious flock at Tuktukan this previous Sunday (05/01/22). Lord willing, he shall be able to fill in for me until we return and resume the pulpit ministry over there. Our flight is scheduled for July 25th. I am anticipating a short stay in a quarantine hotel for a few days with a testing for a negative result from the COVID virus before allowing us to return to our residence in Taguig City. This makes no sense because a fully vaccinated individual is still a spreader (in fact, the latest Omicron variant that was found in the Philippines came from a fully vaccinated individual). Nonetheless, it is what it is. Sound mind is a gift from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and this is the main reason why world leaders are full of mandates that are totally void of that sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).

We were able to spend a wonderful week (relatively speaking - although cut down by the boys' terrible cold) at the Fairhaven Baptist Church's Preaching Conference. We also got to see and report back to McGregor Road Baptist Church in Acton, IN (under the leadership of Pastor Chris Kaiser). The fellowship was wonderful though short. They are such an encouragement to us, and always busy for the Lord and loving one another. Pastor Kaiser is a serious Biblical Pastor - always seeking to edify the saints in the Word of God. I pray that their Bible institute would indeed be well-attended. Every church ought to carve out some serious time and host more Biblical education beyond the Sunday services. AMEN!

This past Lord's Day (05/01/22) we were able to be with two churches. Grace Baptist Church in North Ridgeville, OH (Pastor Dennis White) and Harvest Baptist Temple in Clyde, OH (Pastor Allen Holmes). Both churches supported us faithfully over the years and it is a joy to be able to return and report to them. Pastor White preached in the Sunday Morning service and highlighted the Lord Jesus Christ as being greater than life (he explained Phil. 1:21) - I just love Pastor White, he has never changed, he still preaches Christ. Marcia got to see many life-long friends at Harvest Baptist Temple since her dad served with them for years as assistant pastor and Christian school principal prior to his 23 year pastorate at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Brogue, PA (which is our sending church). Pastor Holmes took a Sunday Evening service and provided Biblical answers to questions from the congregation. It was extremely edifying. Praise God for men of God who feed the flock with the precious words of God!

We are "sick." No fun at all. BUT praise God, it is only the common cold, sore throat, pink eyes, and basic sickness. HA! Things could be worse and so we are thankful for urgent care facilities and doctors and staff and we are thankful for access to prescription drugs and many other good stuff (like hot tea, a humidifier, and a clean and comfortable place to rest - the Prophet's Chamber at our sending church). So pray that we all heal up real quick - there's just too much going on for these things. AMEN!

Sincerely,

Bro. Bill