Pastoral Commitment In Midst of Pandemic
Pastor Thomas Dowler’s vision for 2021 is that he will continue to carry the banner of the Lord – that all will see who he serves, and be touched as a result. While resident of Columbia, MO., Pastor Dowler leads the Gospel Ridge Church (top left) of St. Robert, MO.
Pastor Dowler states, for the past 24 years, ‘I have driven to this little church from 95 miles away’. He goes on to describe that he has always felt the need to. In speaking of the last 24 years, he says, ‘it has been one of the highlights of my life’, and while the numbers maybe deceptive, because many have come and gone, many ‘have had the chance to hear of this wonderful Jesus we love and serve’. Concerning the ministry throughout 2020, pastor Dowler shares, ‘the pandemic had hampered our gatherings for a time, but we resumed a normal schedule at the church. I believe we have come to appreciate how precious our time together is. I found myself doing a couple of virtual programs with little positive feedback. We really rather prefer the live congregation! Gospel Ridge Church is situated along the major highway of interstate 44 and at one of the gates of the army base of Fort Leonard Wood. We have been privileged to have had some of the soldiers visit over the years. My heart goes out to the fine young people who wear the uniform of this country! We will never really know the effectiveness of the ministry to we stand in the presence of the King’.
Full Gospel Assemblies joins Pastor Thomas Dowler and the Gospel Ridge Church in celebrating the 24 years of ministry unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
Precious greetings in the name our Lord Jesus Christ. Church, in this day, we give honor and glory unto His name, the name above all others. Christ Jesus, speaking of himself unto the disciples in the days leading to his crucifixion, spoke “Behold…….. the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again” (Mt. 20). Blessed be his holy name! As we prepare with all God’s people the world over to celebrate our risen Savior, let us be reminded of Luke’s recording, wherein the disciples, following the breaking of bread with Christ, confirmed “The Lord is risen indeed”!! Let us offer the high praise of thanksgiving… ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1Peter 1:3-5 ESV).
Proclaim the message, Jesus is risen!
In the Philippines, community quarantines have been enforced again in areas with increasing cases of COVID-19 infection since mid-March 2021. Gatherings are highly restricted. So churches have turned to conducting Sunday Services, corporate prayers and Bible studies online. Ms. Jeriz Ikan, administrator and coordinator with the Philippine PST-IMI centers, shared with us what is happening in the midst of the lockdowns.
Three study groups of PST-IMI students in three provinces in the island of Luzon, Philippines stopped meeting face-to-face for the time being. These groups are located in Taysan Full Gospel Church in Batangas, Goshen Christian Community churches in Cabuyao, Laguna, and Camiling, Tarlac. Each study group had to adjust to individual studies and online discussions with their pastors and teachers. Though the quarantine slowed down their studies, students are remaining active and have appreciated being able to dig deeper into the Word of God using their study manuals and online communications with their pastors. Here are a few of their testimonies:
It is a blessing that we are getting to know the Lord better through the lessons that we are currently meditating on. We are studying well and deepening our knowledge of the Word of God…To God be the highest praise.
Nikka Jane Magsino of
Taysan Full Gospel Church Batangas
I am doing well with my studies. I learned additional knowledge in my spiritual life. It is easy for me to answer the questions through the help of the Holy Spirit. I encounter no problems in my studies.
Meryl Panganiban of GKMCC Cabuyao
Our lessons have been a great help and big influence on my study of God’s Word. My knowledge of the Word is expanding. More things need to be discussed to deepen my knowledge of God.
Deice Zara of Taysan Full Gospel Church Batangas
I am blessed because our prayer time (my husband and I) became more intimate. I learned that when we pray to God, we have to be specific. I also learned that the most important thing in praying is that believing it is already done even before it happens, and claiming you already received it. In our lesson/topic now, I am learning to trust God more, especially now that my husband (John Eric Ayuban, also enrolled in our school) and I are praying that we would get pregnant soon, that God would bless us with a baby.
Rhea Lyn Ayuban of Pao Evangelical Church Camiling
I thank the Lord for His continuous provision of knowledge and wisdom to all of us [students]. I am able to study the lessons well because we could study the Word together after the Sunday service. Thank you Holy Spirit for continuously teaching us. Through our lessons, my knowledge of the New Testament is increasing. And by the grace of the Lord, I have reached Lesson 14 – Titus.
Razel Cabatuan of Taysan Full Gospel Church Batangas