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Normally, the sun over Manila beats down on the numerous shoppers haggling in outdoor thrift stores, the metal roofs of rumbling Jeepneys maneuvering their passengers through crowded thoroughfares, the throngs of rented tricycles peddling their way along the avenues. But in Spring of 2020, the sunlight filters through thick smog, illuminating abandoned shopping centers, roads devoid of traffic, and silent city streets.
Just a two-hour trek from this tropical metropolis lie the unassuming mountain communities of rural Luzon. At a higher elevation and removed from the strain of the major city, these small towns breathe fresher air and bathe in unfiltered sunshine.
It is in these communities that a least-reached people group waits, hungry for a message that will satisfy their souls.
During the Philippines lockdown, which was among the longest worldwide, the extended period of prohibition against church services had quarantined Cris’ ministry. But he felt prompted to act. Even as the authorities said to sit, to wait, to be silent, he felt God stirring him to move, to bless, to proclaim.
“God was saying, ‘You can’t worship now on Sundays, so you need to evangelize,’” Cris shares. But the door to corporate worship was shut and locked. So he got creative.
Essential purchases allowed, Cris acquired supplies, and then he braved the heat and the sun and the danger of being caught to make the two-hour hike up into the heart of the mountains, bringing groceries and the gospel to these remote communities.
And he does this day after day. “The government can’t find me up there,” Cris explains. Which is a good thing—because as he is providing physical relief to these remote villages, he is carrying spiritual life to a least-reached people.
“And then I sneak back home at night,” Cris concludes, his eyes gleaming. “And I’m happy that God is allowing me to share my faith.”
Lockdowns do not stop our God. Prohibitions do not prevent His Word. “If God shuts the door on worship,” Cris asserts, “He must be opening the door to evangelism.”
In this time of uncertainty and fear, let us share the hope and assurance we have in Christ. Let us evangelize so that the least-reached can experience the peace that is only found in Him. Let us go further together.