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The Call to Southeast Asia
"There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him saying, come over into Macedonia and help us" --Acts 16:9
 
how God has used them

Rev. Ken Bradford, a member of the Fellowship and Minister of Music at Word of Life Christian Center in Davis, California, was invited to join an evangelistic team traveling to the Philippines. In 1989, the team conducted a series of three-day evangelistic crusades along the northern coast of Mindanao near Cagayan de Oro City. The coordinating pastor of these meetings under the leadership of Rev. Bill Baxley of California and Rev. Romeo Corpuz of Luzon, Rev. Tim Yap brought together independent and denominational pastors and ministerial fellowships in each area during the preceding year; by late January, hundreds of Christians were praying and fasting in unity. In the crusades, hundreds of people responded to the invitation to receive Christ as Savior and miracles of healing abounded. For example, a middle-aged woman was healed of lupus, and a thirteen-year-old boy, deaf and dumb since birth, now hears and speaks since Ken and a local pastor laid hands on him and prayed for him in the name of Jesus.!np!

Ken's Return Visit

Ken was invited back to the Philippines in 1990 and in 1992 with Rev. Ed Lacy, one of the men he had worked with during the first visit. During these visits, several Filipino pastors shared their concerns with him: These men had given their all for the Gospel. They told Ken of a need for outside encouragement, support, and accountability. The Good Shepherd International Fellowship was founded for this very purpose, as a "ministry to ministers." Ken offered to introduce his friends to Rev. Peschke and the Fellowship.

In addition the GSIF would provide them with licensing and/or ordination which would give them legal recognition with the Filipino Government. The Fellowship would leave them free to carry out their own vision and administration without interference. In several areas of Mindanao and Cebu, they met with pastors and other ministers to learn of their visions, ministries, and needs. Everywhere they traveled, Revs. Peschke, Bradford, and Garcia enjoyed fellowship and Filipino Christian hospitality. They shared the GSIF's vision of unity and told the national pastors that "You will not be required to change the name of your church, pay tithes to the Fellowship or conform to restrictions which are usually required by denominational affiliations in the Philippines."!np!

The Formation of the Fellowship in the Philippines

When Ken returned to Davis, he shared his missionary visit with Pastor Peschke and the need of the Fellowship to be established among Filipino pastors. These ministers kept writing and urging Pastor Peschke to come to the Philippines with brother Ken because of their interest in the Good Shepherd International Fellowship.

In 1992, Ken returned once more to the Philippines, this time with Pastor Peschke and Rev. David Garcia. As a result of this visit, twenty-eight pastors from four provinces became members of the Fellowship. By 1994, this number had grown to 269.

The Filipino ministers respected the leaders of the Fellowship, who demonstrated a willingness to serve them, asking nothing in return. Rev. Peschke and Rev. Arthur Defenderfer were willing to travel at their own expense to remote and dangerous areas where foreign missionaries seldom ventured. Here they would conduct teaching seminars for pastors regardless of denominational affiliation. Wherever they ministered, pastors and ministers from many backgrounds came inquiring how they could become members of the Fellowship. After completing the application process, many were received into the GSIF.

Growth and Outreach

During a 1994 visit Pastor Peschke and Rev. Arthur Defenderfer conducted seminars for pastors in the city of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur. This area, nicknamed "Typhoon Alley," is officially classified as one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. But Jesus declared, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor" (Luke 4:18). It was a Communist stronghold. Two weeks before Nolan and Arthur arrived, the major Communist guerrilla leader was assassinated on the streets of Cantilan. Local leaders informed Nolan that the Fellowship was the first group to conduct a seminar for ministers in that city.

In 1996 and 1997, the Fellowship conducted fourteen seminars for Filipino ministers in the Central and Southern Philippine Islands. These seminars addressed a vital subject, "The Four Danger Points For The Church in The Philippines": (1) Rapid church growth without adequate discipleship; (2) Poverty of the church resulting in dependency on foreign money; (3) Insufficient numbers of trained leaders; and (4) Lack of spiritual unity and fellowship between denominations.!np!

A Filipino Ministerial Alliance Joins the Fellowship

In Ormoc City on the Island of Leyte, the city's Ministerial Alliance invited Nolan and Arthur to their official Monday gathering. It took the form of a beach picnic for all the ministers and their wives. Nolan was asked to share the ministry and purpose of the Good Shepherd International Fellowship. He declared that all Christian ministers were welcome to become members without leaving their pastorates, churches, or denominations. Before the close of the meeting, the majority of the Ministers Alliance applied for membership in the Fellowship. Baptist, Foursquare, and Missionary Alliance pastors were among those who joined.!np!

Impartation of Vision

During a forty day outreach in 1999, Revs. Peschke and Defenderfer preached to over 2,000 pastors and church leaders from more than 150 different churches. They taught in twelve seminars sponsored by the Fellowship in Luzon -- the largest island in the Philippines, the Visayas -- the central island group, and Mindanao -- the large southern island. The Filipino ministers gladly responded to the call to mobilize their churches to reach Southeast Asia with the Gospel. Through prayer, with the laying on of hands, more than 340 senior and associate pastors received a greater impartation of the Holy Spirit to fulfill their heavenly callings.

Revival Among the Youth

Many young people in the Philippines are moving with God's River of Revival and blessing. Those who attended the two youth rallies sponsored by the Fellowship were enthusiastic and sincere. In one rural village among the rice fields of southern Mindanao, over 100 young people prayed for one another and worshipped God for hours. After being challenged to dedicate their all to Jesus, the youth ended the service on a high note, joyfully dancing before the Lord and singing his praises until after 1:00 a.m.!np!

Covering the Philippines with the Gospel

From October 1 to November 9, 2001, Rev. Peschke and Rev. Defenderfer traveled over 28,000 miles to bring the Gospel and the vision of unity in the Body of Christ to ministers in the Philippines. Accompanied by Rev. Jill Boyonas (link), General Superintendent of the GSIF Asia Foundation, they traveled over 4,000 miles within the Philippines by plane, bus, van, taxi, motorized tricycle and jeepney (a Filipino style, converted jeep holding upwards of thirty people).

During the forty-day outreach, the Fellowship sponsored twelve seminars -- two in Luzon (the largest island in the Philippines), four in the Visayas (the central island group) and six in Mindanao (the large southern island). The team conducted twelve seminars nationwide and spoke in churches, on television and on the radio.

Church Leaders Encouraged

Letters and e-mails from Filipino ministers shared the encouragement they received at the seminars. One host pastor wrote the following: "The seminar that we had in Antipolo has been one of the most unforgettable experiences. Truly it brings lasting results to the hearts of our delegates -- many pastors and workers told me and I was very blessed. About their response all I could do is giving back all the glory to God."!np!

God Prepares San Fernando

The best-attended seminars were coordinated by pastors who had God's vision for unity in the Body of Christ. A good example of this was the October 5 seminar, held in San Fernando, the capital of La Union Province. Briefly, here is the story of the amazing way God moved in the United States and the Philippines over a seven year period to make this seminar a success:

In 1994, in Sacramento, California the Fellowship held a fund raising banquet for the Philippines. This banquet also honored Mr. Cedric Panis, a native Filipino, as "Christian Businessman of the Year. Alan Gold, a Jewish friend of Revs. Peschke and Defenderfer, initiated the idea for this event.

The Keynote speaker was Mike DiSanza, a New York City policeman from the South Bronx who helped found Cops for Christ. After giving his testimony, Mike led Alan in prayer to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

About five years ago, Mr. Panis sold his business and retired in the Philippines. He organized the seminar the Good Shepherd International Fellowship held in San Fernando in 1999. At the time Cedric knew only a few pastors in his area. As a result. less than twenty ministers came to the seminar. His efforts, however, laid the foundation for the success of the seminar in his home city in 2001.!np!

A Pastor's Vision for Unity

By 2001, Cedric was part of a praise and worship team in a new church near his home. When his pastorarrived in San Fernando he noticed that the evangelical pastors were not unified. God put a vision in his heart to promote unity among the pastors. He fasted and prayed until the La Union Ministerial Association was established. He became the Association's President and was asked by Mr. Panis to invite ministers to the Good Shepherd International Fellowship's seminar on October 5.

Their efforts paid off; Rev. Defenderfer almost wept when Cedric showed a map of La Union the morning after the seminar. The registration records showed that ministers from every city and village on the map attended the seminar; a total of 194 attended, including 63 senior pastors with their spouses. They represented 57 different churches and denominations. Only in eternity will we know the impact of this seminar.!np!

Hunger for the Word of God

Throughout the Philippines, ministers were hungry for the Word of God. Some made great sacrifices to attend the seminars. For example, three ministers traveled twelve hours one way on a motorized tricycle to attend our meeting in Cagayan de Oro City.

The Holy Spirit inspired Revs. Peschke, Boyonas and Defenderfer with fresh spiritual 'manna' to give at each service. Pastor Peschke established the spiritual direction for each day with a short exhortation such as, "Dissolving Suspicions Between Christian Ministers". Lively Filipino style praise and worship preceded the two-hour morning, afternoon and evening teaching sessions. Rev. Defenderfer spoke in the morning, Pastor Jill Boyonas in the afternoon and Pastor Peschke preached in the evening service.!np!

Maturity and Unity

The ministers were encouraged to grow together in the unity of the Spirit according to the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21-23 and the Apostle Paul's exhortation in Ephesians 4:1-16. Pastor Boyonas taught on the Holy Spirit and the steps believers must take to increase the anointing in their life and ministry.

The Lord showed the ministers that only by walking in Christ's humility and love can the Body of Christ mature and become unified. When members in the Body of Christ operate in the unity of the Spirit will God give the church the power it needs to fulfill the Great Commission.!np!

Challenged to Fulfill their Destiny

The Filipino ministers were challenged to fulfill their destiny to become self-supporting. Ultimately, Filipino pastors and missionaries must depend on God for their support, not Westerners, to finance the evangelization of the Philippines and Asia.

Dedication, Impartation and Anointing

There was a spirit of revelation upon the preaching. After the Word was preached many came forward for prayer, rededication and the laying on of hands to partake in the anointing of God's Spirit on the speakers. The manifestations of the Spirit operated during these times of consecration and impartation. As prayer was offered, the Holy Spirit came upon many of the ministers and young people. Some shook or fell down, in spite of Rev. Peschke's instructions to the ushers to help those in the prayer line to remain standing. The Lord had revealed to him that when people fall down too soon, they often miss what the Spirit wants to say to them. Pastor Peschke prayed prophetically over a number of the pastors. Pastor Boyonas knew some of these ministers and confirmed the accuracy of Rev. Peschke's prophetic words.

During the seminars 265 ministers were received into the Good Shepherd International Fellowship with prayer with the laying on of hands. In order to promote unity, cooperation and fellowship in the Body of Christ all Fellowship members are encouraged to remain in their respective churches, denominations and organizations. Presently, there are over 900 ministers in the Good Shepherd International Fellowship.

Protected from Terrorists in Mindanao

The ministry team needed God's protection in the Philippines after September 11, 2001 and the American invasion of Afghanistan. They held two seminars in South Cotabato and one seminar in Davao del Sur. There are armed and dangerous gangs, terrorists and religious militias in these areas of southern Mindanao. Fortunately, one host pastor was a retired colonel in the Philippine Army. While in South Cotabato, two plain clothed SWAT team members from the General Santos police force guarded Pastors Peschke, Boyonas and Defenderfer. Each day they were given a "round trip" escort between their hotel room and the church. The rest of the time they were forbidden to leave the hotel room -- even for meals.

After Rev. Peschke and Defenderfer returned to the United States, it became apparent how necessary the police protection was. Pastor Jill's wife, Luz, told us that a Canadian was kidnapped two days after the team ministered in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

A Key to a Prospering Church

Rev. Peschke was deeply moved by the testimony of Pastor Garces and his wife Rhona in Ormoc City on the island of Leyte. Their church hosted the seminar on the second story of an office building. At the evening service it was announced that an offering would be received to help the host church pay the cost of hosting the seminar. Before the offering was received, Pastor Garces told everyone he was going to give the offering back to the Good Shepherd International Fellowship. The team was astonished.

After the offering Rev. Peschke wept as he went to the pulpit. Their sacrificial giving touched him deeply. He empathized with this young couple. It reminded him of the hardship he and his wife Dorothy endured in their early ministry. What Pastor Garces did not know was that earlier in the day, the Lord told Rev. Peschke to give him and his wife a love gift. This gift greatly exceeded the offering Pastor Garces returned to the Fellowship. That night God demonstrated the principle of 'sowing and reaping'. This young couple set an example for us all.

Pastor Garces testified of how God prospered his family and the church because of their giving to others. For example, recently he purchased a new wrist watch for his wife. Soon after this a missionary shared his needs with them. In an act of love, Rhona took the watch off her wrist and gave it to the missionary. A short time ago he and his wife gave all their food money away to the poor. In spite of the fact that the thirty members in this pioneering church are poor, the Garces' needs are met and the church holds its services in a nicely painted air-conditioned room.!np!

Breakthroughs in 2004

Rev. Nolan Peschke and Rev. Arthur Defenderfer ministered for twenty-five days in the Philippines from September 29 - October 25. They were able to conduct five seminars that ministered to over 600 people including 387 pastors from 184 different churches. Here is a brief summary of their outreach.!np!

Luzon - San Fernando and Antipolo Hills

On October 1, after twenty-five hours of continuous traveling from Davis, California they arrived in the city of San Fernando, about 100 miles northwest of Manila. Before beginning the seminar hosted by the San Fernando Christian Community Church, they participated in the Annual Board Meeting of the GSIF Asia Foundation.

The Foundation was established by the Good Shepherd International Fellowship in 2001 to promote unity among ministers and churches of the Philippines, and encourages them to commission Filipinos to evangelize and make disciples all over the world.

All six Board Members of the GSIF Asia Foundation ministered with Pastors Peschke and Defenderfer at one or more of the seminars. This gave them an expanded vision for ministering with teams comprised of experienced members of the five-fold ministry.

Over 200 participants enthusiastically received the GSIF team during their five days and four nights of preaching, teaching and prayer in San Fernando. Some church members said this was the first time they had seen the Holy Spirit minister with such power in their church.

About fifty poor families gratefully received free clothing and Gideon Bibles at a day care center on the last day of the seminar. That night, the church's youth group put on an outstanding drama presentation to about 300 young people. It highlighted the temptations faced by today's youth and showed the ultimate consequences of heaven for those who chose to believe in Jesus, versus hell to those continuing in unbelief.

In Antipolo Hills, overlooking Metro Manila, they joined long time friends Zoeric and Jemma Zaldivar, pastors of Jesus City of Praise Christian Church. They coordinated a very full seminar for over 100 including twenty-four pastors. Unfortunately, Rev. Defenderfer had the flu for five days beginning here; despite this inconvenience the Lord gave him grace to preach and minister effectively.!np!

The Visayas - Dumaguete

The third seminar was held in Bacong, about 380 miles southeast of Manila, at the Bethesda Full Gospel Abundant Life Church pastored by Rosela and Remy Torres. There, Revs. Peschke and Defenderfer ministered to eighty-two people including thirty-four pastors from thirty-two churches.

In Bacong, San Fernando and Antipolo Hills it was their joy to minister with Pastor Fritzboy Cobrado, one of the G.S.I.F. Asia Foundation Board Members. After establishing a large church in northern Mindanao, God called him to mobilize Filipinos to be missionaries to Asia. He calls this ministry, L.A.M.P. (Love Asia Missions Philippines).

To avoid duplicating the work of other ministers, Pastor Cobrado networks and cooperates with them. For example, he and another minister started an outreach that offers Bible studies, literature and radio broadcasts to seamen docked in Filipino ports. L.A.M.P. also opens doors for Filipino missionaries to plant churches in Muslim areas by first installing water pumps in their villages. As a result of this ministry, seventy-three Muslims have accepted Christ and have been baptized.

Using his laptop computer, Pastor Cobrado put together an excellent PowerPoint presentation that introduced the GSIF and the GSIF Asia Foundation to seminar attendees. The members of the GSIF are thankful for dedicated Board Members like Pastor Cobrado.

Mindanao - Tagum and Davao

The last two seminars were conducted in the cities of Davao and Tagum, located near the southern tip of Mindanao, almost 600 miles south of Manila. In the last five years these areas have experienced spiritual battles that sowed confusion, mistrust and division among Christians. Many pastors were deceived by a cleverly disguised series of false teachings. Among the results -- one church of six thousand members was broken up and the pastors in Davao divided into five ministerial fellowships.

Davao City is where witches in the Philippines have annual meetings and is the headquarters of a man who claims to be Jesus. He has a church of 25,000 members and broadcasts his heresy on television throughout the Philippines. A terrorist bomb at the Davao airport killed two Southern Baptist missionaries about two years ago. In 2003, two missionary friends of Pastors Peschke and Defenderfer, who live in Tagum City were threatened with death by a follower of Osama bin Laden.

Despite this challenging spiritual atmosphere, the Lord gloriously answered all those who prayed for the outreach. The team agreed that the seminars in Davao City and Tagum City were the most successful of the outreach. A wonderful spirit of unity prevailed among the 124 pastors and 112 other representatives who attended from ninety-two different churches.

In Tagum City, Rev. Marilou Navarro joined the ministry team of fellow GSIF Asia Foundation Board Members, Pastor Jill Boyonas and Cedric Panis. Rev. Navarro oversees more than 300 pastors of the Charismatic Full Gospel Ministries. She gave an outstanding testimony of how her years of sacrifice to bring unity to the pastors in Surigao City in northeast Mindanao are paying off. The pastors regularly meet together, conduct unified citywide evangelistic outreaches every month, and beginning in November 2005, their churches gather for monthly all night prayer meetings.!np!

The Holy Spirit Confirmed the Word

At the final sessions of all five seminars, the ministry team anointed with oil and prayed with the laying on of hands for over 150 ministers who joined the G.S.I.F. During these times of personal ministry, hundreds of other ministers, church workers and committed believers received healing, impartation of gifts and power for ministry and words of knowledge, wisdom and prophecy.

Training Filipinos to Reach the Nations

Before flying back to the United States, Pastors Peschke and Defenderfer had the privilege of spending time with two missionary couples. One of the couples believe that the eight to ten million Filipino Overseas Foreign Workers (O.F.Ws.) represent the greatest potential army of missionaries in the world today (There are one million Filipinos in Saudi Arabia alone).

One couple has ministered in the Philippines for many years. They shared with Pastors Peschke and Defenderfer their experience of how best to develop Muslim converts into soul winning disciples.

The other couple hopes to train Filipinos to equip other trainers in evangelizing the O.F.Ws. Once discipled, these Filipinos could open underground churches in closed nations and reach out to the two billion souls in the 10/40 window who have never heard the name Jesus. These missionaries deserve our prayers.

Continuing Involvement

Thus far the Fellowship has helped to preserve, strengthen, and expand the present day moving of the Holy Spirit in the Philippines. It has encouraged Filipino ministers to become self-sufficient, free from foreign control, and to persevere in hard times through the Good Shepherd International Fellowship Asia Foundation. It has encouraged them to develop their own missionary programs and train young people for the purpose of evangelizing the whole of Southeast Asia together with Mainland China. The Philippines is strategically situated on the Pacific Rim and is a springboard to evangelize the Orient.

 
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