A young Ballymena family are loving life in the Philippines where they serve God faithfully with locally-based mission organisation, Reaching & Teaching Ministries. (R.T.M)
Phillip and Tracey Johnston headed to the southeast Asian republic in 2002 and are based in a central island called Bohol.
As part of their work, Phillip and Tracey work alongside local pastors and leaders to encourage the Filipino people to have hope in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.
They said: “Whilst we serve with Reaching & Teaching Ministries for us, the reaching side consists of distributing Cebuano (local dialect) Gospels of John provided by Revival Movement (N.I) In the last two years we reached 19 towns within Bohol, visiting public schools in the town, villages and mountain areas.
“We approach the principal to ask permission to distribute the free booklet, then walk from classroom to classroom and personally give a Cebuano Gospel of John into the hand of each child and young person. When the teacher gives time we share a brief Gospel presentation.”
Phillip and Tracey added: “Our prayer is that God’s Word would get into the hands, hearts and homes of many Filipinos on our Island and the neighbouring ones.”
The teaching aspect is realised as they join with local churches, mainly in country areas and teach for two or three days specifically or faith, prayer and healing, covering trust, forgiveness and fellowshipping with the Lord.
The couple said: “As we follow God’s leading, He gives us opportunities to share God’s Word through Bible studies and currently twice a month teaching Sunday school with children in a local Church.
“It is also a pleasure to host ministers from England who conduct Pastor’s and Leader’s seminars. Once a year, we also enjoy welcoming Kenneth Wilson, (Founding Director of R.T.M) with visiting teams.”
Certainly Phillip and Tracey have come a long way from their days in the youth group at Victory Praise Community Church and later as students at a Bible Training Centre in Moneymore. They have three children; twins, Hannah Grace and Daisy Mae are six and Lucy Jane is three.
The Johnstons are currently enjoying some time with family and friends in Northern Ireland and will head back to the Philippines at the end of May.
They request prayer for God’s protection on them as they travel; God’s blessing on the children as they study in school and also that they would see more souls come to Jesus.