This update is from GCI-Philippines National Director Eugene Guzon who returned recently from a trip to the Arab state of Dubai where we have several GCI members.
I traveled to Dubai with Jean Baptiste Sibomana (JB), an African national who is from Burundi. JB had spent several years in the Philippines completing a Masters in Divinity degree. He then returned to Burundi where he helped plant several churches. In 2014 he returned to the Philippines to start work on a doctorate. JB and his family have been attending GCI’s Crossway Fellowship in Manila where he started giving messages and is involved in the parenting ministry at our Christian school.
We spent ten days together in the Persian Gulf area visiting members in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We’re happy that our members in that region are recovering from a church split that occurred two years ago. New people have begun to attend—some are from GCI Philippines working in Dubai.
One of our Filipino missionaries, Cecilia Bangay, has been in Dubai since November. She joined us in conducting a spiritual formation retreat with about 25 members. She hopes to find a job so she can remain in Dubai helping minister to our members. With her help, we now have three small groups operating. We believe these groups are the best way to serve the needs of the members and to reach out to others who are predominantly overseas workers and professionals.
During my visit, U.S. music minister Ross Jutsum joined us for a night of worship and fellowship that included Filipinos, one from England, and several from nations in Africa (including Uganda, Ghana and Burundi), along with some new contacts from Dubai. This multi-ethnic group is now meeting to study the book of John as we work to disciple people in the way of Jesus.