Philippines, Asia

PHI05 - ECPM - Support of Church Planting Team: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: March 25, 2024

Report from BHW Philippines Partnership Facilitator Following Visit 29 Feb - 3 March

team membersKey People: Marwin and Vida Pesuelo, Ella and Vic 

Three BHW people visited the Philippines in March 2024 and spent three nights on the island of Palawan with the ECPM team on location near the church planting team. The team is based about 10 km north of Brooke’s Point where we stayed in a hotel. 

We met with all the members of the current church planting team, Vida and Marwin (left and right in photo), Vic and Ella, and visited some of the locations where they operate. We had several meals with the church planting team and the ECPM staff who came to run a training for the campus team. 

We also visited the village of Kanangaan, high in the hills where another team was operating and several new villages on the low-land where little groups of people meet to study the Bible. 


Recent Events


key leadersThe work in this area continues to grow. In January 2024 they held a gathering of all the key people in the area, church planters, those in training and key people from sending churches, and more than 85 people came. 

One team lead by Julius and Gemma has been very busy church planting and have recruited several people to go with them to develop and grow new churches, mainly in villages and communities with no Christian testimony. This team was trained several years ago. 

Another group has been formed and is in training in the village of Kanangaan. There are three members on this team, and they have, in the first year of training, been able to plant a church in a neighbouring village that has more than 100 people already gathering after less than one year of operating. That church in now being commissioned to select a team to take the Good News to another village that has invited them to come and work with them.

The work in this area is pretty much self-sustaining in terms of ongoing mentoring and input. 

Currently there is a team in training in campus (High School) ministry, see report on PHI07

BHW funding for this ministry is for the support of Jason Paalan, one of the team members. Jason is in the team with some other people from his extended family. This family is amazing, based around three sisters, their husbands and some others. They have been part of earlier team training and are now very active in establishing several groups in surrounding communities. Jason is a fisherman with his brother using lines, traps, nets and diving. He is also the youth pastor of his local church and one of the leaders of the campus youth ministry. He also helps his brother build boats for sale.   

Key Leaders

leader in her villageThis is Mimi, a church planter from the village of Kanangaan. She is an activist Christian and a leader in her village. She has a preschool for eight children, and has 30 goats, a cow, two pigs and many chickens. Her village is the family village of her mother and 32 families from this village are in the local church. The Palawan people are mainly animists, and the first Christians were converted when Mimi’s father came to this place as a church worker. The chief became a convert and opened the door to the gospel. Her father died when Mimi was young, and her mother brought up the children. The chief became the leader of the church, but it wasn’t a great outcome as he led because of his position as chief, not because of his faith, biblical knowledge or lifestyle. So, the church closed for several years for lack of leadership. However, it reopened again and has grown. 

Mimi became a Christian out of the village as a 10-year-old at a Christian camp. She studied to become a teacher but then decided to return to her own people in 2018. She and some of her extended family are part of the ECPM church planting team and they are developing a new church in the neighbouring village of Singkup. 

key leadersJulius and Gemma Paalan are the key leaders of the church planting around Brooke’s point. Gemma and her two sisters and their husbands are all activists and involved in current church planting, having been in ECPM teams in the past. They have five locations that they circulate around each week and several contacts in other villages. 

Julius and Gemma are the middle couple of her siblings and their husbands. They are extremely hospitable and have built a house where people who come to help them can stay. They have given their lives to the gospel and the people in their community who need to hear the Good News. They are the loveliest couple. 

Jason Paalan on the left is part of the current ECPM team in training. Here he is with his mentor (photo below). He is the brother of Julius and a fisherman. He is also a leader in the local youth campus ministry. His mentor is the husband of one of the three sisters.


Partnership's Influence within the Community

key guyThe ECPM team continues to mentor groups into church planting teams that become churches. Their greatest concentration of mentoring is in south Palawan. Their recent gathering is an indication of that. This area has almost reached a point of being self-perpetuating growth. In other words, if ECPM didn’t stay engaged it would still continue growing. 

The influence is being seen in the transformation being experienced by individuals and families. And the number of people being impacted is growing. In Palawan, because of Julius’ role as a chief, the whole community is aware of what is happening. His role gives them many opportunities that others would not have. 

They do have work in other areas. Another main area of focus for several years has been in Bicol in the town of Ranao Ranao where Rudi and Flor Ortiz live. They were trained many years ago and also their son Nataniel in a campus team that BHW supported. They have broken away from the brethren network and established a new group of churches, but the work continues to grow. 


new churchPlans for the Future

They are hoping to stick with their strategy to continue mentoring churches. They are currently mentoring four church planting teams in various places. They have also engaged with two youth groups to develop campus ministries. 


Current Issues and Challenges

Funding is their major concern. Last year they lost a major donor from Australia who contributed about US$7,000 a year. Their overall budget is just under US$40,000 per year and they now have only three donors left including us. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) That the work continues to have a growing impact in the areas they have trained teams.
2) That the ECPM team is very united and committed to their vision.
3) That there are several new opportunities available to the team.
4) That God is at work in the area around Brookes Point in South Palawan.
5) The key family in the Brooke’s Point area are very influential and are the key to the ongoing development of the work. 




committed teamThese are good people. They are working hard and their work is bearing fruit. They are very united and committed to what they are doing. However, they are not able to take up all the opportunities and they would like to grow. 

The funding we put in for the church planting team currently goes towards the support of Jason Paalan who is in one of the campus teams. It costs about US$10,000 per year to mentor a team and BHW contributes US$2,400 per year to the church planting. They have no local donors. 

I would like to recommend we look at this again and reconsider our level of funding They do a good job in a small way, and they are working hard. The results are building up and having a good long-term impact.