February 2017

Pick-up basketball games have led to new teams, new friendships, and even new rivalries. But when a pastor and recent graduate of Bukidnon Fundamental Baptist Seminary (BFBS) invited a young man named Roderick to shoot hoops, their game led to something different — the gospel being shared in a culture where a prayer to Jesus and a prayer to spirits of the trees are uttered in the same breath.

One day, after an intense game of ball in the sweltering Philippine heat, the pastor invited Roderick to check out his church. Not sure of what he’d find, Roderick took him up on the offer and he was hooked. After two months of faithful attendance, he put his faith in Jesus — and his life was immediately changed.

Roderick became filled with an insatiable hunger for God’s word, which eventually led him to enroll at BFBS.

Sadly, his parents rejected his new life.

Roderick was the son of a tribal chief in a remote village in the Philippines, where they had long blended elements of Catholicism with animistic superstition as a way of life. Saying the Lord’s Prayer was a normal part of their spiritual beliefs — as was sacrificing pigs, chickens, and cows to ward off evil spirits, or performing rituals to appease the gods of nature. His animist parents deeply disapproved of his decision to follow Christ alone.

Despite their rejection, Roderick attended BFBS.

“Roderick’s passion for the Word was overwhelming,” said Phil Klumpp, ABWE Missionary and BFBS professor. “When he was first saved he didn’t have a Bible, so he continually copied verses into a notebook. He eventually took on some farming jobs and saved enough to purchase his first Bible. He still carries it around everywhere with him — he’s very proud of it!”

At BFBS, Roderick devoured his Bible courses and the more he learned, the more he longed for his lost family to discover the one true God. By the beginning of his third year, Roderick felt he was ready to put his training where his heart was. He took a bus to where the road ended, hiked three hours to the remote tribe his mother’s family called home, and began sharing the gospel.

For more than two years, Roderick has made this trek every week to share and disciple his cousins and a handful of villagers who have come to Christ, and recently, Roderick’s friends at BFBS banded together to help build the village’s first church. While Roderick’s prayers to change his parents’ hearts have not been answered yet, Roderick has built a loving family of believers who gather each Sunday.

“I can’t thank Bukidnon Fundamental Baptist Seminary enough for giving me the tools I needed to grow my faith and then to share it with the people I love so deeply,” said Roderick.   

BFBS is surrounded by 14 unreached people groups on the island of Mindanao and is strategically located to bring the gospel to some of the Philippines’ most spiritually isolated regions. Since its founding in 1953 by Filipino believers, BFBS has trained more than 1,000 graduates who have carried the gospel throughout the Philippines, but sadly, its facility has fallen into disrepair.

The school needs $30,000 to complete a reconstruction and expansion project that will provide BFBS’s new facility with windows, classrooms, a second floor, and a chapel — allowing the school to equip more believers to share the gospel with their unreached neighbors.

Learn how you can help BFBS continue to train Filipinos, like Roderick.

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