A True Father’s Day in the Philippines

The position of the father changed everything for this child—and we don’t mean his seat on the bike. The father had just taken his whole family to church.

This is the story behind this picture for this month when we celebrate Father’s Day in the United States.

We stepped outside into the night, the sound of joyful voices floating out the double doors into the darkness. This small boy, dressed in traditional Punjabi clothing, bent beside us to tie his shoes before climbing onto the family motorcycle behind his papa. The position of the father changed everything for this child—and we don’t mean his seat on the bike. The father had just taken his whole family to church.

This is the story behind this picture for this month when we celebrate Father’s Day in the United States.

God led our Indian partners serving in the Philippines, Pastor Mark and Shoni, to a friendship with a Filipino pastor. The Filipino church offered their building for Mark and Shoni to gather Punjabi families. Mostly men, the Indians have come to the Philippines as part of the “Indian Diaspora” scattered around the world. Since their own country is so crowded, they leave their homeland to find opportunities for a better life. Many Punjabis who are Sikh and Hindu come to Manila. First the man comes and later, hopefully, the family.

Coming out of India magnifies the freedom to hear and respond to the gospel. Mark and Shoni work tirelessly, traveling from Indian community to Indian community, visiting in homes, entering businesses, and creating relationships. This child’s father has done something that changed his life and the future of his family. This little boy’s father met Mark and Shoni, and as he did, he met Jesus.

“Where would I be without the blood? Where would I be without your love? You took my place on Calvary. Without the blood where would I be?”

This young boy, doing what so many children naturally do—bending over to tie his shoes—now has a father different than most Punjabi boys. Sikh and Hindu families bow to idols, but now his papa follows Jesus. Mark and Shoni teach and disciple his father and his mother at the small borrowed church out of India. His family will learn about the blood of Jesus, the love of the true God, and what it means to be in Christ. The father led his family to a miraculously new future.

Mark and Shoni are working so hard to reach the communities and families of the Indian diaspora in the Philippines. Be sure to see how they need us to pray and how we can help below. 

Without the blood of Christ on Calvary, where would we be? In the same place as the Sikh and Hindu people who have yet to hear—bowed to idols. But Jesus took our place and the place of this small boy, now growing up in a Christian family. Happy Father’s Day! 

How to Pray for Mark & Shoni

  • Pray for Mark & Shoni to have energy as they travel to many places to share the gospel.
  • Ask God to provide funds to help them as they nurture multiple church plants. 
  • Mark just shared the gospel with 4 Sikh men; he asks that we pray they’ll come to Christ.
  • A tropical storm just hit their region. This creates many needs. 
  • The combination of travel, evangelism & church planting, & caring for needs of people is quite a load. Pray for their encouragement.
  • Mark & Shoni have a car that is crucial for their work; they could really use funds for gas and outreach supplies.