The following post was written by Derek Ross, a missionary to the Philippines, and National Director for True Love Waits Philippines. Derek has been sharing hope in Christ by using the message of True Love Waits.
I acknowledged that Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of my sins at Indian Falls Creek in Oklahoma during the summer when I was 10 years old, and today I have been serving as a missionary to Filipino people in Manila for 17 years, leading True Love Waits Philippines.
But how did the gospel come to me? In 1874, a slave shared the gospel with a Creek Indian, who God called to become a missionary to the Wichita Tribe in Andadarko, Oklahoma. It took 1,874 years for the gospel to reach my people group.
Rock Springs Indian Baptist Church was the first baptist church among Plains Indians and is the church where I grew up. For 100 years, the messages were in the Wichita language, and the hymns were also sung in Wichita. By the time I was born, the messages were transitioning to English but the hymns continued to be in Wichita. I’ve taught the songs to my wife and to my children. “Nee wah, sta wah, wah deets o kaw” are the first lines of Amazing Grace.
Fast forward to 2020. Originally serving in Manila with the IMB, I live in the fourth largest city in the world Metro Manila pop. 24 million, leading True Love Waits Philippines.
Our staff and hundreds of trained Filipino volunteers are invited by administrators every year from both public and private schools. We share the gospel with approximately 30,000 students in school assemblies through our 2.5 hour Love Revolution Talk. The first 30 minutes is purely the gospel story, beginning at Creation in Genesis through Jesus on the cross. The remainder of that talk is focused on the disciplines of the Christian life and how we ought to live.
An additional 20,000 students annually are discipled in our 4 hour Love Revolution Workshop for small groups in both churches as well as the school setting with unchurched students. Revolutionary Parenting is our 2 hour talk for parents. Beyond those opportunities, we reach an additional 10 million people annually through television and radio as well as social media. Our ministry equips leaders in 8 regions across our nation of 106 million people with 4 full time staff.
Over the years, our various staff include Kai, Franco, Ree, Oda, Christin, and Kat. I’ve watched them lead volunteers like Ronnel, Marj, Khrist Joy and RM. These ordinary people have individually shared the gospel with thousands of youth and collectively, its hundreds of thousands that they’ve discipled. It’s amazing to watch them lead small groups and teach that love is selfless, commitment, unconditional and that love is pure. Our mission statement is “Pursue Purity In Christ”. In both schools and churches, we teach youth in small groups that commitment is thinking highly of the other person and less of yourself.
Christianity is not complicated, and when we keep everything basic, we produce committed followers, who then make committed followers. How do I know? Because I am one.
A long-term goal for True Love Waits Philippines is business as missions, to leave a legacy for Filipino people. In 2021, we are launching a project titled HOPE LAB PH, following a similar model in Texas, where we will partner with like-minded nonprofits to create revenue streams that will strengthen our reach. Everything good is from God, and whether a U.S. businessman supports missions or an entity is created in Manila and that business supports our mission, it’s all from Him.
Jesus said “teach them to obey”. In the Philippines, we hope to see that obedience change lives in the youth of our nation. The Philippines has the highest percentage increase of HIV in the world, 500,000 cases of abortion annually, the highest teen pregnancy in South East Asia, 7 cases of suicide daily, trafficking of a half million people and the Philippines is the global epicenter for online sexual exploitation of children. Transformation begins with Kingship and we share the gospel with thousands of youth every year so that they might worship God with us in the coming kingdom. We invite you to join us in Manila by praying, investing financially, and by coming to Manila in 2021.
God wants to use ordinary people just like you—right where you are—and in the process, you will make disciples who become moms, dads, missionaries, businessmen, carpenters, teachers, nurses, rock stars, skaters, and even pastors.
True Love Waits… yes, but don’t wait 1,874 years to share the gospel with someone you know!
Derek is presently in the USA and can be contacted at (562) 524-8502 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about True Love Waits, visit True Love Waits Philippines website, and truelovewaitsph on social media.