After a quick stop in Japan and then Detroit we landed in Chicago yesterday - back from the Philippines. The first thing I did was go out with the family to get something to eat. It's kind of becoming a family tradition that after we have been apart (camp, CIY, mission trips, etc) that we go out to eat and get a chance to hear all the stories and catch-up. So I told the Ferguson gang all about our quick trip to the Philippines. One of the things I told my family about was this guy - Jeff Pessina.
Jeff is the Director (I just made that title up - it may or may not be his actual title - they aren't really into titles - but he is the guy that everyone looks to for direction) of Frontline Ministries. At the age of 20 he became a follower of Jesus and decided to follow where ever the Spirit of Jesus led him. Within 6 weeks Jesus needed him in the Philippines, so he quit his job and sold everything he had to live with the poorest of the poor in this third world country. For the first five or six years he lived in a tent. When I asked Jeff about his budget he said, "we live on whatever God sends us". Stuff does not seem to be a big temptation to Jeff. He lives as simply as anyone I know.
There are a lots of things I admire about Jeff and what they are doing through Frontline. I admire...
- ...that since coming to the Philippines he has led a team of evangelists that have literally seen hundreds of thousands of people make first time commitments to Christ.
- ...his commitment to the poor of his community includes weekly outreaches to street children, sick in the hospital and those in prison (almost sounds like he got these ideas from the Bible).
- ...his courage take Frontline in a brand new direction of planting reproducing churches.
- ...his vision to see their first church reproduce 17 sites within San Pablo and to train future leaders to "take the nation".
However, the thing I admire most about Jeff is the genuine Biblical community that he has created. There are about fifty people (counting kids and all) that are a part of Frontline. They all live on the same 3-4 acres and do life together. They eat together. They share bathroom facilities together. They work together. They play (lots of) basketball together. They worship together. Together they love the lost. Together they love the lonely. And they really do love each other. It is perhaps the best example of Acts 2 community that I have seen. Amazing! I wanted my family to know about my new friend and a guy I really admire. I want you to know about him too.