Stories from the Field

The Life Resources Foundation: Training a New Generation of Church Planters

Filipino believers Serena* and Chesa were reluctant to minister among the mountain tribes. “The people are too resistant,” they explained. They didn’t mention their concerns about working in an area known for violence, blood feuds, kidnappings and intimidation.

Nevertheless, Serena, Chesa and other students at the Life Resources Foundation traveled to a mountain community to practice their newly acquired agricultural and teaching skills–and ready to share the gospel.

Practical Training

Since 2002, the Life Resources Foundation (LRF) has been serving the evangelical church in the Philippines by training committed Filipino believers to plant churches among least-reached people groups in their own country.

Over a dozen least-reached people groups live in the southern Philippines. All desperately need to hear the good news of Christ. Together these groups number over 4 million individuals who have no gospel witness in their own language and culture. These communities also have significant physical needs: 30 percent fall below the poverty line, and almost 6,000 people die prematurely every year due to water pollution, poor sanitation and poor hygiene.

LRF staff equip tomorrow’s church planters, not only with theological knowledge, but also with practical skills. These skills open doors for them to address spiritual needs in isolated and resistant areas where men, women and children live with little hope of ever hearing the good news of Jesus. LRF’s two-year residential training program combines formal biblical training, mentorships and hands-on ministry experience with vocational training. This unique combination prepares students to meet the practical needs in least-reached communities through agriculture, literacy and community health.

A Surprising Invitation

Since 2002, 70 men and women have graduated from the LRF. We praise God that LRF graduates are currently sharing the good news of Christ with eight least-reached people groups in the southern Philippines. Serena and Chesa are two of those LRF graduates.

When Serena and Chesa visited a mountain village during their training, they weren’t met with the resistance they had expected. Instead, the local religious leader invited them to live long term among his people! He was concerned about the lack of education among the children in his community, and Serena and Chesa were able to meet that need. Today, they live, work and share the gospel among the people they were once reluctant to visit.

Would you prayerfully consider how God could you use you to help more workers like Serena and Chesa bless least-reached communities in the Philippines?

FAQs about the Life Resources Foundation:

Why does the LRF train students in practical skills as well as in Bible and ministry skills?

By teaching the students livelihood and development skills, the LRF enables them to make significant contributions in least-reached communities. Graduates with godly character and these skills find open doors for ministry in communities traditionally resistant to the work of missions.

Why train Filipinos?

Why not? Filipino believers are called and eager to reach those in need of the gospel, wherever they may live. Filipino workers can enter many communities that would reject the vast majority of Western workers. In addition, Filipinos are often well-prepared to learn new languages!

What makes the LRF different from other training programs?

The LRF appears to be the only evangelical school in the Philippines that specializes in preparing church planters in their own heart language for holistic ministry among the least-reached in the southern Philippines and beyond. Students live and work on the LRF campus during their two-year course of study. They have weekly ministry assignments where they can practice in a Muslim community what they have been learning in the classroom.

How many Filipinos has the LRF trained since 2002?

There have been 70 graduates since the school’s inception.

How many graduates are currently serving in a church-planting ministry?

Fifty graduates are serving God as church planters.

Where are LRF graduates serving?

LRF graduates are serving in eight least-reached communities in the southern Philippines.


How can I get involved?

Pray:

  • Pray for the staff and students of the LRF as they work hard to prepare for ministry in least-reached communities.

Learn:

Give:

Your gift to the Life Resources Foundation will help equip Filipino believers to serve as church planters in least-reached communities.

  • $15/month provides food and travel expenses for one student’s weekly ministry trips into least-reached communities.
  • $250/month supports a future church planter in training at the LRF.
  • $250/month supports a national staff member at the LRF.
  • $150 provides books for an LRF student for an entire year.
  • $200 provides board and travel for the one student’s final ministry trip into a least-reached community.