Update from Pastor Emil in Tacloban

October 2016
Our brothers and sisters in the Lord from Calvary Chapel High Desert came over for mission trip. Headed by Pastor Brian Dupont, the team made some repairs and also initiated a clean up activity at the pastoral house in Anibong. We also visited the elementary school in the community and ministered to a bunch of kids there. The crusade and the film-showing held at the basketball court in Anibong concluded the team's stay in Tacloban. This led several people accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Pastor Emil did home visitation to the same people who bold declared their faith in Jesus during the crusade night. He asked them as to how he can be of help to make their faith grow. Some were okay with bible studies and others declined for some reason.

November 2016
A new discipleship material was rolled out for our weekly Discipleship Program. There are more or less 10 young people who consistently attend in this interactive youth gathering which aims to help them grow spiritually and for them to also share what they know about Jesus to others. We also have started encouraging them to get involved with our weekly prayer meeting held every Wednesday. It's good to have young prayer warriors at the church.

December 2016
It's the most wonderful time of the year! As we all know this is when Christian all over the world commemorate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The church held its Christmas Party with a lot of kids, a couple of young teens, and a 5-6 adults. Gifts were given to those who faithfully devote their time for the ministry. The kids had their share of candies and chocolates too. Everyone enjoyed the fun games. On the Christmas Day itself, we had a nice ice cream party for the kids. We also visited 12 families singing them a Christmas song and giving them some grocery items with a Bible and a tract. These are small things reminding everyone of God's greatest gift to mankind.Salvation.

Prayer Request
1.Please pray for Leslie and his wife that they may continue to have an open heart for the Gospel. we recently opened a home bible study at their house and they normally invite some friends to join us.
2.Please pray for comfort and provision for Hazel and their siblings who lost their father few days before Christmas. Haze, 11 years old, used to be very active at the church kids ministry but has stopped going since one of her siblings was not allowing her to attend. Recently, she has started going back to the church again after her father's death. she and her siblings are now orphan since they lost their mom 3 years ago.
3.Please pray for the church to continue to grow not just in number but also in spiritually.

Emil Santiago's Life’s Testimony as a Christian

I have heard about Jesus since I was young. My grandmother whose desire was for me to become a pastor someday, used to take me to the church every Sunday. I became a regular Sunday school attendee because of her persistence to make me founded on the word of God at a young age. However, I stopped going to the church when my grandma died because during that time, she was the only person in the family who was deeply rooted by God’s word.

As I grow up, I have been influenced by the world. Due to peer pressure and out of curiosity, I have tried several vices including alcohol and cigarette. There was even a time when I got engaged in to some riots in school.

Until one day, a pastor shared the word of God to me which helped me understand the gospel better. I involved myself in the church activities especially when it comes to the youth gathering. Being a pastor was not in my vocabulary and I never thought of becoming one someday. My desire was to go to college and finish my studies so I can help my family.

Everything was all set for my college schooling until I woke up one day very sick. Little did I know that something worst was about to happen. While I was on the recovery stage from my illness, my father who is one of the most important persons in my life passed away.  It was so heart-breaking that I could not help but ask God why He allowed all these things to happen. 

My initial plan to go to college was suddenly changed because this time, I have the desire to start working so I can provide for the family. I am the eldest child so I was pressured to take over my father’s role to my younger siblings. Few days after my father’s memorial, our church pastor approached me and asked me if I am interested to go to bible college which happens to be in Borongan. I ignored the offer because I was so consumed with the idea of earning a living. Truly, the Lord speaks to us in mysterious ways that a day before my companions left for the bible college schooling, my mother gave her approval for me to study there. It was one of the signs I asked from God if He was really calling me to serve Him full time in the ministry. 

I spent 2 years in the bible college. It was challenging but very rewarding at the same time. Words cannot describe the joy that I felt during those times when I was making myself busy studying and understanding the bible. I had my internship at my mother church in Western Samar. I was ordained by Pastor Gerry Brown. I continued to be a youth pastor and an assistant pastor at my mother church after the ordination. Until 2 years ago, few months after Typhoon Haiyan hit the city of Tacloban, I was given the chance to do a church pioneering in Anibong. It was one of the places severely hit by the typhoon and I am glad that despite of what happened, there were still people who willingly accepted God’s word and devoted themselves to be part of the ministry.

Based on my personal experience, serving the Lord is very fulfilling. I have my own flaws as a Christian and as a full-time servant of God but knowing how He has been great to me through all these years, I cannot say “No” to His calling. Even if the church only has a few members as of now, this won’t stop me from doing the work of the Lord. 


It was just 2 months ago when God let me experience another breakthrough of my life: getting married to my long-time girlfriend, B-Ann. She recently resigned from her work in Cebu so she can be with me and of course, partner with me in the ministry. She accompanies me with my ministerial works and one of these is counseling the drug surrenderees in Tacloban. We have just started our marriage life and we are both learning from each other.

Indeed, as the word of God says in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” When I got very sick which was followed by the death of my father, I was hopeless and helpless only to find out that the God we serve can turn our mess into a message. I am what I am now because of what Jesus did- He loved me first before I even did and He was there for me during the weakest point of my life. To God be the glory!


2015 Year in Review

Last year was such a great year for the ministry in Anibong, Tacloban City. Below are only some of the highlights of the church activities last year:

JANUARY 2015. We started the year by doing some construction work at the church and wall behind it. With the help of the pastors and workers, we are so happy to say that we already have a church building where we hold our services and activities.

FEBRUARY 2015. We celebrated the Heart’s Day by having the kids write something for their parents. They ended up making customized Valentine cards which they gave to their beloved parents. The youth were there to help in making the activity successful.

MARCH 2015. The church celebrated its first anniversary. It was a day of thanksgiving and joy realizing how God has been so faithful to us.

APRIL 2015. It was during this time when Pastor Steve Coon from Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa came over and led the rice outreach. Many people in the community were able receive a few kilos of rice. They were also fed with a much important food- food for the soul which is the word of God.

MAY 2015. A very exciting time for the youth- UTFC’s annual youth camp was held during this month. We went to Lalawigan which served as the venue. It was a 3-day youth gathering and time of worship with the theme, “Love Your Brother.”

JUNE 2015. Our brethren from Calvary Chapel Creekside came and helped to establish a water facility through the Planet Water Foundation. It now provides a clean drinking water for the kids at the primary school in the community of Anibong.

JULY 2015. Some of the youth and I headed to Borongan during this time for the yearly youth conference. It was a 2-day activity which was a great time of fellowship with some of the American young missionaries.

AUGUST 2015. Our dear brother Symroni from Indonesia visited us and shared the word of God to the young people. It was also during this month when KARISYOHAN volunteers reached out to the church to help in the children’s ministry by teaching the word of God and teaching action songs for the Lord.

SEPTEMBER 2015. During this month, we held feeding for the children consecutively. It gives an overwhelming feeling to see them happy over the blessings which they receive- regardless of how little or big they may seem.

OCTOBER 2015. School supplies were given to the children sponsored by some of our brethren whose heart is into blessing other people through the gift of giving.

NOVEMBER 2015. We attended the Jesus Reigns movement. It’s a yearly event being celebrated all over the Christian churches in the Philippines every November 30. We joined the street parade and worship service held at Balyuan Park, Tacloban City. The event’s main goal is to proclaim Jesus as the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

The church also participated on the “Philippines for Jesus” crusade in Bgy. Anibong, Tacloban City. The kids had a dance presentation. Ministering to the people in the community was one of the highlights of the said event.

DECEMBER 2015. Putting to life the true spirit of Christmas, we started the month by giving bag of goods to some families in the community who are in need. The youth were there and assisted in handing the goods to them. It was such a blessing to see the smiles of these people who are truly in need.

We also held a Christmas party exclusively for children. After sharing God’s word to them, we facilitated games and gift-giving. It’s amazing to see these kids drawing near to Jesus at an early age.

Our church Christmas party, on the other hand, was also one of this month’s exciting church activities. It was such a great time of fellowship with co-believers in the Lord. Beyond the food and gifts, we were all overjoyed knowing that one Man up there gave His life for us to have an eternal life in heaven. Truly, Jesus is the reason for the season.

It was indeed an enormous year and I know that God has prepared greater things for us this 2016. The best is yet to come. Thanks to everyone for the support and prayers. Being in the ministry is very fulfilling knowing that you serve Him who is the very source of everything- Lord Jesus Christ. To God be the glory.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Month of May.
Youth Camp was held on 1st week of this month in Borongan, Eastern Samar and we are able to bring 18 youth over there. It was an awesome time for them as the theme of the camp "Love your Brother" and when they came back from the camp they are more involve than before in church  and ministry. We did  bible study/Proverbs for the youth  every other night.And a regular fellowship every Sunday at 3pm.
Please pray for them that thier desire to Love the Lord and for the people will continue to grow that they will be a good witnesses to the community.
For me please pray for the wisdom that I needed to guide  them as they grow in Lord.

Regular Sunday Worship At 9:30am most of the attendees are the youth  and some old widows.Some of the women's don't attend church on Sunday because they are busy on the  market.But we had every other week  Friday fellowship.
Please pray for them that they will give priority on Sunday worship rather than thier work.
For me please pray that God will give me the right approach that I may understand them more deeply and wisdom to deal and to give council.

Children are so awesome  that the  ministry for them is regular at Saturday 3:30pm. Marcon, Lucy, and Lani are the in charge now for children ministry and Stan as the one who play the guitar.
Please pray for Marcon,Lucy,Lani and Stan the wisdom to deal with the children and more patience.
For me please pray for wisdom to guide them how  to handle the children ministry.
Pray also that God will open  the doors  of provision for feeding ministry for the children every week.

I thank God for  He open the door of men's Bible study in Brgy. 68. We just meet two Sunday at 4:00pm. and this will become regular.
Please pray that  this men's will know the Lord in more personal way in thier life that they will Love the Lord all the days of thier life.
For me please pray for the wisdom that needed to handle them.

The church are praying for you Ptr. Brian and your team that are going to Congo.

Your brother in Lord.

The church construction is done with the help of some Pastor's from Samar. For picture update I had it here: www.Facebook.com/UTFCTaclobanCC

We had a very first Sunday worship in our new building last November 2. Then we had also a prayer vigil last Friday for 1 year of Hiayan/Yolanda typhoon here in Tacloban.

I do visited also the Island of Tinaogan together with Stan, Edito and Anita. We had a bible study there.

Last Sunday after the church service I had talk with Lesly and he extend his regards to you and P.J.


In the afternoon we did the youth fellowship and I thank God Pastor Edwin and Job one of the student in bible college was here to help. They helped also in fixing the roof together with two Pastors and one carpenter.

Prayer Requests:
Pray for Christopher, Anita's brother, that the Lord will inspire him for leading the worship. I need a worship leader for the church.

Pray for Narding and his wife Wilma that God will touch their life to be an example to the people of Tinaogan.

God bless you.