Online ministry leads author across world
By Mike Wiltshire
2007: A Norwich
technical author who also has a passion for preaching the gospel has just returned from a 14,000-mile ministry trip to south-east Asia
– a journey that began with a simple internet inquiry from the Philippines.
Marcus Philpott, who lives in Bowthorpe, has been teaching the Bible online from his home office for four years. Speaking in English and Spanish, he finds remarkable ways to share his faith with an audience worldwide.
“It has opened up a new world for us,” says Marcus. Unusual opportunities have opened up for his ‘Jesus Focus Ministry’ such as live, interactive discussions with groups of Muslims.
Marcus has become skilled at leading online debates and answering questions, “but we always seek to bring the focus back to the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
He and his wife Lesley, who are both gifted musicians, follow up their online discussions by sending out free teaching CDs and other materials.
Marcus’s online teaching ministry led to the invitation for him and Lesley to visit one of the most remote areas of the Philippines to encourage pastors and hold revival meetings.
With the blessing of his home church in Norwich – Earlham Christian Centre
– Marcus and Lesley flew to Samar island where they travelled hundreds of miles over bumpy roads to reach local churches that form part of Living Rock Ministries.
It was on Samar island, in areas steeped in witchcraft and religious ritualism, where a pioneer evangelist, Pastor Rizzy Montes and other workers planted nearly 100 churches over three decades.
Today, Rizzy’s son, Danny, leads the work – and he was host-interpreter for Marcus and Lesley at one venue after another.
Marcus preached 18 times and was inspired by the zeal of local Christians, pastors and youth leaders who labour in very poor areas – “it was quite amazing: they are red hot for Jesus – I have never seen such passion for God.”
Praying for the sick and trusting God for the next day’s food was a way of life for them, says Marcus. “We were very humbled by these people. The children especially won our hearts.”
Many local people responded to their evangelistic message including a local police chief. Marcus adds: “For us, it was an incredible journey. We want to go back, but we can’t go empty-handed. The people and their pastors have such basic needs – we must raise some support for them. We’d love to encourage Norwich people to help in this.”
Significantly, the first message that Marcus preached in the Philippines was called, ‘The Incredible Journey’ where he spoke of the journey through time that Jesus made to offer hope to all mankind.
When Marcus began his online ministry in Norwich, he had little idea about where it would lead. “They are asking us to go back to the Philippines,” he says. “And we will!”
For more details of Jesus Focus Ministries, contact Marcus via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0781 699 5610.
You can visit the website and hear Marcus' sermons online at www.jesusfocus.co.uk
Pictured above is Marcus Philpoptt preaching in Samar and, above, Marcus and wife Lesley with a newly-wed Samar couple.