In many places where missionaries and national workers serve with AMG International around the world, ministry to children is a centerpiece of the work they do for the sake of the Gospel. Every child whose life is touched by the love of Christ through feeding, education, counseling, and Bible training is given consistent, clear opportunities to hear and respond to the truth of the Gospel message. Many are saved through this work, and we are always praising God for the outpouring of His grace in the life of these kids.
Many times, though, the impact goes well beyond the desired outcome of helping these children grow into spiritually and physically healthy adults. We receive story after story of men and women who grew up in an AMG childcare center and have since gone on to serve the Lord in full-time ministry in their country-often in the same area where they lived as children-and burning with a desire to see the message of hope that changed their lives passed on to a new generation.
Gildo's journey to becoming a pastor in the Philippines was many years in the making. Gildo attended a childcare center, an orphanage, a technical college, and a Bible school before surrendering to God's call to ministry. Here is his story in his own words (through an AMG translator):
"I am Pastor Gildo Elosendo. I am 35 years old and I am one of the fruits of AMG Ministry. I was rebellious even though I was brought up in a Christian family. But I thanked the Lord for using the ministry of AMG, at the Nagpana Childcare Center in helping me in my studies, personal needs and in my spiritual life.
"When I graduated from elementary school, the Lord gave me an opportunity to continue in high school by the support of AMG Home of Hope. The staff made me feel that I still had a family and they did not reject me even though I made many mistakes as a teenager. Home of Hope taught me about life and about God and played a great part in my life today.
"After I graduated from high school, I was sent to AMG Skilled Hands [Technical College] in Bulacan. I took up courses to be an Automotive Mechanic. Skilled Hands not only taught us about fixing motors but also about discipleship. Through discipleship, God opened my mind and heart to be a pastor.
"In 2004, I enrolled in Bible school; I encountered many discouragements, but God sustained me. When I started introducing other people to God, I prayed that someday I could introduce my father to God. In 2006, God answered my prayer: I found my father. We visited him and he visited us from time to time.
"In 2008, I graduated from the Bible school. I pioneered two churches. It was very hard to be in the ministry. In spite of struggles and hardships, we continued serving the Lord.
"Now I am in God's ministry in Iloilo. Together with my faithful wife and my one-and-a-half year old son, we are happily and faithfully serving God. We believe that by His great mercy and grace, we can overcome every trial and hardship in life.
"I really thank the Lord because of AMG's influence through the Nagpana Childcare Center, Home of Hope, and the Skilled Hands Training Center nurtured me to become a Christian and a pastor. I pray that God will shower His blessings upon you all."
If you had met Gildo as a teenager, you would never guess he would be a pastor one day! One of the most exciting things about AMG's Child sponsorship program is watching the young child you sponsored grow up to advance the Gospel in his or her community.
To learn more about AMG's childcare ministries around the world and how you can partner with us through Child Sponsorship, please visit www.amginternational.org or call 1-800-251-7206.
Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel (AMG) International is a non-denominational, international missions agency based in Chattanooga, Tenn. AMG's distinctive has always been its reliance on national workers to carry the Gospel in their own cultures. Today, they operate ministries in more than 30 countries around the world through partnership with national believers.