All posts by Vina

Promises

More than 20 years ago NTM leadership discovered a people group in the Philippines living in and functioning alone in a isolated area. Except for a few who lived amongst them, they spoke their own dialect. It was then that a desire to share the truth of the gospel with this group in their own language was born. But the laborers were few and there were none to send to tell these people the Good News. At that time Wycliffe were working in various locations in the Philippines and NTM asked them to begin translating the New Testament so that when the missionaries came they would have it already. Wycliffe agreed, being assured that NTM would send missionaries as soon as they could.

Thanks to a few faithful Wycliff missionaries, the translation was started. It took 14 years to bring it to completion and several years ago it was printed and available for this people group. But still there were no missionaries to teach. The area was very isolated and so some missionaries were told it was too unsafe, not reachable with a single engine plane etc. and as time went on, the truth of the gospel was still not taught.

Soon Wycliffe even produced a dictionary in the peoples heart language, but still no missionaries were available to be sent. It was at this time that a little NTM family were looking for a work where they could plant a church. They had worked amongst a small pocket of people in another area helping other missionaries in a church plant. Their desire was to teach Gods word to the same language group and so they began surveying to find the origin of these people. It was then that they came across this people group. The original language group!

But soon they discovered that others before them had been denied to work there. Would they be told, no? They had 3 young children and so they wondered if this would be a reason why they too would be denied. Also, their partner was a single lady, not a family like the previous missionaries. But they requested to start the work there anyway. It took a few weeks before they were told the answer. NTM aviation had to first agree to fly that route with a single engine plane, even though they knew it meant flying over open water with no landing place for several stretches. But they agreed! Much to their delight this family was told yes!

They began to make plans to relocate to the area and build a family home. There were many challenges along the way. Almost being shipwrecked on the seas, living through typhoon Yolanda when it came through the island, having their ministry partner leave the work, learning the difficult language that was spoken on the island and translating the Creation to Christ lessons into the language. It took four years, but they persevered.

More than 20 years after this dream was born the time has finally arrived. This year the darkness that has been over this people group will be lifted, because this year the truth of the Gospel will finally be taught!

We cannot express how thankful our little family is to finally be able to bring the Good News to the Agutaynen people! We are privileged to be used by our Heavenly Father in reaching these people that He loves and who we have come to love too.

Many of you have been valuable partners in reaching the Agutaynens. Whether as a wycliff translator pouring your life out into translation, a pilot agreeing to fly to the island, a faithful giver keeping our family fed and clothed or a friend on their knees lifting us in prayer – you are part of God’s work on Agutaya. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you!

Will you continue to stand by us as we begin the teaching?

Please pray for our family. Pray that we will remain unmoveable in our persuit of reaching the people with truth. Please pray that the truth of the Gospel will penetrate the hearts of the people here. Pray that they will cling to truth and stand against years of lies that they have been told. Pray that we will remain bold for Him no matter what may come. Pray for many to be added to God’s children so that together we may celebrate another brother coming home!

With love,

A little NTM family

2017

Sometimes I wish I could get a glimpse into the thoughts of God. I wish I could see why He allows delays, and obstacles. I wish that we could see the finished picture the way He sees it. But God never allowed a lowly shepherd boy to see that he one day would be King. He never showed a young Jewish woman that He would use her to save a nation. He never told a prostitute that she would be in the blood line of the redeemer. Instead God wants us to follow Him by faith, daily trusting Him in obedience. 2017 was a year of following in obedience. A year of working on a timeline that is not ours. Of making plans only to have to change them almost daily. Of working tirelessly towards a goal that is just outside of our grasp. And it is getting closer every day!

Looking back we can see how much God has done in a year, and we are so thankful! His plans are good and His timing perfect.

In 2017:

Phil was cleared to teach after reaching proficiency in the Agutaynen language

After many months of language study and cultural exposure Phil was cleared to teach! What a high light for 2017! We are so thankful for Gods enabling, knowing that it could have taken many more years as it did for others learning the Agutaynen language. All the Glory to our gracious Lord!

Valerie-Anne passed her SATs and graduated from high school

I can hardly believe that ten years of home-schooling have come to a close for our sweet Valerie-Anne. Home-schooling was one of my biggest fears, but God has taken my fear and turned it into a blessing. We praise God for guiding her through all the years of school, and for faithfully bringing her through her SATs. Her exceptional grades are a testimony of His help and leading. We are beyond thankful!

Phil began translation of the “Creation to Christ” lessons so we can soon begin teaching

This is one of the milestones that every NTM missionary looks forward to. Finally the truth of scripture will be translated into chronological lessons teaching Gods Word correctly for the first time in their heart language. It is a much bigger and time consuming task than we thought. We need to make sure to correctly explain biblical concepts and truth in a way that penetrates through their world view, and is perceived as God intended. This is work that we cannot do alone, and rely on language helpers to work through the lessons with us. This is continuous struggle for us, as there have been many delays because of them not being able to help. We are patiently trusting the Lord for His perfect timing.

The Manila Bible-study group

We continue to be blessed with the growth in the lives of the members of this small group of faithful brothers and sisters. This year Juan joined the group and has grown in leaps and bounds! Lord willing we will soon be baptising 3 members of the group! This year the group has arranged big Christian conferences where 500 were in attendance, medical outreaches and took part in a childrens ministry. God has truly blessed us to be a part of what He is doing in this group. Recently one of the members, Dom came to visit us on the island. It was so encouraging to see His growth in the Lord, and His desire to serve. We are blessed!

Medical help

Every year we help with medical issues as far as we can, and 2017 was no exception. There are too many cases to mention each seperately, but from burn victims, to UTIs, tooth extractions to dengue treatment, the Lord has provided for us to help many. We have seen many die last year too and our hearts are burdened for lost souls, but we praise God for those who we can help. We decided long ago to never turn anyone with a real need away but to trust God to provide. He has not dissapointed us. We praise God for His provision!

The school building

Soon a little school in Villa Fria will have the addition of a classroom so that they will no longer need to share with two grades. We are in awe at Gods provision through brothers and sisters back home. This project benefits so many, and we are provileged to be in the fronline seeing it come up before our eyes.

The landing strip

I wish we could count this as one of the completed projects for 2017, but unfortunately work on the landing strip is at a stand still for the rest of the rainy season. Plans are to continue work next year and hopefully finish the strip in the first half of 2018.

For each one of you that has faithfully stood by us through the last year, we thank you! God has blessed us in so many ways, one if which is you. We are so excited for what 2018 will bring!

With love ❤️

A Thankful Heart

November is the month that many choose to focus on gratitude. Many of my facebook friends have been posting daily the things they are thankful for, and others are planning big “thanksgiving” get-togethers. I may not be doing these things, but one thing is for sure: we have a lot to be thankful for!

My heart has really been challenged lately about being truly thankful through every circumstance. While reading “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom with the kids one night, we read how Corrie and her sister Betsie thanked God for the fleas that covered their beds and everything around them in the concentration camp in Nazi Germany. It seemed ludicrous to do such a thing, but both sisters were determined to be thankful for EVERYTHING. Later the sisters learned that the reason they never had guards in their rooms; and therefore were able to openly spread the Gospel; was because of the very fleas they has thanked God for! If we truly believe that everything God allows is for our best and for His glory, then we should be able to praise Him and be truly thankful for EVERYTHING.

My prayer is that God will cultivate in me a truly thankful heart. One that can praise Him for everything in my life, and be grateful ALWAYS.

The school building

This month we started the building of the school room in the little primary school. It has been such a joy to see it coming together after months of preparation. I cannot tell you how very excited the parents and teachers are to have the additional room for their children. The parents even came together voluntarily to move the little nipa room that they use as a kitchen out of the way for the build.

It has been exciting to see the building rising up from the ground so quickly. The photo above is from a week ago, and already the wall are complete today. We are so thankful for the donations we received already for this project. We do not have the complete funds needed, but will continue building as the Lord provides. Soon some of the children will not need to share their classroom with 2 grades but can have their own classroom! But even more importantly, how exciting it is to think that this room will soon house people who will come to listen to Gods Word taught correctly for the first time!

Lesson preperation progress

Phil has spent many hours in his office translating lessons, putting pratical, culturally appropriate examples in, checking lessons according to Tagalog and English, and checking for understanding in Agutaynen. We are excited at the progress being made even though there have been many delays and interruptions. It is so important that we correctly teach Gods Word and we want to be 100% sure to take time to do the neccessary checks in line with that. Please continue to pray for Phil as he continues with this important work.

Friends

Life on the island continues to be blessed. We are so thankful for the friendships the Lord has allowed us build. This past month we attended birthday parties for some of our elderly friends. Please pray with us for these dear ones to stay in good health so they may hear Gods Truth in the near future. These functions are always enjoyable to attend (now that we know what to expect 😊), and often include lots of reason to laugh. At a recent birthday we were seated under a beautiful tree. This was wonderful while the sun shone, but in the evening it became risky business. As the bats came to settle in for the night they proceded to dump huge fist size seeds from the tops of the trees. Angelique was unlucky enough to have one land on her head!

Our children

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One of the greatest reasons I have to be thankful for are our children. They are such a delight and I am often humbled when I see the how the Lord is working in and through them. This will be Valerie-Anne's last birthday and Christmas with us before she heads off to college. Im holding on to every minute I get to spend with her. Won't you please pray with us for the Lords provision for her? We are waiting on Him for His leading and provision before she can made definitive plans. Angie and Boeta are growing like weeds. They will soon complete grade 10. (Where has the time gone???!!). Please pray for them as they seek to serve the Lord here on Agutaya.

Grateful<
Amongst the things that we are really thankful for is YOU! You are such a vital part of God's work here on Agutaya. We could not do this without YOU, our faithful partners. Thank you for the part you play in reaching the Agutaynen people. We praise God for you!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

The le Rouxs

1 step forward, 2 steps back


It has been a while since we last sent out a newsletter. For the last 8 weeks we have really been struggling with our internet. It is non-existent most times, and painfully slow if it is available. This means that we struggle to download emails, do our banking, our newsletters and download our Sunday sermons. Despite logging various complaints, nothing has helped. Its frustrating to say the least. And it seems it may stay this way for the forseable future. It really had me examine myself about being content. Asking myself whether my contentment hinges on my circumstances or in my position in Christ. True contentment stems from a deep relationship with the Lord, one the is unaffected by our circumstances. It made me see how I needed to shift my focus on more eternal things. Which was a good training ground for other frustrations that were on the way..

Language helpers

Having dependable helpers for lesson translation is really important. We can only go as fast as we would like if they are faithful in coming everyday to help. The last few weeks have been challenging in that our main language helper has been unwell and has gone to the city for medical treatment. She has been gone for 4 weeks now. The other language helper, although keen, is really busy most days and cannot help as much as we would like. The third helper is really a big help, and she is very keen and involved, but because she is a barangay captain she has days she cannot help because of those commitments. Progress has not been as fast as we would like because of this. Phil can work ahead on his own to a certain extent, but lessons must actually be done with the helpers present. Our hearts are burdened to begin teaching, but we seem to be constantly held back by delays. Please pray with us for peace in our current situation and that the work will progress in God’s perfect timing. Please also pray for the Word to take root in the language helpers hearts.


The landing strip

For the longest time the landing strip has been plagued with delays too. First the work stopped and the reason given was that they would not continue until a consensus was reached amongst the landowners. So we sat down in negotiations and had them all agree to a set amount. When work did not resume the reason given was the fuel for the heavy equipment had run out and we needed to wait for fuel from Cuyo. Then after many enquiries we were told the machine operators were in Puerto and needed to come back to work the machinery. Next we were told they could not work because of rainy season and the muddy conditions on the strip. The last reason we were given is that a barge was on the way with supplies to build a hangar on the strip and with seeds for grass on the landing strip. However, much to our dismay, when the barge arrived on Sunday, they came to collect all the heavy equipment and had none of the promised supplies. Now we are being told they will return the equipment after the rainy season. We are not sure what to believe anymore. Please pray with us for the finalisation of this project and for God to be glorified through it all. 

College application:

After much prayer and research Valerie-Anne has decided to apply to the New Tribes Mission Bible Institute (now known as the Ethnos 360 Bible Institute) in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA. She hopes to begin in August 2018. The Bible course is a two year course in which every book of the Bible will be studied as well as various other subjects. The Bible course itself is free, but we will be required to pay for her room and board. Before getting her letter of acceptance we need to provide proof of the first year of funds (a visa requirement). Having been on just over 30% of the recommended support level given by NTM since the beginning of our missionary journey we have always had to look to the Lord for His provision. This is no exception 😊. We are trusting in Him for all He has for Val. Please pray with us for the Lords provision as He sees fit. 

When days are long and challenges many, it is then that we need to be reminded of where our hope lies. We are thankful for joy that is ours despite changing circumstances. We are choosing to focus on the victories that are already ours. Today we praise God for the work He has already done and continues to do. We delight ourselves in the knowledge that despite delays we WILL get to the point where there Agutaynens will hear truth in his perfect timing. We rest in His Grace for today.

Thank you for continuing to pray for and support our family. You remain one of greatest blessings!

With love,

The le Roux’s

Recharged

The past few weeks have been a wonderful time of rest, relaxation, fellowship and fun. What a blessing to see our friends and brothers and sisters in Christ in Manila, and have friends from South Africa come and visit us and enjoy showing them around our home on Agutaya too. Time flew by so quickly but we are recharged and ready to continue our work here on the island. 


Bible Study Group

Things are going well with the Bible Study group in Manila. Our hearts are encouraged to see faithful men continuing to serve the Lord faithfully. While in the city we had an opportunity to get involved in a childrens ministry. What a wonderful time to see these men putting their faith in action! Please continue to pray for the group to grow and for them to continue to serve the Lord boldly.


Visa update:

While in Manila we were able to get Angelique’s visa updated. This is required once a child turns 14. We were also able to enquire about our visa renewal next year. It seems things are more complicated than we thought. 

The visa needs to be downgraded 2 months before it expires. That will be in August next year for us. Then they will decide whether we need to return to our home country or can just leave the country for a short while. They will only inform us of that decision a month after the visa is downgraded, which only gives a month before the time to plan to leave the country before our visa expires. 

This is really not ideal as getting international flights a month before the time will no doubt be expensive and stressful. Please pray with us that the Lords will be done and that we will have peace in the situation.

Valerie-Anne

Now that Val has completed her high school education we have been looking at various options for her future. She really desires to do a Bible Study course. We have been doing research and hope to decide soon where she will go. She will start her course in August 2018. Please pray with us that the Lord will guide us as we make the decision. Please also pray for His provision for all that she needs. Thank you!


Lesson preparation:

While in Manila we were able to get our lesson pictures printed. It so wonderful to finally at the point where we get to do this. There are more than 100 pictures depicting images from creation to resurrection that we will use during the teaching. We had them printed on vinyl so that they will last and can be reused and left hanging up for long periods. 

Phil is back to the grindstone translating lessons. Please continue to pray for him. Pray that he will be able to complete the lessons quickly and well. Please also pray for his helpers to be faithful in coming to help him. And of course, please pray that their hearts will be changed when they hear the truth. 

Prayer:

The time is getting closer when we will start teaching. Will you commit to praying earnestly for the souls on Agutaya? Would you purpose to pray once a day that many would come to know Him here? Or even once a week? We need your prayers. Please pray as the Lord bring us to mind that we would stand strong and that His will be done through us. Thank you!

Thank you for standing alongside us!

With love,

The le Roux’s

Unexpected news

Sometimes when my heart is overwhelmed I like to sit out on our porch and look across the ocean. I listen to the sounds of the waves and let the calmness wash over me. I like the order of things. The way the tide comes in and recedes just as it should. The way the water never fails to do what it should..to reach the sand. I find peace in the orderly, the expected, the typical. Somehow seeing how everything comes together to form this perfect picture calms me. 

It seems so often we are living life with the unexpected, the uncertain. We wait for what we hope will happen, all the while knowing that it might not. We make our plans and wait for the Lord to direct our paths. Its a good place to be because it puts us in a position of dependence. A place where trusting Him is all we can do. I know this to be true from so many past experiences. Then why does my heart struggle with the uncertain? 

This year is a big year for our family. Phil reaching efficiency in the Agutaynen language. Valerie-Anne’s SAT exam and high school graduation and hopefully the completion of the landing strip and the teaching lessons. So many milestones, but none guaranteed. The control freak in me wants certainty. To mark the completed boxes and know exactly what will happen next. My heart is always inclined to worry. What if she doesn’t pass? What if we don’t have the funds for college, what if no one gets saved? But, the only one who knows our future is Him who holds all our days. His plan is perfect. His timing: without error. His motive: His glory and my good. Even in the uncertain and the storms of life this remains truth. 


When my heart is overwhelmed I need to focus on what IS certain. That He cares about the little details. That nothing will escape His attention. That He has put a plan in motion long before me. A plan that will reach perfect completion. He knows my anxieties and will answer my prayers even before I utter a word. Not always with a yes, but sometimes with a perfect no. It is in these things that I find peace amidst the uncertainty.

Visa situation:

As I mentioned in a previous post, this year marks the 10th year our family has served the Lord in the Philippines. Immigration law says that after the 10th year, you are required to leave the country and return on a tourist visa. You then begin the whole process for a new missionary visa from the start again. 

We were aware of this and planned to go to a cheap destination in Asia and return after a few days. But, we were made aware last week that we need to be gone for a month and must arrive from “the point of origin”. Meaning from South Africa. This has been shocking, to say the least. None of this was part of the plan and many things will have to fall in place for this to be possible. But it is immigration law and so we have no choice. 

Next year is also the year Valerie-Anne will leave for college and that means that we will have the added expense of a trip to South Africa and her travels to college and all that that entails. It seems impossible. There is no way we can do this on our own. Only He can make this all work. 

Will you please pray for us as we try work through the various possibilities and make plans accordingly? Please pray for wisdom from the Lord and His provision for all of these needs. 

SAT results:

Much to our delight, Valerie-Anne did really well in her SAT test! Her results will be sufficient to apply at the various colleges and universities we have in mind. She has a few more weeks of school and then she will graduate! Thank you to all of you who prayed for her. It has long been her hope to first do a solid Bible College course, which she hopes to start next year and then move on to further her studies. She is not sure exactly what field, but is leaning strongly towards education. 

Please pray for us as we apply to various colleges /universities next month. Pray that God will guide us according to His will.

Teaching lessons:

What do you do when there is no word in the language for Trinity? Do you use the national language word, or rather explain the concept only and not give it a name? What about explaining , “in the beginning God created the earth”, to a culture that has no word for “beginning”? There is no word for Creation either, so every mention of “Creation” needs to detail every part of His creation (earth, stars, animals etc. ).

These are some of the challenges Phil is facing while translating the Creation to Christ lessons. Things that seem simple to us who have been speaking “Christianese” are completely foreign here and need detailed explanation. Most of the Scripture he use in the NT is foreign in the language and does not have any direct words to use. Therefore he ends up with more of an explanation that a translations. Here is a small example:

John 16:8
“And He when He comes will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”

Agutaynen no word for convict as it is not part of their culture. The word concerning as a link is not in their language either. No direct word for righteousness or judgment. So when the translation is done it ends up being more of an explanation and is much longer than the english vesre. Here it is in agutaynen:

John 16:8
“Mga komabot Tanandia, ipaita Naong ga taw ang kalibotan ang na nga mali tang aggisipen nira natetenged ong onopay enged tang kasalanan ig mga sinopay mato-lid ig mag monopay tang pagorosgaren tang Dios.

Please continue to pray for Phil and those involved in helping him to have godly wisdom as they seek to remain true to Gods Word. Please also continue to pray for hearts that will be receptive to truth. Thank you!

Good neighbours:


We have mentioned several times how God has blessed us with wonderful neighbours. This was even more evident when we shared a meal with all of them earlier this month. Their delight in a simple gathering challenges my heart about thankfulness. Their willingness to get up early and slaughter the animals and prepare the meal encourages me to serve. I am learning so much through them, and all of this is before they know our Lord. I long for the day that they will know Him! Its closer than ever now!

Prayers:

Please continue to keep us in prayer. We are closer than ever to bringing the gospel to Agutaya. Pray that the evil one will not hinder us but that we will stand strong in Him. 

With love and appreciation for you, our partners in the Gospel,

The le Rouxs

Simple things


I love how seeing our beautiful island in the distance never fails to bring a lump in my throat and a feeling of “coming home” in my heart. What an answer to pray! God has put a love in my heart for the Agutaynen’s and this little corner of the earth where we reside. A love that could only come from Him. I am deeply grateful.

This month Val and I went on our first solo trip to Manila for her to write her SAT test. For those who are not familiar with this, it is a Standard Assessment test to test college readiness used in the US to gain entry into American Colleges/Universities. Basically like a South African Matric qualification for lack of a better explanation. 

I was quite nervous to travel without Phil especially since the recent safety threat we have had in our region. The Lord put a calmness in my heart during the several days of travelling and no doubt went ahead of us preparing the way. Everything worked our perfectly. He is so good to me! Thank you to all who lifted us in prayer over this time. It was great to see some of our precious friends in Manila, albeit briefly, and catch up with them. God has really blessed us with beautiful friendships there!


We got to meet our beautiful God child, Amihan (daughter to Hector and Mayen). What a little doll! I am so thankful she will grow up knowing Jesus because her parents will raise her in His ways ❤.

While we were away Phil, Boeta and Angie stayed on the island. Angelique took over all my duties, cooking and doing laundry the whole time. I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming! Phil continues faithfully with the lessons despite the many distractions that life on the island brings. I am so thankful to the Lord for how He sustains Phil and enables him daily. We know we are not alone. He is our constant companion. 


Sometimes I am in awe of the life we live. While travelling on one of the boats back home I looked at the simplicity of the boat design. To start the boat the captain and crew pull a big rope through the window infront of the boat, loop it on a big bamboo pole that acts as a back rest for passengers, count to three and tug (almost like a tug-o-war) until the engine starts. This is a chaotic process as passengers must move away in the already cramped cabin to get out of the way of elbows and rope, legs and fumes. The captain drives the boat sitting on an old plastic container and uses basic steering equipment and years of experience to steer us safely home. 


This might seem like a crude design to some, but to the Agutaynens it’s their best boat. Everyone wants to travel on this boat because its slightly faster and more “comfortable”. This boat is the sea ambulance when they are deadly ill, the hearse bringing their dead back to island if they die somewhere else. Its the work horse that brings fuel, rice, supplies to the island. It brings their loved ones home for visits and takes them safely back again. Some may see it as unsafe, a danger on the waters but not here. Here it’s the gem of Agutaya with a name to fit: Princess Myka. 

I count myself blessed to see through their eyes. To see how the seemingly simple can be precious. I hope my eyes never adjust to where simple is not enough for me. Pray with us that the Agutaynens will accept Gods truth when it presented to them. The simplicity of the Gospel will change their lives in unfathomable ways. I can’t wait!

We love you all ❤

What I never knew..


This year marks the 10 year anniversary of our arrival in the Philippines. Time surely has flown bye. The days are long but the years are indeed short. Looking back nostalgically on our time here there are some things I wish I had known as a young missionary embarking on our adventure here. And some I’m glad I didn’t know 😊. As a new missionary there were many things I feared and expected but what I didn’t know was..

That the strange smells, sounds and tastes would one day feel like home.

That the things I feared most then are not even things I think of now.

That I would not be home to bury my father but would be at peace because the Lord, in His grace, saved him 2 months before his death.

That taking my children away from all they knew would be the best thing I could ever do for them.

That I would long for my home country with an ache that physically hurts my heart, and that I would feel the same way about the Philippines when I am home on furlough.

That we would survive a super typhoon, our vehicle being stoned and shot at and were almost shipwrecked, and some of it would be while on furlough.

That I would experience first hand how God can turn a calamity into a beautiful blessing.

That struggling financially would be gift because it allows us to see God perform miracles.

That home-schooling my children would be a privilege that I would love.

That I would come to love a people group who have nothing in common with me but who have become my life’s purpose.

That being on the mission field would expose the sinfulness of my heart in ways I never knew existed, and God’s love for me would be even more real because of it. 

That what I once counted sacrifice has been the best decision of my life (well, second best after salvation ❤).

There were so many things I didn’t know then, but I knew enough to know I could GO. 

Today I know enough to know that I can STAY. 

He is faithful beyond what we could ever imagine. 

It is fitting that our ten year anniversary coincides with a new chapter in our ministry and family life. This year we prepare to teach the Agutaynens for the first time and next year our eldest child, Valerie-Anne, leaves for college abroad. Although I know these things come with big challenges and sacrifice for sure, I am at peace knowing that something beautiful will come from this. He has already begun to paint a beautiful picture with the fragments of our lives, and I cannot wait to see the finished masterwork!

Rejoicing because of all that He is,

The le Rouxs

A new chapter!


“Summer” has arrived in the Philippines but not even the relentless heat can dampen our spirits! What a joy it to finally be able to prepare lessons for the teaching of phase one. Phil has been hard at work putting together our first lessons this month. There are more than 70 lessons which Phil will teach through in phase one. Lessons work chronologically from Creation to Christ using key passages in scripture that depict the characteristics of God and point to Christ. 

Much thought goes into the preparation of these lessons taking the culture of the Agutaynens into consideration. Each sentence is thought through carefully with the listeners world view in mind and how they will understand the context. Bridges and barriers are determined so that we know what areas need extra attention in the lesson. Phil works closely with several language helpers and checks and re-checks the lessons for error and clarity. This is where understanding of the culture is so important. Please join us in praying for wisdom during this process.

Several milestones:

This year is a big year for our family because not only is it the year we start teaching, but its also the year that Valerie-Anne graduates from high school. Please be praying for her as she studies for and writes her SATs. She will then apply to several colleges in the US where she hopes to do a Bible course for her first year. We are praying for the Lords guidance and provision for Valerie-Anne’s next step.

Everyday life:
With the legislation in the Philippines changing with regards to getting medicine over the counter we have been limited as to how much we can help people medically on the island. Although this has been difficult the Lord has given us several opportunities even this month to help in one way or the other. This past month we helped a lady with a very bad burn get to the hospital for the treatment she needed and help towards her hospital bill. Just today a tora tora (a tricycle with an open side-car commonly used for cargo) crashed into the rocks near our house with a young family in it. Phil was able to clean up the drivers wounds and bandage them for him. Several others have been helped with transport money (boat fare) to Cuyo to get medical treatment at the hospital there. We are thankful for this opportunity to show people our love and care and hopefully give them a glimpse of the Lords love through us. 


Angelique and Boeta are in their last few weeks of grade 9 and working hard to completion of their work. I can hardly believe that they will almost be done with grade 12 when we are on furlough again. It certainly makes me treasure these precious times with the five of us all being together!

Missing you

It has already been a year since we left South Africa after our furlough. We miss you all very much (also our precious friends in other parts of the world), but are thankful to each one who lifts us up in prayer and is a part of the work here on Agutaya. We pray for you often and our hearts are full of thankfulness at the thought of you. Its a privilege to serve alongside you!

Cleared to teach!

Last week we had a long awaited visit from our NTM consultants. Some of you might remember that we had a visit scheduled in September last year but unfortunately our consultant landed in hospital with both dengue and typhoid fever 2 days before he was due to fly in. The earliest date we could get scheduled was last week. So Im sure you can imagine it was a very big deal to finally have the visit happen.

For those who are not familiar with how NTM works, church planters are required to be assessed by language consultants and achieve a level of proficiency in language and culture before they are cleared to teach in the tribal language. This takes years of work as the missionary must use the national language to aquire the tribal language and live amongst the people to study their culture. 

As I’m sure you derived from this newletters title, we are delighted to tell you that Philip has reached proficiency and is cleared to teach!! (Im doing a happy dance right now..). This is a pretty big deal as its a big step closer to finally bringing the gospel to the people we have grown to love on Agutaya!

So what happens next?

Now we begin the process of putting together the more than 70 lessons that will be taught in our phase 1 teaching. lessons will be put together and designed around the audience, so much thought has to be put into the examples and explanations and skids (dramas) that we will use. 

We have so much to consider and decide on and we covet your prayers as we enter this next phase in our ministry. 

 Thank you!

Thank you to all of you who have lifted us in prayer and supported us in the Lords work on Agutaya! We are so excited to take the next step forward with you all. We are blessed to partner with you!