In 1985, God called the Tebow family as missionaries to the Philippines, with a focus on the following three priorities: evangelism, church planting, and pastor training. After faithfully serving for a few years with several Filipino associates, it became apparent that additional help was needed for the great harvest of souls throughout the many Philippine Islands. The Lord gave Bob a vision to increase the BTEA Filipino staff from a few men to at least 50 full-time evangelists, with each one assigned to an area of the Philippines. By dividing the country into theaters of operation, they could attempt to preach in every village of the Philippines and reach the whole country with the Gospel! This goal is immense, but that has not stopped our staff from working hard on a daily basis to achieve this high-calling before them.
BTEA currently employs 57 Filipino evangelists, who are led by our very committed and organized overseer June Acera. Our men come from a variety of backgrounds. Some were once engineers, fishermen, mechanics, and even drug dealers! All became followers of Christ and felt the call to win their country for Christ. They are reaching people through the showing of evangelical films. Each evangelist is encouraged to have at least 17 film showings every month. After inviting locals to come, the majority of the film is shown before the evangelist pauses the movie and extends an invitation for people to trust Jesus as Savior. The evangelist partners with evangelistic churches in the area to help counsel and follow-up with any new believers.
Each year, our evangelists typically share the Gospel with over one million people through film showings alone! They are also heavily involved in our short-term mission trips. From obtaining permits and locating lodging to mapping out schools where we will share the Gospel, they do a great job of preparing the way for our teams. During the trips, the men serve as our drivers, translators, protectors, and friends.
Being a Filipino evangelist for BTEA is a tough job, but knowing that people are dying every day without ever hearing the Gospel is the driving force for these men. The hardships fade when people come to Christ, and the joy of serving the Lord far outweighs the obstacles. Our remarkable staff truly live out 1 Corinthians 15:58, which says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” We are so thankful for our wonderful BTEA staff, who faithfully labor in the great harvest of the Philippines.