“Is there anything good about them?,” the man on the streets in Manila usually say when asked what they think of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). With graft, corruption and even crimes attributed to some sectors of the police and the military, such comment is hardly surprising.
But for Col. Mike Asperin of the AFP, something good and big is happening in this crucial arm of the Philippine Government and every one is excited about it. Col. Asperin is the man behind the JOSHUA Ministries an acronym for .Jesus Offers Salvation, Hope and Unity to Armed Forces.
Time is of the essence as Col. Asperin and his volunteers work overtime to share Christ to the police and the military through their training programs.
“We have conducted hundreds of Purpose Driven Seminars among men in authority and we need to share this with more people,” Col. Asperin says with a sense of urgency.
In March 2006 alone, JOSHUA taught the PDL to more than 600 police on training at Camp Nakar in Lucena, a province some four-drive south of Manila.
“It is amazing how the Lord works in the midst of these men in uniform. Most of them were surprised to know that they have a purpose in life and that God is real and alive,” he says.
A month earlier, Col. Asperin and his volunteers of local pastors and church leaders conducted a PDL seminar at the Leadership and Values Formation Course of the PNP at Subic, Zambales.
“And all the 75 policemen from Laguna Province and Pasig City who went through the course prayed to receive Christ!”, the self-effacing military man enthuses.
“The Lord has given us the insights on how to work among these men. Using their language and contextualizing the scriptures in the law-enforcement culture has enabled us to reach out to them,” explains Pastor Lee Oliver who assists Col. Asperin in the Joshua Ministries.
Another exciting development is their work among the Brigadier Generals and other officials of both the AFP and the PNP.
“Oftentimes, we get phone calls from Generals asking when is the next bible study or the next follow-up PDL seminar. It is physically exhausting but the Lord is giving us strength and wisdom,” Pastor Oliver says.
“Aside from this, we also mentor churches and pastors who lead these men into their churches and small groups. We also conduct follow-up seminars for these men and their wives on Christian parenting and on being a man of God. We need prayer support as we reach out to the entire sector,” Col. Asperin appeals to the Christian community.
As the country goes into the Lenten holiday break, the JOSHUA team is preparing for another set of seminars for other groups of the military and police. Indeed, there is no rest in reaching out one more for Jesus
Next: >> Purpose Driven Catholics make headway