Twenty years ago we left our native land, the Republic of the Philippines, where we worked in the Bible school founded by my late father, the Rev. Santos Tuzon, and for over twenty-five years we trained young people for Christian ministry. We thank God for the opportunity to have helped our own country develop mature Christians and leaders who are now 'out in the field' proclaiming the good news of the Gospel to our own Filipino people, not only in the Philippines, but also among the Filipino communities in the islands of Hawaii. And the work goes on and we also moved on...
In 1996, we answered the call to go to Brazil and work among the street children. It was not easy to pack up and leave again. This time leaving our children here in the US, but the call of God cannot and must not be ignored. From language school in Campinas, Sao Paulo, we left in 1997 to go to Curitiba, Parana, where we joined the work with what was then Casa de Jose that worked directly with street children - going out at night to look for them, inviting them to come and join us in the activites geared for them. The city government helped us with a bus called "Resgate Social" (Social Rescue), picking up and bringing the kids to the project where we did a lot of activities with them. The best part was singing praise songs for the Lord and doing Bible lessons with them. Teaching them about God and His love was the most fulfilling endeavor for us, but even more fulfilling was seeing souls saved and left the streets to start a new life in Christ. So, this was what we did for the length of time we were in Brazil. During the time we were in Curitiba (1997-2008) we cannot report of hundreds saved, but the Gospel was shared, we "planted the Seed" and whatever child that came to Christ, they were faithfully nurtured to become mature Christians. Three boys especially inspire us because of the change that happened in their lives through God's grace and mercy - they now have their own respective families, all are working, and faithful in their Christian walk.
In 2008, our agency (Equip) reassigned us to the US. It was not easy for us to leave Brazil and all the friends and kids that we had bonded with. We arrived in Florida, but we did not know where we were going to do our ministry, but in our hearts we were very happy for now we can be doing our mission work closer to our family. Through a very good friend and benefactor, he invited us to visit LaBelle, Florida, a small community with only a few thousand people compared to the million and half people then in Curitiba, Brazil. But LaBelle is only 103 miles north of Pembroke Pines where our family lives. It is here in LaBelle where God has blessed us with a cross-cultural community, reaching the different ethnic groups, particularly the Hispanic community. Being fluent in Portuguese, it is much easier for us to learn the Spanish language - although Spanish is not quite the same as Portuguese.
Volunteering at the Salvation Army Service Center here in LaBelle has brought us closer to our target group. Helping in interviewing clients to qualify for food assistance, giving out food for them, doing the Bread Day every Wednesday morning with a devotional both in English and Spanish - all these make our mission acitivity very fulfilling. And visiting clients whom we have shared the Gospel with and inviting them to church, distributing Gospel tracts at the flea market, visiting a nursing home, hosting fellowship dinners, as funds are available - all these add to our mission activity.
Through the years in ministry, it has not been easy for us, but thank God for your prayers and financial support, as we continue to be encouraged and inspired to give our all to the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Forty-five years in the ministry, we still go on, and as God gives us His strength and wisdom, and as you, our dear friends and readers, continue to pray for us and partner with us, by His grace we keep on doing what He wants us to do - sharing the Gospel and demonstrating His love to everyone!