I came to the Philippines in late 2011, bringing the Elka Khai (Divine Glory Life) Messianic Jewish teaching ministry with me. Since autumn 2012 Elka Khai has shifted into various outreaches for people who are for the most part located in west-central Philippines–my region of Visayas. Below is a summary of outreaches that I and my native wife Nelia have led and conducted, based from our house-church/ office. Some of these outreaches are not currently occurring. In time I hope to provide some sample photos the Gallery page. May Yeshua ha Meshiakh (Jesus the Messiah) be praised! – Tovari
——- Shul El Shalom (SES) —–
In December 2017 we changed the name of our pioneer church to the Hebrew name, Shul El Shalom. We also were able to move the worship services out of our living house and into a rental house devoted to the church and ministry, and the new name was chosen to fit our theology and perspective. The English translation of Shul El Shalom is “church of the God of completeness,” for that is who and what the true God and Messiah of the Bible is, and we are His church/synagogue. Shul El Shalom is located in downtown Bacolod City in order to hopefully reach more people in that busy area. Divine Glory Life Ministries continues as the parent of Shul El Shalom. In September 2018 we began offering a free biweekly English language tutorial class for interested SES attenders.
—- Light & Salt Unto Nations (L’SUN) —–
This was a Biblical seminar program that I coordinated and instructed in various different cities and towns through the Philippines from November 2011 to August 2012. The audience of the seminar was mostly native Filipino church pastors and assistant pastors. The seminar topic was Biblical Principles of Leadership, adjusted to fit the lives of native church pastors, some of whom had low level formal ministry education. Seminar duration options were 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days. Also in June 2013 a 1 day alternative seminar was designed and tested. This was designated the Shepherding Seminar, again with myself as the instructor for native local church pastors, and with Nelia as assistant and language translator.
—- Divine Glory Life Assembly (Adat Elka Khai) —–
This is our current church ministry based from our house-church/office in Greenplains in Negros Occidental, Philippines. In March 2014 my wife Nelia and I started a local Messianic Jewish-Christian church plant in large Bacolod City. We began in our small apartment living room where around 10 adults could sit. As of now it is in its 3rd year and called Divine Glory Life Assembly (Hebrew: Adat Elka Chai). The worship services are still conducted in our house. Bacolod City is the province capital and very broadly spread out, consisting of 60 barangays (districts). We are doing “tentmaking” missionary/church planting work and developing this Messianic Jewish-Christian church step-by-step, and as can best fit into this poor Asian society and culture. We see this effort as worthwhile for we are fairly unique in our balanced and educated approach, and I have not found other Messianic Jewish church or group in Philippines like ours. I do not say this to boast, since the church belongs to Yeshua ha Meshiakh, not to me. But we are happy to possess a unique niche in the religious market of this country where there are very few Messianic Jewish believers, very few non-native church pastors such as myself, and little public awareness of what Messianic Judaism is. There is plenty of room here for us to plant and grow and blossom in Elohim’s (God’s) time! Of Divine Glory Life Assembly, I am servant rabbi/pastor. Nelia is co-pastor and native language translator. Thus far our church growth has been very slow for various reasons. One reason is my not being native and my not speaking the native dialect. But I know I have certain good strengths of ministry to offer those who sincerely want to learn much that they will not learn in the average Christian church in this country. We are currently considering legalizing and incorporating as Divine Glory Life Ministries and Assembly.
—– Friends of God Club —–
The Friends of God Club is our ministry of children’s Sunday School class each Sunday. It is not currently occurring for space and safety reasons. We had varying attendance from the local neighborhood poor children; although we can easily get more interested attenders to our Club swimming pool outings that we occasionally have on Saturdays. The Club was intended for children ages 6-11 but at times younger ones joined in. Generally our regular children-attenders are good kids and who are mostly self-motivated to attend. There is little productive entertainment for most children here, and there tends to be little parental support in children attending church, but we have enjoyed the class and several of the children have prayed and accepted Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) in class. Crayon coloring of Biblical pictures was a favorite creative activity. We know we can benefit these children if they will attend and cooperate. Nelia and I managed and taught the class, sometimes using TV/DVD based lessons, and the Bible. Nelia must act as head teacher and translator because the children are too young to know much of English. In 2015 the best Club attenders occasionally served as children’s choir for special performance in our Sunday worship service. The Sunday Club children attenders would receive free snacks or lunch after class.
—– Life Groups —–
The Life Group concept is used very commonly in United States and known as “cell groups.” They are used also here in Philippines but without the terminology. Originally we had 3 Life Groups in different barangays (city districts), sometimes meeting weekly. Currently, we have only 1 Life Group (cell group) of Divine Glory Life Assembly, and that meets weekly at our home base in Greenplains. The Life Group meetings serve as informal home devotional sharing times but include Bible study, worship music/singing, prayer, sometimes instructional DVD movie for discussion, or occasional special worship activities such as Holy Communion or Footwashing. The Life Group attenders receive free evening snack or dinner after the meeting. The weekly Life Group meeting in our house is one of our most enduring and successful church ministry functions.
—– Divine Glory Life Radio —–
In early 2015, due to an unexpected but Elohim (God)-blessed turn of circumstances, we came into possession of a 60-90 minute radio program of our own, for Divine Glory Life Ministries, entirely hosted and formatted by Nelia and myself. This program is a Messianic Jewish devotional and Bible study broadcast each Saturday afternoon for Shabbat (Sabbath) ministry opportunity. Our program is Divine Glory Life Radio, in our provincial capital city area. The broadcast is provided by the Philippine military’s radio station called Radyo Kumando, at 103.1 FM. This station also provides regional law enforcement news. Nelia and I are the speakers/teachers, and we also introduce listeners to Messianic Jewish worship music.
—– Gospel Tract Ministry —–
We randomly distribute salvation gospel tracts to people in our city area, and in certain circumstances of travel, wherever we are. The tracts have been written by me, Tovari, over the course of the past 10+ years. They are English language only, and they explain to the reader how a person can believe and be spiritually saved by Yeshua Meshiakh (Jesus Christ). To view and download these tracts, go to Salvation Gospel Tracts page. They are free to download and print and distribute.
—– Slum Outreach —–
Occasionally Divine Glory Life Assembly conducts an outreach into a local slum neighborhood to meet new adults and children, most of whom normally do not attend any church, though they often call themselves ‘Christian.’ Life in these slums is at least discouraging. Our outreach is mostly friendly, as we distribute free snacks and briefly share the gospel message with the children, or try to make friends with parents and invite them to our worship service, or perhaps to hold a Bible study in their own home sometime. This outreach is a safe and controlled way for us to minister to the poverty-stricken filipino community.
—– Divine Glory Life website —–
If you are reading this now, the Divine Glory Life (Elka Chai) website is functioning and accomplishing its mission, thanks to our Adonai Elohim (Lord God)! This website originally started in late 2014, and has been in slow development. Thank you for reading and sharing with us. We pray you will learn and grow and sincerely benefit from something in this our site. We continue to develop it, thanks to our El Shaddai (God Almighty)!