Mike and Ruth Morrissey Prayer Letter:  Joseph William's Dramatic ArrivalThis is the latest prayer letter that I have sent out in a very long time, and I apologize for my delay. To say that the last two months (okay, the last 2½ months) have been busy would be a gross understatement! In the midst of all the busyness of our usual ministry work, with the addition of processing and then remodeling our new property and the building of a new wall on the old property, OUR FIFTH CHILD DECIDED TO MAKE HIS APPEARANCE! Joseph William was born at 3:45 on Sunday morning, February 18. With that in mind, I have decided to make this the official “Family Update Edition” of our bimonthly prayer letter. (Dear Reader, if the mere reading of this paragraph made you tired, I apologize. What can I say? I thrive in a high-action environment. 😊)


The day of Joseph’s birth, I woke up at 1:00 a.m., and for some reason, God wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. I was just wide awake. About 1:30, I found out why; the signs of early labor were becoming evident, but Ruth wasn’t sure yet that it was the real thing. Just 45 minutes later, we were VERY SURE! I began gathering the last few items to add to the suitcase while Ruth’s labor ramped up with surprising speed. Because of how quickly the labor had intensified, everything took longer as we worked to get out the door. By the time we left the house, it was a little after 3:00 a.m., and Ruth was in full labor. Due to the fact that most of the hospitals in our area leave much to be desired in the area of patient care and expediency, we had opted for Ruth to give birth at a hospital in the next city over from Dapitan. As we pulled away from the house, I was seriously doubting the wisdom of that decision! The trip should have taken close to 30 minutes; we did it in less than 20! I have NEVER driven at that speed in the dark here in the Philippines! We reached the hospital somewhere around 3:20, and Joseph was born about 25 minutes later. I had prayed for a quick and “relatively” easy delivery, and God answered my prayers, albeit at the cost of my already thinning hairline! Thankfully, God had made arrangements for Bro. & Mrs. Darrell Bolton to be with us that weekend, and he was more than happy to step in and fill the pulpit for me on short notice. As usual, he did a great job!


In keeping with my “Family Edition” theme, I decided to include a couple of soul-winning stories about my children. On Saturday morning, February 23, I got to go soul winning with my 11-year-old son Michael in a new area of Dapitan that has only recently become easily accessible due to the construction of a new road. When we arrived in the area, it was obvious that foreigners are a rarity there; the people peeked out of their windows at us but avoided all eye contact. Their surprise and curiosity at our visit were only multiplied when we started chattering to the neighbors in Visayan; at that point, they began coming out of their houses to see the Visayan-speaking “white people” for themselves. Within a few minutes, I was sitting on a small porch sharing the Gospel with a crowd of 8 or 9 people, most of whom chose to put their faith in Christ and be saved. At the very end of my Gospel presentation, a 13-year-old boy walked up and started listening with obvious interest, but I couldn’t go back and start over. So, I asked Michael to take him down the hill and talk to him one on one. What a joy it was to watch my 11-year-old son effortlessly share the Gospel in straight Visayan with this open-hearted young man!

The following week, on February 28 to be exact, I went home to take a nap. (Yes, I do occasionally slow down and rest.) When I got back to the church, I pulled my motorcycle in and walked around the back of the building towards my office. As I walked past our Junior Church structure, I was surprised to see a group of 7 elementary-aged girls from the school next door to our church. It took a moment for my mind to focus on and comprehend what I was seeing. The girls were sitting in chairs arranged in a semicircle near the front of the building, and standing in front of them sharing the Gospel in straight Visayan was my 13-year-old daughter Beth. I’m not much of one for being sentimental, but at that moment, as a father, I just wanted to cry.


Over the last couple of months, our church has gotten hammered on the health front, and unfortunately, our family has not been exempted. Most of our family got sick in late January or early February, and then AJ, our seven-year-old, came down with a severe case of Dengue fever, which he then in turn passed on to Hannah, who is about 16 months old now. AJ had the higher fever of the two, but Hannah had a much more severe rash at the end of the fever. Thankfully, both have fully recovered now, but it seems that a new cold is starting to sweep through our church and family again, so please pray specifically for our health at this time. Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and friendship.

Yours for souls,

Mike Morrissey