Gilbert and Len Soner – Bible Fellowship, Davao City, Philippines
Gilbert currently serves as pastor for Bible Fellowship Church in Davao City. Davao City’s population is approximately 1.1 million people, and is located on Mindanao Island in the southern part of Philippines. Although the main language of this area is Cebuano, many residents of Davao are able to speak in Tagalog and English.
Gilbert is the fourth child from a family of six children. He Came to know Jesus Christ at the age of 19 through a local pastor. In 1999, Gilbert met missionaries, Steve and Dottie St. Clair through their “Rice Ministry” and became good friends ever since. In 2002, Gilbert attended Emmaus Bible School in Malolos, Philippines to learn more about Christ and Christian ministry. Gilbert and Len were married in 20016. They have a son, Glen John and are expecting another child later this year.
Bible Fellowship Church is active throughout the week with various men’s, women’s and young people’s groups. Several other churches have been planted in the area in Cabantian and Baliok.
Bethel is grateful to God for His work in and through the lives of Gilbert and his family.
Daniel will tell you, “As long as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by missions”. Early in his life, he studied Spanish and participated in three short-term mission trips to Columbia, South America. While there, he took part in various evangelistic campaigns and other ministry endeavors. No doubt, much of Daniel’s success comes from a combination of an eagerness to help others, his very like-able personality, and his aptitude toward solving various technical issues. But more than these, Daniel loves his lord, Jesus Christ, and has a heart for seeing God change lives.
Early in 2015, Daniel went on a short-term mission trip to Davoa, Philippines where he served with Gilbert Soner, Pastor of Bible Fellowship Davao (BFD), and missionaries, Steve and Dottie St. Clair. It was at this time that God began working on Daniel’s heart for the people of Davoa as he became increasingly aware of the lord’s desire for him to apply his language and technical skills as wall as his prior experience in cross-cultural ministry. Daniel came to understand, “God had been preparing my whole life for this.” He returned home and, over the next month, shared his vision with the Bethel Church body to serve in the Philippines on a full-time basis.
After much prayer, Daniel was enthusiastically commended to full-time ministry in October of 2015 by Bethel Community Church. Since then, Daniel has been serving there, supporting Pastor Gilbert Soner in church planting and other needs. Daniel’s main desire is to see Christian men in Davao (and the surrounding communities) grow in their love for Christ, and to step-up and lead – both their families adn BFD. Also, Daniel has been sharing his life and the truths of the Gospel with the people of Bajau – impoverished “outcast” tribes who dwell on the outskirts of Davao near ( and on) the ocean.
Our Church family at Bethe is grateful to God for his work in and through Daniel Minnella.