Barner Christian Academy

September Newsletter

Volume 15, No. 10

15 Years!



My brother Phil & I, attending seminary in Nyack, NY decided to send a newsletter to those praying for our ministry. PPPL (Phil and Paul’s Prayer Letter) was born! After finishing seminary, we entered our first pastorate together in Princeton, NJ as intern/associate pastors.

People groups we ministered to & had Bible Studies with in Princeton were children, youth, college age and the elderly. Real-life puppets, a functioning miniature “Bible Bus” that visited the 66 different books of the Bible, and a Slime War were exciting ideas that relayed the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1990- My life’s goal, to visit the Philippines, became a reality, as I counseled new believers in Luzon, Philippines for two weeks with a Christian group. Our 2-yr internship at Princeton complete, Phil became pastor in a church in the beautiful Adirondack mountains. I then spent three months in ministry in Colorado and Washington, as children’s pastor and church planting consultant. In November I became senior pastor in the Ozark mountains of Missouri.

As senior pastor in Missouri, I blended the three ministries of adult discipleship, children’s evangelistic outreach, and community service. On television and radio, we reached our area with the Gospel, and many were saved. The children themselves did radio commercials. Through my position as president of Toastmasters (Ozark Orators), founder of Manna Ministries Food/clothes pantry, and chairman of the Rolla Benevolent Fund, the church became known. As Board member of Echo Valley Bible Camp and Spiritual Aims Chairman of the Rolla Kiwanis Club, destitute children received scholarships for Summer Camp. I achieved my trucker’s license and drove for Allied Van Lines, loading and unloading furniture and possessions. To further our influence, I substitute taught in public schools and assisted in the police department as a chaplain ride-along and supervising community service of prisoners.

1994-On invitation of Rotary International, I took a 6-wk sabbatical from the church for a cultural study exchange of the Philippines. While visiting one of the
Philippines churches in Davao City, I met Elvie, who was the evangelism/youth coordinator for her church, and a graduate of seminary, with a dream to become a missionary.

Realizing I would be returning to the Philippines, I resigned from the Missouri church and became children’s pastor in Littleton, Colorado. Radio and puppet ministry began with a stage designed by a retired NASA space shuttle engineer, Fred. I worked also for Allied Van Lines in the daytime, and as a bellman for Holiday Inn through the night.

After resigning from my position in Colorado, I left for the Philippines where Elvie and I were married. I’d made a promise to God, “I’ll stay in the Philippines until my wife Elvie has her travel visa,” and started teaching at the local Bible College.

Although informed Elvie’s visa would take 4 months, it took instead 4 years. Keeping my promise to God, we planted a church in an alley between 2 houses, using a small plastic washing machine as a pulpit. We also hung up green sheets on wires as curtains to keep out the bright tropical 110-degree sun. God increased our tiny congregation when our son Timothy (“PJ” for Praise Jesus) was born.

On the 10-year anniversary of this prayer letter, we prayed that God would give us a specific outreach to our community. So we started the “Bible School House” on Friday nights in our little alley church. Puppet Ministries brought hundreds of children into the Sunday School and outreach ministries, so we completed the government requirements and opened the Barner Learning Center preschool. Our 37 pupils studied in a rented house nearby. Noticing that poor children could not afford the school, we started the International Student Sponsorship Program. 2 Americans began sending (through Christian Aid Mission) $20 a month to pay the school expenses of two destitute children.

Approaching 100 pupils, we ran out of space and moved BLC to a larger facility. Elvie’s visa was finally approved, so we took our first furlough to the USA, getting sponsors for more poor children. While away, one of our teachers died and also a massive 9-foot deep flash flood devastated our school property. The whole community helped with cleanup, and international friends helped with the expenses of replacing what was lost, including our school piano.

The church was now averaging over 100, and we moved it to the school gym. Our family also grew to 4 with our daughter Abigail. With the BLC student body over 100, we started building an elementary building so we could open a first grade. God is faithful (as always) and continued to touch the hearts of more people around the world to give regularly to this ministry.

Over a dozen Bible Studies began in people’s homes within a radius of the school, & we also began outreaches to unreached people groups in remote jungle areas within a day’s journey of the school. These people had not even once ever heard the name of Jesus. Because of the dangers of kidnappers, I as an American could not go to these areas. So Elvie took my place to deliver horses for Christian workers starting there through DSO, our new daughter organization.

Before our elementary building could be finished, the owner of our school property changed our open-ended contract and demanded immediate full payment. After prayer, Elvie left for the USA alone to renew her American re-entry permit. For 3 weeks she spoke in over a dozen churches and groups. Praise God, He supplied the needed funds through the sacrificial gifts of believers. We noticed children dying for lack of money for hospital bills/medicine, so we started a medical fund which uses interest, not principle, to pay these life-and-death bills.

The beautiful 3-story BLC Elementary wing and teachers’ apartments were finished just before we left for a 9-month furlough, speaking in nearly 100 homes, churches, schools, camps and civic groups in Manila, Hong Kong and across the USA/Canada. As always, God has been very faithful. To date, 120 children are sponsored in the school (not including the 65 paying pupils). We average 140-180 in the church, and upon our return to the Philippines this month, will purchase land for a new building closer to the main road outside the residential area. We’ll be getting 2 busses for the school, and a Christian school and Church Sunday School in New York and Pennsylvania are raising funds for 2 more. God continues to work in amazing ways! Through these fifteen years, PEPPER has been your information hotline to God’s work in the Philippine Islands.


It's been three years since our last furlough, and we're now planning on being in the USA from Feb. to Oct., 2003. Would you like for us to visit your church? Please contact Bud Barner for available times, at budbarner(at)juno. com.


To receive the BLC newsletter in the mail, send your name and address via email to budbarner(at)

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Last edited October 05, 2003
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