Challenges and Joy in the Field

Life is full of challenges. These challenges can pull us down or make us strong. Being a staff worker is very challenging in the sense that I need to deal with different issues that I personally do not want to deal with. One of the things that I do not want to do but I need to do is to confront people.

I need to confront both students and graduates for Christ. And it is a life-long empowering and enjoying process of discipleship. The need to confront people tests my character and places me in a vulnerable position since my anger often goes before me. I am now facing such a need and it is an opportunity for me to grow in the image and likeness of Christ and for others to grow and mature as well. I am praying and hoping that the Lord will enable me as I do it for his glory in my assigned area (North Cotabato).

I am also glad to inform you our praying friends and supporters that after more than six months of stay in IVHome Kabacan, my wife and I have already transferred to our house. It is a simple house yet it gives us joy to finally live together on our own. In this way we can exercise our independence as a married couple and our total dependence on God. It is like a farm within a subdivision. It is full of coconut trees and other fruit trees. We are often refreshed by the cool breeze and entertained by different songs of the birds.  There are many things yet to be done in our house but we are excited to do  it together and to create a home together. For one, I am excited to make a vegetable and flower garden there. It creates a fire and excitement within me because it gives me much needed space from the work in the ministry.


Please continue to pray with us as we serve God together through IVCF ministry.

We praise God for His provision for our two delegates during Kawayan Camp last summer and for the reconstruction and repair of our house, His Sustenance daily specially during the summer camps and conferences  and  His People for the new assigned GT members and continuing GT members and also for my wife who is also my partner in the ministry.

Please help us pray for guidance as I do my work as a field staff, protection during area visitations, provision for DLTC since I am the staff in charge, wisdom as I work on the ISCF, IVCF, Graduates and GT ministry in North Cotabato and fruitful disciple making in North Cotabato, and a deeper relationship with God and with my wife


Raffy Dela Cruz together with my wife Ira

God is Faithful

Last June 15, 2015 was my second year being a field staff in Southern Mindanao Regional Unit, and it’s just by God’s grace alone that I stay in this service for the Lord through IVCF. For my two years as a staff, there are many experiences that are worth to thank for not just the good but the bad things as well. I learn to be more dependent to Him and more trusting to His unfailing promises. Perhaps God has taken me this far because He has more plans for my life. My two years of service are somehow full of failures because I’ve been to lots of complaints, doubts and questions that often begin with “Why…?”, but God is still gracious to me. I often question about the desperate situation of IVCF which also have us, the staff suffer delayed salary. As a financial supporter to my family, I need stable income to support their needs especially for my brother’s schooling . There were times that I could feel resigning from staffwork and better find greener pasture to address the needs of my family. But God knows my heart in the ministry. Seeing all these temporal needs could not replace the passion that I have right now for the ministry of the Lord. My passion and commitment to the Lord is heavier than the needs of my family. For the past months of delayed salary, He never leaves me, He provides all my needs. My brother is in his third year in college now and truly God provides despite the difficulty to give for his tuition fee, projects and every week allowances. These tempting needs become my burden and struggle as I follow and obey the Lord. However, these challenges lead me to know more of Him. With my questions and uncertainties, His words of assurance are always my comfort. I know He is gone ahead of me and no matter what happens He is my strong foundation. I am so much humbled before the Lord. For this recent academic school year, GOD IS FAITHFUL!

KC 2015 Family: during group pictorial.

KC 2015 Family: during group pictorial.

KC 2015 Testimony I don’t know where to start thanking God for enabling me in this camp. I am equipped and taught so much of servanthood. It was an awesome experience, though with me are personal struggles.The camp was very challenging and I am helped to grow in Him more. I’m so blessed to be part of this another batch of KC and most all to be part of the students’ journey. I found joy and strength while serving with my fellow staff, counselors and students despite our differences. I gained so much encouragement from the speakers and visitors I’ve met during this training with whom I also learned much about IVCF’s legacy. This camp helped me to press on and continue to share God’s story in the lives of the unbelievers especially in my ‘mission field’, the campuses, where God has entrusted to me. This challenge from the Lord keeps me holding and going toward the vision of proclaming His glory. The impact this camp has brought to the campers and counselors challenge me to do more for His glory and honor. I may not be perfect to obey the command of God yet I could perfectly see His gracious hands being extended to complete me with full confidence of the future grace. I’m sure that He is certainly pleased of the effort given for the expansion of His kingdom. These lessons inspire me most to continue my service for this camp beyond my imperfections and failures. God is worthy to be served through this life-changing camp. I am more excited to be part of more Kawayan Camps to come. To God be all the Glory!



  • I praise God for protecting me always wherever I go and for the continuous (physical, emotional, intellectual, financial and spiritual) blessings.
  • I praise God for the growing numbers of student-leaders and GT volunteers in my area.
  • I praise and thank God last summer, it was a privilege to be part of KC2015. I learned and relearned much things about effective leadership.
  • I praise God for the growing numbers of Counselors to continue volunteer and commit their time to ISCF ministry in Kapalong National High School, University of Mindanao-Highschool Dept.,and Tagum City Comprehensive National High School; and for this school year, KAO National High School.

Prayer Items:

  • Please pray for the consistent discipline in every aspect of my life that I may become effective and efficient Staffworker in our region.
  • Please pray for wisdom and strength as I accept new responsibilities that I should be dependent to Him and sensitive to his leading.
  • Please pray for financial provision for my brother in his 3rd year college. Pray too for the salvation of my family.
  • Please pray that I will live the character of Jesus Christ and continue to become a channel of His blessings to my family, studentleaders, co-staffworkers and friends.
  • Please pray for wisdom and knowledge as I decide for crucial things. May the Lord be glorified whatever the decisions that I will make.

Questions for Direction

At the Cross Reign Church w/ Sander Doy (on the left), Sir Boy Oczon, KC ‘72 (at the center) and myself(on the right)

At the Cross Reign Church w/ Sander Doy (on the left), Sir Boy Oczon, KC ‘72 (at the center) and myself(on the right)

Could this be my last term in staff work? Is this the right time to go out in the ministry of IVCF? What do you want me to do Lord  after this? Where do you  want me to go? Should I enroll in a seminary in preparation for pastoral work? Or practice my teaching profession? Theseare just some of the questions that keep on boggling me at this point of my journey.

I am now starting my fifth  year in staff, and I still have  two remaining years to think and pray for these questions before I make some crucial decisions. I will not deny that these questions at some degree rise from the financial crisis that we are experiencing in the ministry. For some years that we are experiencing delayed salaries, I think it is normal for me to entertain these questions especially that I am about to enter marriage life. Finances then would be one of my concerns as a husband but I have in mind not to move out from staff work for this reason. I believe that as long as I am living in obedience to Christ all my needs will be provided. I am also aware that following the Lord Jesus Christ always involves sacrifices. Because of my passion to serve God in the ministry of IVCF and my financial concern, I am thinking of looking for a job in order to support my missionary work and to support my fellow missionaries if possible. Practicing my teaching profession then while ministering with the students is also a good option to be considered. If this is God’s will for me, my financial concern will be lessened while doing the campus work. On the other hand, I also have the desire to do pastoral work in a church. This desire started when I was in first year college and until now it remains in me. Having seen the needs of the churches for pastors who are loyal to the biblical truths and to Christ disturbs me. But then, I’m not so sure if this is what the Lord wants me to do. Lastly, remaining in staff work is still in my consideration. Doing the fulltime campus work is still my passion and if it is in this work where I will know more of Christ and make Him known, then so be it. For the past four years of my service in Christ through IVCF I have learned a lot of things and until now I kept on learning and unlearning things. My prayer to God is that He will make clear to me His leading prior to my Sabbatical leave. I know that with the above mentioned questions the bottom line after all is my faith and obedience to Christ. I fear that I could make some decisions without being scrutinized by the Scriptures and by the Spirit. It is my prayer and desire in life that in all things, Christ must be glorified and exalted.

To God be the Glory!

In Christ,

Ricky 09177297196


Praises & Prayers

  • Praise God for the 36 delegates who attended the Sibol Camp 2015 of SMRU.
  • Praise God for the donors who supported the 5 NLDC delegates last summer.
  • Praise God for the opportunities to get involve with small business and for His provision amidst the financial crisis in the ministry.
  • Help us to pray that we could invite more students to be part of the ministry this school year.
  • Pray too, that the trained students in Davao area will be moved by the Spirit to share the gospel with their fellow students.
  • Pray for the trained students to be more intentional in discipling their fellow students.
  • Pray for wisdom as I take lead of the Regional Assembly this coming August.
  • Lastly, help me to pray for the conversion of my family and relatives