"When I realized that men were made in God's image, I could no longer kill them and eat them."

"When I realized that men were made in God's image, I could no longer kill them and eat them."  These are the words of a tribal leader who is now a pastoring a church among his native people.

Last week Go To Nations held a pastor's conference in Davao, Philippines ministering specifically to pastors and church leaders of tribal groups in Mindanao. Over 400 church leaders from 20 tribes (pictured below) were in attendance.

One of the most moving parts of the conference was when several groups sang the great hymn "How Great Thou Art" in their tribal dialect. Native peoples who once practiced cannibalism are now singing praises to God, starting churches, and reaching the unreached.

The team who came to minister to these church leaders was made up of pastors and missionaries from the United States, the Philippines and Latvia. This team also included GTN president Jerry Williamson and Asia-Pacific regional director Craig Kuehn (pictured below in tribal gear). For these tribal pastors, church leaders, and ministers, it was their time to receive ministry and equipping.  Among the team of pastors from the States, I was blessed to have Dr. Richard Perinchief on the team, a dear friend in ministry from Spirit Life of Ocala (FL) church.  Also on this team was my life-long friend Jason Branch. He was just here in July.  He has been to the Philippines now five times.

This conference is a part of the ministry of veteran GTN missionaries Ken and Cris Sandberg.  Among their many ministry projects in Davao, Mindanao, they run a Bible school specifically ministering to tribal pastors and church leaders. Many of these tribes were once considered unreached. Thanks to the churches planted by the graduates of this Bible school, these tribes are unreached no longer.

Pictures from the conference, all taken by Latvian missionary Juris Grikis: