Mary Beth Banning
Over 7,640 islands make up the archipelago known as the Philippines and only one-third of those islands are inhabited. After the Spanish-American War, these islands were granted to the United States. They became self-governing after World War II. The Philippines are situated along the Ring of Fire and the Pacific typhoon belt which explains the significant volcanic activity and the average of nine typhoons each year. It is the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms. Laoag City, where Mary Beth ministers, is the provincial capital of Ilocos Norte. It is famous for the 400-year-old Spanish churches and the Bell Sinking Tower. Public transportation includes ‘jeepneys’ (small buses), tricycles (motorcycle with sidecar), and calesas (horse drawing a cab). Mary Beth ministers to high school and college students, is a treasurer for two missions corporations, and encourages area churches.Mary Beth Banning serves as a missionary in Laoag City, at the northern end of the island of Luzon.
Rommel and Emily Reyes
Rommel and Emily Reyes are native Filipinos reaching their home country with the Gospel and training the next generation through a Bible institute. The city of Cauayan, near where the Reyes minister, was an important exporter of tobacco for the Spanish empire, but most recently it is known as the “Mushroom City of the North.” Its geographical location makes it an important hub for the surrounding towns.