Collage of U-Turn for Christ Philippines Pictures

About Us

The Church In the Philippines, now Calvary Chapel U-Turn for Christ Samar, began like many other ministries at U-Turn for Christ. From Pastor Gerry Brown's vision of discipleship of the teaching of the gospel through a person who had overcome the problems of abuse, with the assistance of the program in Perris Ca. A young lady, Racheal Gantalao Huffine was at the women's ranch in Perris while her husband Steven was enrolled in the program for God's help with an abusive lifestyle. Racheal was the daughter of a Christian family in the Philippines, in fact her father was a pastor of a small Evangelical Christian Church near Calbayog in Samar. The people in the program became drawn to her for her Christ like example. She sang with the worship team during the Friday night services, and on Sundays at the Perris church. Pastor Gerry was drawn to the story of her background and life, from a poor community of Christians in the Philippines and made arrangements to meet her Father and visit the church in Samar and to lead a Pastor’s Conference on the Inductive Bible Study Method. He did, he and the missionaries with him were overwhelmed and fell in love with how God used them on the first trip, Gerry planned immediately to return. That was my first time, I was with him and stayed to complete the purchase of a small property, through the local Evangelical community.  A house and a worship center were to be built. The facility was to become the second international mission effort of U-Turn for Christ, the first being Ensenada, Mexico, and it was to be a foster home for orphan or single parent children in the community. Pastor Kenny Maxey and Fely were the first leaders of the church. Fely is Racheal's sister. It is very sad when someone young and gifted is taken, as it was with Racheal, who was taken to be with Jesus at an early age.

The foster home was limited to only a few years of service, the local social agency (DSWD) put many restrictions on us to be in compliance with government regulations for a foster home. We were advised that the 11 children in our care would need to be sent to their closest family. Sadly of course we complied. God was not going to be shut down.  The missions program continued to support the kids through school and their food and clothing.

The small church that Kenny began to teach in the community would continue with weekly worship service.  Pastor Kenny and Fely moved to the states, for a time, and Pastor Cisco Velasco took over as the head of the ministry until 2010.

Some of the present programs took place then. Pastor Cisco began a discipleship program, with young men from the community. Some youth are willing to stay at the vacated foster home with us, and study the Bible as a classroom activity.  It was the beginnings of the Bible School, three local pastors, Pastor Ordie Gantalao (Fely and Racheals father) Pastor Dion Pellejera, and Pastor Manling Prudenciado (has since passed), remain on the board of the ministry at U-Turn for Christ.

In 2002 when I moved full time to the ministry, we split the responsibility of the church and school, for the first two years Cisco was the teacher at the church and I was the administrative head of the school. In 2006 we completed the move to Lalawigan Borongan. Cisco moved the school to Luscoon and I stayed with the San Joaquin fellowship. Cisco was one of the first graduates of the discipleship school he began. He and Pastor Lemuel were the first ordinations in that year, and Pastor Lemuel began the church in Lalawigan, Borongan.

Catbalogan was added in 2010.  Pastor Romualdo "Wads Boy" Guerrera was the last graduate of the school in San Joaquin and served at Luscoon as Cisco's assistant, until planting the church during a Revival Outreach in 2010.  Pastor Jerome Belermino was one of the first four graduates of the new school in Luscoon, he was the first to be ordained and blessed with the opportunity to build a church on his family property in 2012. Pastor Mario Rocha broke ground for the new church.

I guess the second phase of God's work in Samar with U-Turn for Christ began shortly thereafter. Typhoon Yolanda struck Samar/Leyte in November of 2013. The official death count of the tragic storm was 7000, millions of people were affected. The response of the church was dramatic. I have witnessed it twice in my lifetime, Christ's bride came to minister, hands, feet and whatever tools those limbs could bring with them, to rescue the lost, the homeless, those left without even shelter. It was emotional and it was complete. Immediate resources, food, water, medicine, clothing, housing.  In the close to five years the work continued, perhaps 3000 Christian volunteers donated themselves and their finances to restore Samar.

Two new churches were built from the rubble Tacloban, San Julian, and the Hernani church which was leveled, rebuilt completely. God was certainly at hand and in the midst of everything that was accomplished.

In early 2020 Covid alienated us again from the rest of the Christian world and our home at Romoland.  We were not able to receive our beloved friends for almost three years. The church is growing, the last two years and the team trips have been very full. We are eight churches, those six mentioned plus U-Turn for Christ Carayman. Pastor Angel Ambel, planted during a Western Samar U Turn for Christ and Revival Medical Mission in 2011. Recently we added a church at U-Turn for Christ Maybao, Bataan, Luzon, as I am extremely proud of my brother-in-law Aljhon Interino with his precious wife Merra, who came alongside us last year.

The Lord is doing a great work in the Philippines and we are blessed to be a part of it all. Please keep us in prayer as we keep pressing on for His glory!