by Eric Spangler, with Darin and Jill Land
In Asia, the development and multiplication of godly, competent, Spirit-filled, indigenous leaders is absolutely vital to influencing as many Asians as possible toward Jesus. In many ways, it’s vital to attaining God’s mission, for without incarnational, well-trained and mentored leadership in each culture, local churches often lose traction and flounder. But with good leadership, the church can change the world!
God has transformed Natz and Mark Petallar into leaders for His church through their amazing story of hope and grace. And the impact of their transformation is expanding.
Natz (affectionately short for Nativity) is the director of the holistic child development Ph.D. program at Asia Pacific Nazarene Seminary (APNTS). Her husband, Mark, is the senior pastor at Kamuning FMC in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Both are graduates of Light and Life Bible College in Butuan City. Both grew up in humble homes in Mindanao, found Jesus in FM churches in Mindanao, and surrendered with enthusiasm to making a kingdom difference.
The FMC partnership with APNTS in Manila has been significant for the developing church. Darin and Jill Land, Associate/VISA missionaries serving both the church and the school, meet with the Petallars and FM students weekly for prayer and conversation. When the Petallars arrive at these gatherings, the room is instantly filled with life as the children play and hugs of affection are quickly exchanged.
Natz came to APNTS years ago, gaining a masters in Christian Communication. She earned a doctorate before returning to Light and Life Bible College as a professor. During her tenure, she also worked with Compassion International, gaining additional experience with organizational administration, processes and child development. Natz taught during Mark’s student days. Soon a partnership was forged, and the two were married. They have two children, Zoe, which means “life,” and Uriel, which means “God is my light” — a tribute to their connection at Light and Life Bible College.
In 2008, Natz joined the APNTS staff, and Mark became a master’s of divinity student. Soon after he graduated, Mark’s leadership skills were apparent, and he was appointed as senior pastor at the Kamuning FMC.
Natz and Mark are committed to raising up a new generation of leaders for Jesus’ church. They were instrumental in bringing the ministry of ICCM to Metro Manila. They are involved in the “4-14 Movement,” a global initiative that mobilizes people to reach children for Jesus since a high percentage of youth come to know the Lord between the ages of 4 and 14. “Project Transformers,” a ministry of the Kamuning FMC, is aimed at children in slum areas and in the open-air market near the church.
The investment in these two leaders – Natz and Mark – is quickly bringing a leadership return that will impact generations to come.