Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Day Three, In-country

Still here in Nevada or NV (do you get my drift?), enjoying coffee and cool breezes at my favorite coffee shop here in the tourist district. Some guy just asked me if I was from Nevada. That is the plus for me, I blend. While I am a bit more overweight than your typical resident of Nevada, I do blend in pretty well, so my coming here, going to special places to hold conferences, etc. is easier for me since I look like I am from Nevada (or NV, get it?).

Had yet another incredible day teaching. All is going well, no serious problems like the last time I was in Nevada. But I want to stay vigilant and alert, and most of all I ask you to please keep thinking those thoughts.

Some people here have had some severe hardships. I had coffee with an older student. He used to work for the former government, the one before the current government in Nevada. Since he was associated with the old way of government, when the current regime took over, they put him in prison for twelve years. After he got out, he was very bitter and angry at the government that put him in jail for so many years. He told me that held so much bitterness in his heart, it was eating away at him and making him physically sick.

Then something happened, he learned to forgive. A leader here told him about the power of JC, and the mercy JC gives us. He became a follower of JC, and now he says his life is brand new. In fact, he feels that he needed to go to jail for twelve years, so he could realize his need for JC. He is glad for those years, because that is what brought him to need JC. He now forgives his former captors, and he has compassion for them, that they would one day know JC as he does. This is the power of the good news.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Day Two, In-country

I still can't believe I am doing this. Here in this country, working with these believers, I still marvel that this is my job.

Had an incredible first day of teaching. Saw some familiar faces, and met thirty-five new students. Taught for about five hours. Of course, the day was broken by the traditional lunch and the after lunch nap.

Food here is so very healthy, and very good. Not like any other Asian food I have eaten, spicy, not spicy hot, just spicy as in full of different flavors. I usually eat the vegetarian option because it is usually the tastiest.

I am still so humbled by these believers. I cannot imaging the cost they must pay just to follow Christ. It is an honor to be among them, and I am humbled that I could even teach them anything, when they are such an example to me.

I get to do this for three more days, and I am so glad. Of course, I can't wait to see my family again. I have access to wireless Internet at a coffee shop near my hotel, so at least I can chat online with Chris each night.

Now to find some dinner . . .

Monday, February 26, 2007

Day One, In-country

Back in (unnamed country), so good to be back. I had dinner with a good friend this night. He took me to a traditional (unnamed country) restaurant. We had noodle soup and spring rolls, all very good.

You may recall that this young student and I met through a chance encounter at a coffee shop. We maintained a friendship via email, and on my second trip here I felt that I should ask him to join the "family." He is totally on fire for the Boss. He has also led his grandmother and sister to the "family" as well.

He told me at dinner that he is so happy to be a follower of You Know Who. He says he is very happy and has purpose. He reads the w0rd everyday, and also is regularly "thinking" for his family and friends, also everyday. He is a changed person.

I am so encouraged to see him and hear him and his test1m0ny. He has always called me br0th3r, and that is especially true since we have the same f@th3r.

While I am enjoying being back here in (unnamed country), the hardest part of being here is leaving my family. I truly do not like being away from them. They are my favorite people, and I do not enjoy being apart from them. I know I have to leave them from time to time, but it is always hard. Keep them in your "thoughts," especially Chris--she is now outnumbered three to one.

Keep me in your thoughts as well, that all would be well, that those officials who disapprove of what I do here would be blind to my movements and actions. I know that the Boss is my strong t0w3r, and I can run to h1m and be safe.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Get on Your Knees

I will be traveling to a restricted access country next week. I recently got the following email from "Pastor B," a pastor I work with when I visit this country:

"I went to (unnamed city) to share the Gospel with the local church. During the morning service the secret police came, they stopped the service, they asked the members for their ID papers and for the registration papers of their motorbikes. They took the song books, and every Christian had to go to the police station for interrogation. Each Christian was fined.

They interrogated me from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. The police tried to arrest me and take my ID, but I defied them and their ungodly laws. Praise the Lord I was not arrested.

I would like to let you know about our churches in my country. Every time we worship the Lord, we pay the price and willingly face persecution. You know, outside they show that my country is free about religion but inside they tell and allow the local police to stop, harass, and interrogate Christians.

Please let your family, your friends and your churches know and do intercessions for us."

From February 26th to March 3rd I will be in (unnamed country) working with Pastor B, teaching in the Underground Church. Please pray for me on this trip, and most of all pray for our persecuted brethren.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Iloilo is Home

We are finally back home. We arrived in the Philippines early on the 14th. We eventually arrived at a missionary friend's home at 2:00 AM. We got some sleep, but since we were all so messed up schedulewise, it was still a rough night. After spending the day with missionary friends in Manila, we finally arrived in Iloilo the evening of the 14th around 8:00. We all crashed pretty hard, and thankfully everyone got some pretty good sleep.

This day, Thursday the 15th we went shopping at SM City, a local mall. We also got our cable and Internet reconnected. So life seems to be back to normal. It is so very good to be back home. Thanks to many of you who were preparing our way home, going before us in your prayers.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

Two More Days

In two more days, or in Eric and Faith speak, "three more sleeps," we will be leaving for home. We will be going from one weather extreme to another.
This is always a somewhat bittersweet time. While I miss my Filipino home, and I am looking forward to getting back to Iloilo, it is always hard to say goodbye to our family and friends here in the States. I love our life and ministry on the mission field, at the same time saying goodbye to people we love is not easy.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Travel Details

February 12
Continental Flight 2303 BWI to Newark, NJ, departs 10:22 AM arrives 11:22 AM

Continental Flight 99 Newark to Hong Kong, departs 3:00 PM arrives 7:55 PM (Hong Kong local time)

February 13
Cathy Pacific Flight 905 Hong Kong to Manila, Philippines, departs 10:00 PM arrives 11:55 PM

February 14
Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 459 Manila to Iloilo, departs 4:15 PM arrives 5:20 PM