Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

While the rest of the Philippines went to work or school or had a normal day, the staff and families of the Sonshine Center celebrated Thanksgiving. A small army of cooks (including Chris, Eric, and Faithy) prepared the feast, and we had the big dinner at the home of Jesse and Kay. For the first time ever, I did not eat too much. I am finding that I simply cannot pig out the way I used to, even when the food is as good as a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings--we even got Stove Top stuffing delivered from Manila.







Monday, November 19, 2007

Pressure

Pressure isn't always bad. Especially when it comes to water. For three years we have lived without water pressure. When someone was doing the dishes, you could not take a shower. If a toilet was flushed, you had to wait until the tank filled up before you washed your hands in the sink. Then when the laundry was being washed in our washing machine, all other water needs had to be put on hold. It would literally take an hour to wash a single load of laundry.

Then something wonderful happened. About a week ago we got our pipes cleaned. It's like we have a whole new plumbing system. You can actually wash the dishes and have someone take a shower at the same time. Laundry now takes thirty minutes to wash. And showers are wonderful. We used to do the fill the bucket and dump method, but now no more. For three years we lived without water pressure. I am glad those three years are over. We will be sure to have our pipes cleaned yearly.

Now we may have to get a "widowmaker."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Trip to Davao, THIS is Church

The exclamation point at the end of this trip was Sunday morning service at God's People Christian Fellowship Badjao Community Church.

The Badjao community is a true squatter village. The Badjao people do not own any land. Their entire community is built over the water with their houses and buildings on raised stilts. Many of the families depend on the ocean for their livelihood. Many of the Badjao men I met were pearl divers.

They are very poor but also very passionate about Christ. They are true worshipers, praising God with all their hearts. In their poverty they still have much joy.

During praise and worship the place was literally hopping. Since the church, just like their homes, is built on stilts over the water, the building was swaying and moving up and down during worship.


We had a powerful time of prayer. Many people came forward for ministry.


When this man came to church he was blind. When he left church that day he could see. Prayer really does work. Prayer really does change things. Miracles really do happen. I have now seen this with my own two eyes, just like this man.

Here is a member of Davao's finest, one of our police escorts for the day.

Near the church is a mosque that is unfortunately very hostile to this church and to Christians in general. There have been some incidents of violence toward the church and its members. This is why we needed a police escort for our visit. There was even a gang of rough necks (or as my friend officer Jimmy Capone would say, "knuckleheads") that had to be kicked out of the church service.

My visit to this church has blessed me in so many ways. These people are some of the poorest I have ever seen. Their homes are literally little shacks built on stilts. And yet in the midst of their poverty, they are very rich in their faith in Christ. This fact makes them richer than most. Their faith is powerful and passionate. They love Jesus with all their hearts, and it shows.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Trip to Davao

Last week was incredible. I was in the island of Mindanao in the city of Davao. I joined a team of pastors from the United States and Calvary International missionaries to help minister at a tribal pastors conference.

In Mindanao there are thirty-four tribal groups. Twenty-five of those tribes were represented at this conference. Over 500 pastors and church leaders from these people groups attended this conference. Many of these tribes were recently considered unreached. Praise the Lord they are unreached no more.

Some of these tribal peoples have a very rough history. One pastor used to be a member of a tribe that practiced cannibalism. He became a born again Christian and stopped this brutal practice. He attended Bible school and is now pastoring a small congregation. He said he can no longer practice cannibalism because he now knows that all people are created in the image of God, and that he should love them and show them the love of Christ rather than kill and eat them. AMEN!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Travels

Last week our family joined the Calvary International missionaries here in Asia at our Annual Reunion of the Asia-Pacific team. This year we enjoyed the Costa Aguada resort, a place we have visited twice before.

Also tomorrow the 7th, I leave for Davao in Mindinao for a pastor's conference. I will return home on Monday the 12th. Please keep my family in your prayers while I am gone.

Sunday, November 04, 2007