Saturday, March 28, 2009

Eric's Day

March 28, 1995, a day that changed me forever.

I was in the Philippines then, in a remote area of Mindanao called Tagoloan, near the bigger city of Cagayan de Oro. I was in the Philippines on a missions internship, working as an associate pastor with a network of local churches.

A man approached me telling me that he has been instructed to inform me that I needed to be at the airport in Cagayan de Oro at a certain time that afternoon, I was to meet an arriving passenger (I had no idea who, but I was told that they would know me), and there I would receive further instructions.

It all sounded kind of mysterious to me, but I told the stranger that I would be at the airport at the assigned time. The pastors I was working with agreed to accompany me.

I went about my business of the day. We were starting to work on doing Camp Sonshine with the churches there. I had counselor training in the morning, and then we were going to visit with some families for lunch. Eventually we found our way into the city and to the airport. I still remember sitting in the airport cafe with Pastor Dan and Pastor Gallure, drinking Sprite, waiting for the plane to arrive.

The rest is tragic history. It was my grandmother who got off the plane that afternoon, and she informed me that my brother Eric had been killed in a car accident. After a whirlwind of activity, plane rides, etc. I found myself in my Mom's house in Ocala, having made it back just in time for the funeral.

People who knew me before the 28th of March, 1995, say I changed after this event. I was told that I really mellowed out. I used to be what one friend called a "hard nose," a very high strung "type A" personality, and then after I mellowed out and became more even-keeled.

I call this day Eric's Day, the day he made the leap from earth to Heaven. I celebrate his short life. My brother and I did many things together. One of the most amazing things we got to do was minister side by side, sharing God's love on the mission field and also at Camp Sonshine, Maryland. In fact my first ever missions trip was with my brother, we went to Satillo, Mexico. My brother had a fiery passion for Christ and His kingdom, desiring only to be in the center of God's will.

I am blessed to have a son whom we have named in memory of my brother. I pray that my son, Eric Joseph Anasco, shares the same depth of faith and godliness as his namesake.

I miss you, Eric. I know you are interceding on my behalf in the cathedral of Heaven. You are in that great cloud of witnesses, spoken of in Hebrews 12, cheering me on.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:1

Eric, I miss you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Timothy Internship Program 2009

It is over. We have successfully completed our first Timothy Internship Program here in Iloilo. We had eight interns, five of them were students from Christ for the Nations Institute, a Bible school in Texas.

It was an incredible ten and a half weeks. We did prison ministry, medical ministry, children's ministry, and we even met a child who was raised from the dead. And we ate waaaaay to much pizza.

I am glad I can say this without a shred of doubt. This is my purpose. Equipping people, giving them the tools and the skills to help them succeed is my purpose. It was truly an honor and a privilege to have these incredible men and women of God here with us for these ten and a half weeks. These are lives who will make history, who will change nations.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Too Much Pizza

This is a thirty-two inch Pizza.

The place is called Dos Marias Pizzeria. Over the ten week internship we ate here waaaaaaaay to many times. However, it has become one of our favorite places to eat. This is my traditional place to celebrate my birthday. I am here every August 3rd, and I am sure I will be there this coming August 3, 2009.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Great Adventure

Rarely do I ever post a picture of myself--I am usually behind the camera. Paulo, one of the interns, took this picture of me balancing on top of a jeepney, as we traveled to the mountain area of Lambunao.

This picture reminds me that missions can be the greatest adventure of a lifetime. I still feel like Indiana Jones for Jesus. I have been blessed to see many people and places. I have been blessed to have so many extraordinary experiences. I hope this greatest of adventures lasts for the rest of my life.

“We are all missionaries. Wherever we go, we either bring people nearer to Christ, or we repel them from Christ.” Eric Liddell

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Some News

We have decided to pursue putting Eric and Faith into a school here in Iloilo. We would like our kids to make some Filipino friends, learn some of the local dialect, and also participate in school sports.

We found a promising, new school here in Iloilo, Georgia International Academy. Kind of a funny name for an international academy. Perhaps it may have something to do with the school being located in a new housing development called Savannah? So here in Iloilo, Georgia is located in Savannah.

The school is less than two years old. They are modern and innovative in their education approach. The classes will be taught (mostly) in English, and the classrooms are even air-conditioned! We are still in the application process, but things are looking good. We are hoping that this school will be a good fit for Eric and Faith. Stay tuned to see if they are able to get enrolled.

By they way, the academic calendar here in the Philippines is different from what we are used to. The school year starts in mid-June going until March.

And in other news, we got a puppy.