Thursday, August 25, 2011


Fri, Aug 12 – What life have you if you have not life together? There is no life that is not in community, and no community not lived in praise of God. – T.S. Eliot

“Seed had to die for the unity of the loaf. Only in this way could it bear fruit. In the same way each individual must give himself up, must die to himself, if he wants to follow Christ on His way. Then the grain must be crushed and milled if it is to be turned into bread. Our self-will undergoes the same for community. It must be broken if one is to belong to the community of the Supper and to the service of communal work. Furthermore: The grains had to be brought together into one flour and one loaf. Not one of them could preserve itself as it was or keep what it had. No grain could remain for itself. Every grain had given itself and its whole strength into the bread. In the same way the grapes must be pressed for the wine. Every grape gives all its strength and all its juice into the uniform wine. In it no grape can keep anything for itself. Only in this way does wine come into being. Grapes or grains that remain whole are only fit for the pigs or muck heap. They have nothing to do with bread and wine. If they kept back strength and body for themselves they lost everything. And they remained lost. In this we have the most powerful picture of community. That is how Christ presented it to those who were with him at the Supper. But to continue: This whole loaf is broken as Christ let his body be broken. That means for us that the stubbornness of self-will is broken and that we must be ready in community to suffer and die.” Andreas Ehrenpreis, an early Hutterite leader.

Tues, Aug 16 – We are back at Molong’s. We ended up staying an extra day at the resort because I was too sick to travel. Two days of being in bed and having diarrhea is not what I had in mind, but….. God does know how to get me to “Be Still!”  Otherwise our stay was blessed. We are thankful for Molong’s suggestion that we go and his friend who owns the resort who helped with the expenses. Father is still revealing His will to us even now. We are not planning to extend our stay here another two months. So we will be heading back to the States in six days. Thank you so much for your prayers! We are so blessed to have such a faithful family in Jesus!

Wed, Aug 17 – Since returning from our resort trip we have had many long conversations with Molong. We’ve gotten past dreaming of community life together to more serious conversations about living that out which are not always easy, but necessary. We’ve had fun with Albert learning how to shop in the markets and cooking Filipino together with him and Molong. Gary & Albert worked together to make screens for the guest room. When activities slow down for Lisa, she & I visit together while knitting. She’s already completed several small projects! I completed Jinky’s shoulder bag and presented it to her! It’s always fun interacting with the children. Last night they enjoyed being entertained with Gary & Molong’s dancing!

Thurs., Aug 18 - Molong was called to visit a 72 yr. old friend on Mactan Island who had kidney failure. Gary & I had the honor of going along to pray for him! He & his wife welcomed us into his home with a warm smile and were anxious for us to pray for his healing! Before we prayed, however he shared personal stories of his spiritual journey. He has observed many who were sick be healed in Jesus’ name, prayed over the dead and watched the power of God raise them and even encountered angels! However, he is very frustrated and confused that in praying for his own healing, “God does not answer!” So here we are in the presence of this mighty man of God and he wants us to pray for him! I feel so weak, but know that our God is not! As Gary began to pray, I felt led to kneel in front of this precious man and place my hand on the area of his right kidney. At one point in the prayer there was a “fullness of the Spirit” in the room. At the same time, it seemed as though I could feel a “filling” in the area of his right kidney under my hand. May God be glorified in His perfect plan for the life of this servant!

A family member of this man is a manager of an ocean front resort. His son drove us there and dropped us off to spend the rest of the afternoon! We were waited on with drinks and a fine lunch! It seems that we’ve been doing more “resorting” than anything else these days! It makes me feel like I’m being “too luxurious!” But… God must have a plan for the connections we are making and the places He is leading us too. I must learn to rest in His wisdom. Mine never has worked very well!

Fri., Aug 19 – Just out of curiosity, Gary, Molong & I jumped on the motor cycle to look at an empty lot on the beach not far from Molong’s home. What a beautiful view!

Frederick (10 yrs old) has become a precious friend to us. He visits Molong’s often, but today Gary & I walked with Frederick to his home. He was excited to show us where he lives. We took the “short-cut” which was a very muddy, buggy path! At one point we stopped at a community pump and Frederick pumped as we washed the mud off our feet!

We were welcomed into his home by his mother and grandparents. We visited for a short time while sipping on orange soda before heading back to Molong’s!

This weekend is Fiesta in Molong’s Barangay (village). This is an annual event which each village holds for celebrating and honoring their village saint. There are carnivals, games, food, music, etc. Last night the “parade” came past his house which included floats with statues of the honored saint. People walking in front of and behind the float were carrying lighted candles as they chanted & prayed to their saint. Many of the homes also had lit candles and statues of the saint in their yards. It was one of the most eerie events I think I’ve ever witnessed! As the night goes on, the celebration becomes more licentious.

The kids didn’t have school today because of Fiesta, but it was rainy so they all huddled into the hut and watched movies.

Sat. Aug 20. - We were greeted at the brkfst table with cards from all the children! As we read each one aloud, the children waited with excitement for us to finally read their special hade-made card. We are so blessed to have such precious little friends!

We went into the city to run an errand and to meet up with Oliver and his family for lunch. It seems like any time a person travels any place here, they spend ¾ of the day traveling to get there and back and ¼ of the day doing whatever they needed to do. I’m still adjusting to this!

Realizing that I can’t take fresh mangoes home with me - a group of us had fun making mango shakes last night. Then in our creativeness, we advanced to mango- avocado shakes. I don’t know how I’m going to survive without fresh mangoes when I get home! 

Molong & Lisa presented us with a beautiful hand-made card last night. The time for us to return to the states is becoming more real! We’re going to miss everyone so much!

Sun., Aug 21 – More typhoons! We had so much rain today! Everything was flooded! But… we made our way through the water-filled streets with a real estate friend of Molong’s to go see yet another piece of property. While seeking the Lord’s wisdom, it is fun to look and consider!

Family and friends began to come early in the day to spend time with us before we leave. We are reminded of what a blessing it has been to fellowship with such precious brothers and sisters!

We had a flat tire on the way to the airport, but made our flight on time! Thank you for your continued prayers! We’ll be back in the states soon!

Although many pieces have already fallen into place, it’ll be some time before I’ll be able to have a fuller understanding of the Lord’s purpose in our trip. There’s been so much that I don’t even know where to begin in evaluating all the wonderful opportunities and precious connections we’ve made.

There are many ways in which we can see how God in His wisdom has brought us to “the right place at the right time!” Yet, trying to explain that clearly will be a challenge! For now, I’ll simply say that we are seeing how He continues to break us and prepare us for Kingdom living! Empty us of everything that is not of You, Lord Jesus!

We can not express how thankful we are for all your prayers, support and encouragement! We have been blessed to have you on this journey with us! We’ll keep you posted regarding the unfolding of God’s plan for us as we see His directing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Fri. Aug 5 – Ben & Buyon picked Albert, Gary & I up early this morning to visit Project Mercy Farms up in the mountains. We stopped by to see the children at the school and had a wonderful opportunity to share with them. Buyon shared that there is an organization who rescues children off the streets and out of harmful home situations. They are brought to Project Mercy for education and Buyon then attempts to find them strong Christian homes. As a former furniture manufacturer, Ben developed a relationship with a couple who designs furniture for Neiman Marcus. He is American and she is Filipino. They own property in the mountains and recently offered a retreat site with farmland to Project Mercy to use. They are just beginning to make plans for this property and Ben is starting to plant trial organic plots. The view is breath-taking!

There are beautiful flower farms on the mountains. Some of the flowers are sold in the city markets, however the majority of them are used in the worship temples in the mountains (high places) where they are sacrificed to idols. The temples are in caves and child prostitution is a part of the worship practices. Cebu is known to be the center for this type of worship. Although I’ve yet to research this cult (Moncado), my understanding is that they worship El Ninyo – “Little Jesus” who performs miracles. My assumption is that they have sexual intercourse with a child as an expression of their desire to be close to/intimate with the “Christ Child.” There is an annual celebration (Sinulog) in Cebu the 3rd Sunday in January for which people from all around travel to Cebu to be a part of these sad and heart-wrenching practices. Child prostitution is at its peak at this time. Christians believe that there is a curse on the males in the Philippines because of this “little boy”! The strong Catholic practices and the worship of “momma Mary” and resulting matriarchy also is thought to have a strong spiritual affect on the men. It is believed that if Cebu changes it will affect the entire nation. I must learn more!

Sat. Aug 6 – Oliver came to visit with us this morn. We had lunch with Arlene (a young disciple) and five of her friends whom she recently made disciples of Jesus. They’ve come today to be baptized in the ocean! As we ate, Arlene shared with us how she made them disciples. What a powerful example of the work of Jesus! Some of the girls shared with us their desire to be followers of Jesus. We all went to a beach hut as a family and shared in the celebration! What an honor to be a part of the baptisms! How wonderful for the children of the community to see such an example of Kingdom life! What an exciting day!

Sun Aug 7 – Jennie, another young disciple shared that she made two disciples last week, her brother and a workmate. Molong encouraged her to bring them so that they could be baptized. She said, “I already did it!” PTL! A few weeks ago, Albert made and baptized three disciples! God is truly at work among these young people and it is so exciting! What a joy it is to have them return to the community hub and share their stories!

Shirley and Oliver came today and we discussed establishing legal organizations to do Kingdom work. Praying for God’s wisdom.

Extended (Kingdom of God) family came for the rest of the day. Annie had fun singing songs and playing games with the children. Helen, a new believer came with Annie and shared how Annie made her a disciple and baptized her! God is so good!

Mon. Aug 8 – We rode motorcycles up into the mountains as far as we could and then walked the rest of the way to see Albert and Lisa’s family and to baptize Grandma! Grandma is 81 years old. Her grandson, Albert has been sharing with her about Jesus. She now realizes that she is a Chosen one of God and desires to follow Jesus! I had the honor of assisting Albert with her baptism! Because we had no body of water in which to baptize her, we used a 55 gallon drum of rain water! With the drum standing in an upright position, we placed a chair in front of it. Grandma stepped up on the chair and we helped her into the drum. Albert prayed over her and we dunked her down into the water. When she arose I kissed her forehead. We both cried while holding each other! Our hearts were immediately connected! I must learn Cebuano so I can visit with Grandma! I sat on her front porch and attempted to communicate with words. We weren’t very successful at that, but there was no question for either of us that our hearts are connected! What a precious women and how blessed I am to have her as a new family member!

Albert, Gary & I went for a long walk around the “block”. As we walked along, we saw several 4 Sale signs and we dreamed about living close by one another.

Albert, Gary & I worked together to make a huge taco salad. It was a big hit! I had fun teaching Albert. He’s excited to have a new recipe!

Wed. morning Gary & I leave for four days to be alone on an island. We must spend some focused time seeking Father's wisdom regarding His plan for us here in the Philippines. We may not have computer access, but covet your continued prayers.

Tues, Aug 9 – I misdated yesterday. We are not leaving for the island retreat until tomorrow, Wed. Today was laundry day and getting packed to leave for the island tomorrow.

We learned that the house next to Molong’s will likely be available this winter. Interesting! And…. there “just happens to be” a beautiful open field next door of about 5 + acres! It already has a few fruit trees. It is certainly large enough to grow organic produce for the entire community and to sell, grow herbs for making and selling organic products, grazing milking goats and chickens. Praying for God’s miraculous provision!

I finished up some knitting projects that I’m making as gifts while visiting with family. It rained really hard and about 20 of us were nestled in the hut watching it rain, laughing, singing songs and sharing. What fun!

Wed., Aug 10 – Molong shared that he dreamed that the three of us were facing the open field next to his property praying over it.

Our bus ride from Liloan, Cebu early this morning to the Hagnaya Pier (northern Cebu) was around 2.5 hours. Our ferry ride across the Visayan Sea to Bantayan Island was approx. 1.25 hours. We are staying in a little hut at Ogtong Cave Resort which will be our home for 4 days and 4 nights. No time was wasted before we headed for a walk along the white beach. I can’t resist picking up the beautiful sea shells and stopping to admire every little sea creature visible! We ate a very late lunch while facing the beauty of the sea. For some reason, I’m exhausted! Today was a rare instance when I actually took a nap! Gary sat at the ocean’s edge talking to Father. He shared that he was asking, “What about America? What about our own community? What about our own family?” He was led to read Mark 6:1-8 – vs. 4 reads, “Jesus said to them, ‘Only in His hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”

Thurs, Aug 11 – Gary swam this morning while I wrote some and read Art Gish’s book, Living in Community – one of the best ever written! There was a rat running through our hut while I was trying to focus on writing! We walked about two miles to exchange some money and get some exercise. When we returned the tide was out so we walked along the beach. We sat on the water’s edge and shared hearts while watching the fishermen activities with the sun setting in the background! I think I have a new addiction – mango shakes!

Gish’s chapter on The Organized Community confirms my heart’s longing to see a Christian community that trusts upon the Lord’s provision and timing without connecting itself with the governments of this world. The Church has for too long sought the ways of the world, forming legal organizations in order to obtain funds and material possessions. Can we not trust our King enough to wait upon Him to bring resources according to His perfect timing and plan? Can we not give without expecting something in return? Can we not trust our brothers and sisters enough to not expect them to register with an earthly government before we will entrust them with our giving? It is often asked, “What if we find someone handling such things unfaithfully?” Do we need the world’s government to monitor such things? What will we do; turn them over to the world’s government to deal with them or deal with them ourselves according to God’s Word (1 Cor. 6:1-8)? Can Father not use such situations for the glory of His Kingdom? What a glorious reflection of His Kingdom in heaven for His people to function likewise on earth!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Fri. July 29 – We started our morning visiting Aris Balala – who manages a Christian farmers coop of around 135 families. He is helping the farmers transition into organic farming! I mentioned that I had observed a lot of goats around and that quality goat milk and yogurt is very popular among people interested in healthy nutrition. I explained that making yogurt is rather easy and that I had never seen organic yogurt in the Philippine stores. Doy was all ears! Convinced that they would like the idea, he plans to talk with those in governing positions about organic yogurt production as a livelihood for village people! We stopped at the Economic Department to set up an appointment for Doy to visit with them about these ideas! Doy & Ann are also good friends with the Christian Governor of Cabanatuan. We stopped to visit with Maris at the school she founded and is the principal of. She is a college mate of Doy’s. Her husband is the National Treasurer of the Filipino Police and her family owns a lot of farming property. They plan to convert to organic growing principals! Weaving through the trees down a narrow muddy road in the mountains, we made our way to a beautiful spot over-looking the valley! This is the new home of Rod and Lolite who have recently moved to the country from Manila. They were very wealthy Realtors when the Lord told them to leave their business and go minister to the village people. They have a very quaint home, a large hut for fellowship and a separate home for those who might be in immediate need for a place to stay. They own a large amount of farm land and are also converting to organic growing! We were scheduled for fellowship with a number of brothers and sisters this evening, however, a brother in a desperate situation called for help. We cancelled the fellowship in order to be with him and his wife. We spent the evening listening as they poured their hearts out to us. This man “just happened to be” from Alabama. It was helpful to him to have a brother and sister from America as part of his support and encouragement! God’s timing is perfect once again. He has only been home for a short while and will be returning to Afghanistan in a few days!

Sat. July 30 – Doy’s cell phone wasn’t working, consequently he couldn’t make the contacts for us that he hoped to. Instead, of being out and about as planned, we spent the morning watching the movie Facing the Giants with his daughter, Jaimie. As always, the Lord’s plan and timing is perfect. Considering the possibility that God may be leading us to be in the Philippines more permanently is somewhat unsettling for “old folks” like us!  Thoughts of learning a new culture, language, etc…. can be somewhat overwhelming for even a young person! We’re not young! There is tremendous work that needs to been done and we know that we don’t have the energy that we used to have. Without Jesus these can seem like giants! As the movie unfolded the Lord spoke clearly to me that He is not done with us, that we can’t quit and with Him nothing is impossible! The brother whom we encouraged and prayed with last night owns a massage parlor and treated us to a massage this afternoon! We had fellowship at Doy’s with a number of people. The Spirit led our evening fellowship into a very powerful discussion about attempting to institutionalize God’s Kingdom work and uniting it with the world’s governments. We shared until 2 AM! The Holy Spirit’s presence was clearly leading the conversation. We certainly have the evil one’s attention!

Sun. July 31 - Brkfst @ Jun (June) & Mayetta’s (Myet) Savior’s. They made tea from guava leaves to use on Gary’s wounds. We had fellowship with local brothers & sisters who meet in one another’s homes. We met a Filipino couple who are home for respite from mission work in Saudi Arabia. We celebrated positive results with a young couple who have been trying to get pregnant for 11 years!

Mon. Aug 1 – Driving to Angeles City with Doy and Dong was a wonderful time of fellowship. We prayed, sang praises and shared hearts about many things. The car was filled with God’s presence! We stopped at Charisma Natural Farms run by Cynthia who was formerly a medical doctor who’s passionate about organic farming and organic Kingdom life! What a precious sister in the Lord! We have much in common and were thrilled to connect hearts! Spent some time sharing singing praises and praying with Dong’s pastor friends Eric & Elsa Domingo who minister to former drug addicts, prostituted women etc Shelter Power house. Arrived @ May & Paulo’s late in the evening. It was fun to reconnect. Some of you might remember my prayer requests for Feng when I was here last winter. PTL Feng went home, has a job and is doing quite well!!!! Thank you for your prayers for her! Gary’s wounds are mucho better! Thanks for your prayers!

Tues. Aug 2 – We ran errands in the AM and spent the afternoon with three of the girls at the RENEW shelter where Dotty & I spent 4 wks last winter. Kim met us at the gate, jumping for joy as she hugged me! As we entered into the shelter, it was obvious that Kim had something on her mind that she had to share. Even though she said she was nervous about trying to share in English she knew that the Lord was nudging her to share her heart with me. She poured out her heart for over an hour about how she felt the Lord had used me in her life, where she is now and where she desires to be in her life and walk with Jesus. Her love and passion for Jesus left me speechless. I was so humbled that the tears just started flowing as I praised Jesus in my heart for His Spirit’s work in her life! All glory is His!!! It was so cute when she said, “I’m shocked that I am speaking such good English!” Kim has started college since I was here this winter. She is studying Hotel Management. She is very excited and serious about her studies! RENEW has temporarily moved to a much smaller bldg and hoping to begin to build on their own property later this yr! They are excited! They also have purchased two new computers. The 100# box of knitting supplies that we mailed before leaving home has not arrived yet. I’m disappointed, but I’m reminded that God’s timing is perfect. I’m told that the delay is likely due to the typhoons. The girls gave me a small boxful of bags and purses that they’ve knitted and want me to sell for them in the states. They are beautiful! We went for a walk around the new neighborhood with the girls and children who were home for the morning. We spent an hour or two catching our breath and went back to RENEW to see the girls who were at school earlier in the day. Although he was not comfortable going into the bars, we went to Field’s Avenue in the evening so that Gary could get a glimpse of the Red Light District. Two of the girls from the shelter went with us. On our way back to the shelter, a group of fellas on the jeepney had schemed to pick pocket Gary. After an extended dramatic display in an attempt to distract Gary from his belonging, they gave-up in frustration. When we got off the jeepney a young man came up to us and asked if we were ok and if we had everything. He had overheard the “team” saying before they got on the jeepney, “Let’s get the old man!” All of Gary’s belongings were secured. I assured him that not only is he not “old” but that they didn’t know who they were messing with, for he is a child of the most High King!

Wed. Aug 3 – I went to the shelter this morning and was greeted by Kim who handed me a card that she’d made for Gary & I. It was great to reconnect with Loida, the social worker @ RENEW. She has taken on the role of learning more about knitting and teaching the girls! I am so thrilled! We went to the college with Paulo where he is the director of the social services department. It was fun to reunite with some of the people there and to introduce them to Gary. I learned today that RENEW has provided 40 students with scholarship! PTL!!! We ate lunch with a number of staff and students before returning to RENEW. Paulo remained with us for the rest of the afternoon visiting with some of the girls at the shelter before we had to fly out in the evening to return to Cebu. We were greeted at the airport by a truck full of our family members from Cebu! What a blessing!

Thurs. Aug 4 – We had fun catching up with Molong and some of our other family this morning. Before leaving for Luzon, I’d contacted a couple who developed a ministry called Project Mercy to arrange meeting with them. They are ministering to vulnerable over-aged youth These youth do not fit the standard curriculum available to students their age. Project Mercy has developed a curriculum that fits their needs. These students have been in gangs, convicts of various crimes, known addicts, prostituted, homeless, etc. They are using organic farming as training and teaching tools, as well as a possible means of livelihood for the students. Biblical literacy is integrated into the studies. Parents are also included in the curriculum. Through their curriculum they have discovered that they meet their discipleship goals in 6 mths vs. the three yrs. that they were exp. before they changed from the standard curriculum. They are not a private school, instead the government has recognized them as a research school designed to test programs for those who do not fit the standard curriculum. Their school has been opened for 2 yrs. There are no expenses for the students who attend Project Mercy’s school! We had a great visit over lunch about producing organic herbs and making health products from them as livelihood projects. I shared several samples of the products that I make. They are interested in learning more and we’ll go to visit the school and farm tomorrow. I’ve wondered through the yrs. why I’ve had such a strong interest in and spent so much time researching organic gardening and how to make these products. It seemed that there had to be more than a personal reason. I think I’m discovering why the Lord has had me on such a mission to learn. The Philippines seems to be a wide open opportunity for this. The people are in need of healthy food and products, the interest to learn is there and with more and more tourists coming in there is also a market.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Fri, July 22 – We returned to riverside to fellowship and teach more knitting. The girls had been working diligently on their knitting projects and were very excited to consider the various products they could make and how to market them! Before we left, Eman asked the girls if there as anything they wanted to share with Gary & I. One of the young girls thought for a minute how to express her heart in English before she said, “All I can say is, ‘Thank you for teaching us!’” I tried to express to her how blessed I was to have the honor!

A young lady by the name of “Lot” is an active helper and encourager of the riverside people. She wanted us to see her home way down at the rivers edge. I was very skeptical about the stress that the journey would put on my back, but she was so excited that I simply couldn’t say, “No!” Without any prompting, Lot and her friend Grace, took my arms to help me along and together we made our way through the rocks, sandbacks and potted pathway to Lot’s home! I’m not very good at being on the receiving end. Their love and concern was so humbling! The Lord is using the Filipino’s to “teach me a few lessons” and learning to receive is one of them!

Eman shared that the river if full of human and animal waste. However, along the riverside there were people who were washing out big sheets of plastic in the river. Once it is cleaned, a buyer pays them 5 pesos per kilo.

I had knitted a sample bag to show the women what their finished product could look like and gave it to Lot as a gift of thanks at the end of the day. I’ll treasure her smile, hug and soft “I’ll miss you” in my heart for a long while!

Most of the people there claim Catholicism as their religion. However, Eman is slowly ministering to them about the freedom in Jesus and talking to them about developing a house church community there. Eman is also visiting with local pastors who are finding the institutional church to be binding and dissatisfying about developing house church communities. He shared that it is a very slow process, but that God is revealing truth about what He desires for His people!

I ate a fish head with eyeballs still in it today! Eman had friend it until it was very crispy and said that the whole thing is very good! I closed my eyes, took a big gulp and bit the head off! Much to my surprise it didn’t taste any different that the rest of the fish! IT was very good! We also drank pop from a plastic bag that we purchased from a vendor. They pour pop from a bottle in to a plastic bag and put a straw in it. I’m sure this protects their refundable bottles, plus it stretches the amt. that is in one bottle among more than one customer.

We brought several Global Edition youth Bibles with us. It is a very easy to read English version. We have been giving them as gifts along the way and the young receivers are thrilled! What joy it is to share God’s Truths with them in this way!

Some of you may recall that we had thought that the Lord was leading us to leave from Cebu to go to India before heading home. However, as we’ve continue to seek Him, we believe that we are to use all of these wks to remain in the Philippines and will be spending our last 2.5 weeks in Cebu.

Sat, July 23 – Art DiMalanta, another regional House church leader in the Philippines. Art picked us up early this morning and took us to Payatas. Payatas is “famous” for it’s garbage dumps. Some of you may recall that Dotty Zens and I visited there this past winter. This is the place of Marivic Goloy’s ministry. The ministrty time was being led by several young ladies who Marivic has ministered to through the yrs. They are now college students returning to help! These young ladies and Art invited us into the wonderful opportunity to minister to the children. Considering that their hearts must be trouble by Marivic’s recent tragic accident our focus was to encourage them through reminders of God’s wondeful promises through lots of fun actions songs! Our hearts were blessed while listening to the children recite their memory verses.

Art was anxious to hear our testimony about why and how we left the institutional church. As a result he is planning to arrange an opportunity for us to share with a number of pastors whom he feels would be blessed by our story.

Sun. July 24 – Art picked us up to go to Baguio City (up in the mountains) today. Jomie, a young disciple came with him. We are staying at Art’s sister’s vacation home way up in the mountains. It is a very spacious, elaborately decorated home! What a contrast to the shanties along the riverside! Art is an inventor of an organic fertilizer which he is introducing to the farmers. I felt prompted to share with him some thoughts about teaching the women to make organic lotions, gels, soaps etc. He was so interested and excited by the idea that he immediately got on the phone to arrange an opportunity for me to teach while we are in Baguio. Because of his skill in marketing, he is willing to help them market their products! I’m very excited!

Mon. July 25 – In the morning we went to Kalinga Cross Over Ministries. They are connected with the Social Hygiene Clinic where the “entertainers” go to be checked for sexual diseases. When the girls arrive for their hygiene check-up, the staff from Kalinga befriends them. For those who are ready, Kalinga helps them in taking steps to get off the streets.

The social hygiene clinic in Baguio has been awarded as being the best in the nation for its cleanliness, requirements, dress code, complete service and referrals.

The M.D. at the clinic shared with us that the owner of largest and most lustful bar in Baguio went out on the streets to recruit women for his bar. Instead, women witnessed to him about Jesus. As a result, he became a follower of Jesus and closed down his bar! On the building he placed a banner which read, “This place is closed to the glory of God!”
We met a young lady who had traveled 8 hours to get to the Kalinga ministry site. The staff had ministered to her some time ago, but had lost contact with her. However, Red felt a strong need to come to the ministry site this morning. She shared that she knows Jesus, but has been confused about many things. She shared her heart about many things. What a precious opportunity we had to encourage and pray for her. We shared with her that freedom in Jesus is found not in a bldg once a week where there is little intimacey with others, but in close daily relationship with other brothers and sisters in Jesus. Before we left she shared that she came with many questios and has now received answers and that her confusion is now gone!
We were invited to attend a prayer mtg for the Philippines. It was an interesting exp.

We met up with Mila, a young Filippina missionary who is just now coming out of the institutional setting desiring to learn more about HC

Tues. July 26 – I can’t even begin to describe the beauty that we saw as we drove out of the mountains today on our way to meet another house church leader, Doy. On our way down the mountain we stopped in a village for lunch. When we arrived, lunch was ready for us under a little hut, prepared by brothers and sisters in Jesus. Gary had a wonderful unexpected opportunity to share about our journey out of the insstitutional church into the freedom of organic church. One of the men whom he shared with was a pastor who had recently left the I.C. It was wondeful to see him and Gary encouraging and praying for one another! We were taken to a small “church” building where I taught the village women and a few men how to make organic hand sanitizer using essential oils. They are very excited and ready to get started on making and selling their new product! Gary was provided an opportunity to share our testimony with them. As we made our way down the mountain it started to rain. When we arrived at the spot where we were to meet Doy and his wife Ann, we sat under an awning eating chicken that been cooked over an open pit. It started to rain harder and harder and harder until the streets were flooded. We received report via text mail that we were experiencing a #2 Typhoon! We laughed, told stories and shared hearts as we watched it rain, ate Filipino style – with our fingers and prayed for Doy & Ann. We rejoiced when we spotted their vehicle! It took them 2 hours to drive what would normally take 30 minutes! Knowing it would not be good for me to walk through all that dirty water with an open wound on my foot, we scouted out some plastic bags to wrap around my foot. It worked perfectly! We loaded our luggage into Doy’s truck and off we went. The rain had nearly stopped , however we came to a small village that was totally flooded. Ann explained that all the rain from other areas runs toward this village and that flooding there is very common. Many families were standing outside their flooded homes watching as the rain continued to come down. My heart hurt for them. As we slowly made our way through the flooded streets, we approached a spot where the water was very deep and flowing freely across the road! As we creeped through our truck was pulled off the road by the current! Holding our breath in anticipation of what was to come next, the Lord gently steered us back up onto the pavement! Within a few feet was higher ground on our way to Doy & Ann’s home in Cabanatuan!

Wed. July 27 - We took Ann to her work place as a biology professor. While waiting for her, Doy showed us a power point presentation that he has prepared called F.R.E.E. – Foundational Restoration for Easy Education. He is working to develop community educational opportunities for the children who live outside the city and have great difficulty pursuing their primary education. I was all ears!

Because Doy had lost his cell phone with all his contact numbers in it, he took us around to make connections with other contacts to no avail. While driving along, we had great visits. Doy is a brother in the Lord who left his position as a pastor some time ago. He now works for Art distributing fertilizer. They are using organic fertilizer as a tool to visit with farming families about Jesus and organic church! I shared with Doy some of my ideas regarding making organic products using essential oils as a way of livelihood for the people. I shared that the herbs can be grown in the Philippines year around, however we need a way to extract the oils from the plants. He is very interested in learning more and shared that he has relatives who are chemists and can help us to obtain distillers for extracting oil for plants!

We made an unannounced visit to Dong’s home. Dong is also a former pastor who not only left his position, but converted his “church” building into a place for his daughter to teach preschool! As we were visiting, Dong looked at me and said, “Don’t I know you?” As it turns out we are “friends” on Facebook through my articles! Dong plays the guitar and Ann plays the keyboard. We had a wonderful time or fellowship and singing praise songs! Dong is an Alternative Learning System Coordinator, helping those who have not completed their high school education to get what we know as a G.E.D. Dong also is a volunteer in the Red Light District. He hold a Bible Study in the home of a bar owner’s parents! Even the bar owner has attended a number of times. Dong also has a pastor friend where I was this past winter in Angeles City who helps the bar workers – Shelter Power House.

Thurs. July 28 – Doy and Dong took us to Port Dingalan. The view of the ocean and mountains was breathtaking! We purchased seafood at a roadside stand and took it to roadside cafĂ© to have it cooked! Sitting at a picnic area overlooking the ocean with mountains surrounding us, we shared hearts I was telling them about my previous trip to the Philippines and after arriving home a friend told me, “Yes you are physically in America, but your heart is in the Philippines.” Doy was speechless. He shared that the night before he and Ann had asked the Lord what He wanted them to do for us. The Lord told them clearly, “Take them in, show them around and introduce them to other brothers and sisters. They are finding their hearts in the Philippines!”