Thursday, July 28, 2011


Father continues to reveal His perfect plan as we travel about the Philippines.

Fri., July 15 – We spent the day at Samaritana which is a transformation community for women trapped in prostitution. It was a day for training women coming off the streets to learn be to servent leaders to other women on the streets! We had the opportunity to personally pray with two of the women. What an honor!

We went out to the streets in the evening and were introduced to a number of women whom Samaritana staff have befriended and visit regularly. We were blessed to be included in interacting with and encouraging them.

Sat, July 16 - We visited with David Lim, the chairman of the Philippine House Church movement. He shared his extensive acedemic background and his efforts to transform Asia. He states, “We're encouraging each house church leader to be entrepreneurial (if possible, set up their own business), and if possible corporately set up businesses, cooperatives, foundations… We have already clearly decided never to incorporate as a house church network or movement - since the beginning.” However, he said that a number of them involved are establishing a foundation that will allow the house church network to receive funds to help scholars etc. We challenged him on this thinking using Jesus and His disciples as our example – who never considered registering their ministry with the worldly government (, ).

Sun. July 17 - Yesterday was laundry day and rest. We've postponed our journey to deal with health issues before we move on. Our wounds are looking much better! No more diarrhea! YEAH! However, I'm now having back problems, which is an intermittent issue at home. So... please keep praying! I know that God is sovereign over all things and that He uses all things for His glory! So.... I've been praising Him in the midst of it!

Sharing such things is a challenge for us. We both tend to quietly endure, but.... we're learning that this is not good. Instead, we need to share with those who love us and can pray for us!

Mon. July 18 - Because of their schedule, we’ve not had much of a chance to visit with Ferdi & Toni, but they have freely opened their home to us and Ferdi spoils us with his wonderful cooking!

We are scheduled to move on to Laguna today, but I’m not sure that my back is ready. I’m wrestling with whether or not satan is trying to hold me back and that I need to press through or…if God is trying to tell me that my schedule is not His and that I need to stay put!

Even though I’m wrestling through what I believe is a spiritual attack, I know Who is sovereign over all and that He has a beautiful purpose. While icing my back, Gary has been reading a book to me called Back to the Basics (yes, he’s a blessing!). It is about Kingdom living. I see the importance of reading this book even before moving on in our journey.

As we read Back to the Basics, I have mixed emotions:

1) I have longed for years for this kind of transparency and accountability and knew of no one who was ready or seemed interested. I’m saddened by what seems like “wasted” years! Yet I know God’s timing is perfect!

2) I’m relieved to know that I was not off-base in my thinking and that I was truly desiring that which God desires for His people.

3) I’m excited to know others who desire this way of living – kingdom living!

Tues. July 19 - The Lord always has a purpose! Because of our "delay" we've had time to rest in our Lord without the busyness and the extra time here provided an opportunity to have a wonderful conversation with Toni & Ferdi that we would have missed out on had we moved on sooner. Once again, I see Gary's tender heart toward the next generation as he visits with Ferdi! Although my back is not totally back to normal, it is more manageable. My wound is nearly healed. Gary's still has a ways to go, but we are feeling more comfortable about moving on.

Thurs. July 21 - We traveled Wed. by bus to Laguna. Our host family is Eman & Elvie Abrea and their 3 children. Eman is the house church leader in this region. Wed. eve we met with Norma who is another house church leader and community developer. Thurs. morning I taught Elvie to knit and we visited with Eman about organic gardening, making herbal soaps, lotions etc. as livelihood opportunities for his family and others. He is very interested in learning and teaching others.

In the afternoon we went to the riverside where approximately 300 families live in poverty. We had around 15 men and women who came to observe as I taught knitting. The men were just as excited as the women. In fact, they are already planning how they might make more knitting looms for the women and got some wire and began to make more hooks. The women learned very quickly! Although I brought yarn, we talked about recycling items such as plastic bags, old clothing, ribbon from VHS tapes, etc. into “yarn”. They were already thinking very creatively!

Gary was delighted to have the opportunity to interact with several children while I taught knitting! This is like heaven for him!

We had the privilege of praying for a young girl who is very ill.

We observed Ernie making concrete stoves which are used for cooking with charcoal.

Eman crushed and placed moringa leaves on Gary's leg wound. We’re anxious to see the results! I was a bit concerned about the amount of walking we had to do along with riding on bumpy roads in jeepnies and trikes. But... the Lord protected my back and I really felt pretty good by the time we arrived back to Eman's.

Norma is full of fire and energy. I think she knows everyone in the Philippines and half the people in the USA! She is full of helpful information and has helpful contacts all around!

“The world MUST see us loving each other. They cannot see through the walls of a room once a week. They see us loving each other when they see us carrying each other’s loads,… This is how all men will know that we are His disciple – not just by what we believe, but how they see us love each other.” – Back to the Basics

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

Whole-Heartedly, Bonnie

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