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!”

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