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!

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