Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Final Report From Dumaguete
Today we begin the long journey home. It is always hard to say goodbye to our dear friends here, but we are looking forward to being home with our families and back in our own churches.
Last night was our final crusade activity – an outdoor service at the “municipal auditorium” next to the Sibulan City Hall. Jay led the service. Music was provided by Daniel, Janna, and Amanda. Boy can those young people sing!!! I preached about the man who came to the door of Heaven but did not go in (the Rich Young Ruler). He came to the right person, he asked the right question, he received the right answer, but he did the wrong thing. Pastor Jonathan Ugdoc of Bais City interpreted for me and it was a pleasure working with him. Preaching with an “interrupter” is not an easy task under any circumstances, but Jonathan was one of the best I have ever had. I was able to get into a flow of thought and speech and he stayed right with me. His help was most appreciated.
The crowd was much smaller than what we had hoped for as there were only about 70 persons in attendance. However, thirteen responded to the invitation, accepting Christ as Savior. That puts the total number of recorded decisions this week at over 110. The personal information on all of these respondents was taken and followup will be done by Pastors Ugdoc, Joseph Zerna, and Neri Rio.
Every one who made a profession of faith received a Cebuano Bible, and many English New Testaments were also distributed throughout the week. There are over 500 New Testaments that will be distributed by these three Pastors after we are gone. This will no doubt be the most effective part of this entire ministry – placing the Word of God into the hands of people who are in desperate need of hearing it.
And so, another mission trip draws to an end. We are all tired, but each of us have a sense of fulfillment in knowing that we have had a small part in what God is doing half way around the world from our comfortable homes. Many of my readers have prayerfully and financially supported us on this journey. The successes of it would not have been possible without that support. You are an important part of this team.
As always, I come away from this trip with a renewed zeal to serve God in MY field of ministry at home. There is a renewed sense of urgency in evangelism, and a fresh realization that God wants us to put the same principles to work in Huntington and New Orleans, as these precious Pastors in Negros Oriental do so faithfully.
I learned this morning that two of our church members at Westmoreland Baptist are facing the loss of dear family members. I understand that Ronnie Mills’ father was not expected to live through the night. Also Rick Rakes’ only remaining sibling, Trudy, passed away in Wurtland Manor Nursing Home. I urge our members to please reach out to these families in this time of their need.
Our trip home begins with a 2:45 PM flight to Manila, where we will spend the night. Then at 12:30 Friday afternoon we are due to board the Cathay Pacific flight for the Manila – Hong Kong – Los Angeles part of the journey. The amazing thing about that leg of the travel is that, due to the twelve time zones we will travel through, we will arrive in Los Angeles EARLIER than we departed Manila!
Joey and I should arrive back in Huntington about 10:30 on Saturday morning, We look forward to seeing many of you soon – especially Dr. Howerton. I seem to have cracked that tooth again.
There's no place like home!