Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Night Update From The Philippines

Dumaguete City, Republic of the Philippines
Friday, February 27, 2009
11:45 PM

We have come to a close of another full day of ministry here in the Philippines. Praise God for the energetic young men on our team, who have really carried much of the load for the past 6 days! I don’t know what we would have done without them, but I do know that we would not have had nearly as much ministry activity without them. I am still having difficulties with the sinus infection and congestion in my chest. Five days worth of Cephlexen, Zyrtec, and Robitussin has helped, but I am still not at full speed. Looks like I’ll be bringing it home with me as a souvenir of what is my last planned mission trip to this place and it’s wonderful people.

Today’s action saw some of our team members doing house to house evangelism around Purok 7 (the neighborhood of the New Life Church) in Upper Batinguel this morning. Afternoon work took place in the “G-K” (not to be confused with C-K in northern Wayne County) area, on the banks of the Banica River. This area had been hit hard by the flash flooding of three weeks ago. Rick and Joey did not get any still photos there, but they did get some video that we will share with the church later. The important thing is that three people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ during the morning activities and seventeen precious souls prayed to receive Christ this afternoon at “G-K”.

This brings to 50, the total number of adults who have made recorded decisions to follow Jesus Christ. Several others who have made re-dedications in their lives as well. There have probably been other decisions of which we do not have record. Pastor and Mrs. Valdez and the NLCC congregation have a lot of follow up to do!

The Revival continues to grow in attendance. Tonight more than 45 adults and children were present. We had an excellent service, and Joey and Rick took the kids out for the children’s ministry during my message. Tonight’s message in the “What Does Jesus Do For Us?” series was entitled, “Jesus Died For Us”. The text was found in Colossians 1:19-23. There were no public decisions tonight, but Pastor Valdez noted that several neighbors have been visiting each night of the Revival, and a couple of the neighbor ladies have been there every night. This is one of the things that we have been praying for, that NLCC may reach their growing community with the good news of Jesus!

After church tonight, about twenty of us “transferred” on motorcycles and easy rides to the home of Judge John and Nida Elmaco to attend Nida’s 56th Birthday Party. There were probably already 25 people (or more) present when we arrived. Nida is the sister of Villa Valdez and Dario Dales, and she and the Judge are now members of New Life Church. The Judge and Mrs. Elmaco have a beautiful home, very near the El Oriente Beach Resort, just outside of downtown Dumaguete. It was large enough (with courtyard areas, etc) to comfortably hold all the guests, who were treated with wonderful hospitality. We met many of the Elmaco’s friends and some of Nida’s high school classmates who were on hand for the festivities which included karaoke and food. Lots and lots of food…

The food was delicious and there was enough to feed a small army. Besides the large roasted pig, there was rice, spaghetti, chicken, bar-b-qued pork, several types of fish and seafood and many other Filipino delicacies. A large birthday cake provided the desert. I came dangerously close to the sin of gluttony tonight. All of us are stuffed, and the selection sure beats Shakey’s where we have taken many of our meals while here.

As the weekend arrives, we will be winding up the activities with a day and a half of intensive ministry at the New Life Church. We have the morning and afternoon off for free time tomorrow as Bro. Joseph Zerna makes the two hour trip to the mountains of Mayaposi, Mabinay to bring about 25 of the members of the Mayaposi Baptist Church to Dumaguete for the New Life Church’s 9th Anniversary Service tomorrow night. There will be another big feast following the services tomorrow evening.

The “Mayaposians” will be staying at the church compound for the entire weekend to share in the Anniversary activities on Saturday and Sunday. A baptismal service is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Silliman Beach. Joey will assist Bro. Joseph in the baptismal service and I will probably miss it as I have been invited to speak at the same hour in a Bible Study led my Lolina Allosa. Then Sunday evening we will gather back at the New Life Church. Joey and Rick will wind up their children’s ministries, the ladies of the church will meet in one area for discipleship studies, and Thamer and I will lead a Bible Study for the men of the church.

Since this will probably be my last visit here, the folks from Mayaposi have decided to stay in town until Monday afternoon so they may see us off at the airport. Brother Joseph will then have to make the long trip back to the mountains to deliver these precious people back home on Monday evening. We have made so many dear friends here over the years, and helped start four churches, and build three buildings. I already begin to tear up when I think that I may never see them again after this weekend. So I am not going to think about that right now!

For now, there are four messages that need to be prepared for the next two days work. The tears can flow at the airport on Monday…

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