This has been a day of mixed emotions as the mission work continues here on Negros Island in the Philippines. Joey and Rick went with our Filipino hosts to a village (which I cannot pronounce or even attempt to spell) up near the top of the volcano, Mount Talinis. Our team visited the same village in January of 2008 and we received a great welcome from the barangay officials there. We had hoped to visit again when we returned in May with the group from New Orleans. Unfortunately we were unable to do so then due to mudslides washing out the only road to the area.
As was the case last year, the school dismissed it's students to attend the Bible lessons taught by Joey and Rick. More than 100 elementary students filled the concrete bleachers at the barangay basketball court for the Gospel presentation. Each child was given a "Story of Jesus" children's book and many Bibles and tracts were distributed to the adults who were present.
I don't have the words to describe the majesty of the place, where the volcano meets the clouds. It is absolutely beautiful - and probably 15 degrees cooler than here on the coastal plain. One feels as though he is on top of the world! A huge geothermal power plant just below this village draws its energy from the volcano and generates power for the islands of Negros, Siquijor, and Cebu.
We have no idea of how many children may have been effected by the Gospel message. Only God knows. But we do know that everyone heard the message, and that fulfills our responsibility.
In the afternoon a group went to the barangay of Balugo, adjacent to Batinguel where the New Life Church is situated. At a home Bible study there, 10 adults accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Attendance was up a little for the second night of our Revival meeting at the New Life Church in Upper Batinguel. Special music was provided by 13 year old Rachel Grace Allosa, whose mother, Lolina, played the electronic keybord for the service. I stayed in the Allosa home on my first visit here nine years ago, and Lolina and the Allosa children are delightful people. And boy oh boy can that Rachel Grace sing! I remember her singing as a four year old. She was outstanding then but she can really belt it out now. What a big voice coming out of such a small girl! She sang a song entitled "A Time of Refreshing", which was perfect for our Revival services. Rick and Joey also provided special music.
I preached tonight from Colossians 1: 13-14 with a message entitled "Jesus Forgives Our Sins" from the "What Does Jesus Do For Us?" series. Mrs. Valdez summarized my message in the Cebuano dialect. During the invitation time, two young men I would estimate to be in their mid thirties, accepted Christ.
It is now late and it's been a day, but one that was made sober by the news that my Dad is a patient at Saint Mary's Medical Center, half a world away. Dad has totally lost the use of his legs and he is undergoing tests to determine the nature of the problem. It appears that there are problems in his back that may be causing the difficulties, and surgery may be an option. I am waiting to hear more. I feel so helpless, so far away - but I am so appreciative of my brother Bruce and our dear friend Alice Davis who do so much for Mom and Dad. I hope that you will pray for Dad, and also for my dear Mother, whose cruel Alzheimer's Disease prevents her from grasping this latest turn of events.
Our trust is in God and we know that He will do what is right.
Until our next post - Good night from Dumaguete City!