Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Last Night In Dumaguete

Today was our final full day in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Republic of the Philippines.  Tomorrow we will attend a joint worship rally at the Bacong Church where Josue Cadiao is Pastor.  We will check out of the Bethel Guest House at 1:00 PM and then hang out with our Filipino friends at Robinson's until about 2:30.  At that point we will "transfer" as they say, to the Dumaguete Airport to check in for our 4:45 flight to Manila.

After arriving in Manila around 6:00 PM, we'll claim our luggage at Terminal 3 and then take the airport shuttle to the main terminal of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where we will wait until 6:00 AM for our flight to Detroit, via Nagoya, Japan. If all goes according to planned schedule, we will arrive at Cincinnati International Airport at 4:49 PM on Monday afternoon.  We hope to see the smiling faces of Thamer Calhoun and Michelle Harris to take us back to the good old Tri-State area.

Today was a day of tying up loose ends.

Our American team was invited to the home of Pastor Josue and Cristy Cadiao for a delicious lunch with their sweet children, Bem Boy, Meg Meg, and I.C. (pictured above).  Cristy treated us to a great meal of rice, fresh fruit, the best chicken wings I ever put in my mouth, and the first pot of Chili she had ever cooked!  She told us that she had got the receipe from Richard Shields of Ashland when he was here about a month ago and cooked a big pot of the Chili for the Cadiao family.  Obviously Richard did a great job because Cristy's first effort at Chili was DE-licious!

After lunch, we were hustled back to Bethel Guest House where we began the job of packing for our long trip home.

Pastor Joseph Zerna and his wife, Juvy, came to pick us up about 3:45 PM for the Victory Celebration Service at the Bacong church.  That celebration brought pastors and members of five churches together to have a great time of worship, fellowship, and thanksgiving for the wonderful blessings the Lord poured out upon us over the past 11 days.

In that period of time, we had opportunity to sing and preach the Gospel to more than 4,000 people.  Our evangelistic activities included sharing with the students at three elementary schools.  We were able to share Christ with the faculty members of each of the schools, and also with more than 120 parents at a PTSA meeting in the first school.

We also preached, sang and testified in eight open air crusades in eight different barangays, stretching from the coastal areas of Bacong, Bais City, and Manjuyod to three remote mountain barngays in Mabinay, Pamplona, and Bindoy.

To God's glory, decision followup cards revealed there were 1,927 precious adults and children who publically professed faith in Jesus Christ!  The Pastors and congregations of the NESBAC churches now have a tremendous task of follow up and Bible Study scheduling to help disciple these many new believers in Jesus Christ.

The Victory Celebration tonight was a time of great joy, yet an undertone of sadness in knowing that tomorrow we will part ways as we all move on to our respective ministries and homes.  Gifts were exchanged along with hugs and some tears were shed. (there will be much more of that tomorrow afternoon at the airport).

The NESBAC Association presented each of us with a certificate of appreciation.  Pictured here from left to right are Elenita Agaban, Association Clerk, Nico Folio, Pastor at Manjuyod, Josue Cadiao, and the members of our team, Randall Robertson, myself, Bub Amis, Paul Harris, and Randy and Brenda Lincoln.

All of the Filipino pastors spoke of what a blessing we were to them.  However I can tell you that to a person, we on the American team can confess that the blessing was truly ours.

We offer our thanks to those who have partnered with us on this mission effort through financial assistance and in prayer.  I pray that you share in the rejoicing with us for the wonderful harvest of souls we have seen this week on Negros Island.  Please continue to remember us in prayer as we begin the long trip home tomorrow.

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