Let’s go… to Polillio, hoho! (Another Polilio Islands Mission Trip Adventure… a continuation of “Come Walk With Me” series, #4 – mission trip to Patnanungan, Polilio Islands in Quezon, Philippines)
We are leaving Tarlac City with a mission team of 6 – to share the gospel on a 12-13 day trip out to the islands, today… It will take all day to get to our mission base there. Are you ready? All aboard. If you are not interested in the trip, jump off now – we’re in for a long haul! The bottom line report is that this is an exciting trip, and good things will happen! PTL! If you are interested in some of these candid, “ life-as-it-really-is” descriptions, and more details/reasons why this is such an exciting trip, read on…
The trip to Polilllio
(Sept. 22, ’11) I wake up before 3 a.m. to get ready and say goodbye (seems like we’re gonna be gone for a lo-ong time), pack out and leave around 4 a.m. We arrive at our mission base around 5 p.m. after traveling through Manila to the eastern coast of Luzon (main island here in the Philippines), boarding a ferry transport boat to Poblacion (main town on the island of Patnanungan), where we transfer to a smaller, shuttle flat-boat that takes us to our mission base northward along the beach near Norte.
On the approx 4 hour ferry ride coming here, we are crowded into an upper covered bunker that has inclined bamboo slats to sit/lay on, but due to the jostling of the waves, it’s hard not to keep banging into other people in the midst of all of our luggage, so I finally give up and go lay out on some bamboo outrigger poles alongside the boat where I get a little better rest, and go to sleep for awhile until we arrive in Poblacion.
Thankful That The Waves Weren’t Rough
I wake up feeling a little roasted and toasted by the sun, but very thankful that the waves weren’t rough, so at least I stay dry (from the sea, if not from the sweat). At our mission base we are welcomed by our resident pastor and his wife, and some of the workers, and given some fresh, iced buko (coconut) juice – mmm, it’s soo delicious, especially after a long trip! They have prepared our mission base for our arrival, and serve us a special, nicely cooked fish and rice meal. We unpack our luggage and set up camp, and that is about all I’m good for today, although some of our younger teammates head down the beach to do some visitation in several homes yet this evening.
Before shutting down for the night, I get a cold, refreshing “dip bath” (of course there is no hot water here). It is with seepage water coming out of the hillside – it’s definitely wet, but actually not very clean looking, although you feel much cleaner, which is probably the main thing, under these circumstances. Sleeping on the floor can be very welcome especially when that’s all you’ve got, and so it’s lights out and a good night…
Hike to Busdak
(Sept. 23) After around a 2 ½ hour leadership level prayer, training, and planning session in the morning with our mission team and resident pastor, some of us hike over to the other side of the island to Busdak. We go to re-contact and prepare them for a service there Sunday afternoon. It is generally around a 4 hour (round trip) hike but it’s quicker today with a speeded-up version of walking and jogging (3 men hiking, and no ladies). As we extend invitations to the service, we sense that we have lost a lot of momentum because we don’t have a resident worker here at this time. Another ministry has come in and pulled some of the people in their direction. The house we thought we had secured to rent is no longer available, as well as the fact that we do not have a worker team raised up to live in it yet, anyway. The local residents in our fellowship here still seem to be very immature Christians.
On our hike coming here, one of our team exclaimed, “This is an adventure”, which is exactly the way I feel as well, as we pass through rice fields, coconut trees and over jungle trails and beautiful mountainous terrain. My teammates are such good sports! Both are willing/volunteering to stay in Busdak for an extended time to help consolidate and follow-up some of the people who have accepted the Lord here, in the midst of very poor living conditions. We hike back from Busdak most of the way in the dark (1 flashlight shared by 3 guys over jungle trail). I go through around 1 ½ liters of water on this hiking trip! I not only majorly soak my shirt with sweat, but the upper portion of my pants, as well.
Instead of hiking directly back to our mission base, we extend the hike on to Poblacion. We get here in time for the start of youth camp (which is one of our primary reasons for timing our trip to be here right now). A lot of excited youth are gathering in our resident pastor’s yard with tents, meetings, and competitive soccer games scheduled. The pastor’s wife kindly gives me a dry shirt to wear, but I can’t do a whole lot for my pants that kinda looked like I have wet them (although it ’s just from sweat, I’m very quick to add)… I’m glad it’s already dark and I kinda hang out in the background a lot of the time (I’m much relieved that the youth don’t seem very concerned about them/my pants, or give me a hard time about them :).
As we travel back to our mission base by motorcycles, it begins to pour rain on us, raining so hard that finally, we have to stop the motorcycles and huddle under a tree for protection. In the dark, just to try to liven things up a little and have some fun, I took a dry twig from the tree and rubbed it on the face and neck of my teammate to see what he would do…It surprised him – he thought that I was a bug, but just laughed it off…! Hmmm… I wonder what you would have done :)?!
I’m not sure either of us felt like we need any more adventure for the day by the time we get back to camp, soaking wet… When I get into some dry clothes, I look and look for the plastic bag that contained my toothbrush/toothpaste/floss/soap. I can’t seem to find those precious items anywhere. I finally give up, thinking that they must have been too big a temptation for someone. I can more easily understand the new tube of toothpaste, a new bar of soap, and floss a little better, but a used toothbrush…?! I think I must have a new, hot missionary story going – you may have heard the joke about used teabags being sent in a missionary donation barrel (you probably need to be a missionary to really appreciate the humor in that one, but I’ll take the risk), and think that maybe we need to start a used toothbrush campaign… 🙂 I haven’t heard of that one yet, but it might not be a bad idea, what do you think? 🙂 Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap really do seem to be hot items around here for some strange reason (it’s hard for some of us to keep track of them, sometimes). After a long search, I finally give up and decide I will just shut down for the night, and deal with it in the morning. I’m soo tired… As I go to bed, I suddenly remember that I hid my toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss too well, (shame on me – I’m the guilty one 🙂 in a special inside pocket of my suitcase that I hadn’t checked out!
Thankfully, I get back up and retrieve them, and finally get those chores covered so I can sleep better, although I still can’t chase down my bar of soap until interrogating some of the rest of our team next day…
Championship Soccer Game / Verse Strikers
(Sept. 24) We need to get up really early (left camp around 6 a.m.) to go participate in the youth camp in Poblacion, and soccer games that start around 7:30 a.m. at their school playground. It’s an exciting event. There are several games played with different age levels, and then a break before the championship playoff game. At this intermission time, before the final game, there are probably around 60+ people gathered. Suspense and anticipation is high with everyone. We gather together in a covered walkway area near the soccer field, and I have the privilege of sharing the gospel with all of them, and how they can be winners in life through accepting Jesus and living for Him. There are many that want to pray to receive the Lord! Hallelujah! The youth are being trained not only to strike the soccer ball effectively, but to be “verse strikers”… Many on the teams are memorizing and quoting lots of verses from the Bible. Our pastoral team did an amazing, commendable job with this event. The resident pastor has never even played soccer before and found himself a player/coach, training them. It’s the first time he has blown the whistle to referee a game! The other pastor referee, although an excellent basketball player has never played soccer before either, and was not even familiar with the rules for soccer. They both pulled it off without any significant problems… One of them was laughing about it later, though, when once he didn’t see the play clearly and his call came late… His decisive call was “No question! Blue team!” and things continued to flow 🙂
We go to make arrangements with the owner of a house that we began renting in Tapol, last June. We have had hopes to get a worker to stay in Tapol (another fisherman village on the other side of the island). As yet, we still do not have a worker residing there, but are keeping that option open in faith…
Appreciative Of The Visit
My teammate and I visit around 5 different homes in different places this evening, and everyone seems so appreciative of our visit, and prayer times together. Tonight we are making plans and preparations with our team for the meetings tomorrow (Sunday) in 6 different locations, where we will be together in the morning services, split into 2 teams for afternoon services, and join together again in the evening. For some of you readers who may be “1 hour a week” worshipers, tomorrow will most definitely stretch your comfort zone to say the least – you might even have a hard time surviving, if you’re not into it. However, this is real-life on the mission frontier here, so it will certainly give you something to ponder, anyway…
Marathon Ministry Sunday
(Sept. 25) (A world record? 🙂 Are you ready for this?!) Several of our team leave camp around 4 30 a.m. to attend a birthday serenade opportunity in Poblacion at one of the councilors homes, where the gospel is also shared. Some of the youth join that, as well.
I get up before 6 a.m. to make ministry preparations for the day, and leave around 7 a.m. for around 1 ½ hike (round trip) further down the beach to the Inusukan service, joined by some of the rest of our team. Coming back, I partly jog/walk, barely making it back in time to change out of my sweaty clothes before our next service starts here at our mission base in Norte.
7 People On Motorcycles
I quickly grab a bite to eat, while the service is already in progress. It is exciting to see around a dozen or so of the soccer playing boys in this service, all the way from Poblacion! (A 15-20 min motorcycle ride away, some of them came on one of the motorcycles that were carrying 7 people on it)! A tricycle that can carry around 15 people is desperately needed here! The soccer boys get up in front in the service quoting their verses (Verse Strikers!) memorized, and sing a special song.
We have a great service together rejoicing the mercies of God, and it was well attended.
Hike Over The Mountain
Quickly after the service, I change clothes for the hike over the mountain to the other side of the island (Busdak) with some of our team. Before we leave, I grab some more to eat, and we are on our way… We need to part walk/part jog (around 1 ½ hr+ hike one way) to make it to the scheduled service in time. Whew!
I invited anyone who wanted to join us to feel welcome, at the service there in Norte this morning.
Right From The Heart
While having the service in the community hall, we are so surprised when our resident pastor comes with around 15 of the soccer boys who had walk/jogged all the way from Poblacion (around 1 hour) to get there over mountainous and jungle trails. They get up and sing a song that’s right from the heart (what they lack in finesse and intonation without any instruments they more than make up for in zeal and whole-heartedness :)! They also share memorized verses.
Memory Verse Machine
One of them is a real memory verse machine, and although only a new Christian has already memorized more than most people do in years. I think he alone quoted close to half the first chapter of I Peter at the service… Totally amazing!
Cheer up Dear Readers
Well, dear readers – if you have made it this far – cheer up, there is more, we’re not through yet! 🙂
Parents Are Getting Really Curious
When we finally arrive back at our resident pastor’s home in Poblacion, and get something to eat – the youth are still charged up and want another service (even though some of them were at the birthday serenade early morning). The parents are getting really curious, and wondering what’s going on.
I find one of the children’s rooms here, and rest a bit while waiting for the service to start. At the youth meeting, they are so wholehearted in their singing, worship, sharing verses, and happily listen to the Word of God! We are seeing quite a revival among the youth here! They seem to enjoy the message I share about the importance of praising the Lord, Paul and Silas in prison, etc… and we do it together! It was a wonderful time together! Their youth M.C. at the end says that I seem “happy”… I confirm it, and quoted the verse about “Happy is the people whose God is the Lord”! He responds that they are so happy, too!! 🙂
Our resident pastor finally has to shoo them out the door after 8:30 to get on back home, with school coming up in the morning. Although obedient, they still seem to have a hard time leaving, because they want to stay and keep singing.
Amazing Ministry Opportunities
We’re still not back to our camp yet, which is another 15 min motorcycle ride in the dark with a very fast driver over muddy, slippery roads. We get back to the base around 9 p.m. It’s been close to a 15 hour day with 4 services and 4 different messages, all of them in different places with lots of interesting cultural, bi-lingual, spiritual, and physical challenges (I didn’t personally make it to 2 of the other services – one in Tapol, which is a new outreach area that we penetrated earlier this year, and the early morning birthday serenade).
Today included approx. 4 ½ hours of hiking, some of it up and down hills and jogging at times to make the next service schedules on time.. It included approx 45 min or so of rest before the last youth meeting (preparing for the next message in my sleep 🙂 It was a hot, humid tropical day hiking jungle trails, sweating like crazy and getting plenty enough exercise, for our ages… 🙂
In the midst of it all, we are seeing some amazing ministry opportunities opening up with the youth, in Busdak, and various other places. One of our workers happily chuckled “what a day!” when we finally make it back to our camp!
Typhoon Signal 3
(Sept. 26) I rode a motorcycle to Poblacion thru the storm to try to send this fresh report here at the Mayor’s office, but they were closed. We got hit with a big storm in the night and it is raining tons, with huge mud puddles to ride through, and lots of weather challenges (leaks in roof, wet bedding, etc.).
Missionary Training Years Ago
I continue to thank the Lord for my “missionary training” dirt bike riding days with my oldest son years ago :), of course not knowing at that time how valuable that experience would prove to be, so many years later. I try to rest a bit in the loft at our church building, experiencing some free foot-washing service from a leaky roof where I was lying, but I am so tired it doesn’t hardly even phase me…
Youth are still coming over to our resident pastor’s house, spending lots of time there, and they are really charged up. I also have an important leadership training time with one of our worker/students tonight.
Typhoon Signal 3 (cont.)
(Sept 27) I didn’t sleep well during the night, in the midst of all the stormy weather. I am sleeping upstairs on the wood floor in our loft. It keeps shaking, shuddering, and quaking. It must be from the movement of a hammock one of our team has strung up on the rafters below me, where he is sleeping tonight, due to his bed area getting too wet with rainwater because of the leaks in our roof.
Not Just Fair-Weather Christians
We are heading into a very exciting day! After a wonderful time of devotions and sharing with our worker team, we go to a Bible Study in one of the homes around 9 a.m.. We are so charged up coming from our fellowship time together, that some of us go hiking on down the beach for another 45 min to an hour (round trip) in the storm, to several other families, and spontaneously drop by to “serenade them” with some praise songs! It’s exciting to see their joyful response! We’re not just “fair-weather” Christians!
I will probably never forget especially the response of a little 8-month-old baby, as we sing and rejoice together in one of these homes. Of course, she can’t walk yet, but her legs are strong enough for her to stand there with assistance, on her Grandma’s lap. She begins clapping, lifting her hands, smiling, and easily becomes the spotlight of attention. The Word says that out of the mouth of babes and suckling’s the Lord has perfected praise! She’s swaying, twisting like she’s trying to dance, and participating in praise, when she doesn’t even understand the words to the songs we are singing! She ’s so cute! If a little 8-month-old baby can do this, what about the rest of us? We’ve all been created to rejoice and praise the Lord!
Our team is hiking to Tapol for Bible studies today. It is located several hours from our mission base, although some are going the first part by motorcycle, to Poblacion. It is probably around 1 ½ hours hike from there, depending… For those of you who may not have read yet my “Come Walk With Me – Mother’s Day” report from earlier this year, we tried to go to Tapol on Mother’s Day. However, another typhoon (signal #2) shut us down, and almost capsized our boat three times. We didn’t make it to Tapol on Mother’s Day, although we did follow up some time later. During the storm this trip, we have learned our lesson well, and go the whole distance by land. We make it there with 10 hikers on our team (we pick up some more from here – even 2 of our youth ‘Verse Striker’ Soccer champions, who join our Bible Study there today, and even help go around to some of the houses before the meeting and invite people to come). We have several good Bible Studies in 2 different locations. As we hike back over the slippery jungle trail, I have –
Trouble in the dark
🙁 Here’s what really happens :):
There are 10 of us spread out over the jungle trail. Some of the faster ones are ahead of me on the trail, I’m kind of in the middle by myself enjoying some personal time, going moderate speed, with the slow ladies lagging behind. One of the men on our team drop behind to accompany the ladies, and I’m not very concerned about them. I saw that one of the ladies had a flashlight with her there at Tapol, so things seem to be going well, even though it has gotten dark. I brought a flashlight along with me, just in case we don’t make it back before dark. I don’t know that one of the helpful youth that came along with us is carrying the bag for the lady who had the flashlight. Her flashlight is in the bag, and he was in the faster set of hikers, way out ahead, so she no longer has her flashlight with her. As it got dark, they kinda “piggy-back” on the flashlight of a young boy that’s going by, and are making it ok in the dark. As I go along, I begin feeling severe stomach cramps (I must have gotten into some bad water). Oh no! The further I go, the worse I feel…
I decide to wait for some of the team who were behind me and “surprise” them, like one of them did to me several evenings ago. As we were hiking along the jungle trail back from Busdak, one of them had had somehow gotten ahead of us. Then, jumped out from behind the bushes along the trail, and startled me good! After all, they deserve the same treatment :)! What you sow you reap, right? I thought it might liven up the long hike a little bit. We are already back to the beach on this side of the island and heading into the home stretch toward Poblacion by this time …
As I see some people approaching from behind me in the dark with a flashlight, I assume they are our team. However, they aren’t! I don’t know who is more surprised, them or me, as I playfully jump out from bushes along the trail, and find out that they are not who I think they are…! Whew! 🙂 I explain as quickly as possible that I’m just trying to surprise some of our team, and beat it back down the trail the way I came. In the merry-mix-up of it all, I notice that there are some others right behind them that approach and also pass by me along the trail in the dark, but in the confusion and quickness of the moment in the dark I don’t notice clearly who it is, and just assume that they are all companions together with the other group.
I continue to wait for our team, deciding to follow through with my plan to surprise them, but the longer I wait, the more anxious I get, thinking that something surely must have happened to them! Maybe they have had some trouble on the slick trail in the dark. So abandoning my surprise idea, I head back over the trail I had just come on, looking for them. The farther I go into the dark night, back over the jungle trail, the more anxious I become. I knew that I had seen one of the ladies with a flashlight before we started the hike back there in Tapol, so I thought they would be ok. Maybe the battery on their flashlight has failed. Maybe they have fallen and hurt themselves, and need assistance… I walk and walk… into the rainy night, up and down slick, slippery slopes (I even slip in the mud once falling into the muck and mire, turning into more of a muddy mess than ever)! I’m still unwavering in my search for them. I call their names. I don’t go all the way to Tapol, but probably at least half the way back over the trail I have just traveled, until I come to a place where I’m sure that that has already made it to before they fell behind, and I lost track of them. I finally turn around and head back to Poblacion. A hike that should have only taken me only 1 ½ hours or so ends up taking me around 4 hours over muddy jungle trail in the storm and dark, by myself. It was definitely an unforgettable experience, to say the least!
In the meantime, the shepherd looking for lost sheep turns into sheep looking for the lost shepherd. Our teammates became very anxious and alarmed! Whatever has happened to me? Needless to say, we are all very thankful, relieved, and happy to finally make it back safe and sound to the mission base and get settled in for the night, and all be together again. It had been a fun day :)! We have had some good laughs!! The Bible says, “A merry heart does good like medicine..”! We all need a good dose, sometimes! Lots of funny things happen in life… The Lord humors us sometimes, and then, sometimes we humor ourselves – :)…
Youth on fire!
(Sept. 28) Today, as I spend some time with our resident pastor here in his home, some of the youth gather here during lunch break, and we continue to be amazed at their spiritual interest being demonstrated. One of the young men memorizes and quotes 5 new verses on the spot, after quoting close to half of I Peter chapter 1 again. I chat with them for awhile, and then ask how many of them want to be pastors. I am amazed at their enthusiastic response! Around 8-10 hands went up from young men (around Jr. High/High School age) who seem to be catching a vision for becoming pastors! Glory to God! They tell me they want to hike to Busdak early Sat. morning for the men’s meeting that we plan to have there. (A quick side note – one of our pastors brought his 6-year-old son to our last “Mighty Men’s Mtg.” there in Tarlac City. He told me that his son came back from the meeting telling his parents that he wants to be a pastor!) This evening around 10 of them come all the way to our mission base in Norte, to join with other youth there for another youth meeting.
Here we are, well over half-way through this mission trip… I go to the mayor’s office here in Poblacion to use their computer and send a fresh report back to my wife. The mayor’s secretary kindly allows me to use her computer, and even her office desk, so I can send her a fresh report from Polillio! By the way, the secretary is the mother of another one of our “Verse Striker” soccer boy champions 🙂 She seems to be noticing a big difference in his life! Hallelujah!
Parent’s catching fire!
(Sept. 29) This morning I go with our resident pastor to visit in the home of several of the youth. Their mom is a municipal councilor here. She was very enthusiastic about what is happening, and eager for a Bible study to start there in their home, as well. They are coming from a Catholic background. They are very open and hungry to learn more about Jesus. Her son and daughter join us for our visit in their home, and seem so happy that we have come to visit them! The daughter is a very good singer, and joyfully sang a special song in our service Sunday night. They join our prayer circle before we leave, and the son prays. This family could be very influential around here in helping spread the fire…
The Big Beetle
Tonight I was talking with the resident pastor and his wife around their table when all of a sudden he got the strangest look on his face (almost like he had been shot or shocked)… What was his problem? He had a live beetle in his pants! Not sure how it got there, or what it was doing, but we all have some good laughs together… lol :):)
(Sept. 30) We visit several more homes in Poblacion that have opened up for Bible Studies through parents of soccer players that are showing interest in hearing the gospel. One of them is the barangay captain’s family. They are interested in having a Bible study. I get mugs, thermos’s, and food items for men’s meeting tomorrow, and prepare to leave early in the morning around daybreak on hike to Busdak with some of our team for men’s meeting there.
(Oct. 1) We get up early, before 5 a.m. and leave around daybreak for Busdak. We stop at the home of one of our men in the Norte fellowship along the way, and he wants to come with us, so I wait for him to get ready while the others go ahead. We are hiking up and down jungle trails and over mountains with a box of 24 coffee mugs and thermos’s full of hot water for our portable coffeehouse time with men, along with whiteboard, Bible, snacks, and water… Quite the exercise! Nice to have a team to help alternatively carry the heavy items. Around 35 show up for the men’s meeting (which included some girls/ladies 🙂 – around 30 boys/men! Around 11 of them come all the way from Poblacion (around 1-1/1/2 hr away) hiking over jungle trail to be there (Resident pastor and 10 young men from soccer teams). Some of our team have stayed in Busdak for several nights to help prepare the way for services this weekend. They have not been staying in 5-Star hotel accommodations here, to say the least!…
At the men’s meeting, one of the young men stands up and quotes from memory the first chapter of I Peter (25 verses)! I hear that now his goal is to memorize the Psalms! The young men from the soccer teams who have hiked here all the way from Poblacion sing several special numbers… It is a lively time! We have a coffee party, and the men seem to love it, and want another men’s meeting here soon!
We have a Bible study with the Barangay Captain (like a village chief) in Poblacion and his family. We pray with them, and they show interest not only to receive the Lord, but also for continued Bible studies in their home to learn more about it… PTL!
(Oct. 2) It’s another busy Sunday. After the morning services, we split into 2 teams and continue afternoon services in Busdak and Tapol. I’m delighted when there is a group from the Norte fellowship that want to accompany the team that hikes to Busdak this afternoon. There are around 65 (including children – maybe approx. half adults/ youth) that attend the service there, with all available chairs filled. There are heavy rains, and the team when hiking back have quite the adventure – slipping and sliding and sometimes falling without any flashlights (except light from their cell phones)…They have a good time, involved in the joy of sacrificial mission ministry on a hike like that (a first time experience for some of them)…
Several More Homes To Visit
I’m with the team that goes to Tapol this time. I hike almost half way there until picked up by a motorcycle that returns for me. Before and after the service, I work on our rental house there, putting an additional lock on the front and back doors to make it more secure and safe. I come hiking back in the pouring down rain, over the slippery, jungle trails… Once again I am picked up by motorcycle about half-way, so I don’t need to hike the whole trip, which is nice. I get to Poblacion soaking wet, and very weary. They let me borrow a shirt (much too small – almost skin tight, so can hardly breathe in it…) There are several more homes to visit. We minister to children in one of them and schedule a Bible study for the next evening with adults.
We go to another home and have Bible study with family of one of the boat captains, who are the parents of one of the soccer team. They are interested to pray to receive the Lord, with the mother and his grandma respond with tears rolling down their faces during the prayer time.
I arrive back at our resident pastor’s house, and there is already another meeting in the process with the youth. They want me to speak to them again. I am so tired by this time I am struggling to breathe normally, but manage to make it through, and after finally getting something to eat, just stay there overnight, being too tired to return to our mission base in Norte.
(Oct 3) This is Monday, which is generally our rest day, but with so much to do before we leave tomorrow, I find it hard to slow down very much. I spend time with our resident pastor in the morning, and then in one of the homes near Norte for several hours with some of our leaders with some strategic planning and communication. Also, have important times with several of our team who will continue to stay there in Polillio, and help out for awhile. We return to Poblacion in the evening for another Bible Study in one of the homes there. A number more want to pray to receive the Lord, and want continued Bible studies there in their home, as well… PTL!
(Oct. 4) This morning we are returning back to our home in Tarlac City. Rising up early, I spend time preparing one of our team who will be staying there, regarding many ministry details and oversight instructions. We have a devotional time with our team, and a de-briefing time regarding trip praise reports, and highlights. Most of the team go to a morning Bible study down the beach while I pack my things for the trip and prepare for departure. We leave our mission base around 10 a.m., and after several boat rides and a long trip back in our van through the night, we eventually arrive home in Tarlac City shortly after midnight. It was an exciting, fruitful trip, for the glory of God…
I hope that you are blessed and inspired with this report! We ask that you would please continue to diligently pray for us, and what’s happening around here. This is a humble attempt on our part to communicate with you what is going on, and praise the Lord for all the good things He’s doing. We give Him glory! Obviously, there is a lot more to do than we can seem to get to – Bible studies, prayer, services, visitation, outreach and evangelism, etc…
Here is a closing thought from 2 Corinthians 10:16… Paul set us such a good example, exhorting us all to share the gospel in “the regions beyond…” If we just stay within our own comfort zone, and refuse to stretch ourselves into new territories, we will fail to reach a lot of people that need the precious gospel of Jesus Christ! We need to go for it! We plan to continue to reach out to Busdak, Tapol and other places, as we are able… Let’s all, willingly, and cheerfully make the sacrifice and effort to reach out to those who may not come to the Lord without extra effort being made in ‘regions beyond”!
Blessings, and thanks for your teamwork!