This is a short start-up with a report on our trip to our missions base in the Polilio Islands. I hope to continue with this report later when we return.

Several days ago we left Tarlac City with two vehicles that were loaded with luggage and mission supplies, and our 8 team members. We anticipated a drive into the night, staying over-night about half-way to the port at a hotel, and reaching the ferry at Real early this morning bound for Patnanungan, Polilio Islands. However, we had barely gotten onto the nearby express-way when we had a major breakdown with our L300 van, and could go no farther. We had to have our van towed to the repair shop, turn around and come back home.

Our L300 engine is in the process of undergoing some major overhaul with some broken engine parts, the cam shaft, rocker arms, bushings, timing needs, etc. It has been a great ‘work-horse’, and been worked hard with lots of good wear over the years. Finally it needed some major well-deserved internal time-out attention. We already had it in the shop previous to the trip, just to make sure everything was road-worthy. We thought we were good to go, but obviously we had quite the unexpected night time surprise!

In everything give thanks! (I Thessalonians 5:18) Here are several things that we are thankful for:

  1. The break-down happened close to home, so we could more easily get it towed to and repaired at our friend’s repair shop nearby. It is where we have regular Bible Studies, and where the owner manager and we assisting him and his wife in praying to receive the Lord a number of years ago. They had the heart and availability to try to get our van up and running and back on the road for us quickly. PTL! It looks like we could be back on the road by today! They have had a team of mechanics diligently working on it, to expedite it asap…
  2. It would have been dreadful if the breakdown had occurred in Manila traffic, during the night, and with all of our stuff and an 8 member team! We were just several hours from reaching Manila. Our travel course takes us through what is often bumper to bumper traffic as we go through Manila!
  3. Having a little more time here at home before actually leaving on the trip has been a blessing. It has been helpful to have more unexpected preparation time in gathering needful supplies,
  4. There was opportunity for several of the team to re-invest their unexpected free time in joining another outreach mission yesterday afternoon in a nearby area. They were able to join the team there and share some tracts and the gospel. They came back with a glowing report about going through the gospel tracts with 5 people, who wanted to pray to receive the Lord. Hallelujah! God is not willing that any perish, and wants all to have the privilege to hear the gospel message! (2 Peter 3:9; Romans 10:14-15) This was the first time one of our team members had ever shared tracts and the gospel like that, and she was so excited as she shared this exciting testimony with me! PTL!

This praise report is an illustration of the verse in Proverbs 16:9A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Our times are in HIs faithful hands – (Psalm 31:15)

Below is a picture taken yesterday on the highway as I was driving along, returning from checking on our van at the repair shop. This is not our vehicle. It is just a vehicle that we randomly saw on the highway that I thought you might be interested to see, also. I asked my companion to take a picture with my phone of this jeepney that was in the lane next to us, as we were driving along… πŸ™‚ It’s good for a laugh… πŸ™‚

—-next day—

Guess what? Here we are! Back again! Can you believe it? Surprise…

Yesterday, after getting our van engine put back together, and taking it for a test drive we were given the signal by the head mechanic that it was good to go again. So, we loaded back up with our team and the banana and fruit trees we are taking to plant there at our Polilio mission base, and off into the night we (our 8 member team and 2 vehicles) went. We were so excited to finally be on our way again…

We managed to get a little farther down the expressway this time (but were still quite close to home) when the engine on our L300 van died again, and had to be towed to another shop in that area! Once again we returned back home for the night with the team, to wait for daylight and try to figure out how to keep going…

Sometimes we experience difficulties in life that are very hard to understand, but one thing I have learned for sure through the years, “…we know all things work together for good to them who love the Lord, who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28.

I’m reminded of a very special story. A number of years ago I went to visit my dad who was confined in the hospital. He had always seemed so vivacious and full of life and energy. I was shocked! There he was, lying in a hospital bed, with unexpected heart problems! As I came into the hospital room that day, one of the first things I remember him saying to me with his sweet, humble smile were words of faith that still ring true – “Romans 8:28 IS STILL IN THE BOOK!”

In other words, just because we go through problems and fiery trials of faith at times, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t true to His promises! It just gives the Lord opportunity to prove how true His promises are! Today’ problems are tomorrow’s testimonies, as the Lord helps us to work through them!

Peter writes – “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ…” – I Peter 1:7.

I wonder what exciting, and precious things will come from all this trouble? Could it be some things more precious and valuable than time and money – like helping develop patience, endurance, thanksgiving and praise in the midst of the fires that will be rewarded when Jesus comes again?

To be continued… πŸ™‚

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