My post for the week is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Thankful for this…”
I hope you enjoy it and that you and your family have a wonderful and “thankful” Happy Thanksgiving!
My post for the week is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Thankful for this…”
I hope you enjoy it and that you and your family have a wonderful and “thankful” Happy Thanksgiving!
You know sometimes in life, you get your socks blessed off. You didn’t ask for it and you really don’t feel you have earned it. You just get blessed. I attribute that to the Lord’s blessings. Sometimes He will bless us above and beyond what we can imagine.
Pam and I have had that happen to us recently. We had a friend who blessed us immensely. Here’s the story. I was communicating with this friend via email and was asked, “When is your anniversary by the way?” I replied back, “Dec. 22nd the Big 25.” He replied back, “Wow! What a milestone! Would you and Pam like to visit Oahu?” Here was my reply:
“Uhhhh! Pardon me while I pick my tongue up off the floor and put it back in my mouth! :) I’m literally speechless. Seriously! I am so blown away right now that I have a lump in my throat!!! Oh my! Oh my!!! Pam and I were talking about maybe going a couple of days to Charleston…but…wait a minute…Oahu or Charleston!!?? Duh!!! Okay…so let me see if I can think…”
We went on to communicate back and forth and ultimately, this is the gist: Pam and I are going to Hawaii for a week Dec. 8-15 all expense paid. Can you believe that!! I feel so guilty even typing those words. We don’t deserve something like that, but let me tell you something I’ve learned: Be willing to be humble enough to accept the blessings the Lord brings. The Lord uses people and circumstances to bless us beyond anything we deserve.
When Pam and I were married all I could afford was a 2-night, 3 day honeymoon to Pigeon Forge. Many of our friends had these exotic honeymoons to very nice places and well…Pigeon Forge is nice…but, not exactly exotic. :) So, for years, I’ve told Pam, “Maybe one of these days we can go someplace nice.” Well, the years have passed and the best I’ve been able to do is a meal and a card. Now, don’t get me wrong… Pam is grateful and so am I. We are blessed beyond measure.
Here’s what’s really cool. When I was talking to this family friend via email, it was about 9:00 at night. So, when we were finished communicating, I said, “Pam do you have a second you could look at something on the computer for me?” She said, “Sure.” I stood beside of her and watched her facial expression change as she read the email…
“Wow! What a milestone! Would you and Pam like to visit Oahu?”
Pam turned and looked at me with this look of bewildered excitement. She said, “What in the world!! Is he serious!!” I said, “Keep reading.” She did and when she was finished she was like me: speechless. I wish I could have captured that look. I should have videoed it or taken her picture. But, the truth is: I’ll always remember that look. It will be etched in my brain forever.
We will be going to the island of Oahu. See it below…
We will be staying in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Again…even typing those words literally blows my mind and I’m not sure it’s even sunk in yet. Honestly, I could never thank our family friend enough for this privilege for this “once in a lifetime” opportunity. He is an amazing man. And no…he doesn’t go to our church or for that matter, he doesn’t even live in this county. No, check that…he doesn’t even live in this state. So, let your mind rest. :)
The timing couldn’t be better. We have Josh and Katy here and they can help with things here at home, along with Kandace, of course, while we are away. And things tend to slow down a bit (at the church during December) because there is so much that families are doing with their work, school, parties, etc.
You know, this just goes to show when you try to put the Lord first in your life (and by no means have Pam and I been perfect), the Lord blesses. And the truth is, those blessings aren’t all relegated to heaven. They can be bestowed upon us here as well. For years and years Pam and I have tried to faithfully give to the church and to the Lord’s work. We’ve been giving to a Building Fund for 20+ years and that would have paid for about 30 trips to Hawaii. Yet, we wanted to “store up for ourselves treasures in heaven” and honor the Lord with the money He has given us to steward. And what do you know… He chose to bless us (even here and now) for that sacrifice. I’m convinced of that. I’m convinced as His children, He will go above and beyond what you can think, dream or imagine. But, sometimes you just have to wait. You have to be patient. You do the right things and your sacrifice. And in the end…well, things like this come and it blows you away.
So, I pray that this news of our blessing comes to you as an encouragement. Maybe you won’t be going to Hawaii some day. I’m certainly not guaranteeing that. But, I am convinced the Lord will provide and sustain us and as we choose to seek Him and put His kingdom first, He will often times in His mercy, faithfulness and goodness…bless our socks off!
So, Hawaii…here we come!!! Thank you Lord for your kindness to us!!!
Have you ever been slapped in the face with “THEN” and “NOW?” I was last week. I had to get my license renewed. I mentioned that to you last time. And I got my new license in the mail on Monday. Take a look at 8 years ago versus now.
Quite a change, huh? As I looked at those photos, the kind of stopped me in my tracks and my thought was “Man, I’m getting old!”
So I pondered my life. (I can do that you know…because I’m mid-life now.) And NO! I’m not having a mid-life crises. I promise you that you won’t be seeing me driving a red sports car, while having my shirt unbuttoned to my navel. (Gross!) But, I do believe I’ve learned some things through the years.
I’ve learned that…
Life is not perfect even if you are a Christian. There will be times of struggles and ups and downs.
Concentrate on WHO you will marry. That one decision (and you should be shooting for it to be only ONE decision…not multiple) will impact your life (short of your salvation) more than anything. (The Lord blessed my socks off in my case!)
Don’t worry about money. Face this fact today: You’ll never have enough. But, if you trust the Lord, He will always provide what you need (Matthew 6:33). If you can pay your bills, you are blessed. Be frugal and you will see that it will pay off. Remember, the concept of retirement as we know it in America today didn’t exist in the Bible. So, don’t get so locked into the future that you don’t live for now. Yet, don’t live so much in the “now” that you don’t prepare for the future. There is a balance. (If you find it…let me know. :))
Say: “NO” a lot! Especially when you have kids. And no…I’m not talking about to your kids. I’m talking about saying, “NO” to people and to the things that will take you away from your kids. I didn’t do a good job with Katy and Kandace and because of those mistakes, I’m doing a bit better with Clara and Andrew. But, it’s a constant battle.
Enjoy the journey: today. Enjoy each day as if it’s your last, because you never know when it will be. Truly, being in rest homes and hospitals each week helps me to stay keenly aware of the brevity of life.
Jesus Christ is THE LIFE. If you think that you will find happiness in this life apart from Jesus Christ…you just might. But, that “happiness” won’t last long. You will chase it like a balloon that’s slipped from a child’s hand. You’ll watch it fly away and you’ll never catch it. Because it’s not happiness that will satisfy you, it’s joy. Only Jesus can bring you joy. He created you and He can give you what you can never give yourself: JOY!
Well, thanks for listening to my rambling. It’s a bit cooky! But, I hope it might encourage in some way. And the next time you are slapped in the face by the “Then” and “Now,” please know that you are loved by the Lord! If you’ve never trusted Him with your life, I pray you’ll consider it today.
I’ve been thinking a lot about persecution lately. This past Sunday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We prayed for our brothers and sisters around the world who are facing life-threatening persecution. This map shows the current level of persecution around the world.
You’ll see the United States is not in blue at this point. But, I believe with the trajectory we’re on, it’s just a matter of time.
In an article in Decision Magazine, Billy Graham warns that the immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have enjoyed over the last few centuries is unusual. He says there is no scriptural foundation for a belief that we can forever escape being persecuted for Christ’s sake. In fact, Christ strongly warns his followers that becoming His disciple would not be a popular decision.
I have only felt minor persecution compared to those throughout the world who are being tortured and killed for their faith in Christ. What about you? How much persecution have you felt in your lifetime? The truth is: If we’re not experiencing some level of persecution, we’re likely not standing very strong for Christ and His teachings. That’s pretty blunt, but I believe it’s a true statement.
Most people would almost rather be shot than to look strange or weird by the world. The world system has petrified most Christians with the fear that they will be seen as ignorant or mean if they stand for orthodox Biblical teaching.
Does anything rile you up? Do you have a burning in your soul for injustice? How about the plight of the unborn and the Planned Parenthood situation? Have you emailed your congressman or congresswoman? If you don’t do it, who will? Somebody else is waiting on you. Are you upset that our religious freedoms are going down the tube? Are you concerned at all that our children and grandchildren will likely grow up in a country where they can’t openly speak the name of Jesus in public when they are adults? Yes, you can say, “Well, times are supposed to get worse and I guess it’s God’s will.” But, that’s nothing more than a coward’s cop-out. Why do we, as Christians, continue to give up ground that was taken from Satan only to give it back because we’re scared to stand for truth?
I remember years ago, in 1999, I started hearing about a man in our county who decided that he was offended because the Ten Commandments were displayed in our courthouse. It was this man (this is from our local paper):
One man was creating a ruckus and because of that the Ten Commandments were going to have to be removed from the Courthouse. This went back and forth for several weeks until Feb. 2000. Well, I couldn’t take it. I said, “Somebody has to do something.” So, I wrote a letter and mailed it to the County Commissioner’s. Here it is:
I was quoted in the paper…
You see, at some point, somebody has got to do something. We’re called by Jesus to be salt and light in the world and yet for most Christians, we just like hanging out in the salt shaker. We don’t want to expose ourselves outside the shaker.
Well, ultimately the Ten Commandments were allowed to stay. They had to be posted along with the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights and a couple of other “historic documents.” Yet, they were allowed to stay.
Guess what’s on the outside of our county courthouse today…
And the very building from which I spoke on February 22, 2000 now has “In God We Trust” adorned on the front of it as well.
When I came out of that building on the night of Tuesday, February 22, 2000, I must admit, that I was afraid. Upon arriving (before I was to address the County Commissioners and the media), I was escorted in the back door with a police escort. It was quite intimidating. I was told by one Sheriff’s Deputy, “You better watch your back, son.” Can you hear me swallowing hard? But, I knew for my children’s sake (at the time I just had Katy and Kandace…they were 5 and 2 years of age) that I had to stand upon principle. I was not going to be bullied or cower in fear. And so, yes…I was afraid when I came out of those glass doors (above) of that County Office Building. But, little did I know there was over 2,000 people outside cheering me on! The local radio station was there and news trucks from Winston-Salem was there. I was interviewed by many people, including our local paper. It was amazing. And it was worth it.
Did I look over my shoulder after that? Yes, you better believe I did. The man who was fighting the posting of the Ten Commandments was a black belt in Karate. However, I wrote him a letter and told him that I had no hard feelings toward him, and I shared the gospel with him. I never heard back. But, at least I tried.
And folks, that’s my point. Don’t we at least have to try to do what is in our power to stand for what is right, good and just? Don’t we need to stop watching TV and get off the gadgets long enough to make a difference in our country? The truth is this…if you won’t write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, I doubt you’ll ever board a plane to go to a foreign country or even walk across the yard to share the Gospel with your neighbor. It’s that simple and that blunt.
I hope you are inspired. I hope you will stand for truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all!
Posted in Suffering |
This is Kandace’s blog and it’s excellent (sorry I’m biased) and I wanted you to see her perspective from our mission journey. Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Philippines Trip 2015
What a week this has been. I’m sitting here typing this in the Detroit airport because we have a four hour layover until our flight to Charlotte. I thought I’d go ahead and get working on this blog while it is all fresh on my mind. My ankles are swollen, I’ve had the same pair of Chacos on for almost a whole day, the powder that I hurriedly put on my face yesterday morning has melted off of my face, the circles under my eyes are probably scaring the people around me, and I’m running on about 3 hours of sleep, but I am happy.
There is no feeling that can compare to the feeling that you have after you’ve been on a mission trip. Yes, you are exhausted, sick of airplanes, airplane food, and sitting, but you feel a certain joy that’s impossible to describe to someone who has never been on a mission trip before. You know that you have done something worthwhile and important. You have made a small dent on another part of the world.
This trip was different than any other trip that I’ve been on. I did things on this trip that I have never done before. It was a lot of new territory for me and at times it was intimidating, but it stretched me and now I feel even more prepared for the other trips that I will go on in the years to come. I didn’t really know what to expect. Everything was pretty hazy before we left. I did try my best to prepare some different things. I can’t stand not having a laid out/thought out game plan. I guess that’s the “Brown” coming out of me. :)
Let me start from the beginning of the trip. We left on Wednesday night after church and drove straight to a hotel near the airport in Charlotte, NC. I was blown away by all of the people from the church that came to tell me bye and that they were praying for us. What an amazing church family I have. We were up bright and early the next morning to head to the airport. We flew to Detroit first and then flew the 13 and a half hour flight to Tokyo, Japan. I haven’t flown on a plane for that long since I was 8 when we adopted Clara. I only slept for about an hour and a half of the entire flight. By the time we reached Tokyo at 3 in the morning I was worn out. I experienced deja vu over and over again as we walked through the airport. It was the same airport we had had a stop over at when we went to get Clara. Pretty crazy to have walked through the same place again 10 years later! From there we flew to Manila, Philippines. As soon as we stepped off the plane a wave of sticky heat hit me right in the face. There were Ebola warning signs posted everywhere. That unnerved me a bit. We were also handed a paper in the immigration line that listed potential sicknesses you could get while you were there. I tried not to dwell on the thought of getting some incurable Philippine sickness and being banned from the U.S. I guess when you have only slept for about 4 out of the last 48 hours your brain automatically thinks up the most ridiculous scenarios that it can comprehend.
We finally got our bags and met Pastor Dave outside of the airport by about 10:30 Friday night. We hopped in a little Filipino size car and made it to our condo at about 12:45. The condo was only about 15 miles from the airport. The traffic was so bad that it took us over 2 hours to get there. It was quite a sight! We got to know Pastor Dave and one of the deacons in the church named Romano on the way there. They kept us entertained the whole way! Exhausted was an understatement by the time we made it to our beds though.
We got some rest and were up the next morning (Saturday) to do a crusade at Exodus Elementary School. There were about 550 people there! The principal was so kind to let us use their outside gym area. It’s awesome to see people in the school system who still allow people to come in and share about Jesus. It was a wonderful service. Many prayed to accept Jesus!
The next day (Sunday) we had a wonderful service at Shekinah Glory Baptist Church. They are such wonderful people. They immediately accepted us into their church family. Dad preached and many said that they prayed to accept him. I spoke to a group of the girls at the church after the service. Dad spoke to the adults and Pastor Dale spoke to the young men. I loved talking to those young women and sisters in Christ. They listened to me with their whole hearts and we had a question and answer time afterwards. They asked me some challenging questions and we all chipped in to answer them. It was so encouraging to see that people like me who live across the world deal with the exact same struggles and temptations that I deal with. We are different in some ways, but are so alike in others. We are alike in Christ. It was a wonderful time that I will never forget.
On Sunday night Shekinah Glory had their 25th Anniversary Homecoming Service. It was a huge celebration! It was such a blessing to watch the church members sing and speak about that last 25 years in their church. The members of Shekinah Glory are so devoted to their church and reaching the people of the Philippines. It was very encouraging to see how this has been lived out so faithfully by these people. It was a wonderful time of worship for us all.
On Monday morning Dad spoke at the Flag Ceremony in Pasig City. The Mayor and most of the city officials were there. It was an unbelievable opportunity! Monday was also supposed to be our first day sharing at the schools, but with the typhoon (more on that later) school had been canceled. We instead went to a couple of different prisons in Pasig City. The conditions in those prisons we appalling. Those are truly the desolate and desperate people of the earth. My heart broke for the women/girls I saw behind those bars. They just needed something to believe in. They needed someone to love them and show them their self worth. I sang Amazing Grace to them before Dad spoke. It amazed me at how many of the people knew the words and sang along with me. Dad’s sermon of salvation and freedom in Christ touched many. It was powerful. God was there in a tiny prison in the Philippines. He was there speaking into the hearts of murderers and thieves. People who only knew hopelessness, pain, and sorrow. You are never too far gone. I saw that first hand in those prisons.
That night we experienced something that was pretty crazy. We had already been dealing with the torrential rains and high winds that typhoon Lando was bringing in, but we never expected an earthquake! I was sitting on my bed typing out an update for the day when the dogs upstairs in our condominium building started barking VERY loudly. They had barked before quite often, but this time it sounded different. It was more like frantic barking. I found that kind of curious… I glanced at my clock and it said 9:49. I went back to my typing, but not a minute later my bed started shaking. The table and lamp began to rattle and then my door began to sway quickly back and forth. I knew immediately that it was an earthquake. Dad wasn’t so sure. I usually jump to unrealistic conclusions. At first he said it was the wind that was making the building sway. Either way, it was concerning considering that we were staying in a five story building and our room was on the second floor. It went on for about another 30 seconds and then stopped. Not long after that I saw on twitter that there had indeed been an earthquake only about 60 miles away from Manila, Philippines. Needless to say, I slept a little uneasily after that!
On Tuesday we spoke at one of the largest high schools in the area. We shared the gospel with hundreds of students all day long. We went from class to class and spoke over and over again. It was exhausting, but awesome work! I shared my testimony with them. I think many of them were able to relate to it in some way. I had struggled with knowing if I was truly saved or not for years. It was a hard, hard time for me. I didn’t know how to have a relationship with Christ and for the longest time I didn’t even want to have one with him at all. I had to get to the bottom of my emptiness to be able to see what I was missing in my life. As I shared this, I saw many of them cry and nod their heads at what I was saying. The Lord was all over that work.
There was one girl who had cried the whole time we were in her class. I felt the Lord prompting me to talk to her. After we had finished our sharing time I asked her if she would be willing to talk to me outside of the class for a minute. She agreed although I could tell that she was a little afraid. I asked her if she was alright and if she wanted to tell me something and she said that her Uncle had been murdered by Muslims. There was so much fear in her eyes. She didn’t go into a lot of detail and I didn’t push her, but I asked her if I could pray over her. I prayed and she cried and then we shared a long hug. Her name is Wendy. I will always remember her. God put her into my path for a reason. I’m sure of that. Please pray for her and her family.
On Wednesday we went to another school and shared with almost a thousand students at one time. Afterwards, they asked us for pictures with them and for our autographs. They treat us like we are celebrities there. They are so amazed that Americans would come there to see them and invest in their lives. We finished it off by going to another school and sharing for the rest of the afternoon. By the end of the night our voices were gone, our feet were numb from standing all day, and we were beyond exhausted, but I have never felt so satisfied. Knowing that we had shared with so many people in those two days was an amazing thought.
During our days at the schools some of the young people from the church had come along to help translate and hand out tracts. I got to know all of them so much better during that time. There was always laughter and a lively conversation going on. They taught me things about the Philippines and I taught them things about the America (although they already knew almost everything there is to know about America) and we talked about our common interests. We made enough inside jokes to last a lifetime. ;) I made some true friends for life and I’m so thankful for Facebook so that I can keep up with them! Gotta love technology! I will miss those Jeepnee rides and conversations so much, but there will many more in the years to come. I can’t wait to go back and see my Filipino friends again.
Thursday morning we started a long two days of travel home. I slept the majority of the plane rides home. Exhaustion had finally taken over. That Chick-Fil-A sandwich in Detroit was so good! I love my American cuisine. ;)
This trip changed my life. I know that’s a pretty cliche thing to say, but it’s true. I will never forget my first trip to the Philippines. It’s in my blood now and I’m already planning my next trip. God did so many amazing things. This blog barely scratches the surface of it all. He did a tremendous work in my life through those people. I am so excited for the things to come with this new mission opportunity. I can hardly wait to go back!
What a week! Last week in the Philippines was an amazing time for Pastor Dale Jennings, Kandace and me. Here we are on the plane headed out from Charlotte to Detroit, then to Tokyo, Japan and then Manila, Philippines.
What an experience! The time difference is 12 hours, so it takes several days to get your body clock adjusted. I kept waking up between 3-4 am ready to go! Once I finally got regulated, it was time to come home. I’m still waking up at the same time here (back home). It’s giving me time to pray (during the 4th watch of the night…as David used to pray). :)
There is no way I can possibly share all the occurrences during our 8-day trip. So, I’ll give you the highlights and share some insights about what I learned.
Thankfully, it was north of us and we just saw about 3-5 inches of rain and about 35-40 mph winds. It devastated the northern part of the island in the are of Luzon. We were south of Manila (the capital).
Amazingly on Monday night of last week there was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake on the island just south of Manila in a town called Occidental Mindoro. It happened at 9:50 am and I was lying in bed on my side (I had just gone to bed) and the next thing I know… I’m lying on my stomach. I had rolled over without desiring to roll over! Kandace burst into the room and said, “Daddy, the building is shaking!” Needless to say, it was a bit harrowing. But, thankfully there were no aftershocks. I slept on the couch that night just in case we needed to make a quick exit. I had our passports, my wallet, phone and tennis shoes beside the sofa!
Here’s the pastor and his wife of the church in Cainta, Rizal.
The church has about 75-80 people. They are trying to reach a city of nearly 3 million people. They are the only Bible-believing and teaching church in the city. The Philippines are made up of about 7000 islands and the people are close to 90% Catholic. Yet, most are “Cultural Catholics.” It reminds me a lot of Mexico. The country has very few people who actually go to church. The people are by and large good and honorable people, but they are being heavily influenced by the west.
They have all the garbage of America on their TVs: HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, MTV, etc. It’s just a matter of time before the entertainment of the west infiltrates them to the point that they become pagan. It saddened me greatly to see this happening. I saw the same thing happening in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The clothes the people wear start looking American and the way they act does too. It seems that what “entertains” a people and culture will drive that culture. Just think about America over the last 50 years. I rest my case.
It’s like Hugh Hefner of Playboy Magazine. He said (last week) the magazine would no longer show nude women. Why? Because you can get porn at the click of a button. That’s why I have “Covenant Eyes” on all my devices. He said, “My job is done.” What was his job? He said, “revolutionizing American thinking about nudity.” Yep, Mr. Hefner, I’d say you did a real good job of allowing Satan to use you to corrupt many of our men to the point that only Viagra and Cialis is effective in helping them to be intimate with their wives. Yep, I’d say you really did help to revolutionize this country, indeed.
We will have to take this country back one family at a time and it’s my job to see that I get the job done in my home with my family and then as a leader in the church to guide and equip the flock to do the same. We must return to God’s word and teach it and live it, or we will go the way of the trash pile of the other major civilizations and cultures of the past.
One of the coolest things was to watch my daughter at work.
She taught and she sang…
The students thought she was some sort of famous person. They wanted her autograph.
See the guy with the umbrella over her head. Amazing! She handled it in stride and gave the Lord the glory. Needless to say, I was very proud of her and how she handled a lot of stuff that could have easily gone to her head. The truth is…Americans are automatically seen as some sort of “rock star” there. I was a freak of nature (being so tall). Most of the Filipinos are very short. So, I was gawked at everywhere we went. “Wow! Look at the giant!”
The teaching in the schools was amazing! Here I am (with my translator, Pastor Dave, to the right) in front of close to 1,000 students.
Can you imagine that!?! We were actually allowed to go into the public schools and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Unreal! That would NEVER happen here in the U.S. Yet, it used to… 50 years ago… Even up to the time I was in the fifth grade, we read the Bible in class and prayed every morning before school started. But, we’ve got so “smart and civilized” today. Yes, today we’re so intelligent that we’ve pushed God right out of the classroom and replaced Him with evolution and secular humanism. And look at where that’s getting us as a nation. Are we better off today than we were when you are a kid? We’re a disaster waiting to happen unless we return to the Lord. Well, enough of that…I’m a broken record on that. Sorry! :)
The students seemed to enjoy what we shared.
We had between 30 and 50 minutes in each class. The older the students, the more time we had. Here’s Pastor Dale helping me by imitating Jesus on the cross. Our translator, Xervoz (pronounced Serve-OS) is to the right.
We were able to pray with the students after sharing the plan of salvation. We supplied them with tracts that contained the Gospel of John and the “Seven Steps to Knowing God.” Again, I was a just blown away that we were allowed to do this in public schools. Obviously the Filipino government has learned about the erroneous “Separation of Church and State” that we have in America. But, one day, I’m confident they will. Therefore, we must strike while the iron is hot and that’s why I’ll be going back taking more people in the future. You talk about ROI (Return On Investment)! We were able to share with well over 5,000 students (and that’s a conservative number) while we were there. And not only that, we got to go into the prisons.
Do you see above in the left side of the picture? Those are women. The men were in front of me and the women to the left in this prison in Pasig City. They were packed in there like sardines and the heat and the odor was almost unbearable. Many of the men had to sit on the floor with the legs spread out and other men between their legs to get everyone in the holding cell to listen to us speak. It was humbling to say the least. Here’s the crazy thing. If you asked them if they are a Christian, the prisoners will all shout, “YES!” But, the truth is I’m afraid, once again…most are just “cultural Catholics” and have no relationship with Jesus. It was heartbreaking, but I poured my heart out about how to know Jesus personally and to have a real relationship with Him. Many prayed to receive Christ. And like with the students in the schools, only God knows.
That’s me sharing in front of over 1000 government workers, city officials and the mayor of Pasig City. I was allowed to share the Gospel with them. I did! And I didn’t hold back. I shared in about 3 minutes and they were very receptive. Again, I’m absolutely astounded to have had these opportunities. I shook the mayors hand, a very nice lady, who thanked me for coming. That’s her (below in the white shirt preparing to come to the podium.)
Perhaps one of the neatest things for me was the opportunity to meet the Chief of Police in a city called Tay Tay. His name is Colonel Jong. He loves (of all things) basketball. And get this…well…just take a look at what we did…
Can you tell we worked up a sweat?
I would guess Colonel Jong is about 5’4″ tall. Needless to say, I towered over him. He asked me to bend over for the picture. :)
But, here’s the thing… He allowed me to speak to his police force and the Assistant Mayor came as well. What an opportunity to share the Gospel…again!
Overall, it was a fantastic journey! And the thing that I enjoyed the most (beyond sharing the Gospel) was being with this wonderful, beautiful, godly young lady…
I’m a blessed man indeed!
I’m so grateful for a loving and mission minded church that’s willing to send missionaries to share the Gospel throughout the world. We’ve got another team heading out in January to China. Pam and Kandace will be on that one too! Woohoo! What a joy to “seek and save that which is lost and to share the love of Jesus.”
I took this picture this morning at the DMV…
I had to get my license renewed (another 8 years…I’ll be 55 when I renew again…Lord willing.) :)
God’s beauty! And to Him be the glory!
See this map…
See the city beside of Manila that Cainta? That’s where I’m headed for the next week and a half. To be specific that is Cainta Rizal, Philippines. Here’s a bigger map of the Philippines. You’ll see it’s beside of Malaysia.
It’s hot there. It will be around 90 degrees with oppressive humidity and a good chance of rain most days while we’re there.
I’m not the only one going. Kandace is going as well as my dear friend and fellow pastor Dale Jennings. Pastor Dale has been many times and is leading the trip. This is my and Kandace’s first trip. I’m going to be looking and praying to see if the Lord might want us at MPBC to ramp up the work there. There is so much to be done. There are less than 2% Christians there. Yet, 90% of the people will tell you they are Christians because they are Catholic. Yet, most are cultural Catholics (don’t attend mass) and have no relationship with Christ anyway. But, they’ll tell you they are Christians. (Sounds like America doesn’t it?)
Here’s the crazy thing. We are going to get to go into the schools and even talk to government officials about Jesus. Isn’t that amazing! The thoughts of doing something like that here in America is…well…you’ve got a better chance of flapping your arms and getting to Mars than you do talking about Jesus in a public school in an “Assembly” setting or going to the local mayor’s meeting and sharing John 14:6. We’ve sunk so far as a nation. Yet, for now…we have open doors to the Philippines and thousands of teenagers. On Monday of next week we will be speaking at Star of Hope High School, Repsci High School and Nageayong High School. On Tuesday, the 20th we’ll be sharing with 4,000+ students at M.I. Santos High School.
I’m going to tell you who will likely make the greatest impact…
…that young lady in the purple. Kandace will tremendously impact those young adults with her testimony and story of how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She’s also going to be singing. They’ll love her! (Sorry, I couldn’t help but get a picture of Charlotte thrown in there to boot :)).
On Wednesday we’ll be going to three different prisons in Cainta, Pasig and Taytay sharing with the inmates, army and prison authorities.
If I may back up a second. On Saturday we’ll be speaking at an Evangelistic Crusade at 8 am at an Elementary School. And then that afternoon we’ll be at the church (Shekinah Glory Baptist Church) sharing with about 8 churches, their pastors and members. It will be a time of encouragement for these churches. On Sunday 9 am, we’ll be having a crusade at the church where I will be preaching and Kandace singing. Later in the morning, I have the privilege of sharing with the adults, while Dale and Kandace share with the young adults and students. That night I’ll be preaching at their 25th Silver Anniversary Celebration of the existence of Shekinah Glory Baptist Church.
We’ll head back on Thursday, October 22nd, arriving back in Charlotte around 10 pm that night. It will be in the wee hours of Friday the 23rd when we arrive back home to Purlear.
Can I ask you to pray for us? There are around 100 million people in the area where we will be ministering. Again, 90% are Catholic, 5% Muslim and Cults and less than 2% Evangelical Christian. Pray for stamina and strength. On Monday and Tuesday particularly we will be speaking over and over again as the students are brought in at about 30-45 minutes until we run through all students of the schools. We go to bed late and get up early. We are 12 hours ahead. So, when it’s 8 am here, it’s 8 pm there. Pray I can handle the flight. The older I get, the less I like being on a plane. I’m not made for a plane at 6’6″ tall. Thankfully, Pastor Dale got us a bulkhead seat (an exit row) for the 13 hour 10 minute jaunt from Detroit to Tokyo (the longest leg of the journey). Thank you Dale! And yes, when he told me, I kissed him on top of the head!!! (He’s getting used to that and smiles and tolerates my silliness!)
Pray for our families back home as we will miss them. Pray most of all that we might say something that would be used by the Holy Spirit to save lives. Pray for boldness. Strong stomachs (eating strange food), good health, decent rest and no “Satanic wrenches” thrown into things.
Thank you for doing so and I’ll update you when I get back. If we have some kind of internet connection, I might try to put out a quick update if I can via the net. So, check back here next week. I love you all!
Kevin, Kandace and Pastor Dale