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!