Philippine greetings to you all!
Gina returned 7/8 from her dad’s funeral. She was able to do a lot of ministering to the many mourners. She had Bible studies, she spoke at the funeral, & she had a few…confrontations. Nothing nasty, but witchcraft is soooo embedded deep down in the hearts of many Filipinos. Millions of people, even many who go to church on Sundays, engage in dark traditions & superstitions regularly. Several of these habits pop up at funerals. Gina did her best to persuade her loved ones to forsake those practices, to no avail. But the word of God went forth to many.
We are delighted to be very busy! Here’s a typical week lately:
Tuesdays, we teach “Values Education” to two public school sixth grade classes of about 60 kids each. We openly use the Bible & even teach the gospel, even though most students are Catholic or Muslim. I teach in English, which the kids know somewhat, & Gina translates into Tagalog, which everyone here is pretty fluent in, even though their first language is Cebuano. We’re trying to get more classes.
Thursdays, we bring up to 14 (in our tiny car) from a nearby very poor neighborhood for Bible study, games, & lunch. We also have a few friends join us to help in the kitchen & to translate into Cebuano, so our tiny house gets crowded.
Saturdays, from 7:30am to noon, we help a feeding ministry that blesses up to 4000 people each weekend.
Then from about 4 to 10pm, we have up to 17 mostly college-educated (thus fluent in English) young people for dinner, prayer, & Bible study. Even though they’re well educated, they’d all be considered poor by US standards.
Sundays, we’re in church all morning, & I’m blessed to be able to teach Sunday School once or twice per month. I’ve taught home Bible studies more than a hundred times in my life, but holding a microphone, using a power point, & addressing church of hundreds is all still new to me.
In between, we’re grocery shopping (for up to 40 people in a week), hosting a few visitors here-&-there, doing a lot of (costly) visa/passport stuff lately, working on messages, studying the Cebuano language, serving our school-sponsored family, or driving around paying bills & doing other business (you can’t do anything online or through the mail here). Occasionally I teach atCalvary Bible Institute.
Besides all of the welcome visitors, we’ve had some unpleasant guests
lately: chickens flying over our back wall, leaving droppings on the car, as well as cats alternately fighting & mating all night for the last few nights. With no a/c, our windows are always open, & it almost sounds like the cats are downstairs. We’ve learned to sleep through the dogs (no one here trains their dogs not to bark too much) & the roosters (it’s a myth that they only crow at dawn), but the cats are new.
Hmmm…That last paragraph might seem like whining, but I’m only trying to give a bit of a feel what life is like here. Don’t worry; we are both certainly happier than ever.
Gina & I are so grateful that several of you deem Davao City Outreach to be worthy of investing in. You are the “Good Samaritans,” & the people we’re serving are the wounded man on the side of the road. As the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to care for the one beaten up by life, so you are financially helping us to care & to serve.
Here are some orphans we love. Living Stones Orphanage is about a mile from our home. Please tell us if you know anyone interested in international adoption.
Please let me know if you have any questions about missions, our ministry, this nation, or our city.
And please pray to the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.