THE MISSION FIELD -PHILIPPINES

Philippines – Services in Ipil

Greetings once again Friends and Family,

We, along with our interpreter and his family, went to Zamboanga to hold a series of meetings in various locations.  As always, before leaving the house, especially for a trip, I would always ask the Lord to watch over it in our absence.  We had no security bars, but we had Jesus and He took care of everything.

In Ipil we had a glorious time.  The bus ride part of the way there was noteworthy, as I would ride holding my midsection with both arms folded one on top of the other.  Upon arrival,  my innards felt like scrambled eggs!  I guess you could say it was somewhat bumpy.  Ha!  As usual, the hospitality was sweet.

The services were special as God moved by His precious Holy Spirit.  One service was especially remarkable as we were told that one of the men who attended was a former graduate of the Bible School during the time that Reverend Barnes was the missionary.  As my husband preached his heart out, I noticed this same man, who came from a small fishing village, sobbing throughout the preaching.  We later went to his place for a service, which I will share in a future post.

The love the people had for the Lord was precious in that place.  It was the first and only time that I can recall  ever seeing very young children seeking the Lord with all their hearts.  Touching!  So very touching!

On one occasion in Ipil, the New Year’s service was quite memorable.  There was an interruption of the service, as a motor bike “ride by” of tear gas filled the windowless  barrio church.  My husband recognized what it was from the gas chamber training he had in the military.  It was pandemonium as the people screamed and were panic stricken.  He shouted, “it’s tear gas, get out of the church!”  In the commotion that followed, one small boy was left in the church crying.  Thankfully, my husband was overseeing the evacuation of the church and saw the boy and scooped him up and outdoors to safety.

The ladies were quite frightened and looked to me for comfort as we congregated outside far behind the church.  Ma’am” they said, in so many words, “what’s going on?”  Well, sometimes you have to be brave for someone else.  I had no earthly idea what was happening.  For all I knew, our lives were in danger.  It was not an idle thought, for the NPA, a communist insurgent group was very active in those days, as well as the MNLF, the Moro National Liberation Front.  I told them not to worry because the Lord would take care of us.  Gratefully, everyone was fine.  We were told later that the tear gas bomb was not meant for the church, but for the Chinese business man who lived next door.  So praise God He kept His children safe!

Here is another beautiful song by Basil Valdez a Filipino singer.  The video with this song shows the Banaue Rice Terraces, which has been described as the eighth wonder of the world, by locals.  Carved out of the hillside by Ifugao tribes people about 2000 years ago to provide level steps where the natives plant rice.  They are still in use today.  It is about a nine hour bus drive from Manila.

Ang Diyos mag panalangin kanimo.  That is Cebuano, the dialect spoken in parts of Mindanao, for God bless you.   I will share more later about the Philippines, Lord willing.

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