Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Sunday In Bayawan! Part 1 of 2

We got up earlier than usual to start the 2 hour drive to Bayawan from Dumaguete last Sunday morning. Maya Elisa was downstairs waiting to go with us. She was traveling home for a month holiday from school. Being a young girl in high school so far from home isn't that much fun and she was thrilled to be going!

The road to Bayawan is so lovely... it winds out of the city to the farms and outlying communities on the southern side of Negros Oriental--traveling a bit inland and the jutting out to the coast--I think it is one of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken.

About an hour into the trip we had the first blow out--out in the middle of nowhere! Mike swerved just a bit to avoid a car parked on the side of the road and then pulled over in front of it. The three policemen inside got out and with a smile and hardly a word, began to change the tire. They had heard the bang and I think they too were glad it was just tire! Neighbors came from out of nowhere and we were suddendly surrounded by many men waving crowbars! It was amazing! 25 minutes later we waved and smiled, gave thanks and moved on. Still time to make it for Mike to preach.

Not 10 minutes later, but already in a less populated barangay, we heard the familiar sound of crumbling rubber--off to the side again. I looked down. No phone signal. I looked around. No houses. No people. Behind us a car had been on the side of the road but it drove away. In a few minutes it came back and stopped just beyond us.

It was such a beautiful day and we began to wonder what the LORD had in mind with these 2 flat tires-still an hour away from church. I took some pics and looked at a big dead bullfrog on the side of the road. Mike decided to go talk to the people in the car.

They said they had a signal at their house down by the seaside and would we like to go to it? Mike sent me and Maya Elisa down the steps into the jungle and down to the water. Sure enough, if you stood in the corner of this elevated sun house and turned just right--you got a signal! But only for a minute and then it would fade. ;) Nice people. Many families gathered together for a Sunday holiday at the seaside--all from one family--a ship captain, bank manager, student, mother, baby, farmer, mechanic, auntie, brilliant teenager, handsome vagabond... just an average family! They started to cook a goat.

Soon, someone came to look at the tires--. The volcanizer hung his head--no hope of repair. But what's that? The cavalry! Joy and Jonahfe arrived in another car--out searching because we had not arrived. They were out on the road calling! Had to leave the family behind, but such a wonderful meeting and a sincere invitation to return... and "couldn't we stay for the goat and talk about important things?"

I took a picture of the small openning in the trees that leads to the stone steps that go down to the house by the sea with the only phone signal around so that we can go back and visit and "talk about the important things..."
Part 2 Sunday in Bayawan and more photos coming soon... ;)

Monday, 27 April 2009

6th Annual Intensive Bible Training, SMCI Philippines

Spiritual Warfare! That was the main theme for last week's training!

Just over 70 of our exciting SMCI team members are gathered right now in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines for the annual intensive Bible Training. Our workers are trained yearly and while they are on the move in the work! This is a wonderful time for bringing the teams together in one location to remember the vision of the work!

SMCI is an evangelistic/discipleship ministry that works with or plants local churches! Our team of staff and pastors is almost entirely made up those saved in the ministry! We believe that once a person is saved he/she needs to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, understand the Spirit-filled Life, which will all be realized in aggressive evangelism!

Workers and students are with us usually for the few short years during their studies or just after. As they pour their hearts into reaching the lost of their islands and campuses, we accept the responsibility to help equip them for whatever service or life the LORD has in mind for them! Thus… the annual training resulting in an equipped believer and Bible Diploma after completing the requirements!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Thinking About The Importance of Prayer....

Mike came across this recent account of a missionary in Africa that really spoke powerfully to both of us:

A missionary was serving as a medic in Africa. Periodically he would travel by
bicycle through the jungle to a near by town for supplies. It was two-day trip,
so he would camp in the jungle overnight. He had always made the trip without
incident, but one day when he arrived in the city he saw two men fighting. One
was seriously hurt, so he treated the man, shared Christ with him and went on
his way.

The next time the missionary travelled to the city, the
man he had treated approached him. “I know you carry money and medicine,” the
man said to the missionary. “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle
alone. We waited for you to go to sleep, planning to kill you and take your
money and drugs. As we started to move into the camp site we saw twenty six
armed guards surrounding you. There were only six of us, so we knew we could not
possibly get near and we left.”

When he heard this, the missionary
laughed. “That is impossible. I assure you, I was alone in the campsite.”
But the young man pressed the point. “No sir. I was not the only one who saw the
guards. My friends saw them too, and we all counted them.”

months later, the missionary attended his home church in Michigan and told his
experience. A man in the congregation interrupted his presentation by jumping to
his feet and saying something that left everyone in the church stunned. With a
firm voice he said, “We were with you in Spirit!” The missionary looked
perplexed. The man continued, “On that night in Africa it was morning here. I
stopped by the church to get some materials for a ministry trip. But as I was
putting my backs in the trunk, I felt the Lord leading me to pray for you. It
was an extremely strong urge, so I got on the phone and gathered some other men
to come to the church and pray for you.” Then the man turned to the rest of the
congregation and said, “Will all those men who prayed with me that day stand up
right now?” And one by one they stood up-all twenty-six of them.

Mike leaves for the Philippines Saturday! Please remember to pray.... Lord Bless!