Today was a beautiful day of being a missionary here in Malabalay, Philippines. We started the morning making 2 cups of “hand-brewed” coffee and oatmeal for the family. Up until recently we had 1 pot and 1 pan. Recently we were given a second pot! We feel a bit spoiled, but it sure is nice to be able to make coffee and oatmeal at the same time!
Then we headed to the house of the “single ladies” (our missionary team of young women) for morning prayer with the community – 5 families (including 15 kids) and 5 single ladies sitting mostly on the floor of their little house. It was an awesome time of singing praise songs and joining the world-wide Church in praying the Liturgy of the Hours. It is very powerful to know that we are praying the same words that are being prayed as the sun rises over monasteries, convents, rectories, mission houses, homes and apartments the world over.
Then we loaded 15 people, 1 guitar, and 1 digital projector and laptop into our little van and drove to the local jail. After greeting the inmates and singing a couple songs of praise I was blessed to be able to lead a teaching on the peace that only Jesus can bring. Peace that can break through the locked doors of fear, even when we are scared, hurt or angry and the gift of the Holy Spirit which strengthens us with supernatural power to love, serve and forgive (John 20:19-23). Then we were humbled to hear the testimony of faith in Jesus which has brought forgiveness, peace and strength to an inmate who was falsely accused. I have been floored to hear many stories of how the regular visits of the missionaries have changed people’s hearts and set them on fire for Jesus!
Then we came home and ate a quick lunch. Angel started working on home-school with the younger 3 children while Eddie (our 11-year old son) and I went out to find some groceries for a family who can’t go back to their home in the mountains to work, while they are awaiting their daughter’s surgery. We also bought some medicine for a patient we helped to see the doctor last week. After delivering the food and praying with the family, we visited with a few more families in Isla Bonita.
Then we took the medicine to a local missionary family who knew the patient. Please pray for this family as they are trying to get their visas to go to another country in Asia. Their faith and generosity blows me away! They give so generously the little they have to care for the poor around them and are putting all their trust in God to provide benefactors/sponsors to help them go forth and proclaim the Good News to the Nations. It is very challenging for our Filipino missionaries to raise the needed funds as their family and friends spend most of what they earn just to put food on the table.
As we were driving and walking through the market Eddie and I were able to talk about the joy that he saw in me as I proclaimed God’s love in the morning and the sadness felt by the people who shared their struggles with us in the evening. Eddie still wants to be a famous soccer player when he grows up but I hope and pray that today’s experiences, and the life we are blessed to live, will help him to become a holy man who makes a difference in the lives of the people he meets, whatever his career may be.
After this we met the single ladies to let them borrow our van so they could travel out of town for a mission/service trip, then they dropped us off at home for dinner. After dinner the other kids colored and played games while Angel helped Eddie get a little home-school in as I washed the dishes. Thankfully the water stayed on long enough that I could get a quick cold shower in, before we got the kids ready for bed. After praying with the kids, Angel read a chapter from C.S. Lewis’ “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” aloud as they (& I) fell asleep. After that we finally had time for our personal prayer time.
It is now 11:10pm and Angel has finished her prayer time and is now asleep (pregnancy will do that to you) and I’m now done writing this for you (and me). Now I get to spend some time with our Lord in His word before heading to bed. Thankfully we made a commitment to pray at least 15 minutes in private prayer, with Scripture, each day. This has been such a blessing for us!
Thank You Jesus for a blessed day of living in Your love! Salamat sa Dios! And thank you for making this day possible by being our partners in mission through your prayers and financial support! May God bless you!