Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Photos

Maligayang Pasco sa inyong Lahat!
Merry Christmas to you All!
Please keep us in your prayers!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Challenging Times

What a great conference we had!  The preaching and teaching were challenging, so much so, certain things that are lower on the priority list will have to go.  To Go up, you must give up!  I am afraid that for the time  being, this blog is one of them.  We are about to start out stations in farther places and also bible studies here in our city.  There is a lot of work to do. Please keep us in your prayers and thank you for reading.  I will keep the blog up, but do not expect to post.  I will continue the email updates.  God Bless You!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Asian Conference 2006

Pastor Davis arrives in country tomorrow.  He will be visiting the churches throughout the Philippines.  The other ministers will be arriving on Monday the 13th and the conference begins on the 14th.  We are looking forward to a wonderful time of preaching, singing, fellowshipping and being revived and renewed.

Keep the conference and all of the ministers in your prayers.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cutcut Vs. Holy Mary or What Cemetery do you use?

There is exclusiveness even in death.  It has been shared that in the Philippines, there are two types of people, the very rich and the very poor, and the very rich don't want to be mistaken for the very poor.  

Rev. Gaudario was talking to a lady about one of her family members
 that had been recently buried.  He asked where they had been buried, she told him Holy Mary, which is the exclusive cemetery, for the rich folks.  It is located in the Cutcut barrangay.  So, Rev. Gaudario said "Oh Yes,  I know where that is, that is in Cutcut."  She got a little testy, because there is also another cemetery for the poor folks, commonly known as Cutcut cemetery. She replied "No! Holy Mary." He may have again tried to clarify by saying "Yes in Cutcut Barrangay." but she would not be caught dead (argh) burying a relative there, so she said "No. Holy Mary!"

This is a grave in Holy Mary:

This is a grave in Cutcut:

The more important question is not where your body will be buried, but where will your soul spend eternity?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day of the Dead

 Last night was the biggest holiday here in the Philippines, the day of the dead.  Multitudes of people go to the cemetary and spend the day and many all night at their loved ones grave.  You would think it would have a somber mood, but in reality it is like a huge outdoor concert scene.  Drinking and barbecues, card playing and romancing.  Their need for a reality in Christ is great.  Please keep the Philippines in your prayers.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In God's Eyes

****Warning....Long Post....
Sometimes I can be a marshmallow heart, this story brought the tears to my eyes.  Hope you enjoy...


by Candace Carteen, Portland, Oregon

By the time I was ten, I was totally ashamed of my father. All my
friends called him names: Quasi-Moto, hunchback, monster, little
Frankenstein, the crooked little man with the crooked little cane.
At first it hurt when they called him those things, but soon I
found myself agreeing with them. He was ugly, and I knew it!

My father was born with something called parastremmatic dwarfism.
The disease made him stop growing when he was about thirteen and
caused his body to twist and turn into a grotesque shape. It wasn't
too bad when he was a kid. I saw pictures of him when he was about
my age. He was a little short but quite good-looking. Even when he
met my mother and married her when he was nineteen, he still looked
pretty normal. He was still short and walked with a slight limp,
but he was able to do just about anything. Mother said, "He even
used to be a great dancer."

Soon after my birth, things started getting worse. Another genetic
disorder took over, and his left foot started turning out, almost
backward. His head and neck shifted over to the right; his neck
became rigid and he had to look over his left shoulder a bit. His
right arm curled in and up, and his index finger almost touched his
elbow. His spine warped to look something like a big, old roller
coaster and it caused his torso to lie sideways instead of straight
up and down like a normal person. His walk became slow, awkward,
and deliberate. He had to almost drag his left foot as he used his
deformed right arm to balance his gait.

I hated to be seen with him. Everyone stared. They seemed to pity
me. I knew he must have done something really bad to have God hate
him that much.

By the time I was seventeen, I was blaming all my problems on my
father. I didn't have the right boyfriends because of him. I didn't
drive the right car because of him. I wasn't pretty enough because
of him. I didn't have the right jobs because of him. I wasn't happy
because of him.

Anything that was wrong with me, or my life, was because of him. If
my father had been good-looking like Jane's father, or successful
like Paul's father, or worldly like Terry's father, I would be
perfect! I knew that for sure.

The night of my senior prom came, and Father had to place one more
nail in my coffin; he had volunteered to be one of the chaperones
at the dance. My heart just sank when he told me. I stormed into my
room, slammed the door, threw myself on the bed, and cried.
"Three more weeks and I'll be out of here!" I screamed into my
pillow. "Three more weeks and I will have graduated and be moving
away to college." I sat up and took a deep breath. "God, please
make my father go away and leave me alone. He keeps sticking his
big nose in everything I do. Just make him disappear, so that I can
have a good time at the dance."

I got dressed, my date picked me up, and we went to the prom.
Father followed in his car behind us. When we arrived, Father
seemed to vanish into the pink chiffon drapes that hung everywhere
in the auditorium. I thanked God that He had heard my prayer. At
least now I could have some fun.

Midway through the dance, Father came out from behind the drapes
and decided to embarrass me again. He started dancing with my
girlfriends. One by one, he took their hand and led them to the
dance floor. He then clumsily moved them in circles as the band
played. Now I tried to vanish into the drapes.

After Jane had danced with him, she headed my way.
Oh, no! I thought. She's going to tell me he stomped on her foot or

"Grace," she called, "you have the greatest father."

My face fell. "What?"

She smiled at me and grabbed my shoulders. "Your father's just the
best. He's funny, kind, and always finds the time to be where you
need him. I wish my father was more like that."

For one of the first times in my life, I couldn't talk. Her words
confused me.

"What do you mean?" I asked her.

Jane looked at me really strangely. "What do you mean, what do I
mean? Your father's wonderful. I remember when we were kids, and
I'd sleep over at your house. He'd always come into your room, sit
down in the chair between the twin beds, and read us a book. I'm
not sure my father can even read," she sighed, and then smiled.
"Thanks for sharing him."

Then, Jane ran off to dance with her boyfriend.

I stood there in silence.

A few minutes later, Paul came to stand beside me.

"He's sure having a lot of fun."

"What? Who? Who is having a lot of fun?" I asked.

"Your father. He's having a ball."

"Yeah. I guess." I didn't know what else to say.

"You know, he's always been there," Paul said. "I remember when you
and I were on the mixed-doubles soccer team. He tried out as the
coach, but he couldn't run up and down the field, remember? So they
picked Jackie's father instead. That didn't stop him. He showed up
for every game and did whatever needed to be done. He was the
team's biggest fan. I think he's the reason we won so many games.
Without him, it just would have been Jackie's father running up and
down the field yelling at us. Your father made it fun. I wish my
father had been able to show up to at least one of our games. He
was always too busy."

Paul's girlfriend came out of the restroom, and he went to her
side, leaving me once again speechless.

My boyfriend came back with two glasses of punch and handed me one.

"Well, what do you think of my father?" I asked out of the blue.

Terry looked surprised. "I like him. I always have."

"Then why did you call him names when we were kids?"

"I don't know. Because he was different, and I was a dumb kid."

"When did you stop calling him names?" I asked, trying to search my
own memory.

Terry didn't even have to think about the answer. "The day he sat
down with me outside by the pool and held me while I cried about my
mother and father's divorce. No one else would let me talk about
it. I was hurting inside, and he could feel it. He cried with me
that day. I thought you knew."

I looked at Terry and a tear rolled down my cheek as long-forgotten
memories started cascading into my consciousness.

When I was three, my puppy got killed by another dog, and my father
was there to hold me and teach me what happens when the pets we
love die. When I was five, my father took me to my first day of
school. I was so scared. So was he. We cried and held each other
that first day. The next day he became teacher's helper. When I was
eight, I just couldn't do math. Father sat down with me night after
night, and we worked on math problems until math became easy for
me. When I was ten, my father bought me a brand-new bike. When it
was stolen, because I didn't lock it up like I was taught to do, my
father gave me jobs to do around the house so I could make enough
money to purchase another one. When I was thirteen and my first
love broke up with me, my father was there to yell at, to blame,
and to cry with. When I was fifteen and I got to be in the honor
society, my father was there to see me get the accolade. Now, when
I was seventeen, he put up with me no matter how nasty I became or
how high my hormones raged.

As I looked at my father dancing gaily with my friends, a big
toothy grin on his face, I suddenly saw him differently. The
handicaps weren't his, they were mine! I had spent a great deal of
my life hating the man who loved me. I had hated the exterior that
I saw, and I had ignored the interior that contained his God-given
heart. I suddenly felt very ashamed.

I asked Terry to take me home, too overcome with feelings to

On graduation day, at my Christian high school, my name was called,
and I stood behind the podium as the valedictorian of my class. As
I looked out over the people in the audience, my gaze rested on my
father in the front row sitting next to my mother. He sat there, in
his one and only, specially made suit, holding my mother's hand and

Overcome with emotions, my prepared speech was to become a landmark
in my life.

"Today I stand here as an honor student, able to graduate with a
4.0 average. Yes, I was in the honor society for three years and
was elected class president for the last two years. I led our
school to championship in the debate club, and yes, I even won a
full scholarship to Kenton State University so that I can continue
to study physics and someday become a college professor.

"What I'm here to tell you today, fellow graduates, is that I
didn't do it alone. God was there, and I had a whole bunch of
friends, teachers, and counselors who helped. Up until three weeks
ago, I thought they were the only ones I would be thanking this
evening. If I had thanked just them, I would have been leaving out
the most important person in my life. My father."

I looked down at my father and at the look of complete shock that
covered his face.

I stepped out from behind the podium and motioned for my father to
join me onstage. He made his way slowly, awkwardly, and
deliberately. He had to drag his left foot up the stairs as he used
his deformed right arm to balance his gait. As he stood next to me
at the podium, I took his small, crippled hand in mine and held it

"Sometimes we only see the silhouette of the people around us," I
said. "For years I was as shallow as the silhouettes I saw. For
almost my entire life, I saw my father as someone to make fun of,
someone to blame, and someone to be ashamed of. He wasn't perfect,
like the fathers my friends had.

"Well, fellow graduates, what I found out three weeks ago is that
while I was envying my friends' fathers, my friends were envying
mine. That realization hit me hard and made me look at who I was
and what I had become. I was brought up to pray to God and hold
high principles for others and myself. What I've done most of my
life is read between the lines of the Good Book so I could justify
my hatred."

Then, I turned to look my father in the face.

"Father, I owe you a big apology. I based my love for you on what I
saw and not what I felt. I forgot to look at the one part of you
that meant the most, the big, big heart God gave you. As I move out
of high school and into life, I want you to know I could not have
had a better father. You were always there for me, and no matter
how badly I hurt you, you still showed up. Thank you!"

I took off my mortar board and placed it on his head, moving the
tassel just so.

"You are the reason I am standing here today. You deserve this
honor, not me."

And as the audience applauded and cried with us, I felt God's light
shining down upon me as I embraced my father more warmly than I
ever had before, tears unashamedly falling down both our faces.

For the first time, I saw my father through God's eyes, and I felt
honored to be seen with him.

From the book:
God Allows U Turns: True Stories of Hope and Healing by Allison Bottke (Editor), Cheryll Hutchings


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jogger's Hematuria

Sounds pretty scary doesn't it?  Wait til you hear what it is!  Hematuria, is blood in the urine. When you go to the restroom and find blood, it is enough to scare anyone to go see the doctor! Oftentimes, the blood in the urine is a result of a Urinary tract infection, or more seriously, kidney stones, and sometimes even indicative of cancer.  In a few rarer cases, it is caused by running or jogging with an empty bladder.  The walls of the empty bladder smack together and small blood vessels break inside the bladder leading to the shocking sight when using the restroom.  The answer? Drink water!  Fill your bladder so that the walls won't smack together, they will be cushioned by the water and therefore no bleeding.

As I learned about this, I thought of those who complain, or even those that quit serving God.  I have often seen the very real pain they are experiencing is due to the fact that they are empty on the inside.  They have no grace and no God to cushion the jarring experiences of life.  The walls of their empty soul smack together and they ask why?  Why does life hurt so much?  

There are others, who though they go through catastrophes, come out victorious.  Their hearts are filled with God and His grace and they are cushioned through each hardship.

Is life hurting?  

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Harvesting Buko

Buko is the name for a young coconut. 

If you are from America, and like me, your idea of coconut is the brown fuzzy ball with the milk on the inside, but Buko is the younger version.  While in this young stage, it is harvested, and cut open to drain the Buko juice out, and to scrape slivers of the still soft coconut meat to be added to the drink.  There are many who sell the Buko juice on the sidewalks, or the whole Bukos, like this:

We are blessed to have four coconut trees outside of our church, and an owner that has made a deal with one brother that he can harvest all he wants, just give him half.  Today, was harvest time.  The brother in turn, brought 4 bukos to my house.  I pulled out the bolo, and started hacking away at a smaller one, but to my surprise, it was full of juice and we quickly poured it into a pitcher.  We then turned to the largest one thinking it will fill the rest of the pitcher, but again, to my surprise, when we opened it, it contained only a small amount of juice.  It made me think about people, how often they look so big on the outside, but they have so little on the inside, and those who appear small, have much to offer.

Like the little girl who was buying the cotton candy.  The vendor said: "Are you sure you can eat all of this, you are such a little girl?"  She replied "I'm bigger on the inside, than I am on the outside!"

May it be so in our souls.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


We went visiting today and our first stop was a lady who is a midwife.  Apung Ganingding (sp?) is a jolly lady who cackled as she told us stories while sitting on the floor of her bamboo rest house.  Her daughter has thirteen children, (Or 12 and pregnant with number 13) that sufficiently impressed us, but there was more to come.  At one of our next stops down a dirt road they told us about Daisy.  In the Philippines, they use both Tagalog numbers and Spanish numbers.  Their spelling for seventeen is "disisiyete" and the first part sounds like Daisy.  That is why they named the young girl Daisy, she was the seventeenth child of the family!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hospital Food

I believe we were the only Americans in the hospital while our son was being born.  One of those
days, when meal time came, the tender stomach of my wife faced this:
When the nurse came in and sensed our....errr....lack of appetite, she told the cooks we were supposed to get American food, and so the chicken began...Then one morning for breakfast, a hamburger was delivered, my wife isn't always fond of certain burgers, but it sure was good that day, even for breakfast!

Hospital of many idols....

Altar full of idols...Black Nazarene, Mary, Santo Nino...etc.

I don't know who this is, evil looking fella, I call him evilman.

Of course the statue of Jesus

Big belly Buddha

Dee Hwa Liong is the name of the hospital William was born.  Anthony Dee, from what I 
understand, was the one who immigrated to the Philippines from China and became rich here.  
He was kidnapped and held for ransom years ago and then killed.  We had the privilege to meet
his grandson, Timmy, and he shared that his father was a Catholic-Buddhist.  Perhaps this 
explains why there are so many idols in the hospital. 

Couple more Will pics

Me and my son....
Caught him smiling!
Doing his favorite thing.

The Rest of the Story

Ok, now that my wife and son are both home, happy and healthy, I can share some of
 the other things that happened during our hospital stay.  I purposed not to until all was well because I didn't want to worry anyone unduly. The hospital was great for Filipino standards.  It is a private hospital, and the Doctors and nurses seemed professional and capable.  The building itself, well that is a little different.  It is a half finished complex, replete with concrete pillars having rebar jutting from them.  The rooms were spacious and had a steel door that one visitor said reminded him of a prison cell. Perhaps there is a locking mechanism to keep you from escaping til you pay your bill!

Now that I have lived in the tropics, I am not as squeamish with the constant presence of bugs, and since we couldn't do too much about it, we shared the room with lots of ants, though they didn't offer to pay their part!  The ICU, also had bugs, and though it is to be a place of life, I confess to murdering the crawling critters.  

The machines they had seemed to be relatively new and  worked great, though when I read the directions written on the side of one machine, and noticed the grammatical errors, I could only hope their technical skills in building the machine, were better than their English skills in writing the directions.

I am extremely happy to announce they have excellent generators!  This I know, because in the midst of my son's ICU stay, there was a Typhoon!!!  The power was knocked out, but almost immediately the generators kicked in!  Hurray!  Kinda scary as the water was blowing in through the windows onto the ICU floor and towels were posted as guards against the incoming flood.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

They Changed Our Names!!!

The Filipino law states that a child born here can be given a first name, but the child's middle name will be the mother's maiden name. Since we had already picked William Drew as the first and middle name, and since our son was not going to be given Filipino citizenship, I balked when they told me this. The kind lady at the records dept. offered to let me go to the government office and plead my case, I did, and lost. I called the embassy and they explained that though he would become William Drew Greathouse Devonshire (William Drew being a two part first name) when they made the American birth certificate they would drop the Greathouse. So, when I returned to the hospital, I agreed to go along with this. When they called me to sign the birth certificate, I was shocked to find out that they had changed all of our names! I was now David Charles Yanssens Devonshire and my wife was now Christine Penelope Bryant Greathouse. I explained that though that was the custom and law here, that in America it wasn't and those are not our names. She didn't seem to understand my complaint, and after a fruitless discussion, I let it go. Hmmm...I came here to hopefully help change some lives, and got my name changed! Maybe I should have wrestled with the records dept. lady til the breaking of the day and gotten a better name....Gen 32:24-28

My Friend Roger

I met Roger while I was standing in line at an ATM machine.  He rode up on a bicycle and I 
commentted that it was a nice bike.  We talked and I discovered he is from Washington D.C.
and has been in the Philippines for 7 years.  He is used to, and sometimes frustrated with,
the normal operating procedures here in the Philippines.  We went to visit him at his house,
and while we were waiting he drove up on his motorcycle.  He explained, "Yea,  I was driving
around  and the police pulled me over for not wearing my  helmet, I had to buy them soft drinks." He said it in a resigned way, that is just how it is.  The police have to get their softdrinks somehow!
The corruption and graft is rampant, and in this case, humorous.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Guess or Guest?

We have a friend who is in charge of the guards here in our subdivision.  He has been attending 
church with us and so one morning when we saw him we pulled over and began to talk.  He 
shared how that often they don't receive their whole salary, the office may be a month behind
paying them.  We started to ask about the dues and fees which we pay and asked why they have
not paid them since we sure pay the office our monthly fees and even the fees for the sticker that
is posted on your windshield to let you in the gate.  He shared that there are many people who buy
counterfeit stickers.  The real ones may cost 300 or 400 pesos but they can buy a counterfeit 
one for about 50 pesos.  I asked how he was able to tell if it was a counterfeit.  He said there were
many who had bought guest stickers but they were all spelled "Guess" He would tell them, this
is not a guest sticker, this is a pair of jeans!

Will Pics

Well the first  bath took place with mom worrying about the water being too hot and dad about it being too cold, and I, well I was just worried!
Here  I am finally tubeless!  My little smile can show!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Tomorrow (Tuesday) should be the big day! Lord willing, William will come home. Yesterday they took out the feeding tube and he is no longer connected to any machines or tubes, eats like a normal baby, with a bottle, and is in the bassinet. They say he likes to be carried around, but a white baby is a novelty to them, only the second one they have dealt with, and I think they like to carry him. I heard one say "Cute na Cute!" (Doubling the word means VERY to them, and I have to agree!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Brutal Reality

Hospitals in the Philippines operate a little differently than in the United States.  When you
are admitted, you must place a large deposit to show that you can cover the costs.  If there is
medicine to buy that the hospital doesn't have (sent in from another hospital or similar) you must pay for it then.  Then when you are ready to leave, you have to pay in full, there is no billing in the future, you can not use a credit or debit card or write a check, it must be in cash!! They will give you a receipt to show the nurses and then to the guard at the door. (Up til this time I thought the guard was there to keep us safe, but now I realize he was there to keep us from leaving without paying our bill!) and then you may leave.

What if you don't have the money???

There is a baby that has been in the hospital several months now.  It is a healthy baby. It was
born premature, but when they brought the baby in, they were able to help it recover to full
health.  The only problem was, they didn't have the money to pay the bill.  The baby doesn't
leave the hospital, until his bill is paid for!  The sad thing is the mother has never visited her
baby, and the father only visits when the nurses call.  The nurses are the ones donating the food
and the diapers for the baby.

It is difficult for us to come up with a larger than expected bill, but I thank God that I have
access to avenues to get the money, I can only imagine what it is like to not be able to get
your baby out, and I can only imagine what it is like to be the baby whose mother doesn't
seem to care for it.

I thank God I have a heavenly Father that cares...

More about Will

I know I have delayed in updating you about our son.  The situation was slow in changing, and is 
still.  Today they removed the oxygen hood and are using only a funnel that directs oxygen to 
his face and at a lower rate, all in preparing him to be able to breathe room air.  He is a little 
yellow and so is back under the lights to get more of a tan.... The heartbreaking news we got
today is that we won't be able to take him home this weekend.  Maybe next week.  This is 
difficult for us.  We want him to be healthy and be able to take him home and we want to be able
to hold him.  I hope that none of you are praying that God gives me patience. (The bible says that
"Tribulation worketh patience" Rom 5.3)

He is moving quite a bit and has a good sucking reflex which he hasn't yet been able to put to use.
They feed him through a tube that places the milk directly into his belly.

The doctor reminded me the other day, that he wasn't even supposed to be born til the 9th 
through the 16th of October.   Yes that is true, but it still doesn't make it any easier to watch
your boy laying inside an incubator and then to have to drive home without him. 

What must it have been like to send your son into the world knowing he would suffer an
awful death and to go to hell to pay for the sins of a guilty world...

Thank you God and Thank you Jesus.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Update

The good news is Sis. Devonshire is out of the hospital and was able to attend the services this weekend. The presence of the Lord was precious to us and we are thankful for His grace. William is moving quite a bit, crying (a good sign) but took a small step backwards, his breathing was very fast and he was having mild retractions, so they had to go back to the nasal CPAP (I think it stands for Constant Positive Air Pressure) basically oxygen/air mixture blown into his nostrils. The ups and downs of his recovery can be heart wrenching. We think we are close to him being well, but then there is a delay. God is in control and we trust Him that all will be fine. I enclose a picture of our Super Doctor working on our Super Son. This is Dr. Gregorio M. Leonardo, a neonatalogist and the one overseeing our son's care. He gave our son the Filipino name of Gregorio! He is a really nice guy. He worked in New York and Detroit before returning to the Philippines. Keep up the good work Doc!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Friday the 29th (here) Update on the family

Little Will is responding well.  He is more awake now and all of the sedation seems to have worn
off.  This morning, his eyes were open and he was looking around for quite a while.  This is
good news since the doc was concerned about him not moving much and always sleeping.

They had him breathing on his own yesterday, but they decided to put him back on the machine 
for the night.  The doc lives 20-30  minutes away and we were in the midst of a typhoon so
if there were any problems, he would have a hard time getting to the hospital, so we thought it 
better to keep him on the machine til this morning, and then again let him breathe on his own,
and if all goes well, they will then remove the tube.  Then, finally, he won't look like the
bionic baby!

Christine is still experiencing the high b.p. but the doc will let her go home when Will is
discharged, and maybe all of our blood pressures will go down!!

I have many experiences to share with you, but I want to wait til the whole family is safe and
sound at home.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Will Alert

Little Will is steadily improving in his breathing.  He is down to 22 machine breaths a minute and 
40% oxygen.  That means he is breathing more on his own .  My wife is still dealing with the
high blood pressure but they will probably let her go home and deal with it with medicine.
Although they have taken him off of the sedation, he is still sluggish and the doctor wants him
to move more.  Therefore, I spent time bothering him til he woke up and cried (but the tube down
his throat prevents any noise only grimacing faces) and got a little active.  The doc is due in today
(Thursday the 28th here) around noon (midnight East Coast time).  We should know more then.
Keep praying!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Will Update #2

Good News to report!  William is improving!  They are again weaning him from the oxygen
and the ventilator.  His oxygen saturation levels are good.  All is looking good.  Christine is
still having problems with the blood pressure, but we hope that it will normalize soon.  I 
enclose a picture of Will in his sunbathing outfit...the cover on his eyes is to protect him while he
is receiving the photo therapy.  Thanks again  for all of the notes, emails, prayers, and support.
We are truly thankful, that though we are separated by miles, we are still part of a great family. 

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Will Update

Christine is still experiencing High Blood Pressure and still in the hospital. Little Will took a step backwards last night. They had to increase his oxygen, he couldn’t quite tolerate the lower lever. His lungs are not quite as good as the second set of x-rays but still better than the first. His little feet and hands were cold and a little purple, plus he was turning a little yellow, so they have him back underneath the light to get rid of the jaundice and hopefully the new oxygen level will help his circulation. He is moving quite a bit, even though he is supposed to be sedated and resting. We still believe God that everything will be fine, just a little more time on the respirator and in the incubator. The ICU nurses are getting used to seeing me come in at all hours of the day and night to check on him and I believe he is getting good care. I am hopeful the next update will be more positive. Keep Praying!

Thank you for all of your support.

Few more quick pics (Minutes Old)


Friday, September 22, 2006

Baby Update

I am staying at the hospital, so I only get to the computer in the mornings when I return to 
shower and change, but I wanted to thank you for your prayers and ask that you continue to
hold up little William in prayer.  Mom (Sis. D) is improving and was able to go and see the baby
yesterday for the first time since he was born, she was happy about that.  William seems to be 
responding well to the medicine given to him to help develop his lungs (Survanta a surfactant) and
the doctor hopes to start backing him off of the respirator bit by bit beginning today.  I enclose
a few of the early pics, not too flattering with the tubes, but a handsome boy nonetheless.  Notice 
the dent in his chest, that was one sign of the respiratory distress syndrome, but it is now almost
gone!  Thank You Jesus!!  God bless and thanks for your prayers.  Again if you want to call us,
from America dial (011639154465866) or send a text message to that number. 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Baby makes three...Please pray

William Drew Devonshire, anxious to make his grand arrival into the world, was born Sept 21, 7:20pm. He weighed in at 6.4 lbs and 49 centimeters. Mom was having a bit of blood pressure problems, so the doctors had to deliver him early. He is in intensive care unit on a respirator and in an incubator. He is responding well to the medicine that they have given him to help develop his lungs, yet we earnestly request your prayers. Mom is recovering well. If any would like to call, you can reach us at (from America 011639154465866).

I will try and provide pics etc soon.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

FW: Forward

Because of me,
The Political process has come to a grinding halt
The safety of America is in jeopardy
The health of mankind is at stake
The financial blessings have halted for millions...all at my doorstep
All of my friends are suffering

Whew! I must be a pretty wicked person! Well this is what all of the emails tell me.
If you don't forward this...The chain of blessing will stop, the evil villains will have their way, multitudes will fall prey to some evil lurking in the shadows.

I confess. I am not a forwarder. I don't forward all of the emails to everyone in my contact book alerting them to a supposed disaster. I know, I am that dangerous individual, where the cause of freedom stops, right in my inbox. "If you care about your friends, forward this to them..." Truth is, I care about my friends and figure they don't need their inbox cluttered with another "Forward this or else!" plea.

It is not that I don't care, I do. Yet I know that most of these warnings are hoaxes, I have not yet been able to determine why someone would want to create a phony cause to campaign for, but I do know to check on things.

Enter: http://www.snopes.com/
Here is a website that you can check to see if this latest warning is real, or is this picture real, or is this health alert real etc. By the way, the picture above, as surreal as it looks, is genuine. (Bitterroot National Forest fire 8/2000)

In the meantime, if it lands in my inbox and if the fate of the free world depends on it being forwarded...we are in a lot of trouble!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What if they Hadn’t?

We often read of the great things that God did in response to men and women who prayed or responded to God. But have you ever thought about what would have happened if they hadn’t?

When Moses when on the mountain top God told him the people had sinned and that He was going to destroy them.

But Moses prayed.

What if he had not? What if he said “Hmmm, a whole nation from me….that sounds pretty good!” If he would not have prayed, they all would have been destroyed!

What about when Zimri brought in that Moabitish woman to his tent. The whole congregation was praying and repenting because of this same sin, but this man decided to keep on sinning. God was angry. In the midst of all of this happening, there was a man by the name of Phinehas that saw this and rose up with a spear and slew them both.

He acted and spared the whole congregation.
What if he had not?

The whole congregation would have perished!

Num 25:11
(11) Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.

We can not underestimate the power of one man’s prayer, or one man’s action.

One man once said “If it is to be, it is up to me!”

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Even if you have read this before, you will probably enjoy reading it again.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

-- Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Filipino Superstitions

Ok, you really have to be careful what you say or do. The Philippines is a land of many superstitions. Albert told me recently he was visiting a family and told the parent their newborn was cute and then they would not let him leave until he applied some of his saliva on the newborn!

Others include:
1. If you see plastic flying in the air, if you catch it, it will make you strong.
2. If you are sweeping at night, you must say "Excuse me" to the spirits you may be hitting.
3. If lightning strikes a tree, you should climb to the top and get the "Eye of the Lightning" a tooth shaped part of the tree and make a necklace out of it. It will make you strong, when your chicken is to go to the cockfight, dip this eye of the lightning in it's bath water and it will win.
4. Is you step on a "Nuno" (spirit) you will become sick or wounded.
5. If you drop a fork on the ground accidentally you will have a male visitor.
6. If you are pregnant you can not attend a baptism of another baby or your child and the other will become rivals. (One version says you can't be the godmother)
7. Don't sing while cooking or you will become widowed.
8. Don't rest your head on your chin or you are awaiting bad luck to happen.
9. Don't sleep with your feet towards the door or you are waiting to die.

Thank God, that He delivers from the fears and bondage of these superstitions!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Four Language Household

Have you ever lived in a four language household? I speak English and am learning Tagalog. Rev. Gaudario speaks English and Tagalog and is learning Kapampangan. Ai Ai works for us and she speaks Visayan and Tagalog and is learning Kapampangan and English. My wife of course speaks English. So it is not uncommon to hear someone say something in English, respond in Tagalog and a third person agree in Kapampangan. We are all learning, one sister came over to the house, who is fluent in all four languages and seemlessly switched between them, we hate her :-) ....no, not really.
One must be careful though, the same word in Visayan "to kill", is the word in Tagalog "to grill" so if we ask Ai Ai to grill something....well it may not be pretty.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Daily Devotional

There is a new daily devotional as part of the Good News at NTCC site.

Check it out: Daily Devotional

Philippines Update

It has been a while since I have given you a personal update, so I will try to fill in the details of what has been happening over here.

First, we do want to thank all of you that continue to pray for us and have given for the support of the works in the Philippines. You are holding the ropes for us and we are thankful.

On the church front, we just finished a wonderful weekend in God which saw many at the altars praying for forgiveness of sins and also for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God touched us in a special way and renewed our strength.

The bible college is beginning week two of a new semester, and we have several new students and there is an excitement as we learn together. We are still looking for land to purchase for the new bible college and have located several portions of land. Please keep this in your prayers.

Personally, Sis. Devonshire is in the closing weeks of her pregnancy and like many at this stage, she is ready to have the baby! We are excited about little Will (William) making his grand arrival and are making preparations. Please pray for the safe arrival of our son and quick recovery of my wife.

Rev. Gaudario is as faithful as ever "Bata ko iyon!" He's my man...My right hand man, he tortures me in the mornings with my Tagalog lessons, and I torture him in the evenings as he interprets for me in bible college by using idioms! There is hope on the horizon for him leaving the ranks of the single, there are four single bible college girls enrolled and all of the men in the school are already married!

It is rainy season here, but God has given us several weeks respite from any really bad weather, and we are thankful.

I hope this will suffice for a brief update. Drop an email to us when you get a chance. Correspondence from our family and friends is always welcome!

Some of the family

My wife and I

Me and my mom, before we left for the Philippines (Mom was crying a little)

Myself, my father, and my grandfather. We are about to add another generation, William is on the way! Due October 16!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Look Up

Mar 8:23-25
(23) And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
(24) And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
(25) After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

The story is told of a young sailor who went to sea for the first time. The ship encountered a fierce storm and the sailor was told to climb the mast to trim the sails. Higher and higher he climbed and then made a serious mistake, he looked down! He started to lose his balance and become scared. An older sailor who was watching from underneath cried to him "Look Up! Look up!" He did and he was able to regain his balance and finish the job.

Where are you looking today? Many lose their balance and stop their progress when they look back at their past, or dwell on their mistakes or failures. Others look to the side, looking for help from friends and family. Yet when we look up, look to Jesus, encouragement comes. Our spiritual balance is regained, we can finish the job that He has given to us.

In our bible reading, we find the blind man looking up right after Jesus touched him. How often he must have felt his way along, head stooped to protect himself, and yet once Jesus touched him, He looked Up!

In the midst of your hardship; Look Up!
In the struggles your going through; Look Up!
In your financial battles; Look Up!
When you are out of balance; Look Up!

Let Jesus touch you and Look Up today...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Living Arrangements

 This house sits in the middle of all this water.  The only way to get to it is to wade through the water.  Everytime they go home, they get wet, everytime they leave from home, they get wet.  (Again these are from my phone camera, excuse the low quality...)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

God's Unusual Path to Victory

2Ch 20:12-13
(12) O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
(13) And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

When you think of ways to win a battle, they usually include:
  • Having Intelligence or information about the enemy
  • Having superior forces
  • Taking action, Fight!
  • Watching, or keeping your eyes on the enemy
  • Argue your point
But in our bible reading they did none of these things!
  • V12 They had no intelligence or special information..."neither know we what to do"
  • V12 They didn't have superior forces... "this great company that cometh against us;"
  • V13 They took no action, they just stood there..."all Judah stood before the LORD"
  • V12 They didn't look at the enemy..."O our God...our eyes are upon thee"
  • V4   They didn't argue with the enemy..."Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD:"
Yet they won!  How?  

They worshipped!  
One of the hardest things to do in the midst of the battle is to lift your eyes to God and begin to thank and praise and worship Him.  We are often consumed with the problem, but God shows us if we will praise the problem solver, He will take care of it!

They didn't look at the enemy....what is the chaff to the wheat?  Those that are sincere will recognize pure faultfinding, criticism, and jealousy and we learn to avoid that so that we may keep our hearts right, our spirits pure and stay sweet in our soul.

They believed God! and they believed the men of God!
V20b "...Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper."
Is it any wonder then, that the enemy of our soul tries to get us to doubt our leaders?

Worship, praise and faith resulted in the victory.  It isn't the world's method, it is God's method, and it always works!

2Ch 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Tongue of the Learned

(Isa 50:4) The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

Recently I found myself trying to repair a hammer whose handle was broken. A small plug of wood was still stuck in the hammer head and my mission was to drive out that wood so I could insert the replacement handle. Simple enough. So I thought. I tried using a screwdriver to drive it out, a chisel to cut it out, and then finally used a drill to drill out the remaining wood and was finally able to put the other handle on.

I am glad I had access to the tools to get the task done.

God has issued me a set of tools at salvation. I have the tools to get the task done. One of the greatest tools given me is my tongue. I can choose to use it to build up someone, or to destroy. It is powerful either way.

Once as a new Christian, my pastor (Pastor Davis) told me he needed to talk to me. I was nervous, but as he shared his concern for certain issues in my life, he finished with this: “Brother, I love you, and what you do with your ministry is up to you.”

I floated out of that class room that night. Those words of concern about my future, coupled with his words of love made an impact and helped me to make right decisions about my future.

How different are the words of Hymenaeus and Philetus whom the bible describes

(2Ti2:17) And their word will eat as doth a canker:

Or as a gangrene, it will gnaw away and destroy anything it comes in contact with!
Unfortunately, I have met with some who fit this bill. They use their God given tool to destroy and tear others down.

You have a tool.

You have a choice.

Let us pray that we may have “The tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary:” Isaiah 50:4

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Pastor's Heart - By Jack Hyles

This poem including the introduction is from Jack Hyles.   It has been a blessing to me.

One day the load was especially heavy and the burdens were many. I had so many appointments that night and to be quite frank, I rebelled a little bit at having to solve the problems of others when I had so many myself. After counseling with many people, it was about midnight. As I started to go home, I had the following thoughts. Please read this poem very carefully.

"I have a burden, Pastor, that
I'd like to lay on you."
I listened, tho he never knew
I had a burden too.

I took a tearful look toward mine;
Then his came into view.
'Twas plain to see my burden was
The larger of the two.

I saw his load alongside mine,
And, tho they both were real,
The yoke he bore was made of wood,
And mine was made of steel.

To him I said, "Come unto me;
I'll gladly carry thine";
Then whispered unto selfishness,
"But who will carry mine?"

I softly laid my burden down
To help him his to bear,
While knowing that my heavy load
I'm not allowed to share.

I'll help him with his burden, then
Regain mine after while,
When I will sigh and weep once more,
While now I force a smile.

I felt the CHAINS OF BONDAGE till
A CAPTIVE came to me.
He bade me help him break the bands,
And aid him to be free.

I saw the fetters binding him,
And felt a pity pain.
For his were made of little rope,
And mine of heavy chain.

I laid aside my heavy chains,
So he, my help, could borrow.
I'll help free him of bondage now,
And think of mine tomorrow.

A DOUBTER knocked at study door;
I had an urge to groan,
"Why bring your pebble doubt to me,
When mine is made of stone?"

I smiled at him and listened, while
Believing in my doubt.
I laid it down reluctantly,
And feigned about a happy shout.

I sat ALONE in darkened room,
And felt a shadow's knife.
Another came to share with me
Some darkness in his life.

As I compared my night with his,
His dark possessed a lack.
For his was just an evening shade,
While mine was midnight black.

I slowly laid my nighttime down,
To help him seek for light.
I'll tread my dimming path again,
When I have made his bright.

A TROUBLED SOUL came to my door,
A problem to confide.
I had a problem, too, that day;
'Twas hard for me to hide.

My problem was a mountain steep,
And his was just a hill.
My problem was an ocean wide,
And his a tiny nil.

Yet, 'tis my lot to fill his need,
And put mine on the shelf.
For I must lay my heartache down,
And hide it from myself.

He told me of a broken heart,
While mine was breaking too.
I told him of a mending God
Who maketh all things new.

He told me of his thirsty soul;
I gave him living water.
He said he was a broken vase;
I told him of the Potter.

Another came when I was SICK
To say he had the flu.
His fever was a hundred-one,
And mine a hundred-two.

Another came when I was FAINT,
To say that he was weak.
Another came when I was DUMB,
To say he could not speak.

Another WEEPING SEEKER came,
For me, his tears to dry.
I went alone and wiped my eyes,
Then told him not to cry.

Another came when I was TIRED,
To say he needed rest.
I lifted him with weary arms,
And tried to give him zest.

AND NOW, IT'S LATE, and all have gone,
Each one to his abode.
So I must find my problems, and
Regain my heavy load.

Where is the burden I had borne?
I had it while ago!
Where is the problem I must solve?
I left it here, I know!

Where is the darkness I once knew?
I now see only light.
The chains, the tears, the pains, the fears,
Are nowhere now in sight!

I cannot find my broken heart!
Where is my fevered brow?
I have a song! the tears are gone!
I cannot find them now!

My sickness, now, bath turned to health!
And trust replaceth fright!
Assurance covers all my doubts;
My darkness now is light!

I heard a voice from Heaven say
"My child, 'tis always true:
When you take care of others' needs,
I will take care of you."


Saturday, September 02, 2006

You Know!

There was a little boy in our church that was reading a children’s book at home. It had a recurring line “You know! But you just don’t want to say it!” It became his favorite saying.

How old are you?

“You know! But you just don’t want to say it!”

What is your name?

“You know! But you just don’t want to say it!”

Eventually the phrase was shortened to just “You know!!”

Sometimes this childish phrase fits the situation, as in the case of Jehoshaphat and Ahab.

Jehoshaphat had visited Ahab and while he was there, Ahab flattered him and convinced him to send his armies to fight together with Ahab’s armies. Yet even in the midst of this bad decision, Jehoshaphat wanted to hear what God said about it. Ahab called 400 of his prophets and with one voice they told the two kings “Go up! You will win.”

The only problem was something didn’t ring true in their prophesying. Jehoshaphat recognized this, and asked “Don’t you have any other prophets? I really want to hear what God says.”

Well…I do…but he never prophesies good about me.

Nonetheless, Jehoshaphat convinced Ahab to call Micaiah. When Micaiah arrives, at first he goes along with what everyone else says. Now, even Ahab can recognize this is not the truth, and admonishes Micaiah to tell the truth, Micaiah did, and Ahab ignores the warning. Jehoshaphat, who wanted to hear what God would say, doesn’t want to believe what God said. Off to battle they go, and soon Ahab dies.

How often, the false prophets speak, and deep within, we know it is not the truth.

“You know!”

The fault-finders criticize and bend the truth…

“You know!”

Leaders are attacked because of their stand for righteousness and separation…

“You know!”

The Holy Spirit bears witness within and we know what is right. That was one of the things that was so refreshing when I came to NTCC, I knew what they were saying was right.

When others criticize, and attack, we know what spirit they are of, and maybe, just maybe, it is time to say it!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sunset over the Abacan River

On our way back from today's outstation, this sunset cheered our way.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What would you do if you knew?

Asa became king and began putting the kingdom in order. He took away the altars of the strange gods, cut down the groves (they were used in idolatrous worship) and commanded Israel to seek the Lord and do His commandments.

How it happened, I don’t know. The zeal waned, the work slowed, the fire fizzled and Asa needed some help.

Asa is like a lot of us. When Christ comes in our lives, we go “Great guns for God”, full speed ahead and feel as if we could take on hell with a water pistol.

Then it happens. Slowly. The comments about “getting religion”, the remarks about being a little overboard, the fear of no longer fitting in, and we pull back, but just a little. “Great guns for God” becomes “Simply slingshots for our Savior”, full speed ahead, well that’s a little dangerous, don’t you think? We need some help.

In Asa’s hour of need, the Spirit of God came upon Azariah, and he prophesied to Asa. “God is with you, as long as you are with him! If you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

Asa heard loud and clear. God is with me?! He is at my side?! Then I don’t need to fear! I will do what I know I need to do. And he did.

He took courage and:
• Removed the idols
• Renewed the altar of the Lord
• Gathered the people together to make a covenant with God
• Commanded them to pray, and if they didn’t, had them put to death
• Even removed his mother from being queen because she was an idolater

What would you do if God sent someone to tell you “God is with you!”
• Hey! God is with me; let me get rid of these idols in my life.
• Hey! God is with me; let me renew my covenant with Him.
• God is with me! Let me become a soulwinner and gather others to hear the good news!
• God is with me! Even if my family doesn’t live for God, I will!

What would you do if you knew…God is with me?

Mat 28:20b …and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Red, White and Blue

I liked it and thought you might.


I'm looking for something in Green.
Cameo face paint hides a fighting machine.
Backpacks and jump boots and weapons galore,
We'll need it all if we must go to War.
Forged in the spirit of my Uncle Sam,
It called to me, here I am.

I'm looking for something in Red.
With bold gold stripes that turn people's heads.
A backdrop of khaki, a flash of bright blue,
Yes it's a Marine, and I am one too.
A dedicated nephew of my Uncle Sam,
I answered the call, here I am.

I'm looking for something in White.
With shiny brass buttons, gold wings on dress whites.
A catapult launch and a tailhook stop.
The crews are the best, they'll work till they drop.
The seagoing arm of my Uncle Sam.
I heard the call, here I am.

I'm looking for something in Blue.
I've got to aim high, got a big job to do.
Fighters and bombers and missiles abound.
We fight in the air, protecting our ground.
I fly the birds of my Uncle Sam.
The call was to me, here I am.

I'm looking for Red, White and Blue.
That's my country's flag, is she waving at you?
Soldiers and Sailors, Airmen, Marines.
We're all Uncle Sam's fighting machines.
All will give some, and some will give all.
Here we are, we answered the call.

Gerald Churchill, USAF, Ret

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Funny Sign Category #4

 Pic quality isn't the best because I  used my phone's camera, but I  think the message is still clear.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cooking Filipino Style

This is a great example of the resourcefulness of the average Filipino. Instead of spending the 450-500 pesos ($9-$10 US) for gas for their stove, many make their own stove. This one is made out of a stone. If you look carefully in the back you can see the exhaust pipe which was made out of tin cans. One large hole in the middle, and two on the sides, a little firewood, and a long blow tube to stoke the flames and soon you are eating Galonggong!!(type of fish) The man told us the stone itself stays hot for quite a while, and the wood become charcoal, which some folks sell later!

Only in the Philippines

Louis Vuitton motorcycle anyone????

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Woman's Place - New Blog

I am glad to see Sis. Eury started a blog. She is an excellent writer and a quick wit. I think you will enjoy it, as I have already.

Check it out: A Woman's Place

Family Appreciation Day Picture Collage

Here is the photo of some of the families that came to the Family Appreciation Day....Collage Form