Saturday, May 13, 2006

The End of the Beginning...last section of the first letter

Cagayan de Oro exposed us to more of the country side of the Philippines. There were many dirt roads with plenty of potholes to go around. It is common to see the drivers of the motorcycles wearing a scarf around their mouth and nose to keep from inhaling all of the dust. Ladies carry a handkerchief to breathe through.

The mission house here is located on the top of a mountain along with the chapel and bible college classrooms. The area itself is beautiful and very peaceful. One is able to look down into the valley on two sides of the house and see the ocean in the distance from one side. Though it was somewhat remote, there were excellent cell phone coverage which did surprise me. The Philippines is the text message capital of the world with over a million text messages a day. That is because it is substantially cheaper to text a message to someone than it is to call them…only 1 peso! So it was common to see people staring into the screen on their cell phones and punching in messages with their thumb. This was a handy service for me as I was able to have all of my emails forwarded to my phone, and able to text message back to America for 15 cents a message and keep in touch with the church at home.

About this time, physically, it got pretty ugly. First the host missionary was sick, food poisoning from the buffet we usually ate from at a restaurant at the first island. Then another brother got sick, then it was my turn to violently eject my lunch (forgive me if I am a bit too graphic there), my wife was sick the next day and our pastor got sick during the last couple of days. Whew!!! Don’t drink the water and bring your own food to stay healthy I guess…

We got to attend a new church they had just started in a small town named Carmen. I will include the picture to the church there in the attachments. You will notice that the door was about a foot too short for me! The entry way was a little alley stepping on a palette that spanned a little creek, People were doing their wash in little tubs right outside of the church. It may not have been the Taj Mahal to us, but it was the gate of heaven for many who had given their heart to God and got saved!

Around this time I got my first chance to preach with an interpreter. You preach a phrase and then he or she interprets it. I was blessed in that my interpreter, was a seasoned minister with a real command of the English language, she had gotten reached in the Philippines when Pastor Davis was first there 35 years ago. It was good to see her continuing on.

We finished out the week with a bit more shopping in the daytime and preaching each night. During our forays into the mall, there were security guards at the door that would partially pat you down as you walked in, and search the lady’s purses. The funny thing is, their pat down is so routine that if you wanted to, you could probably smuggle in a M-16, just so long it was in the front of your pants!

We flew back to Manila on Thursday and stayed at a really nice hotel for the brief night before our early morning trip home. We walked down united Nations ave and then turned down Roxas Blvd and walked past the United States Embassy. The night was late, but it was still populated with people along the baywalk area. It was beautiful.

Apart from them making us pay to leave the airport (550 pesos) the trip home was uneventful. I Stopped back by the duty free in Japan and found out that what I thought was $70 was really $700 so much for my buying savvy!

Back home the Lord is blessing and we are moving on!

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