Thursday, May 11, 2006

In the beginning...continued

We arrived in Angeles City, actually a suburb called Balibago right outside of what used to be Clark Air Force Base. Because of the recent Tsunami, the Philippines has received a lot of the tourists that had previously planned to visit in the neighboring nations. The city is infamous for it’s red light district that I assume began and flourished during the time the GI’s were stationed there, and now is known as a Cybersex center of the world. It was not unusual to see old, balding, pot bellied men walking around with some young beautiful 20 something girl. Prostitution flourishes here, but there are also girls who will willingly marry a man like that for the financial security and perhaps a chance to get out of the Philippines. The average house girl, a maid that is hired to cook and clean, receives between 1000-2500 pesos a month besides room and board. That would be $18-$45 dollars A MONTH. A skilled carpenter can make about $90 a month. Ahhh, but you say, things there are much cheaper…some things, but our experience in the restaurants and at the malls showed us little differences between American prices and Philippino prices. A meal still cost us between $6-10 and a bottle of real cologne was still about $40.

Our first week had us in the Asian conference. Pastors from Korea and Okinawa Japan joined us along with the Missionary who works on the Island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Pastor Davis taught us on Executive leadership and the need for us to change how we think if we are to see God’s business flourish. Jesus said I must be about my Father’s business.

During many of the afternoons, we perused the markets and malls and experienced the retail side of the Philippines. I bought several Barongs, which are the local version of a polo shirt that is worn untucked and usually has two vertical designs on the front. These are their formal attire. The really formal barongs are made of what was described to me as “pineapple paper” and is sheer, long sleeved and sometimes even worn with cufflinks. Because they are so sheer, a white T-shirt is worn underneath.

It was during one of these afternoons that we had our first experience soulwinning in one of the Barrios or Barangays (Neighborhood). Many of the pictures are from this expedition. We saw poverty that would shock you and melt your heart. Houses that had only three walls, no floor, or I should say, a dirt floor. They cooked with a pot placed over two concrete blocks with a small fire burning between the blocks. The children were poorly dressed if dressed at all in some cases. Some had no shoes, but they almost all had an infectious smile. They didn’t understand or care, just how poor they were. This was the only life they knew. Yet I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you, that though they didn’t have a fourth wall for their house in some cases, they surely had a television set! Amazing what the priorities are! As we walked through these areas, the kids were very excited to see us. Some took us by the hand and helped us as we passed out flyers for the church. Some of the locals spoke English and with the others, the pastors wife, who is a Philippino, would interpret and tell them where to catch the bus that we would send for them. Many of the people had lice. And several times we saw them inspecting each others hair for the little creatures.

That night, the “Jeepney”, an elongated version of a jeep, was sent to pick them up. It made several trips, and on one of the trips home, I counted approximately 35 crammed, cheek to cheek sideways, and knee to knee across from each other with children riding on the laps. In the service that night, over 40 came to find Christ as their Savior. What a great joy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Brother-
What a great idea this blog is! I look forward to reading how God has changed lives through your ministry. I pray daily for you and am hopeful that all (3) of you are safe and happy! PS. I spoke to G & G and walked them through adding the blog as a "favorite". Meredith