Philippines Diary Note 1 – Sept 2012

Following on from his travels in India, Jim Fisher writes to us from Angeles City on the first of his trips to the Philippines.

Hello everyone, Praise Jesus, finally made it to start a series of diary notes. Have decided on this series of diary notes to write less but include more pictures, they say a picture can speak a thousand words, so I hope you will all enjoy this new format. Just to inform you, India is not forgotten but the ministry has now extended to Philippines. Jim’s photos will be added to the “Jim in Philippines” Gallery.

Arrival in Manila

Arrived in Manila, Philippines on Sunday 22nd July, twelve hours late from Beijing, due to a typhoon having struck Philippines, but I arrived safely and Adalia my Filipino friend was waiting for me. Adalia had to sleep on an upright metal chair all night due to the delayed flight, but you would not have thought so as she was looking just amazing. From the airport we then proceeded by motorbike and sidecar (taxi) to the main Manila coach station where we caught a bus for the one and half hour bus journey to Angeles city. At the coach station Adalia gave me my first taste of authentic Filipino food called Siopao, which is a flower ball (about twice the size of medium size egg) stuffed with cooked meat in oil and mild spices in a blackish sauce, loooooooooovely, will have to exercise good will power in my eating habits or I will become very large I am thinking.

Adalia’s House

On arrival at Angeles city we went straight to Adalia’s home where I will be staying with her and her youngest son Ingmar (13), one of her four children. My bed is a mattress on the floor in the small front room or a single top bunk bed in a bedroom that leads from the front room; I interchange with Ingmar on alternate nights as he sleeps in the bedroom on a bunk bed. The bedroom then leads into a very small kitchen. It’s all very basic but very cosy. 

It took a few days to adjust to the climate especially the monsoon rain, some of the worst I have seen, the temperature however was ok at a pleasant 28°C. Also adjusting to the number of people that I met on the first few days, have had to write down until I can remember all the names, Adalia has four children and six grandchildren the same as my family back home, not to mention all her friends names, so as you can all imagine it’s a big task to remember and put unfamiliar names to faces, much laughter has been caused in my pronunciation and using male names for females etc., but it’s all good fun and the fellowship is great.

OneHeart Ministries International

The church we have adopted as our home church is ‘OneHeart Ministries International’ a Pentecostal church led by Pastor Joey Malarpis. Pastor Joey is a very friendly man who preaches a good word. The Sunday service lasts for two hours that consists of the first forty five minutes being Praise & Worship with a music group of; A lead singer (Susan – Filipino) a drummer, guitarist and keyboard player. Supported by 2/3 music singers. This is followed by a bible reading, intercession prayers and testimonies by individuals. This is followed by ‘The Word’ normally given by Pastor Joey, lasting about 50 minutes, finishing with notices. Coffee is then available for those who wish to partake, Filipino’s are not really tea drinkers, Adalia takes tea bags for me, God Bless her. Whilst we use OneHeart as our home church, as evangelist we try normally to go to two other church services at varying times on the Sunday to support where we can, by giving the word, testimonies or just being there. Active evangelism is normally done between Monday and Saturday, but of course if opportunity arises on a Sunday we would respond accordingly.

Prayer Invasion

One Saturday we did what is called by the church as a ‘Prayer Invasion’. There were four groups of us consisting of about two to four to each group. We spent two hours in the morning simply going to houses and asking if they had any prayer requests and to pray with them if they would like, some said yes but we obviously got some rejections and that’s ok. In addition to prayer the objective is to show fellowship and encouragement. We then returned to church for lunch and did a further two hours of invasion in the afternoon. By 3pm it was finished, a good spiritual day of fellowship had by all.

Alpha Leaders

An Alpha leaders training course (6 hours of training) has been given at OneHeart Church where we now have six good leaders. The actual Alpha Course (meaning of life) will commence soon now we have the leaders equipped and ready. It was a fun training and blessed day.

24/7 Prayer

We have now been able to start a 24/7 prayer room (vision of Pete Greig – Prayer leader of Alpha at Holy Trinity church, London) it is located in the front patio of where we live at Adalia’s home, it started last Friday 31st Aug. It consists of plants, wall scripture readings, two small green plastic carpets on concrete floor, two large easy wooden chairs, two plastic stools and a small table with Gideon Bibles. Water and nuts are avaiIable. It is accessible but un-manned, people are always around and passing by etc so it has built in security. It’s a form of retreat and refuge for those who need space and to spend time in prayer with God.

Our Cat

In conclusion for this diary note, I would like to introduce you to our cat, a stray that was abandoned and left for dead, he was found by Adalia and her son. It is pure white and we have given him the grand name of ‘God Ministry’ GM for short.

This diary note will give a part insight and glimpse of how we are based in Philippines and just a small part of what we are doing and how we have started to network, we are very happy but oh so many challenges and work to do. Although our life is simple without luxuries and is low budget, to us it’s an exciting Christian existence with events around prayer and evangelism and taking steps into unknown territory.

A way of life – James 4:10 Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you.

God Bless you with love.

Jim Fisher and Adalia (Followers of Jesus)

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