Philippines Diary Note 2 – Sept 2012

Komasta (Hello)

My prayers are with you all always both for your good health and with spiritual love.

Intro:

It would be nice to say hello from a sunny Philippines but the rains are still with us, had a few nice days but not too many, the rains however are not as forceful as they were and are beginning to get less each day, this however has not put a damper or enthusiasm on my experiencing the Philippines, in particular Angeles City which is where I stay.  Angeles is a short distance and below the volcano Pinatubo which erupted last in 1990 with the loss of many lives and much destruction, it is now very quiet.  Although we still have the rains the temperature itself is good at 32 degrees,  we still only wear shorts and t shirts with sandals which is really great and so relaxing and makes life easy.

My Philippine visa has now been extended for a further two months so am safe until the end of November but will probablybe returning to UK mid-November due to a commitment I have made to a dear friend.  Have also obtained an Identity card with an ‘Alien Certificate of Registration’ this all lasts for one year, can now open up a bank account should I wish to do so, so progress is being made.

The floods situation in the Philippines is now more under control as the typhoons that caused the very heavy and continuous rains subside.  We did offer our help but it was not required in the end.  Whilst we were enthusiastic, we did not know the areas involved and therefore we could have become more of a liability than a help, ‘too many hands can spoil the broth’ so to speak, but at least we could and did pray in groups and give.  The Mayor of Angeles City told us that his office wanted to take up to 5000 evacuees from the area’s affected but the people just did not want to leave their home areas even though their homes had been washed away and friends and family lost.

The cause of the floods of course is not just the adverse climatic conditions; it’s caused by building on land not properly drained to begin with, sub-standard draining facilities, and blocked drains that could have been prevented. This is not my guess work but details that come out from the press and media after the event.  Some of these reasons of course are known to us also in the UK when we experience bad weather, especially using land not suitable for housing where the water basin is low and insufficient infra-structure works.

24/7 Prayer Room

We have now installed a beaded curtain to make the prayer room a little more colourful and private.  There is also an addition of a cold/hot water dispensing machine which we bought for 500 pesos (£7.50) plus a spend of £1 to repair, the machine can be seen on the photo below.  We buy coffee (3 in 1 mix with milk and sugar).  We give the coffee free and on a self-help basis, so to control cost we empty the contents of the coffee sachets into a pot with an exact measuring spoon, we reduce the disposable cup size to small and so we get three servings from one sachet, cost is now about 1.5 pence per cup.  They say that necessity is the mother of invention.

Slowly but surely, the prayer room is getting known and being used, it is by word of mouth that we tell others and try to get people to mention to others, as often as we all can, so as to encourage people to use and share in fellowship or alone, to spending time with the Lord in prayer, 1 John 5:14-15 and to read the bible 2 Timothy 3:16 ‘All Scripture is God-breathed.’

Been in the Philippines eight weeks, as of last Sunday 16th Sept.  Adalia my beautiful companion has helped me so much, as most of you know we are working to extend God Ministry (GM) here in the Philippines as established in India.  Please see God Ministry (GM) website  www.godministry.net

Networking has been our main activity since my arrival, to get ourselves known and to get support from  as many churches as possible.  Our home church is with OneHeart  Ministry International, Pastor Joey Milarpis.  Two other Churches we frequent often, because we love their fellowship are:

All the Churches are full Gospel and Pentecostal.

All Nations Harvest Church – Pastor Analyn Yaras

Hope Angeles Ministry – Pastor Erwin and Assistant Pastor Kevin Sanders (American)

Other churches where we visit and are now known:

Pandacaqui Church (part of OneHeart Ministry)

Nazarene Church – Pastor Angilito

Calvary Temple – Pastor Rey

Our Church in Cinderford, Forest of Dean, Glos., is part of what is known as ‘Churches Together, where we unite from time to time with other churches in our area for joint services and planning joint events.  Here in Angeles City there is also something similar called ‘Associate United Christian Churches Angeles and Mabalacat (AUCCAM) with a form of written covenant, not all churches are part of it, the RC churches for example has opted out, but the majority (over 100) are part. We meet weekly on a Saturday morning at 4.30am for ‘Dawn Watch’  in the Centre of Angeles city at the Bahamian (Heroism) Park under the dome as seen above.  We are part of about 120+ worshipers who gather, where we have praise & worship, prayers and the Word is given (40 minutes) ) by one of the church Pastors, so a different Pastor each week.  It’s an inspiring place to meet and share fellowship with other Christians.  A music group also comes with guitars, keyboard, drums and singers, there is a generator set up with amplifiers and lights so we are certainly well heard in the park, it’s also great place for evangelising. At the end we all share and have bread and coffee together.

Our Ministry (God Ministry – GM) activities in the Philippines are:

1. The 24/7 Prayer room

2. Fellowship with Churches

3. Group bible study: Locations are: Beauty Salon(24 hours) in the red light area of Angeles City. 4pm

Angeles University Foundation – 6pm

A School (Parents) – 1pm

Home Group Study of ‘Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren 9.30pm

(we lead in one of the groups above  and part lead in two others)

4. Evangelising

5. Presentation talks to the Alpha course, plus training the leaders for the actual Course.

6. Prayer walking, including red light area

7. Giving the Word and ‘personal testimonies, personal invitations

8. Helping with churches in activities

9. Healing prayers and Hospital visits as requested

Armed robbery and Theft:  On two occasions in the last few week’s Adalia and I have been confronted with two unfortunate situations that was a little un-nerving, but which we have since now regained our confidence.  The situations were:

Adalia, her daughter Alyssa and I were walking home one Sunday evening from a late night Church service (11.30pm) at Hope Angeles Church (Pastor Erwin).  We only had to walk about 20 minutes to be home so it was not that far.  As we were walking in a fairly well lit area, but little traffic around, a motor bike pulled up beside us, we thought they were asking for directions! with that the pillion passenger got off the bike and pulled out a gun (large hand gun & square’ish in design, so we think a calibre 45), Adalia and Alyssa saw straight away what was happening, I was a little obscured from the way the guy was standing so a little slower to realise, they apparently wanted money.  Adalia screamed out loadly to attract attention and said ‘oh no, they have a gun and are going to shoot us’ both Adalia and Alyssa turned and ran by which time I had moved between them and the guy with the gun, as soon as the ladies had made distance and were running well I also then turned and ran, expecting to hear a shot at any time but fortunately nothing came, when I looked back, the bike with the two guys was heading away in the opposite direction.  We ran towards where we could see people and where there would be safety. Almost instantly when we drew close to the people a second bike came towards us with two people, they produced a police identity badge (probably fake) and asked if we could recognise the assailants or whether we took the motorbike plate number, once they knew we could do neither of these things they left at speed.  We believe this second bike was part of the holdup gang and were just making sure we could not identify the people or the bike, when they knew we could not they then left quickly.  Thank you Lord for keeping us safe and to ‘live to tell this tale’, and not taking any of our money, we had very little anyway.  So the incident ended but left us all quite nervous.  Don’t ask me why we did not just handover what money we had, I simply don’t know the answer to this question!  Maybe we thought ‘this cannot happen to me!’  it also all happened so quickly.

The second incident three days later. Adalia and I had just finished a bible study at the Beauty Salon in Angeles City, it was 6.00pm.  It’s about 5kms to where we live; we always walk and always go through the red light area and prayer walk as we go.  This particular Weds I had some bills to pay so stopped off at a money changer, one I had not used before.  Before we hit the red light area, I put the money (£60 = 4000 pesos) deep into my pocket and off we went.  Prayed through the red light area and left without a problem.  We had reached half way home when we were pounced on by seven street children ranging from what we guessed to being between 8 to 14 years old.  We thought they were just begging but then they became more aggressive, and swinging off my arms and generally being a real nuisance, I would add this type of aggression does not normally happen, it was an unpleasant incident, of course being from the west we would not raise our hand against a young person, even though they were not children one could warm to.  After what seemed a long unpleasant time, but in fact was only a few minutes, the children then all ran away and we were both thankful that the incident had ended.  It is not wise to give these children money as we know their guardians will be around the corner to take it off them as that’s the way they are organised.  We went on a little ways, stopped and prayed for the children, as its ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’, God Bless them.  We went on a little further again and stopped off at a shop to buy some items, when I put my hand in my pocket to pay I discovered all my money had gone.  The aggression of the children acting like monkeys and jumping all over us now made sense, whilst  I was fighting to fend them off they must have picked my pocket, the little scamps.  Once our annoyance had subsided we stopped and prayed again for the ‘plight in life’ of the children.  Looking back we believe we had been watched from the time we changed money, even to the detail of what pocket the money had been placed in.  This was a more upsetting incident than being held up at gun point.

In conclusion, we have faced the demons, prayed hard to the Lord and have since the incidents, gone back to both areas and walked the paths again so as to be rid of the fear, we did however do it with a lot more caution and awareness.  We have since regained our confidence and given many prayers to the Lord for the protection he gave us as neither of us was physically harmed.

There is much work to do here in the Philippines with people, and to spread the word of the Gospel.  Not met yet with Luke Ingledow but hope to in the very near future, God willing.

That’s it for this time, so we will bid you goodnight and pray for your health, peace, joy and happiness, with abundant blessings.

God Bless

Love Jim and Adalia

God Ministry (GM) from the Philippines

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