April 19, 2010

Leaving Philippines

Two weeks ago I left Vancouver for Palawan Island in Philippines. Before falling asleep in the long 14 hour flight, I remember praying in Bob Pierce’s famous words “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God”. As I now write these lines from Manila’s airport on the way back to Vancouver, I can definitely return having the sense of being broken by what I have seen in Palawan: poverty, need, hospitality and faithfulness things that break the heart of God.

Along the past two weeks I had the privilege to see scarcity as I never saw before, meet people that I never met before, speak to the Palawan Association of Bible Churches, visit and encourage about 13 churches, notice suffering at levels yet new to me, speak to tribes that I never knew existed and meet a variety of pastors and deacons. All of these in a dusty awful truck (or sometimes traveling by pamboat) hovering an area of about 400 kilometers of bad, tough country road.

I have returned with a new sense of understanding my culture and God’s calling for us, those happening to live in one of the most blessed countries in the world. We are here to demonstrate God’s love in practice. They are not forgotten. We are here to minister to them, and with them to take Palawan for Christ. We invite you our donors to join with us again in this wonderful opportunity. God works, but thorough us.

April 02, 2010

Mission Insights: ready for the Philippines

In just two days I will head to Philippines, and I am looking forward to another great adventure with God. My missionary focus will be this time for tribes of Tagbanua and Palwanon in the island of Palawan.

Few insights about the Philippines: The official name of the country is actually Republic of the Philippines. It's a mountainous country made up of 7107 islands. Here there are an amazing 79 provinces. About 88 million Filipino people live here, made up of a number of ethnic groups, including Tagalog, Cebuano and Ilocano. As you might guess, the languages are varied too. There are two official languages - Filipino (which is based on Tagalog) and English. But there are many other dialects used, such as, again, Tagalog, Cebuano and Ilocano, and five others. It's not surprising that things like sugarcane, rice and coconuts grow here, but you may have seen a lot of other things in the store from the Philippines. Major industries include assembling electronics, clothing, and various chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Our mission’s focus started more than 20 years ago and it developed to a virtual network of churches and pastors that cover most of the Palawan Island. I am looking forward to a few challenges: visiting remote tribes, meeting pastors in the lower plain and speaking at the annual Association of the Baptist Bible Churches of Palawan conference. This year’s topic is “Be a blessing”. Any ideas how can we be a blessings? Share with me on Facebook...