BEST DAY EVER! I met my personal record of 4 showers in a 24 hour period.
Following shower #1 we all met for breakfast. You guessed it...rice. While waiting for our ride to the Nehemiah center we all desperately tried to get in touch with our kids back home. Viber is a great app for doing so over wifi. Unfortunately, the already sketchy wifi was out of service. Oh well, we would try again later that night. Our ride arrived & we were off to the final day of the conference at the Nehemiah Center.
Character was on the agenda for the day. D'Ette & I had 4 sessions on the Character of a Worshipper. We did the last four sessions from the second semester course dealing with Pride & Humility. Us musicians really need these lessons, but lets be honest, we all deal with it. Every sin in our lives really comes down to one thing...Pride. Of course, the "house" worship band led us masterfully again at the beginning & end of the sessions. They are so gifted & so humble in using their gifts. May God continue to bless them to be a blessing!
After a wonderful lunch of pork, calamari, & yup...rice, we put together a quick rehearsal for the evening's Night of Worship. Before starting to practice, we put together the song list with who was going to lead which song. Marlix, who is obviously the band leader, had never sung a song as a leader in corporate worship. However, I notice (& heard) him singing on several occasions throughout the week. You know how that goes. When you're in the presence of the Lord with His people singing praises to Him, I don't care if you sound like a squawking chicken, you're going to sing! So, I told Marlix that I wanted him to sing "Blessed Be Your Name". After a few laughs (good natured) from his team, he led the song. Not only does he have a good voice, but he led well too. He just needed a little push. At the end of the rehearsal, we began tearing down their gear to be taken to the Night of Worship venue. For those of you on our worship team, you can appreciate this, especially Sed & Kory. We tore EVERYTHING down. The whole system, speakers & all, were going with us. I was so struck by the amount of respect that this worship team has for the equipment & for each other. The drummer polished all of the cymbals & stands (with actual polish). Michael, the bass player, put new strings on. They really want to give God their best & it showed in everything they did!
At about 2:30, we were off for shower #2 & a quick nap. At 4:45 we all packed back into the van & headed over to the venue. The town of Jasaan is truly blessed to have this. It's called the "Radiant Shell" & it's right in the middle of town. This plaza area not only has this large stage area, but tennis courts & a myriad of other open air meeting places. It really does promote fellowship. After a quick sound check, we started the Night of Worship at around 5:15 with a prayer from Pastor Nic, then..."God of This City". It's important that you remember that Jasaan is on the island of Mindanao. On this island is one of the fastest growing Al-Qaida training grounds in the world. We were boldly professing Christ through song & spoken word in a very public place. I can't stress enough how powerful the presence of the Lord was in the midst of His praises. For 2 hours we worshipped hard for our God, His people & the many lost that were watching from the fringes. We did songs both in English & the native dialect of Vasai. Because of where this plaza is, I guarantee that the whole town heard us as we sang out the praises of the God of gods & King of kings. It was an AMAZING night, & let me tell you, the Filipino people know how to worship with every ounce of their bodies. I'm pretty sure I lost about 5 pounds in sweat. After the first song, I had to get Fred's attention to get us some towels. Us white folks were sweating buckets & loving every minute of it!
After tear down, we were off to get a late night meal of Pancit (noodles), shower #3 & sleep. Oh, beautiful sleep (with live music & karaoke music in the background).
2 Corinthians 10:3-4"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."
Talk at ya tomorrow!