One of the things that really struck me was the testimony from the leader of this ministry. You see, we were meeting at the time when they normally have their "Fathers & Sons" meeting. This was a gentleman in his early fifties whom up until the last few years had led a hard life. It wasn't his testimony that moved me necessarily (though it was incredible), but his sincere humbleness in asking the other men to correct him when he was doing wrong in the eyes of God. You need to know that most of the men there were young 20 something students from the Bible school. This older uneducated man was humbling himself & asking these young, more educated men to help him in his walk & in his leadership. One of these young men was his son. What a testimony to young Jun-Jun (junior). It was an awesome moment! Following his testimony, Nic passed the mantle around the room for everyone to share. These are great fearless men of God, knowing that they are being trained up to be sent out to some very dangerous places. I almost lost it when Marlix shared about meeting his mother (see day 1). There was no anger in him at all for being abandoned at the age of 7, just overwhelming, overflowing LOVE. I can't wait for he & Michael to come to Anchorage. Since they have both graduated from the Bible College at the Nehemiah Center, the School of Worship is their next step before sending them out in the Philippines. I am so excited for them!
Following the morning's meetings we headed back to the hotel for a quick lunch & some rest. On a somewhat funny note, when we arrived we were told that Fred & D'Ette's room key had been taken to Cagayan de Oro to be duplicated & they wouldn't be back until at least 5. It was no big deal, except for the candy for the kids at Natubo was in that room. I wish you caould have seen us crawling from balcony to balcony trying to break into the room. After a very humerous 30 minutes or so, we were unsuccessful & had to go. It was okay, we had bubbles for the kiddos.
At 1:30 we headed out to the 2nd New Hope campus at Natubo. It was only 3 miles up the road, but the emphasis needs to clearly be on "UP". We were headed into the jungle only 3 miles outside of Jasaan. WOW, what a beautiful drive! Upon arrival, as we had been all week, we were met with a resounding "welcome home"! Lisa & Mercy then began an hour of fun with the kiddos. They sang, colored, played with bubbles & had a snack (hamburgers). You should have seen Lisa & D'Ette sneaking the poor dogs some food. One dog in specific looked like it maybe had one day left in its life. Just like this poor dog, I'm sure that many of these children had not eaten that day until we fed them. Thank you Lord for your provision!
After our time at Natubo, we were off to do a little touring around the town. Nic took us to another resort that was right along the beach. The crashing waves on the sea wall was quite a refreshing sound. Maybe we will stay here next time. As we got closer to dinner time, I thought...wow, wouldn't a pizza sound great right now! Nic knew just the place. Once we got back to the hotel, we settled in for what was going to be an amazing dinner...so we thought. Upon opening the pizza box, we first noticed the beautiful swirls of ketchup all over the top. Other than that, it looked okay. It had ham, mushrooms, olives, pineapple & something that looked like cheese. Okay, it was time to go in for the first bite. With a smile (grimace) on his face, Fred exclaimed...CHEESE WHIZ! We then kindly gave our pizzas to the hotel staff & sat down for a wonderful dinner of crab & corn soup, & pancit.
Thank you Lord for your sense of humor & a wonderful day of service!