Sunday, December 9, 2007

Back to Tadian

This Friday Jerry, Bert and I went to Tadian and Bunga, Jerrys hometown.

We had orignally planned to visit 2 wakes, give a bible to Jerrys Aunt, visist a pentecostal church then go to Segada to visit Berts sister.

We took the bible to Jerrys aunt; this same aunt is the mother of Autrey the man who remarked "if you dont live by the book you aren’t a Christian". The aunty who is a member of the Pentecostal church we preached at in Bunga told us that her church felt as if "we are the only ones", and that applying the teachings we shared with them were "of no benefit".

I suppose they feel this way because they believe they are sealed in their salvation. If you are sealed already why obey? They are thinking "why obey and make life hard, if salvation is not a matter of obeying?".

We were also told that they are calling us Mormons and accused us of different heretical things. Praise the Lord, right?

Jerrys aunty also shared that one of her sons is interested in learning about the Bible. He lives in Baguio as a successful gambler. She asked him give his winnings to tithing since he wasn’t using it for anything better. He told her sarcastically "why don’t you give you're money to the missionaries and church so they can spread the gospel". In other words he's telling her the church is corrupted, I'll use my money for myself.

I thought about Mathew the tax collector when he made Jesus dinner all the Pharisees asked "why does Jesus eat with sinners?". It seems the Pharisees failed to recognize that Jesus accused them of being crooks and thieves all the time, yet He never brought a direct accusation against the Tax collectors. Why? Because the Pharisees were crooks int eh name of God. The tax collectors were crooks in the name of the Govt, which is worse?

Jesus responds to the Pharisees "those who are well have no need of a doctor, but those who are sick". In Luke he preaches a similar message saying, I have come to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. In another place He preaches that He came to seek the Lost sheep of Israel.

It would seem to me that Mathew was one of the lost sheep of Israel, someone Jesus said was sick. Perhaps Mathew was like this gambler, a man that sought religion only to see hypocrisy and crookedness. Maybe these people have come the conclusion that: "if religion doesn’t have the answer I'll just go get rich, only I'm not going to use the name of God to make money".

Anyhow we went to the Pentecostal Church and shared Sunday morning. We preached against tithing and talked about the deception that will occur before Jesus' coming. The message was completely rejected. Praise the Lord, right?

We didn’t get a chance to go to Segada because we didn’t have enough money, so we just caught a bus back home and enjoyed each other’s fellowship. Bert was a real blessing to us, he is full of scripture, he quoted passages almost the whole way there and back. When I would share something with him he would almost immediately respond with a connecting scripture.

One last thing. I shared Romans 6 with Jerry last week, he wants to be rebaptized.

God Bless everyone, Johnathan and Jerry.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007



Jerry and I traveled to the Mt. Province on Saturday to attend the anniversary of a Pentecostal Church that evening. We had preached at this church once before and the message wasn't greatly received. Anyhow this was going to be a large event as missionaries from the mother Church in Manila would be in attendance. Jerry's aunt died a few days prior so we would be attending the wake just two towns away from the Pentecostal church.

When we arrived in the province the pastor texted us and told us"next time". However certain church members were requesting us to come. It was obvious what was happening, the pastor either a) didn't agree with the message or b) the mother church was uncomfortable with our presence.

It is fairly common for missionaries to go into the Mt. Province and take advantage of people and walk out with they're money. If that was the reason for the mother churches apprehension we sure didn't want to fuel it. However the members kept texting us to come, so we went ahead and joined hoping for a chance to speak again.

When we walked in the church one of the missionaries was giving a presentation from a chalkboard with four points on it, I forget the first two, it was something like...


It was a business meeting. The missionary/salesman talked about the outlook for the future, how to expand and be a better presence in the community etc... I wont ramble on about all the other garbage like the improvised prep rally and the cheering and jumping up and down etc...

That night we talked to a man who attends the church, he is a big man, muscular, sort of quiet and real serious. He doesn't call himself a member but he attends the church. We shared with him about what it really means to believe in Christ. He told us that unless you live by the book you don't really believe. He also explained that he wasn't ready to commit himself.

We commended him for his honesty and told him to stay that way. We encouraged him by sharing James 1, "don't be hearers of God's word only deceiving yourselves". If we hear Gods word without doing it, it's like looking in the mirror and noticing a big pimple on you're face, then walking away and convincing yourself that really you're very attractive. We didn't tell him this because he didn't know it, but because he already knows it. However no one is saying it.

I suppose if you want a good understanding of any culture you need to experience how they handle death. On Sunday we went to the funeral, it was a blending of pagan and "christian" custom. When we arrived we walked up to a two story house. A freshly poured cement grave graced the front yard as is custom here. A large tarp draped over the entry way where people gathered some sleeping, some just sitting, many of the young men drank and gambled. Inside the house the elderly gathered around the corpse and sang hymns, country songs and love songs.

As we sat in the crowded little living room we watched as the daughter stared into the coffin while the husband nodded away in his chair. A baptist pastor was there as well, he shared from Luke about Lazerus and the rich man. He told everyone that if they believe Jesus died for them on the cross they could be saved, just believe.

We were invited to share as well. We asked the people if they were scared and pointed out to them that they must be because of how all the activity around the house. Some were drinking, others laughing, many sang and played the guitar. We told them not to run away from the reality. Death is a reminder from God that there is an eternity ahead. We warned them not to drown out the reality of this with alcohol, laughter or religion (baptist preachers preaching peace peace). We warned them of the danger of "killing yourself" by being convinced that everything is just alright because you said the prayer and go to church.

As the night progressed the elderly people took turns standing up talking to the corpse. Some shared stories, some sang improvised songs others sort of prayed to the corpse asking for blessings and help.

Maybe some might see the laughter and drinking as a way to cope, but I guess I see it as avoiding reality. I kept thinking "someone just died!" Hey there is a dead person in you're living room! She's not breathing, she's not blinking, the only place she is going after the singing is the front yard. What are you doing having a party?

Anyhow, this morning I met with one of our neighbors. He wants me to conduct bible studies with his teenage boys on a weekly basis. I had a bit of a hard time sharing and was a little nervous, so I played with my ball point pen till the top came off and fell under the couch. I had to get on the floor and fish it out. It's ok to laugh at me.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Good afternoon,

Last week we were informed that our house in Iligan burned to the ground. Ther fire department determined it was faulty electrical wiring. The circuit breakers being used were 30 amp and the branch circuits were 12 gauge wire. The wire and breaker were mismatched.

It is quite a loss when a Philippino loses a house. Especially when the home is a source of income. The most valuable things we lost were some airline tickets, audio messages and books. Everything can be replaced. However it's a big loss for the owner as she is a widow. Perhaps we can help rewire the home if they rebuild.

Last night Jery and I went to hear a preacher named Bert. He preached from Mat 7. 20-28. He remarked that "one's salvation depends on how he hears and heeds God's word". His message was a real blessing to hear. I met Bert a month ago while preaching in front of a college in Baguio.

I guess I dont have anything else to share, Adios.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mt. Province and The Potters Best

Good evening,

Two Sundays ago Jerry and I went to his home "Tadian" pronounced "tadjian". This is located in a Province/State called the Mt. Province. This province ranges from maybe 2000 feet to up to 7500 feet. The climate varies and terrain is rugged. In the higher altitudes vegetables are grown in terraced mountain slopes. This area supplies Pinoy with a lot if not most of it's produce.

In Tadian we preached at a Pentecostal church Jerry's Mother attends. Our first meeting was Saturday night. We talked about Lordship. After the message the pastor remarked that everyone needs to "walk in their salvation"and invited us to share again on sunday morning. On Sunday morning we talked about Acts 2.38 and Acts 26.18. as well as 1John 1 5-7. This cleared things up for everyone. It was a blessing.

On Sunday morning a woman who attended the meeting Saturday night confessed that she was in adultery. She expressed her desire to raise her children in a Christian home. She thanked us for sharing with her and told us that she was faced with a decision.

Last week we shared at another Pentecostal Church pastored by one of Jerrys friends. The name of this church is the "Potters Best" We shared a short message about the two greatest commandments. It boiled down to this... All of Jesus' teachings basically revolve around loving God and our neighbors. Love you're enemies, turn the other cheek. We challenged them with these teachings.

This same pastor invited us to preach at a basketball game geared to be an evangelical type of thing. I shared out of 2 Peter chapter 3. "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved what manner of persons ought you to be?" If the world is going to be burned up what are we doing playing games? Everyone was quiet afterwards.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Maayong Adlaw


We were scheduled to return to Mindanao on the 11th. However it looks like we are needed here in Baguio at the moment. Next week I will return to Mindanao to set some things in order. As much as permissable.

The days go by, we watch victories and defeats. Not much more to write about but struggles within and battles without. Everything is subject to change, even peoples hearts. I often wonder, can I make it to the end of the fight? I guess that is the fight. It's never been more real.

Thursday, October 4, 2007



We now have photo's available. Click on the comments to read them in full.

We have been blessed with Jerry, he is very commited. He and I are preaching together almost nightly. He is taking me to almost everyone he knows to share about true salvation. We met twice with his friend Jun. I shared the Sermon on the mount with Jun. He asked alot about fornication and adultery, he had a girlfirend that he was considering. Just yesterday Jerry told me that Jun married the girl in a court. Jun has preached with us twice now.

We are also visitng with a preacher named Gerry. We talked to him about modesty and television. He told us that the news is harmless, so we watched 10 minutes of news together. We saw nothing of value. Rather we saw alcohol commercials and scantly clad women selling coffee and tea. We talked about women loving their neighbors and dressing modestly. He told me that he has to turn his head away from some of the women here in Baguio because of their poor dress. I asked him "if you trun your head at an indecent woman in person why do you watch them on a televison?"

This sunday I was a little discouraged. We had 3 meetings scheduled, none of them worked out. There were also other issues that left me feeling like Elijah. I wondered if there were any left in Israel that hadn't bowed the knee to Baal.

That evening I took Becky and Lincoln to McDonalds. While we talked on the way there I was reminded that my wife is in The Faith... It was as if this thought completely slipped my mind! I was really blessed by this. I still felt kind of beat up, but I was reminded that there are still some willing to hear and follow. That night I decided to go into Baguio and preach on Session Blvd.

While on session Blvd I was met by a journalist with the Philippino Inquirer. He began to take pictures and asked if he could interview me. We talked about tithing in the church and evangelism. He listened while I talked to a group of rich kids as well as a revolution/insurrection type college student. The college student opposed me at first but thanked me after we talked for a while. We talked about Jesus overcoming the evil principalities and powers of the world. If no one benefited from our talk I did.

The last three days I have been preaching at the University of Baguio. Yesterday I met with a student from Africa. He and I visited with some of his Muslim friends. They asked me about the war in Iraq. I explained that both the "Christians" and mulims are willing to murder for gain. They didnt like this, but I was able to cast some light on loving your enemies and turning the other cheek. They all told me "I never heard this before".

Today Jerry and I, as well as his friend Jun preached at the Universtiy of Baguio. We were met by a couple of security guards. I guess a student called the campus police and reported a distrubance. This same man was a homosexual, the disturbance was in his heart! Anyway, the guards yelled at us pushed me around and told us to get off the campus. We moved to the public sidewalk and got yelled at again. The guards seemed to be upset with me, but didn't want to arrest me. So instead they hauled Jun and Jerry off to an office. Jerry passed out tracts on the way to the guard station and was repremanded for this.

I continued to preach outside even though it was pouring down rain. After 10 minutes or so I was called into the office and we all got a good yellin at by the head security guard. I told the guard that we had followed his instructions and left campus property. He wouldnt let me talk, so I interrupted him and argued for a while telling him he had no jurisdiction outside campus property, and that he had to release us if there were no charges. Maybe I shouldnt have argued. Anyway he told me "this messege could alarm the students". I told him that is exactly what it is meant to do!

Later in the night we got a text from a man who told us:

"Hello I am Mark G. of UB college. Someone gave me a little letter about Jesus judging the world. I am also a Chrisitan. Thank you for inspiring people to serve God. After I saw the reaction of the people on campus (many were laughing)I cried. When I got home I really prayed, I'm on it. Thanks alot...

I returned this mans txt and will meet with him tomorrow morning.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Good evening,

Yesterday we woke up to find 30 or so vampire bites on Lincolns face. We got him a mesquito net to ward off these wing-ed vilians. The house we are staying in is fully furnished and well worn in. The owners left an (old) bed for us to sleep in. The bed sags in the middle, and we often wake up in the night blessing this contraption that persecutes us for eight hours at a time. I wonder if this bed could be used for a device of torture, offering nights of sleeplesness to it's victims. Praise the Lord we don't have to sleep on the floor.

Today Jerry met an old friend who recently moved here from Manila. He invited her to have a bible study with us, she obliged. We shared with her from Mat 7.21 and talked about Jesus being the Lord of our lives. We went through the sermon on the mount and explained that we are not to swear. Rather we are to be honest in our speach so that we can respond with a simple yes or no. We asked her if Jesus was the Lord of her life in this area?She exlained that she just had just left her job in Manila as a salesperson. She had become convicted about the dishonesty invovled in her job, and left despite the prospertiy it was offering her. I was blessed to hear this. It seems she is willing to make changes when she needs to.

We also shared from 1 Timothy 2.8 and 1 Peter 3.3 as well as 1 Cor 11. She was very open and thanked us for sharing "these reminders from the word of God" with her. She invited us to visit with her Church to share before we leave. I bought an MP3 player yesterday and was able to record our conversation with her. I will try to get it posted soon.