We arrived in the Philippines on the 26th of June 2010. It had been a wonderful time of sharing and laboring for the Lord in India with our brothers and sisters. The love, faith, and grace that they shared with us daily will forever be in our hearts and in our minds.
Landing in Manila we got room and prepared ourselves for the work in the southern part of the Islands, on the Island of Mindanao. After three days of preparation for our journey south, we boarded a flight to Cagayan de Oro on the Island of Mindanao. We were warmly welcomed there by most of the Church membership in Cagayan de Oro and they brought us to our new home, which is located behind the Church building. We arrived about 2:30 pm and then after a short time to unpack we held services for the membership in the Cagayan de Oro local church. I taught on the e twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew and the things Christ had said unto his disciples concerning the end of the world and His second coming. I also taught upon Revelation chapter six and the seven seals spoken of Revelation and upon the first seal which Jesus Christ opened of the sealed book spoken of in the Book of Daniel. The flock seemed pleased and understanding the words and prophesies given in the word of God. Then Larry and I retired for the night and spent a bit of time getting to know our new home.
On the 29th and 30th of June I taught those gathered on Revelation chapters five and six on the 29th and then on the 30th I taught on Matthew 24, Revelation 7, and Ephesians chapters two and four. The congregation really seemed pleased and had many questions which the Lord was able to answer in His Word. The study was designed to help ground them and prepare them for the days that are ahead for each of us who love the Lord. It is so very necessary we have a firm foundation and that we do understand exactly how the Devil will and does seek to deceive and mislead us. It is a perilous time we live in and God commands us to give meat in due season.
On July 1st brother Larry and I extended our Visa’s and then went grocery shopping for the week that is ahead. This evening Brother Larry taught upon tithing and the need to be obedient in all parts of the commandments to Christ. The Night of the second Larry continued on tithing and offerings and the people here really seemed to understand and have a sincere desire to be obedient unto God’s commandments. Then on the third we traveled into Cagayan de Oro and taught a small gathering of believers and non believers concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and our need to have Him in our lives. Our Sunday services on the fourth of July, I taught on forgiveness and how very important a gift that God had imparted unto us through His Sacrifice upon the Cross for each of us and just how far forgiveness is reaching and how much truly God does forgive. The membership then blessed us with a wonderful meal of fish and rice and wonderful fellowship.
The day of the fifth of July, was spent writing letters to Africa and India to follow up on the work we had done in the Nations of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and India. We also packed for our coming journey the next day to the southern part of the Island of Mindanao. We would need to pack well as we would be away about a week from our base in Cagayan de Oro.
The morning of July 6th 2010 we arose early and departed for Maramag. It would be several hours later amid a heavy rain we would arrive in Maramag. We had departed at 5am and arrived at 6pm that evening. After arriving I taught all those who had gathered to share in the Word of the Lord for almost four and half hours. The people were excited and anxious to hear the Word of the Lord and it was a true joy to witness their faith and their interest in the Word. We finally retired at about mid-night and arose early the next morning to breakfast of fish and rice and then began teaching once again at 7:30 am in the morning. We covered the coming of the Messenger of the covenant, the promised Elijah, explained the difference between the Rapture and Tribulation and also the false teaching of that subject, by so many who claim to represent Christ. As many of the membership were those who had come originally from the Assembly of God belief; there was many who were quite surprised to find the Church as a whole passing through the Great Tribulation, but once it had been taught; they clearly understood and were truly grateful for the teaching on that subject. We spent two days teaching on the foundation of the church and then we spent the 8th teaching on the Articles of Faith and Practice. Those gathered also blessed us with a wonderful choir of young ladies who sang with the voices of angels and warmed our hearts and souls with their sweet voices and joyful spirits. The youth in America could learn much from these precious young ladies who are truly a blessing to all who hear them sing.
On the 9th of July, the Church held a pig roast and took us swimming! It was so good to cool off in the pool and relax and enjoy the fellowship of our brothers and sisters who had traveled away as far as 90 klm to share in this time of teaching and preaching and sharing in the Word of the Lord. There were not many dry eyes as we departed back to Cagayan de Oro, and it was difficult to leave such wonderful brothers and sisters who touched our hearts and very souls so deeply. We will return to this area before we depart back to America and share once again in the love and Word of God among those whom love the Lord so very much and are such a blessing to all who know them. The journey home on the bus was filled with precious memories and my mind replaying each of the wonderful souls we had met and shared in the love of God and His Word.
Arriving late in the night back in Cagayan de Oro amid rain and weariness we had no trouble in sleeping. The next day I spent answering questions and letters from many wonderful souls in India, Africa, and Canada. I have come to know a special brother in Canada and it is a joy to write to him and fellowship through the mail, as he has a fine spirit and a good mind and loves the Lord. This night we also continued to teach and answer questions among those gathered in the Local Church in Cagayan de Oro.
On Sunday the 11th of July, my Brothers Sonny Democali, Tino, Larry and myself preached and taught the people and shared with them the things that had transpired on the journey to visit their brothers and sisters in the southern part of their island. We also shared video of the trip and the singing and the fellowship; which all were excited and happy to witness and share the Joy which we too had felt. Monday and Tuesday we found ourselves discussing and planning with our fellow workers here in the Philippines how best to accomplish the work and helping them to make adjustments in the way they were going about the work. We hopefully are helping them to understand and have more success in all they seek to do for the Lord and His Church. In the evening we taught on the Articles of Faith and Practice. Then for the remainder of the week we began a series of lessons on Messages 29, 45, and 86, as well as Joel chapter 3, Zechariah chapters 11-14, and Revelation chapters 6, 7, 14-18 there were several questions and the people seemed to truly enjoy the study and were grateful for the information and lessons learned therein. We also went to the local music store and purchased a guitar and tambourine for the Church to help them in the music they like to sing and perform.
During the days we would meet with several of the membership and answer questions and in general help them with Spiritual difficulties that each of us face in our daily walk with Christ.. I thank God for each of our Brothers and Sisters who love the Lord so deeply and live in an area that is not wealthy with things of the world, but is rich indeed with His Love and His Grace. It is an honor to labor among those who love him so very deeply and give glory to Him each day in their lives and the manner in which they live their lives.
Today we arose early and began our journey to the northern tip of the island of Mindanao and the town of Surigao and also the island of Dinagat San Jose. It is on this island that the followers of the ‘divine master’ reside. These poor misguided souls believe that a physical man is Jesus Christ and lives on the island with them. He has stolen land from so many of the people in the northern tip of Mindanao island, that the military went to war with him and arrested him about three years ago and then released him last year because he had so much money and corruption is rampant in this part of the world. We presented the word of God to those who would hear, and then traveled to another part of the island and again taught and were able to touch several souls who expressed interest in the Church and the Word of God and invited us back. We will send the Disciples back soon. We also contacted a Methodist minister who is extremely interested in the Church and we invited him to our pastor’s seminar in August. He has a flock of about two hundred and is expressing interest in joining our Church and becoming one with the Lord and His Church. The Next day we traveled to Surigao and there brought five precious souls through the waters of Baptism and into the Lord’s flock and membership of His Church. Then late that night of the 23rd we traveled the six and half hours back to Cagayan de Oro and our base there at the Church.
Sunday the 25th found us once again in Church in Cagayan de Oro and I preached on First Kings chapters 9 through 11 on the subject of disobedience to the word of God and the price we pay for that transgression. The Spirit of the God was heavy in the service and we anointed some of the sick and prayed for them as well.
We would spend the rest of the week traveling to various members’ homes and having studies and answering questions and praying for those who had needs. We also helped with some problems that had come up in the Church and the Lord’s Spirit greatly took care of many needful things and problems simply melted away in the Peace and Power of the Holy Spirit. I shall always be grateful unto the membership here in the Philippines who so willingly share their homes, their lives, and their time with us as we minister among them. The prayers support, and love we receive from America is also such a blessing and an encouragement unto us. I do pray each of you realize what a tremendous gift you present unto those overseas with your prayers and your concern for each of us. I am constantly amazed at the daily support and letters of encouragement we also receive from Europe, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and India as well. Truly the Body of Christ is One. Each part of the Body (the Church) is always right on time with the prayers and support we need so very much.
It was a joy to even get to speak via the net to those who had assembled themselves for the Church assembly in America! My, what a blessing and how it uplifted our souls and made us smile! I know that so many overseas lack computers (less than 2% have computers), but for those who do; I encourage all to visit the web site in America. We have some young men who operate it with very professional and Spirit filled dedication. I am grateful for their intelligence and their Faithfulness to the Work of the Lord. I could have searched the world over and not found such good brothers as those who take care of our web site and truly God must be pleased.
Finally in closing; we have another month and a half here in the Philippines. There is much to do and much to accomplish. Some of what is done is not reported, however God knows full well what is transpiring and it is He who leads and directs the Work. We have been contacted by some of those who fell away from the Lord in false teachings and the craftiness of men. They are awakening to those who had deceived them and are seeking to come all the way to the Lord in repentance and become once again members and Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Remember these too in your prayers and thoughts. I will also be sending a missionary report for August and September from the Philippines. I hope these reports edify and bless each of you. I hope it gives you a small understanding of the goodness and greatness of our Lord. I know the Lord is indeed a gracious and merciful God whom is worthy of our praise and devotion. I only hope through these reports you can feel a bit of what is transpiring over here in the Philippines and among your Brothers and Sisters who live here. May God Bless you for your prayers and love you send our way and especially for your faithfulness unto the Living God and Creator of this world we now live. I close in Peace and with love for each of you.
Your Brother in Christ,
Apostle Norman D. Lyles