The Month of August for us began in Services in Cagayan de Oro , Mindanao in the Philippines. We were blessed to serve the Lord’s Supper to the flock gathered here in Cagayan de Oro. I taught on the Lord’s Supper out of First Corinthians, chapter 11:17-30. The Lord was very specific through the Apostle Paul, letting the Corinthians understand that they must seek the Lord themselves and examine themselves to know with assurity that they were in the Lord’s Church (discerning His Body) and that they were truly following the Word (the Bread) and made a true covenant with Christ through Baptism in His Church and not the churches of men, with men’s doctrines. We had members of Mr. Fife’s group present and the spirit was strong within the Church. Those present from fife’s group were repentant and later would request baptism and repented of following the things and doctrines of men. We would baptize them later during our stay on Mindanao. It was a blessing to the Church to witness those who had fallen away come back and seek forgiveness and repent of their sins.
Monday, Brother Larry and I reloaded time on our computers so we could have communications with the other nations and America and then in the afternoon we traveled to a sister with terminal stage three cancer. She had no medicine due to financial burdens to ease the pain and suffering. We anointed her and prayed for her and spoke for quite some time concerning salvation and the Word of God and His Love for her. We discussed dying, living, what God teaches each of us concerning salvation, death, and eternal life. We spoke openly concerning her condition and her concerns about her children, her husband and dying itself. She thanked us and smiled and said she was now ready and grateful for our coming and explaining so much to her that she had not understood. We also anointed her husband and prayed for him and their son. It was a very special time in the lord and a time which shall remain in my thoughts and in my prayers for the rest of my life. In the night I met with Tino and his wife and the three of us studied together concerning the love of God and His Mercy and His plan for mankind in these last days.
The third we sent many communications I had written to Africa, India and Germany to help the work in those nations. I also spoke at length with Disciple Aparico concerning problems that existed in the work in the Philippines and advised him on solutions and remedies for problems that had been ongoing for the past eight years. I also purchased a sacrament tray for Colorado and the local in Grand Junction. They have contributed much to the work in Africa, India, and the Philippines, not only in prayer, books, but also in funds and it is a joy to be part of such a fine local. Brother Gary Doudy and Sister Betty and Sister Helen, and Brother Ken, and Sister Arlene, and Sister Doris Doudy have long supported the Work in the overseas; not only on this journey, but for over thirty years of missionary travels by this Apostle. I am honored to be a part of this local and it through their prayers and support, as well as those of others, that I am able to travel and do the work of God. In the night following my studies with Brother and Sister Aparicio; I packed and prepared for our journey to Camiguin Island in the morning.
We arose early morning at four and took a taxi to the bus station to make the trip to Balingoan and the ferry which would carry us across the sea at Ginoog Bay to the Island of Camiguin. We traveled amid a small rain storm and fog, to the island. We arrived around 9:30 in the morning and stopped for a “breakfast of fish and rice” at one of the local eatery on the island. Then we took a three wheeler (a motorcycle with a cart attached to where we would stay on Camiguin Island for the next few days. This was located at San Roque, Mahinog on Camiguin Island. We then waded through the sea in water about knee deep to the homes of some of our members who lived not so far away along the beach. I would teach on the foundation of our Christian faith at their request and what separated us from other churches and groups. I also taught on Salvation and Prayer and those gathered seemed to gain a lot and appreciated our coming. Brother Undoy also joined us there and mentioned he would very much like to meet with us at his place.
The next day we traveled by three wheeler to Uumbing on the island and taught a few members who had gathered to hear the Word. Larry taught this group and the Spirit of the Lord was strong among us. In the afternoon we traveled back across the island to walk up to Undoy’s home and spend time with him at his request. There had been a very large misunderstanding between himself and one of the Disciples and he had left the Church over the matter. We arrived amid a rather stormy sky and a heavy rainfall. Our Brother welcomed us; however you could tell he was somewhat wary of what might be said. I spoke with him at length about the misunderstandings between him and the disciple and also answered several of his questions concerning the doctrine, which in part had caused his difficulty with the Disciple. We communicated for several hours and at the end, our Brother Undoy said he understood and desired to become a member again and to reconsider his own actions. We were grateful for the mercy of God and His Grace.
The following day, we arose early as we always do and Disciple Sonny and Disciple Aparicio went swimming in the sea and Larry and I discussed the work and how best to help the things that had been problems here in the Philippines. Our Brothers and Sisters had done a wonderful job of holding on even under some rather difficult circumstances. The Church had been visited at times by men from America from other groups who truly sought to destroy them. The Lord’s Membership held firm and fast to the Word of the Lord and their Faith in Christ and could not be shaken. My heart and soul shall always be in admiration of these fine brothers and sisters. There have been problems however, which needed help and eight years of absence on our part was not the help they needed.
We traveled back to the port and took the ferry back to the Island of Mindanao in the afternoon and returned to Cagayan de Oro. It was an easy journey and very peaceful. We arrived back in Cagayan de Oro and did laundry and got ready for the remainder of the week.
Saturday the 7th we traveled to Brother Tino’s Brother. We met there with him and a friend and taught them the Gospel and spoke of their illnesses and anointed them and prayed for them and their difficulties. It was a good day in the Lord and the result of our meetings would find Tino’s brother attending Church and coming to all the meetings.
Sunday found us again in Service of the Lord and in His Services in Cagayan de Oro. I taught on Ecclesiastes 12:10-11, the Record of Nephites, and the Word of the Lord. The subject was measuring our words when we are not in church and the importance of living the word and not simply speaking it. In the evening we packed our bags again for a journey this time to Cotabato and meetings with our membership in that part of the island of Mindanao.
We departed Cagayan de Oro at five thirty in the morning for Cotabato on the bus. It is a long and winding road to Cotabato and Disciple Sonny, Disciple Aparacio, Larry and I made the journey. We were greeted there by most of our members there in the south and were blessed to stay at Joseph and Elizabeth Juan’s home. We then traveled to the hospital to administer to a member who had an emergency appendectomy. He had survived the surgery and was doing well. In the evening we held services for about thirty five souls who came to hear the word of God and I taught this night and the Lord blessed us with an abundance of His Spirit and Grace. Our members kept a watchful eye for us, as kidnappings here are frequent and missionaries are a prime target of terrorist here in this part of the island. It was touching to see their concern and their love. Mindanao is divided almost in half from north to south and the southern half of the island is somewhat difficult to labor in due to this problem. Over the past few months and years; many missionaries have been killed and ransomed in this area.
The following day we journeyed to a pool and baptized one of the women who had made a decision at last night’s study and it was joy to witness her conversion and Brother Larry and I confirmed her into the Church. We then traveled to a young woman’s home who had cancer and in its latter stages. We prayed for her and she requested I present the Gospel to her, even though she was in much pain, because she desired to know the truth. I patiently presented the Gospel unto her and also counseled her concerning her own soul and her relationship unto the Lord. She had two little children and a husband and she wept knowing if she was not healed what awaited her family. We spoke at length concerning salvation and the Mercy of the Lord. She thanked me very deeply for taking the time to present the Gospel unto her that she might have a clear understanding of the Word of God, which had become so important unto her under the circumstances in her life. It is a blessing to find a soul who loves God and desires to be complete and whole in their Spirit before the Lord. Although it is not easy to know the person you are speaking with is near death; it is a comfort to be able to share with them the mercy of God and God’s Love for them and God’s Forgiveness in their lives. It comforts their soul so very much and brings forth a peace and understanding within their lives.
The morning of the 11th of August we again boarded the bus for our return journey of many hours back to Cagayan de Oro City and the work in that area before us. We arrived amid a heavy rain storm and after unpacking Larry and I went grocery shopping of our food for the week ahead and then this night we spent in prayer and thanksgiving for all that God had allowed. Some nights sleep comes easier and some nights you simply lay awake and wonder and pray for those whom the Lord has blessed you to meet. This was one of those nights that I did not sleep and prayed all night long and found my pillow rather wet from my emotions and my thoughts for those whom we have administered unto. So often times in the field of the Lord; I have these nights, where I talk to God and seek His Will and His Mercy for those with such great need. Indeed God knows and He is truly merciful and loving to each of us. I thank Him for the opportunity to meet and try to be of comfort to so many with great needs. There are nights that rewind in my mind about Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Germany, India, and the Philippines and the precious souls we have met and spoken unto concerning the Word of God. I pray daily for each of these and also those in America as well. I have photographs of most of these, however in my heart each face and each soul is etched forever in my heart.