Notes on Ministry Trip to Philippines in October to November 1999

Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Overslept; didn’t get up until 5:05 a.m. I rushed, had a cold shower, and shaved. Breakfast was muffins and coffee with Paul Ellis.

Martin Scholz picked me up in his pickup van at 5:45 a.m. We picked up Kathy Lander, who is also on the ACTION Philippine Council (APC). We arrived late for the APC meeting which was supposed to start at 7:00 a.m. We began at 7:30 and finished at 9: 15 a.m. They asked me to begin with devotions and I shared from 2 Peter 1:1-12, mainly emphasizing verse 3 (information given later). The APC meeting was chaired by Forest Holden with members Daryl Germaine, Jeff Anderson, Kathy Lander, Hallie Johnson, and Martin Scholz. Excellent meeting, discussed various matters to be finalized by the APC and to be discussed at the International Council meetings in March.

At 9: 15 a.m., we adjourned for special prayer of dedication of the new building. I shared two passages from the Word of God and prayed, especially to thank God for the building that He has given to ACTION Philippines to enable us to assist the team as they work in the Great Harvest of ministry in Manila and throughout the Philippines. The whole ACTION Philippine team meeting nearby at a local church for a team meeting. We had a time of singing, prayer, and testimonies. I shared from the Word, the distinctives of ACTION, and had a time for questions and answers and an update of the ministries of ACTION worldwide.

Most of us then met at a local chicken restaurant where we ate to.-8ether. We went back to the office to meet with the Y2K Committee. We went over contingency plans, financial arrangements, and an update regarding preparation of the Philippine team in caring for all of their missionaries in case there are problems as a result of Y2K or other emergency situations that may arise. We had an excellent time. (I will share these notes with the team worldwide.)

The Logo Committee then met. The consensus is that we request the services of a professional evangelical Christian artist to assist in helping us design a logo. This would be several thousand dollars in other countries, but we trust we will be able to get some good samples of a fee of only $200 to $400. (These funds will come from Doug’s coffee money, Rex’s steamboat ride money, and Ingo’ s tea money!)

I had an excellent meeting with Jeff. Jeff and Mary Ann gave me a ride to the New Tribes guesthouse. I was late for dinner, so I walked down the street for a cup of coffee and some more rice and chicken. I was back at the New Tribes guesthouse at 6: 15 p.m. to fellowship with New Tribes personnel. Made phone calls to Ellises, Reeds, Landrys (I asked Ed to put together one or two boxes of samples from The Village natural paper supplies to send to the USA office with the Westminster team in two weeks).

Dictated letters, read, worked on reports, files, etc., and was in bed by 10:00 p.m.


Wednesday, October 27, 1999

Mike Lacanilao, President and Director of Christian Growth Ministries (formerly Christ for Greater Manila) picked me up at 8:30 a.m. It was good to see him again. I delivered the film ordered by CGM and books which we have been given permission to print through CLAIM as a ministry of BookShare.

I gave a devotional message from 2 Peter 1-11 to the CGM team at 9:00 a.m. It was great to be with them again.

I met with Flor Jalotlot, Roseley Fomoles, and Mike Lacanilao for an hour discussing the CLAIM ministry, how BookShare could assist, obtaining permissions for titles, trusting God to purchase CLAIM sets to distribute free to needy pastors, Christian workers, and Bible school students throughout the Philippines.

Committed to trust the Lord for 300 sets of 6 books (Simply Understanding the Bible, Integrity in a World of Pretense, 99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return, Preaching and Preachers, The Minister’s Personal Handbook, and Sermon Outlines on pt and 1st and 2 Corinthians) at $12 per set to distribute to 300 needy pastors, Christian workers, and Bible school students in the Metro Manila area as a Christmas gift.

Pastor Mike then took me to purchase material and to a tailor to have a special Barong Tagalog made for me as a gift from CGM. We had an excellent lunch together and he dropped me off at the ACTION office by 2:45 p.m.

Met with Nelson Reed and Pine Gutierrez. We then went to the Alay Pagasa street children ministry center to meet with Jeff Anderson, Aries Reginio, and about 35 counselors and leaders preparing for the ACTION Street Family Camp next week with the Westminster team. I was asked to give a devotional to the counselors and staff in preparation for their ministry. I spoke from 2 Peter again to encourage them in their walk with  God and their service to the Lord Jesus Christ by serving the extreme poor.

Returned to the ACTION office (two blocks away). Met with Jeff Anderson and Nelson Reed for one hour. Jeff and I went by jeepney to the New Tribes guesthouse on Shaw Boulevard. We arrived at about 5:30 p.m. Read and dictated letters until 8:00 p.m. Nelson picked me up for ministry on the street with the Camp Aguinaldo Evangelical Church ministry to street children. This is a ministry with the Urban Street Fellowship.

Nelson and I drove to Cubao near Ali Mall to meet with street families. This is an area where Ron Homenuke ministered years ago. The ministry is now run by David and Becky Majam of the Camp Aguinaldo Evangelical  Church. This young professional couple is in their 30s with two children and have been commissioned by their church to mainly minister to urban poor street children and families. As the group of about 30 mainly consisted of women and children, Becky did the speaking. Afterwards, David and a helper (a former street boy in his 20s and now completing his first year of Bible school) distributed food to everyone in attendance (mainly rice, vegetables, and meat). Everyone was very attentive and appreciative. I was also asked to give a short gospel message. Something happened that was a first for me in a street meeting. Usually street children and families are quite reluctant to approach strangers. However, during the meeting a little 2~year-old boy crawled from his mother’s arms, walked through the crowd, came over to me and held his arms up indicating that he wanted to be picked up. He was extremely small and skinny, but surprisingly fairly clean and completely unafraid. I held him for at least an hour throughout the meeting. He was very light and not difficult to hold. Aside from playing with my mustache from time to time, he simply relaxed and almost went to sleep several times even though we were right next to a very busy road.

There are many, many families on the streets of Metro Manila with at least 75,000 children among them. Jeff Anderson (ACTION Street Children Ministry Team Director) asks that we trust the Lord for at least four more couples to come with ACTION to serve in this great, needy ministry of evangelism, discipleship, and development among these needy children and families.

After visiting and ministering to a smaller group of street families mainly consisting of extremely poor and dirty men, a few children, and women. Nelson drove me back to New Tribes by 11:00 p.m. (It was good to discover that Reuben Leuthold, pastor/evangelist/ACTION friend from the USA, arrived safely. He will be here for two weeks of ministry with CGM and ACTION. He will also be speaking in the CGM pastors conference which begins tomorrow, Thursday, October 28.)