Philippine Tour: The Lord is good, supplying all our needs.

We may depend on Him more than our own strength and means.

HE is good to me here in Aparri Bible Seminary (ABS), at the northern tip of Luzon, the biggest of 7,000 islands in the Philippines, where I have been since early Feb. We (Daisy Cajigal & I) are down to our last 2.5 weeks here out of the original 7.

Daisy is my Christian sister from my Cornerstone Christian Church (22 mi. W. of Chicago) who was born in Aparri to a family of faithful ABS supporters, but spent over 30 years as a Nurse in several hospitals (sometimes 2 at a time) in Chicago and suburbs. Though retired she continues her career working more than most her coworkers at Alden retirement homes.

Daisy, together with our brother Larry Ferguson (a preacher of 50+ years who is a “doctor” to ailing churches) & I traveled on this my 3rd Philippine mission trip at noon on Feb 1 from Chicago, over Alaska, via Seoul (3.5 hr. layover), arriving at Manila 21.5 hours since leaving O’Hare. We all then traveled to the central isle of Cebu. Our sister Maricel Powell’s family showed us true Filipino hospitality, driving, housing and feeding us sumptuously. We visited the downtown Cebu Church of Christ and Cebu Bible Seminary, where Larry later delivered his ‘Church Encouragement Services‘ seminars, which are very interesting, informative and relevant to Biblically based Church life and growth. Daisy & I were pleased to hear that they were very well attended.

After leaving Larry with our Christian brothers and sisters there, Daisy & I flew to Manila, visiting friends for a couple days, including at Cabao Church of Christ, and shopping for important computer equipment for ABS. We then took a comfortable 8-hour bus ride to visit our friends at Philippine Bible Seminary (PBS) in Vigan, which was somewhat of a surprise visit to them. We were given a warm welcome and fellowship. I was drafted by administrator Danny Roca to give 2 morning devotions, which were challenging but enjoyable.

After enjoying PBS for 2 nights and the day between, Danny and bro Noel drove us to our main focus, ABS in Aparri. The Filipino people in general define the word hospitality, even giving beyond their means. Christian Filipinos go above and beyond even that. Our friends at these and other seminaries and churches truly exemplify this spirit of love and sharing.

It was very good for us to be back at our Philippine “home” of ABS in Aparri. Aparri is a medium sized town with no stop signs nor lights (driving is by a form of give & take with unwritten rules of the road; the written ones are pretty much ignored). About 60 years ago, Daisy’s grandfather Faustino Peneyra made a “Macedonian call” to “come help us”. Charles and Roberta Selby answered that call and worked with “Pastor Peneyra” to upgrade the Bible Institute that Faustino had started into the seminary (ABS). In the Selby’s 50 year ministry they also helped start an orphanage, 3 Christian high schools, a Kindergarten, a Christian Press, a Christian hospital, and their evangelistic work helped plant over 200 churches throughout the Cagayan valley. They also helped set up CARM, a radio, recording and hopefully future aviation ministry.

The focus of my work this year has been to I am trying hard to complete the work of setting up computers in the new computer lab, with 16 tower PC’s, 18 old-style iMac’s and 22 tablet computers, working with Nervie Ternura, a very capable computer science teacher here at ABS. The PC side of the lab is mostly complete, with much work to yet be done on the Mac side of the room.

I have also been photographer & videographer for all the ABS events, including the Tri-Seminary Fellowship in Baguio, and presentation nights for drama, singing and this Friday a piano recital. I also take group pictures at the area churches we visit, and photo-document all our travels.

I was drafted to deliver a sermon last Wed. night, which through much prayer went much better than expected. I then presented a slide show of the Fellowship to a very eager audience.

My fellow traveler Daisy helps interpret during various church services (we visit 2-3 rural churches on the 2 recent Sundays). She also does most of the behind the scenes coordination work for our meetings with so many Christian workers at churches and seminaries and other important contact people. She has been hosting many informal Christian fellowships at her mother Esperanza Aguas’s house, and she supports many ministries and students in the area.

We just now (Tue.10:53 am local time, 8:53 pm CST, 7:53 pm EST) experienced another mild earthquake similar to last Sunday midnight (12:05:34 am, 10:05 am CST, 9:05 EST):

Recent 2/3/10 Tue 10:51:23a 8:51p 9:51p East of Aparri 18.24, 122.49 18.4 mi. 5.8
Sun pm/Mon am 12:05:34a 10:05p 11:05p N.W. of Aparri 19.16, 121.32 25.5 mi. 4.9

but this one lasted over a minute, whereas Sunday’s was something like 10 sec.

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