Philippine Tour: The final days

Five days have past since I wrote the above. We got caught up in many activities including visiting 18 of the area churches in about a 35 mi. radius. We usually attend one church for Sunday School, another for service, and yet another for Evening worship. In between we also visit and photograph other church buildings though not meeting for service, and often meet their pastor, some of their elders and members.

This Fri. I am a guest speaker at the Baccalaureate Dinner for this year’s 9 ABS graduates (2 Associates in Theology, 2 Bachelors in Christian Education and 5 in Church Music). Saturday Daisy and I are invited to take part in a Woman’s Fellowship (other men invited too). Sunday will be only 2 church visitations. Monday & Tuesday we will join a “Conference on Evangelism” for all area churches. Tuesday night I am again the guest speaker for Commencement, where even the non-grad’s will attend.

Early Wednesday AM Esmelito (ABS’s administrator drives us to PBS (about 8 hours), so I can again be the speaker for their Baccalaureate dinner. We can’t stay for their graduation, so Esmelito will take us on to Manila where we visit friends for a day before beginning the flights home via Seoul (6:35 layover), Korea Friday midnight (12:30a). Our flight time including layover is scheduled as 22 hours, 35 min., landing Chicago O’Hare on 3/20 at 10:05 am with Korean Air flight KE0037 (Terminal 5).

We will then be for a rude awakening; our mosquito bites will experience frost bite ! I just know your heart bleeds for us as we must go through withdrawals from best Mango and sweet Amarosa Bananas in the world. Then we must readjust body clocks and get back into gear with long awaiting work schedules.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers.
God Bless you and your daily work to glorify HIM in your words to each other and your work.

– Mike
aka. Miguel

PS: Pray for me esp. since my laptop power supply died due to voltage fluctuations, and my battery is almost dead ! ! !
Slim chance I’ll find a replacement here. Might have to wait till Manila (sigh).

God bless.

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):

W H E N LOCAL CST EST L O C A T I O N Lat, Lon DEPTH MAGNITUDE
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.

NEWS REPORT :: January – February 2010

Dear Brethren:

Greetings in Jesus’ mighty name!

After the very hectic schedule we had last December, we went back to school, even busier in our classes. There was only two and a half months left before the end of the school year. Faculty needs to finish their class syllabus and students need to finish requirements – outside reading reports and research. Everyone must keep busy for the Lord!

Our new building has been occupied by classes only it was so cold last January that we needed to use the old building classrooms. Nevertheless, we keep praying that the windows be installed very soon. We believe this and we thank you Lord, for providing. Bless the lives of people who made commitments for windows.

As we approach the end of the school year students kept busy also for the closing activities. The Forensic Literary Society (FLS) with Sir Alex Agresor, their adviser, had their annual Talent Night last February 5. Everyone enjoyed and was entertained, not only the parts but also the lessons from their theme, “Reaching for You.” What a splendid program! Hurray Forensians! Job well done, use your talents only for His glory.

We also had to prepare for the Inter-Seminary Fellowship (PCM-PBS-ABS). It was held at Philippine College of Ministry in February 17-19. There were 35 students who attended. Some faculty members accompanied them including our two benefactors – Bro. Mike Burns and Sis. Daisy Cajigal. There were lots of experiences our students had. They really had close bonding with other seminarians. We also had fellowship with other staff if PBS and PCM. Truly, how good and pleasant it is when brothers work in unity! Together we stand, divided we fall!

Now, we look forward to the Voice and Piano Recital of music students. Ma’am Grace Alvarez and Ma’am Marlyn Racho are both very busy preparing for these. We need to move the piano (the only available for use) from the old building to the new ABS Hall. How we pray that this old piano be replaced with a new one.

Lastly, there are two things we’re so thankful for – the arrival of the eight boxes of computers from the States, donated by brethren through the instrumentality of Bros. David and Andrew Powell, Mike Burns and Sis. Daisy Cajigal. They’re ready for installation at the new Computer Laboratory. We’re so grateful for the presence of Bro. Mike to help. Also, how grateful we’re that the windows of the new building are being installed. The Hall shall be ready for the closing activities of the seminary.

We’re really blessed and we keep on praying that the Lord will continue to bless all of your for your support to ABS.

In Him,

LEOLINDA B. COLUMNA

Noted:

ESMELITO L. ACSON
Administrator, ABS