From the monthly archives:

July 2001

Back to Matanao

by Original Author on July 30, 2001

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter
On Tuesday July 10, the Bonds and I went to Matanao to visit the fellowship served by Elder Junio Tabanyag. This congregation is a favorite spot to visit by the American preachers. There is always between fifty to one hundred children at each meeting, which always brightens a worship service. If the service is announced before hand the leaders of this tribal group called Bilaan will always wear their traditional colorful dresses and skirts. They will also have on their beads, bells and necklaces, which shows their ranking among their tribe. During worship service the entire group with only the exception of the little children reverently listen to preaching, which has to be done through an interpreter, which is always their pastor Brother Tabanyag.

We arrived in Junio’s jeepney and about thirty children were swimming in an irrigation ditch about one half mile from the village awaiting our arrival. As Brother Junio stopped, they climbed aboard our jeepney till we were filled with little children with bright eyes and shinning teeth. They watched with curious eyes and they especially noticed Sister Elaine’s white hair. As we approach the village, smiling faces of other children come running to greet us. We parked the jeepney beside the church building and we were greeted by their co-pastor Brother Saluna Dalumatan. Sister Cleo, Junio’s wife had diligently prepared lunch for about two hundred of the members. She was concerned that it was a balanced meal of vegetables, meat and of course rice.

Elder Tabanyag began the meeting with a lively song service, with all the songs in Cebuano. The children especially sung with enthusiasm. Elder Bond spoke first and I followed giving the Biblical Laws of the Harvest from Gal 6:7. The congregation seems to understand and responded well to the preaching. After the service Cleo and several helpers supplied the lunch. As I watched them eat, it was with great delight and almost everyone went back for seconds and even a third helping. Emily Post would have had a heart attack, but I found a great pleasure in seeing these children receive a nourishing meal.

After lunch we went down a steep bank of about three hundred yards to a beautiful clear mountain stream where Brother Bond baptized four candidates who showed a great love for the church. Of course about one hundred children followed the journey to the river and after the baptism immediately went swimming.

There was great sadness in the village because a young child of a little over two years old had died the day before of a case of measles. There was also a young lady who just gave birth to a beautiful little child who had continued to hemorrhage. We went to her little hut to offer a prayer for her. She was only semi conscious and from her moaning, she was probably in great pain. As we left, we took her to a government hospital. I was fearful she might not live thru the night. As we left her in the hospital we both prayed again for her and gave some provisions to the husband for medicine and so he could purchase milk for their little child. The needs of medical help and education in nutrition are great in this small village. A week later, I call the pastor and he informed us that the lady was out of the hospital and the mother and child were doing well.

As always our visit to this mountain village and our church is of great encouragement. I am thankful for Brother Junio’s unselfish labor among them. This is a treasured memory for the Bonds.

Your Servant in Christ,
Elder Gus Harter

Note: Photos are not yet available due to technical problems with our laptop computer where we store all our photos.

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Trip to Northern Mindanao

by Original Author on July 28, 2001

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter
We enjoyed having the Bonds and Cunninghams in our home. The kindest they show to our children was a joy to my family. Clay and Robin showed a special interest in all our children and affection was returned. I renewed my love for Clay’s father. Just having Clay in my home help me relive the memories of years gone by and the many times our two families were together. Robin and Elaine could not keep their hands of our two infant children as well as little Angel. We enjoyed our service at our home on Sunday morning and Faith Church on Sunday night just south of Davao. On Monday and Tuesday, Betty Jo and I took them to visit many places in Davao that had works of mercy among the Filipinos as well as the property purchased for building an orphanage.

On Wednesday morning, the Bonds and I began a tiring trip to Northern Mindano to visit a group of our churches. It was on this visit that I saw the special gift the bonds had with the membership of our churches. The true concern and affection they had for the couples was both seen and felt. Especially the ladies and their love for Elaine was joy to behold. Upon seeing her again the ladies shed tears of joy and could not stop stroking and showing their affection for her. I stood back and enjoyed viewing several reunions of the Bonds with their friends.

Our first visit was with the churches in Cagayan de Oro. We gathered at a function room in a hotel in center of town. There was about one hundred in attendance including Elders Manolo Dalman, Julio Bagares, and Ernesto Tala-o. We did not have a time to set for baptism but the three congregations served by Pastor Liberato Gumahad, Edgar Sebuala and Buena Asilan had more than twenty candidates for our next visit to be baptized.

On Friday, we stop in Iligan City to pick up Elder Manolo Dalman and Constancio Tejada and carried them to Dapitan City and Dipolog City to visit the two fellowships served by Elder Limbert Dalman. We first enjoyed visiting in the home of Brother Limbert and met with his congregation in Dapitan. Both Brother Bond and I had a degree of liberty. That night we went to Dipolog and enjoyed and exceptional meeting. There was not a large crowd but our Lord blest with freedom of thought and spirit. On Friday, we visited the fellowship at Initao, served by Elder Tacbobo and the fellowship at Nawan served by Pastor Raul Macabale. The Bonds especially enjoyed the people at Nawan and the fellowship was especially warm. On Friday evening we visited Tominobo Church served by Elder Resty Dalman. The building was completely filled and the spirit blessed in the preaching.

On Saturday morning, we left for Pagadian City to visit with Grace Church served by Elder Willy Yator. They had made some progress on their building. We had service both on Saturday afternoon and night. On Sunday morning we attended the anniversary meeting at Eureka Church in Iligan. It was seven years ago Elder Jeff Harris and I came to this city and constituted this church. There were a large number of visitors and other churches that supported this meeting. It was good to be with these brethren again. After the service, we took the long rough road back to Davao and arrived home about 10:00 p.m.

One closing note, the oldest son of Titing, David that had been bit by the rabid dog during our preachers meeting is completely recovered. Be sure and view the photographs of him. Also at the conclusion of the meeting we baptized several new members including Sister Titing younger son.

Your Servant in Christ,
Gus Harter

Note: Photos are not yet available due to technical problems with our laptop computer where we store all our photos.

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Ricky

July 28, 2001

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter I have told you before about a twelve-year-old blind boy living in the House of Joy, the home for malnourished children. Ricky is his name, and he is now a member of our family! The House of Joy is shutting down. The reason for shutting is a long story, […]

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Beauty for Ashes

July 26, 2001

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter I am filled with excitement about the future of being able to reach the abandoned street children in the Philippines. The burden has been very heavy but I had more pieces of the puzzle that I couldn’t fit together than I had those that did fit. How would I […]

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Manila, Iloilo and Negros

July 25, 2001

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter Knowing I was meeting the Bonds and Cunninghams in Manila I had scheduled a meeting of all our congregations in Manila on Wednesday night, June 27th at the fellowship served by Brother Arnel Gonzales. We filled the meetinghouse with souls hungry for the gospel. At the request of the […]

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Many Thanks!

July 25, 2001

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter There is so much I have to tell you and it seems that by the end of my day my time is gone, and so are my thoughts. Thomas and Elaine Bond, and Robin and Clay Cunningham have visited, labored, and returned to the States! I am filled with […]

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Once again we have visited the land of the Filipino Sun

July 22, 2001

Originally posted by Elaine Bond The sights and sounds of the land are unique. Beautiful mountains covered with swaying coconut trees, rushing waves beating against the shore, Jeepneys and Tricycabs bleating horns. The smell of diesel fumes, burning coconut hulls, broiling fish and frying bananas.Extreme poverty is all around. Homes made of rusted tin attached […]

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Visit of the Bonds and Cunninghams

July 21, 2001

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter On Tuesday June 26th, Elder Thomas and Elaine Bond from Dothan, Alabama and Clay and Robin Cunningham form Plant City, Florida, met us in Manila for a three-week stay in the Philippines. Thomas and Elaine came for their third visit to this island to continue a labor of love […]

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