From the monthly archives:

January 2008

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

I recently posted the article by Elder Shannon Whipp relating his experience in his travel and preaching in the Philippines. He was travelling with Elder Darrell Chambers from Alabama. Brother Darrel is very profitable in his labor among the Filipino ministry. Both his zeal and love for these people is extremely obvious. I hope you will both enjoy his observations and receive a greater light in their labor among us. I only regret is I was unable to spend the entire time with them while they are here.
G. H.

It is with joyous reflection that I pen down some accounts of my recent trip to the Philippines. This, my second trip in 2007, was truly a greater blessing for me than I had imagined beforehand. On this trip, I was accompanied by Elder Shannon Whipp, pastor of Radnor Primitive Baptist Church near Nashville, TN. Though the Filipino’s speak of the blessing we are to them, I have found that they are the greater blessing to me. I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for His gracious providential care and bountiful blessings towards one so unworthy as I am to be so highly blessed with the great privileges this trip afforded. There were many new and different experiences, but also some familiar ones that I rejoiced to experience once again. The schedule for this trip was fast and full. Except for one day, there was little time for rest, study, journaling, or any other leisurely activities. Yet, there was much fellowship, conversation, worship, instruction, preaching, teaching, and adventure. Adventure is a word that doesn’t seem to fit the previous list of descriptive activities, but one that I did experience. Who could argue that the lives of many men of God, as recorded in the Holy Scriptures, were not lives of great adventure? For a brief period of my life, every day for 2 weeks was filled with activities that I would describe as godly adventures. There were times that I could relate to an Indiana Jones movie, except the treasure I sought were the rich experiences in the labors of my Master. The timely rewards of our Savior are much more precious than the golden jewels buried in any of the Pharaohs’ ancient tombs.

After arriving in the Philippines and getting a good night’s sleep, the activities began with an exciting meeting with several men who had been meeting with some of the local Philippine Primitive Baptist ministers. They had been studying the doctrines of grace, as embraced by the Primitive Baptists, and were interested in learning more about our beliefs, church practices, and discipline. It brought us joy to see the reflections of joy in the faces of these men as we presented New Testament doctrines and practices, and then answered their questions. Many of our answers were initially skeptically received until further biblical proofs and explanations were provided. It was equally exciting to hear some of the local Filipino ministers answer questions and raise questions that they were raising just to make some important points they wanted these inquirers to hear. In particular, I was impressed with their articulate distinctions between gospel regeneration and the immediate Holy Spirit regeneration taught in the scriptures and believed by the Primitive Baptists. I was amazed at our Filipino brethren’s adamant stand that anyone teaching the experience of the Philippian jailer as described in Acts Ch. 16 as a method to obtain eternal salvation was considered by them to be an heretic. Though I totally agreed with their assessment, the fact they felt this was important to bring out in this meeting with these inquirers was very impressive to me. It seems that several of them had come out of a Reformed Calvinistic religion or some Arminian religion and had heard this lesson misapplied to the point of disgust. I appreciated their bold stance and clear teachings to these inquiring potential converts. I was also impressed when there was no hesitation or wavering by Elder Harter to address their questions regarding the need for baptism before there could be any recognition of these men as Primitive Baptists. This would be followed by a period of preaching and then re-ordination before they would be recognized as gospel ministers with the rites to exercise the ordinances of the church. Before the meeting was over, some of these men were already recognizing their need to be baptized and expressing a desire to unite with us. It was very encouraging to see the excitement on the faces of these inquirers as they heard about our strict church discipline and to hear them express disdain for the false teaching of “easy believism” – the teaching that we can easily believe for salvation and then continue in sin that grace may abound.

This meeting was quickly followed by several worship services, 20 baptisms, 2 ordinations of ministers, and 2 church constitutions. We met with several fellowships and outreaches that were not yet constituted, some not even having a public building for worship other than a home. We met in the homes of those interested in our doctrines, those suffering hardships, those who were faithful members, those who are faithful servants or ministers, and even in the home of a business owner who has a heart to help spread the gospel and aid churches of a variety of denominations. This all occurred in the space of about 3-4 days with barely time to catch our breaths between activities. On some days, the travel and activities took the better part of 18-20 hours. We traveled to several remote areas, wondered across beautiful tropical islands, drove through a maze of muddy paths through hundreds of acres of sugar cane fields and witnessed a joyous people who are rich in the Lord’s blessings despite their often plight of great poverty of earthly goods. We saw old church buildings, primitive church buildings, new bamboo buildings, buildings under construction, nice facilities, new concrete buildings, and buildings that were the handiwork of several American preachers and deacons. I was especially touched as we met in a building that was constructed with the aid of several American brethren I love and respect, including the late Elder James Pruitt. We often sat on primitive split log seats, bamboo seats, plastic seats, and preached in a variety of environments. We saw the fruit of the love offerings of many faithful American members and most especially through it all, we saw the manifold blessings of God. One common denominator in all the church meetings was that there were a large percentage of children in every congregation, and the services were filled with zeal and joy – especially the song services.

This time of year was the rainy season in the Philippines, and it rained every day or night (at least a little) that we were there. Many of the church services were held during the middle of the workweek and often during the middle of the day. Several members were unable to attend as a result. However, the weather was often the biggest factor in the absence of many members. Sometimes members were unable to cross the swollen rivers to make it to the meetinghouses. Others were hesitant to tread through the mud and downpours to walk the several miles they normally walked to church services. Some of the mountain roads were washed out or had mudslides and were impassible by car. One minister rode a motorcycle for 7 hours to attend a meeting with us. He didn’t have the money to pay for his gas, but was glad to make the trip when we sent word via a text message that we would pay for his gas. The pastors always seemed apologetic regarding the numbers attending the services, although most were well attended, especially for the time of day and week that most meetings occurred, and considering the weather conditions. I often wondered why many Filipino’s thought it necessary to have a PA system in the small buildings they often meet in. Now I know how hard it is to preach over the deafening sound of a monsoon on a tin roof. I also recognize the very noisy environment around many of the churches that have to be overcome by the preacher’s voice. Many of the churches located in crowded towns have to compete with the constant sound of car horns, blasting radios, etc.

I was especially touched by the sincerity of the young members who were baptized during this trip. We carefully instructed and questioned the candidates prior to baptizing them. They all appeared younger than they actually were. Some, in their mid 20’s appeared to us to be young teenagers. It was moving to baptize the wife of a pastor we were about to ordain. She had previously been satisfied with the baptism in her former religion; but had recently become convinced to be baptized again. She could now serve as a member of the church that her husband was about to be ordained to pastor and he seemed very happy that she was submitting to baptism. This same man was one I had witnessed being baptized in January. He had served as a Charismatic minister prior to converting to the Primitive Baptists. The pastor closed the baptismal service with prayer, standing with both hands lifted upwards toward heaven as he praised and thanked God. They both seemed very happy later during the ordination service as they sat together with big smiles on their faces.

Most of the baptisms occurred in rented swimming pools, but one baptismal service was held in a river. I performed this service and was surprised at how swift and rough the water was. It was during this service that I had water splash into my mouth during the baptism of one sister. While baptizing another, my foot slipped and thought we were about to be swept downstream. I was glad to regain my footing after taking a couple of steps. Later, I was surprised at how calm the water looked in the photographs in comparison to how it looked in reality. I was glad that we suffered no ill effects from the swift and rocky stream; however, I did suffer the consequences of that mouthful of dirty water and had some stomach problems for much of the trip. Most of the time I was able to manage this well with medicines that I brought, but there was one night that I missed services and was miserable due to the stomach problems being so severe. Elder Harter purchased some more medicines at a local pharmacy and by morning I was feeling much better.

Since January, when we visited the city of Bacolod on the Island of Negros, Elder Nolli Hechanova and the congregation there had purchased a lot, and built a beautiful church building. The church, Gleam of Hope Primitive Baptist, had not only been constructed from a crude building already on the lot, but freshly painted, a new tin roof installed (to replace the original leaky palm thatch roof), and a Comfort Room (CR) added. (In America, we call a CR a restroom). Elder Hechanova lived in an adjacent building that had open lattice walls, a dirt floor, and a bamboo bed (no mattress). All the children slept in one room and Elder and Sister Hechanova slept on the bamboo bed in the living room. The only other room in the small house was a kitchen. Elder Hechanova is a very humble man that is sincerely dedicated to serving our Lord. I grew to love this servant of God on my first trip. During both trips, he served as our chauffeur and guide while we were on Negros Island. Elder Hechanova gave up much when he grew to know and love the doctrines of Grace. He left a church with approximately 300 members, a good salary, a ceiled and air-conditioned house, a car, and his children’s enrollment in a private school to become a Primitive Baptist. He did this to joyously preach the truth he now understands and to serve the Lord by pastoring His children. The Hechanova’s struggle to not complain, especially when the floods from the monsoons run into their home and muddy the dirt floor. He says he constantly reminds his wife and children that their small sacrifices are worth the joy of being blessed to know, understand, and teach the truth. After all, God sacrificed His only begotten Son for them and has providentially cared for them in so many ways, how could they complain? His wife has been healed twice from cancer and he has learned to trust in the Lord’s providence and to pray often. Since returning from this trip, I was saddened to receive a call from Elder Hechanova saying that he and his wife had been involved in an accident and his wife was in much pain in the hospital and had already undergone surgery for a broken collarbone. Recent letters have indicated that Sister Hechanova is recovering and feeling much better. The expense from this accident seems insurmountable to him at this time. I not only pray for the Lord’s blessing but know of more than one donor that has helped the Hechanova’s with a portion of the needed funds to help them through this trying time.

During the service at Gleam of Hope PBC, the rain poured and the noise on the tin roof sounded like we were standing beside a speeding freight train. However, the congregation was very attentive and responsive. I was more overcome with emotion during this service than any other. I was filled with joy over the providence of God, the fruit of Elder Nolli’s labors, the good and efficient use of the funds that had been donated by American donors, and the zeal of this congregation. I believe this congregation will continue to grow and prosper under the guidance of this humble man of God. I do hope his wife will have a full and speedy recovery and that God will touch the hearts of others to help them through this trying time.

While in Negros we visited several outreaches and churches in remote areas of sugarcane plantations. On one occasion, while returning home from night services, the wheel of the van slid into a 4 foot deep trench that had been apparently dug by a backhoe. The walls of this trench were straight down and grown up with tall grass so that it was not even apparent from driving down the road that there was a ditch there. These trenches were common around the sugarcane fields. When the wheel went into the ditch, the van almost rolled over and remained at a steep angle with the bottom of the van resting on the road. This made it very difficult to get out. In fact, Elder Harter had difficulty getting out and a zealous Filipino, in an effort to help him lift his foot, wrenched his knee and Elder Harter suffered with a limp and pain the rest of the time we were there. About fifteen of us tried pushing and pulling the van, and even with the assistance of a jeepney attached by a cable, we were not able to pull the van from the ditch. While we were stranded here and wondering how or if we would get the van out, one of the young sisters (about 13 or 14 yrs. old) from the church we had just visited began singing songs of praise. She had a beautiful voice and I was amazed at how calming the singing was. The whole mood of the situation changed and I was reminded of how Paul and Silas had sung songs of praise after being beaten and imprisoned in Philippi. Finally we started all lifting the van and moving it over 1-2 inches at a time until we were able to get the wheel out of the ditch enough to pull it out with the other vehicle.

While we were in Mindanao, Elder Harter had to fly to Manila to take care of business at the American Embassy to be able to bring his children back to the US. He arranged for Elder Whipp and I to be escorted by Elders Constacio Tojada and Manolo Dalman during his absence. Both of these faithful servants have been preaching for the Primitive Baptists for several years and are still contending for the faith. They have both traveled to the United States and preached among our people here. They sacrificed several days of their time to travel with us. Elder Dalman also provided the use of his car as we traveled several hundred kilometers across some rough and dangerous parts of Mindanao. I grew to know and love these dear brethren more on this trip and will cherish many of the memories of this time with them. I will especially cherish the memory of the one service in which we were blessed to hear several Filipino ministers preach, including our companion.

While traveling through Mindanao in Elder Dalman’s car, we actually broke a main accessory belt while ascending a mountain road in a Muslim controlled section. We spent several hours on the side of this mountain with a very scenic view of the countryside below. It took several hours for Elder Tejada to ride a rented motorcycle back to a neighboring town to get a part. When he returned, we discovered the new belt was too small and he had to make the trip again. Overall we were stranded for about 6 hours in the humid sweltering heat. Some of the local church members drove to where we were stranded and picked up Elder Whipp, who went ahead to the destination and preached and met with some of the members while we took care of the car. We were able to make the evening service that night though. It was while stranded here and waiting for parts that I was able to meet some of the local children that attended a 1 room school across the road from where we were stranded. They were playing basketball on a small court with a broken goal. I played with them awhile and then while we were resting under the overhang of the school building during an afternoon shower, Elder Dalman informed me we were in a Muslim controlled area. He also told me that he and Elder Tejada had inquired when we first broke down and determined we were safe. But, being in a Muslim area, I took the opportunity to speak to the children about Jonah being swallowed by a whale. I then related this to the 3 days and nights that Jesus body lay in the tomb and how he died to pay for our sins and then rose from the grave. They had never heard of Jonah and most had never heard of Jesus. It is unclear how much they understood of my accounts of Jesus and Jonah. But I was glad to make use of this time by sharing a little bit of information about my Savior and His great sacrifice for His people.

I was greatly blessed again to visit with the Harters and their precious adopted children and to spend time in their home. It was amazing to see the difference in the physical condition of Sister Betty Jo Harter since January. God has indeed miraculously blessed her with a great recovery of her ability to walk. Although she still has much pain at times, she is at least mobile and very active. I am sure that she must feel that the progress has been slow in coming, but I marvel at how well she appears to be. The Harter children seemed to really fall in love with Elder Shannon Whipp as did the children in most places we visited. He not only has a wonderful gift to preach, but was also blessed to communicate and relate to the younger folks in many of the congregations. Somewhere along the way, Elder Whipp picked up the nickname of “Goliath” because of his stature. However, Elder Harter’s secretary, Rey jokingly commented, “I thought Goliath had muscles?” On our last evening in the Harter’s home, the younger children decorated “Goliath” with their blankets, crawled all over him, gave him a new hairdo as he made funny faces, and the children giggled a lot. The scene was so funny, that I could barely hold still long enough to take a few pictures. This was a fun and relaxing break from the very serious labor we were conducting during the rest of the trip. Anyone desiring to blackmail Elder Whipp may purchase copies of those pictures at a “fair” price.

We visited Providence Primitive Baptist Church and spoke on Sunday Morning and Night. We also visited Beauty for Ashes and witnessed the progress of the newly completed facilities. It was a joy once again to see the children of Beauty for Ashes and to hear them sing songs of praise to God. Their new facilities are great and they are surrounded by a caring and capable staff. The farming operation had expanded since the January visit and is very productive and has the prospects of providing most of their food as well as extra cash crops to keep the workers employed so that Beauty for Ashes may be somewhat financially self-sustaining. I spoke to Providence Church on Sunday Night about the scriptural examples of having multiple elders serve them. They will be served by 3 capable pastors once Elder Harter leaves. I admonished them from the scriptures and used many personal experiences that I have had while serving as a pastor of a church with two other pastors. (Elder Gene Thomas and Elder Leon Etheredge) I was also blessed to spend time with the 3 pastors and answer questions regarding my experiences and several biblical principles that I feel are very applicable to their situation.

On the return leg of our trip we traveled back to Luzon and preached in the Manila area. There we had a meeting with over 100 ministers of mostly Charismatic backgrounds. This is a multi-denominational group of ministers that meets monthly, and we had been granted the opportunity to speak at one of their monthly meetings. We presented the doctrines of grace and gave out many books (mostly books authored by Elder Michael Gowens) and some of the standard TULIP flyers that Eld. Harter has distributed here and in the US for many years. We met for several hours and the doctrines appeared to be well received by many. After about two hours of preaching on the phases of Salvation by Elder Harter, each of us made a presentation of one of the doctrines of grace. We were each allowed to choose the topic we would present. I chose to speak on the Preservation of the Saints and enjoyed discussing this doctrine with those who, as a group, often do not believe that our salvation is eternally sure. It is a great blessing and assurance to know that our salvation is just as sure as our Savior and rests on His finished work and strength to maintain the everlasting covenant with His Father. This was a very exciting meeting for all of us and the local Primitive Baptist Ministers in the Manila area who also attended. Two of the Filipino ministers presented two of the discourses. We heard many say, “Amen” on several occasions. At the conclusion of the presentation though, as expected, we did receive some rebuttals and questions regarding the points we taught. One member of this group, who is a Reformed Calvinist, was very excited to have these doctrines presented, although he disagreed with a couple of our teachings (as we did with his). I think Elder Harter gave out about 150 copies of the various books and pamphlets he brought and seemed very excited about the prospects from this meeting. We concluded the session with a short question and answer session followed by photographs with the group.

Overall, this was a very blessed trip. The time was filled with joyous services and instructions in the word of God. Many friendships were renewed and familiar faces met again. More time was spent in the remote areas where we met with local congregations and actually saw the living conditions and beautiful landscapes of the countryside. Though many Filipinos are poor in this world’s goods, I have found them to be rich in the Spiritual blessings of God. In comparison, many of our rich American brethren are growing colder to their Spiritual needs and neglecting the blessed service of God. The concept of giving to those in need is a scriptural one and there are many blessings to be experienced when we are obedient to this command. Many have been blessed to participate in this service and the recipients have been blessed by your gifts. Yet the ones I fear that are in the greatest need are those in America who are rich in this worlds goods and poor in Spiritual things. It is easy to see one’s natural poverty, but Satan attempts to deceive us into believing we have no spiritual needs. Oftentimes, I find myself in the condition of a Laodicean – God forgive and God help! By traveling to the Philippines, I have once again been given a great gift that I hope will be used of God to overcome some of my Spiritual poverty. Let us remember that God has a poor and afflicted people all over this world. Many of His children in the Philippines are a meek and loving people who are thankful to be associated with the Primitive Baptists. Let us be equally thankful to be associated with such loving, devoted, and faithful brethren as these precious Children of God are. Let us remember to reach out to those around us and let our lights shine to the glory of God. Let us also remember to encourage, help and support those of like precious faith wherever they are in this world. It is easy to find fault and criticize others and become like the Pharisees. But, I’d rather have the fellowship that Christ showed the sinners, than the rebuke He gave the Pharisees. I will cherish my precious memories among God’s children and my brethren in Christ, both here and abroad.

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Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

During the month of December 2007, we were blessed among our churches to have the visitation of two fine young ministers; Elder Shannon Whipp from Radnor Church in Nashville, Tennessee and Elder Darrel Chambers from Union Church in Woodville, Alabama. We have received a written experience from both these men. We will give first the article written by Brother Whipp and next week we will share the article of Elder Darrel Chambers.

G.H.

Radnor Primitive Baptist Church
503 Brewer Dr.
Nashville Tn. 37211

For years I had been entertaining a trip to the Philippines. I had been formally invited by the late Elder James Pruitt about 5 years ago, but did not feel the liberty to go until recently. Even then I wondered if my desire to go was for the sake of the adventure, or was it indeed out of a desire to be a blessing to the Filipino people. For years I have read the journals of different brethren and sisters who have gone over to this little country. I have tried to digest all that they had written, tried to imagine exactly what they described. Words failed each of them to describe what it is really like over in this country. I can assure you up front that I will do far worse in describing what it is like over there for our brethren and sisters in Christ.

I was deeply humiliated by the extreme poverty of these people. Some of our brethren barely have roofs over their heads. The conveniences we have here in the States is but a dream for most of the Filipinos. Running water in our homes, air conditioning, decent lighting, etc. are just some of the things that are foreign to the Filipino.

Medical care is something else that is a luxury here. Here if we have a medical crisis we go to the hospital get treatment and work out the financials later. In the Philippines you have to make financial arrangements before treatment. Elder Noli Hechnova and his wife in Bacolod city just had a car accident and his wife suffered broken bones that needed surgery to repair. They would not do the surgery before he was able to make a substantial down payment. Elder Rolli Nemenio has bleeding hemorrhoids, which has persisted for sometime now making him anemic. He and his family are very poor and have not been able to raise the 400 dollars needed to do the surgery. Just 400 dollars folk. Numerous other stories could be told I am sure.
But what about the churches? Every place we went to there was a meeting house. In every place the buildings were open to try to keep the occupants comfortable. For someone who is used to air conditioning it is hard to be comfortable when the humidity is above eighty percent and the temperature is in the mid to upper eighties. I don’t remember the last time I sweat as much as I did in the middle of a church service. It was hot!! This arrangement is usual for the Filipino and what they are accustomed to. It makes me ashamed of myself that I am not more thankful for what we have here in America. In the evenings in some places during the worship services not only did you have to contend with the heat but also the mosquitos. I think I was so sweaty that they did not feel like contending with all the salt to have a drink. Thank you Lord for the conveniences we have here in America.

Worship Services

The worship services were not much different in the Philippines than in America. The song service was very short in most places. Usually about two songs and that was it. The congregation in every place had numerous children. In one place an Elder and his wife teach kindergarten school and have the same children in church services as well. In some cases the children are in the service without the parents. Either way I am impressed that there were so many children. In many churches the children outnumbered the adults. Praise the Lord!! Isn’t that the way it should be? The churches have a great deal of potential here.

Their Love for the Truth

The sacrifice that some of the preachers have made for the truth is extraordinary. In some cases men like Elder Noli and Elder Raul and numerous others have left denominations that provided them with salaries, cars, schools for their children, and comfortable living quarters to join the Primitive Baptists. They knew (those that we met anyway) that the Primitive Baptists could not and would not provide them with all these things. So when they joined us they did so because of the truth of grace. They saw the treasure in the field and bought the field to have the treasure. Men like Elder Noli now live in a shack with dirt floors and miserable conditions. Praise the Lord for their sacrifice and love for the truth. May we in America love it this much!! Amen.

Evangelism in the Philippines

Many of these brethren are very evangelistic. Again they make me very ashamed of myself for not being what I ought to be in this regard. Men like Bro Raul, for instance, in Bacolod City, Negros, walks through the community knocking on doors, and to as many as will let him, shares with them the gospel of grace. He has been able to start little Bible Study groups in the homes of some of these people and has now a group that is wanting to purchase a building to worship in. They have a building picked out that the owner will sell to them for 80,000 pisos (about 2000 dollars). Once they are able to raise the money they will be able to purchase this building for a meeting place. God bless Bro Raul’s zeal for the spread of the gospel. (If you have a desire to help Bro Raul and this little group to purchase this building for a place to worship send your donations to White Unto Harvest earmarked Bro Raul’s Church.)
Elder Vic De Guzman was able to arrange a meeting with about a 100- 150 ministers, in which we were able to present to them the doctrine of grace. Already there are some who were in attendance at this meeting who are desiring to join the Primitive Baptists. Another meeting is being planned near the town of Molave in Mindinao with some Seventh Day Adventists who want to hear the Doctrine of Grace. Meetings like this are possible because many of the Filipinos are more open minded than the Americans. Many are interested just for the sake of understanding what you believe. In every way I rejoice that there is the opportunity to preach a successful Savior.

We have already mentioned the couple, who teach kindergarten, who to their students and many of their family members have been able to share the gospel with as well. One day perhaps they will be able to constitute a church in this community. Another brother we met each weekday morning meets with local officers of a little town and is able to share with them the gospel. Elder Noli is meeting every morning in Bacolod City with a group of taxi cab drivers for a bible study and devotional. God bless the Filipino in his zeal for thy gospel, and Lord bless your word to have free course and be glorified among the Filipino people. Amen.

Beauty for Ashes

Touring the compound of Beauty for Ashes was impressive. The Harters with all the "workers" here have a done a good job trying to provide a good home for the orphaned children under their care. They are doing everything they can to make this facility as self sufficient as possible. They have a little farm in which several different food crops are raised, and they are also raising chickens and pigs, and hope to raise a type of catfish sometime in the future. They have not been able to build the clinic to treat malnourished children yet, because they do not have the money. Perhaps the Lord will be pleased to provide the funds needed to build the facilities needed to continue this work. Please pray to that end. (The reader can help by sending donations earmarked Beauty for Ashes.)

We were able to meet many of the children who have been saved from severe malnutrition. Some of them will live with the scars from this dreadful circumstance. I met twin girls that are four or five years old that have a debilitating disease that causes an increasing deformity in their limbs. The doctors hold no hope for them. They believe that the twins will live maybe up to two years longer. Beauty for Ashes is doing the best they can to provide them with as much care and comfort as they possibly can. The twins sang a couple of songs for us while we were there with them. We had to get close to them to hear them, and they sang beautifully. Lord have mercy on these two and their care givers.

Not only does Beauty for Ashes provide these orphaned children a comfortable place for them to live, food and clothing, but they also educate them. They are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and other courses. They use the church building during the week to provide them this education. Hopefully they will also be able to attend college when they graduate from school and be able to contribute in someway to their community. These children are also brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Lord bless them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Another thing that struck me here was the love that the care givers have for these children. The children know they are loved and love their care givers. They refer to Sis Betty Jo as Ma Betty. When we arrived with her at the compound they flocked around her. They love her immensely and she loves them. God continue to bless these children with people in their lives like Ma Betty to love them and care for them in the years to come. Lord Bless us to have this kind of merciful heart for thy people. Amen.

Final Thoughts

I have already been asked by some of my brethren would I go back to the Philippines. Still, it is too early to tell. I am not sure of how much benefit I would be to my brethren over there. I certainly have a desire to help them any way that I can. Now, more than ever I want to financially support the work over there. Seeing the poverty, seeing the miserable conditions my brethren in Christ live in from day to day makes me want to do more. I am not able to do like I once did, because my family is larger now. But I will continue to support this work monthly with God’s help. I will try to pray for my brethren over there that their conditions will greatly improve. This attitude I believe is biblical if I understand 2 Corinthians chapter 8 correctly.

The Macedonian brethren though they did not have much themselves sent financial support to their poor famine afflicted brethren in Judea. Will we in America, who are so much more prosperous than our poor brethren in the Philippines, India, Africa, and Mexico do more to help alleviate their affliction? The Lord bless us to abound in love to our poor brethren more and more, in
Jesus name. Amen.

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