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July 2009

One of Those Reflections

It is 1:18 in the morning and I am wide awake. Everyone in the house is asleep except guess who. I open the window a little bit so I can get some fresh air. Perhaps this 70-degree Illinois breeze will lull me to sleep. But all I can think of right now is that someone somewhere is in great need for prayer and uplifting. So I say a prayer for a missionary from India who is now working in Nepal planting churches and leading the fledgling Free Methodist Church in that country. I pray for his leadership. I pray for God's protection over him. I pray for the Lord's covering and anointing so that he will be free of discouragement and press on. It is one of those nights. It is one of those nights when I need to stay awake so I can intercede for someone who is doing the Lord's work.

It is 2:11 in the morning and I am still up and about. I am tired and my whole body is aching. I can feel the effects of six weeks of traveling around giving presentations, reports and testimonies, and sleeping in different abode every week. I enjoy meeting people and receiving and giving encouragement to everyone, but the drain on this almost-50 years old body is taking its toll. I can feel it now. This three-day old stiffed neck is saying it loud and clear. But I still keep going. I continue in prayer for a young man, about 17 years old, whom I just met at last week's Rushville Family Camp. He is a foster child and has moved from one family to another too many times across Missouri and Illinois. He loves the Lord and wants to dearly serve God. In a few months, he will be adopted and will belong to a new family. I pray for God's grace to overflow in and through him. I pray that he will be a living witness of the Father's love to everyone. It is one of those times. It is one of those times when I have to ignore this fatigue so I can petition our Almighty God for someone who is seriously remembering his Creator in the days of his youth.

It is 2:46 in the morning and I am still moving around the house. I am standing by this window in the sunroom looking at the stars and some distant flickering lights that I am guessing are jet planes flying across this state of Illinois. It is pitch black outside. The stillness of the evening is overwhelming, and yet I find myself swaying to the beat of a song running inside my head. "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever. . . Sing praise, sing praise. . . Forever God is faithful, forever!" We sang this yesterday at the morning Sunday service. I was playing my guitar then joining the band of that family camp. Right now, as I gaze at the evening sky marveling at the beauty of these stars, I am overpowered by a flood of emotions of praise and thoughts of God's greatness and faithfulness. So I pray. I pray to my God and worship Him. I imagine those guitar riffs and, for every note and bending of the string, I raise up His Holy Name! It is one of those moments. It is one of those moments when I can join these stars and worship the Creator of this universe. Glory to God!

It is 3:09 in the morning and I am still in front of this notebook screen writing these reflections. I need to go back to sleep. I hope I do not wake up Sarah when I hit the sack.


On the Road Again

Armed with a Blackberry and an Aspire One, I am ready to surf the net, even while I am on the road here on Interstate 196, close to Grand Rapids, Michigan. I love technology. I can check my emails, update my Facebook, or read the news, while Sarah drives this van on our way to Manton Family Camp. I am glad that I can do this. I am able to read all the birthday greetings and heart-wrenching love-letters from my family back in the Philippines and from Avon, Illinois. Thank you so much everyone.

We are going on a turtle pace. There is some kind of road work somewhere ahead of us. People are nice. There is nothing we can do but be patient and hope no accidents happen that will make things worse. We just passed the construction site and we are back on our regular 70-mile-per-hour speed. Thank you Jesus!

The kids have been very cool about all the traveling and packing. We are so blessed. I have been so pleasantly surprise that both Carmen and Jacob are good listeners and flexible to all the moving and meeting new people at every new place. God is good!

Our time at Cowden camp had been frustrating for me. It was not because of the accommodations of the camp staff there. They were so hospitable. I witnessed the love and support of Cathy, John, Skip, and Jeff. I saw the enthusiasm for missions from Roy, Katie, Will, and Tom. Gerry and Nick’s pulpit ministry was an encouragement to me. I think what was frustrating was my presentation. It did not turn out the way I wanted it to be.

In retrospect, however, I realize now that whatever I shared at Cowden Camp is not the essential thing. What is important is that the Free Methodist members from Illinois are seeing what God is doing in Taiwan as well as in Asia. It really is a presentation of God’s work and the moving of his Holy Spirit. Whatever floundering words I used or poorly-presented stories I made, God can take these and make them beautiful for His work. To God be the glory!

It is close to supper time. The kids are asking for some real food--not all these snacks we have been munching on since we left southern Illinois. It has already been 8 hours of car ride. I do not blame them.It has been a laborious road trip in this van. We will definitely stop on Cadillac and find a Wendy's or McDonal's for dinner. I praise the Lord for these children and their joy in this missionary work we have as a family. Praise Him!


Relaxing Here in Kentucky

The whole family is here at Nicholasville, KY, staying at the Prochina's home. The Prochina's, Les and Carole, with their two daughters, Lora and Lily, are good friends of ours. Right now, Jacob and Lily are taking a nap. Carmen and Lora are playing outside in the backyard. Sarah and Carole just came back from a visit to Goodwill store for a short shopping trip. Les and I are getting ready to grill outside--good and juicy barbecue back ribs.

The last two weeks had been rough, and at times grueling. We went to Indianapolis, IN, for some meetings right after we came home to Avon, IL. A week ago, we were at the Durley Camp at Greenville, IL. The kids had a blast. I had fun, but it was very demanding because I had to prepare all our presentations. I had five Missions Bible Study Morning presentations and two evening Missions presentations. It was very encouraging. The people were very supportive. All the hard work was worth it. I sensed God move in the hearts of George, Emily, Norm, Debbie, Rod, and other new friends.

We are looking forward to more visits to the Cowden Family Camp (IL), Manton Family Camp (MI), and Rushville Family Camp (IL). Looking forward to meeting new supporters and making new friends. God is good!