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September 2022

Fulfilling Conference

God intervened in our group discussions, personal reflections, teaching sessions, and many chit chats. God was there with us. I was in a three-day event, the Mission Training Conference 2022, here in Butuan City, Philippines. Darrell Whiteman was our main speaker. I assisted in some of the sessions. There were 66 of us, and 13 were cross cultural missionaries. The theme was: “Crossing Cultures With Jesus,” and sure enough Jesus visited with us.

It was a fulfilling conference. Many testified of new revelations and deeper insights. “We will go back to the mission field full of encouragements, so much blessed with learnings and with your love.” Irene shared in one of our last meetings. “All the questions in my mind were all answered. Thank you for the messages.” Sandra testified in one of our group chats. Darrell’s presentations and stories were very engaging. “Surely God is with us,” God was there and we are grateful.

After this conference, we proceeded to another location for a one night, two days of Missionary Retreat. It was a good time of break and small group reflection. On the second day, Darrell stayed with the group while I continued to speak at a Youth Missions Conference. Again, God showed up in our midst. The time of prayer with the young people were powerful and moving. The Lord helped me in my weaknesses. I have to confess I was out of my elements speaking to millennials and the younger generations. However, God took over our sessions. I praise God for the leadership of the counselors and youth organizers. Such a humbling experience to participate in this gathering. About 150 young people came from all over the provinces of Agusan, Surigao, Davao, and Misamis. God, the Great Shepherd, led the way for us.

Thank you again for everyone who prayed for us and supported us with their gifts and donations. God is our Great Provider, and He is there for all of us.

Raising the Poor From The Dust

Today’s Lectionary Reading is from Psalm 113:1-9. These verses are challenging—hard for me to imagine that the poor around me are “seated” among the princes, the governors, the CEOs of our days. This chapter rebukes me and compels me to treat the powerless and disenfranchised in our society with dignity and compassion. So, help me God!

“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people. He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” (Psalm 113:7-9 NIV)

What is God’s challenge for you today?

Throwing A Party

Jesus said: “When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, and says to them, 'I am so happy I found the coin I lost. Let us celebrate!’” (Luke 15:9. GNB). In other words: “Let us have a party!”

Are you one of those persons who throw out a party at every little joyous event? Do you easily get excited about beautiful things happening to people around you? Are you a fun person to be with?

Our Lectionary Gospel Reading for this week is found in Luke 15:1-10. Jesus reminds us that heaven celebrates when people encounter God’s joy and “the wanderer comes home.” The parables also remind us that we need to celebrate, I mean, really organize a fiesta bonanza and declare a homecoming that rattles the very doors of heaven. Are you up for the challenge? Do you have your trumpet ready or your electric guitar set on Metal-Rock sounding jubilation? Who are you going to invite to this party?