Email - Rosales, Philippines - Monday, April 10, 2017

Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 5:27 pm

Subject: #5 Rosales


We've just finished a wonderful convention at Rosales. Even hard benches, suffocating heat and humidity (100° with about 70% humidity on Sunday) in no way stifled the Holy Spirit and living water from lifting us above the temporary discomforts of this life and refreshing us by filling our souls to overflowing with what only God can give. We were about 350 on Saturday and 400+ on Sunday. Rosales is the only one of the original Philippine conventions still continuing in the same location. It's been there over 60 years.


The meeting tent


Uncle Rogelio stirs the stew. The three rice pans are back by the woodpile.

You get your plate handed to you all served up. Less than 15 minutes for the whole line to get served on Sunday.


We heard about our place in the body of Christ. There are many places in the body and all are necessary. There was a man who was feeling like he did not have a place because he is not a worker. His mental illness makes him think bad thoughts and see what is not there, but does okay on his medication. The friends in his meeting understand and love him and don't mind when he speaks in the meeting about credit cards, for example. He told a sister worker about his feeling. She told him that maybe the workers are like the skin; lots of people know us and we're seen all the time. Then she asked him, "Do you have a liver?" "Yes." "How do you know? You know because it's working and you are not sick."  Lots of parts in the natural body, we don't see or think about. Likewise, we don't know another's place or the gifts God has given them. A sister who lost her hair from chemotherapy said she didn't realize how important eyelashes are! She was getting things in her eyes all the time because she had no eyelashes. When we get something in our eye, it's like the whole body stops - we can't think of anything else but removing it. When we're out of our place is when the body of Christ doesn't work as it should. An eyelash falling into the eye is a problem. It's God who has given each their place, I Corinthians 12:18, "The best gifts" (verse 31) are divine love, to love each member. The way to fill our place better is to love more and God can help us to learn how.


It's special for Yvonne Stephens to be here with her aunt Nancy Layman. Nancy has labored here for 40+ years, but now at 78 must return to the US to stay because of macular degeneration. It's not easy. Yvonne's mom and her and Nancy's niece - will be here this week for Cavite convention and then accompany Nancy on the flight home.


Two of the brother workers whose willingness for their place in the work inspires us. Erwin does not have the use of one leg because of childhood polio and walks with a sturdy steel crutch. He spoke about our joy being in our hope. He said his joy is in the hope that in eternity, he will no longer need his crutch. He has a great sense of humor and keeps us all laughing.


Mac is just starting again in the work after a few years out (because of his degenerative disc disease). In the intervening years, he had a good nursing job abroad and earned well. He spoke about the holes we can have in our heart. Babies are born with a hole in their heart that must close or will lead to death. God wants us to give Him our heart. He said in those years he was working, he felt like he had a hole in his heart. He thought money could fill the hole, but he kept asking himself, "Am I happy?" Now he is in the work again and knows that only the will of God can fill the hole in our hearts. He said, "I feel like David; my cup runneth over." And his happiness shows.


It's amazing how many Filipinos work abroad. I've started a list of the places where I've heard people's family members live and work. Here it is: Singapore, Canada, Abu Dabi, Saudi Arabia, USA, Bahrain, Italy, Australia, England, UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ireland, Spain, France, Korea, Hong Kong. None that I've heard of work in Africa, but they say they are there. I wonder if there's a country in the world with no Filipinos.


I got out to the Cavite grounds this afternoon. Here's the speaking list.