Email - Ozamis, Mindanao, Philippines - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 2:38 AM

Subject: Week #4 Ozamis, Mindanao, Philippines

 

My dear friends,

One of the fascinating prep jobs here is cleaning/winnowing rice. At home, this is usually women's work, but here, men skillfully tossed rice in the air with woven bamboo trays to remove any chaff, then took out rocks with their fingers. They say that rice is such a part of life that everyone knows how to do it.

 

For the first time, we saw pig being roasted as some friends did a big one right behind the convention house. The pig was skewered on a bamboo pole and one man turned it (rather rolled it back and forth) for 3 hours! Another swabbed it occasionally to spread the melting fat and produce the crispy golden skin that they all love.

 

Impressions at Ozamis! 12 little children in the front row captured our attention and our hearts. In the first meeting, one little boy didn't have a hymnbook, so Mila, a sister who had been in his field, went over to give him her book. He held it open but was singing by heart (with all of his heart)! Too small to even read! One little girl was nodding to sleep - I thought she might fall off the bench but her mom sitting behind her reached over with her hand to hold her head. In the last meeting, Jon commended them and their parents for their good behavior and thanked parents for bringing their babies. "They can't thank you yet, so we will."


Saturday, the neighbor's cow was not far behind the platform and let out a loud mooo from time to time.


Sunday morning, as we were all waiting before the meeting, a hen came in and started scratching and pecking right by the microphone stand. Then she sat down right there to one side!! Eventually, she got up and left.

 

Since all the workers must leave the grounds at 5:30 am on Monday to fly to Manila, everything must be put away on Sunday. With many hands and good organization, it was done efficiently! Some nearby friends have a catering business and they take pleasure in serving the evening meal. Everything was brought in, even tables and chairs, all set up elegantly as if for a wedding! Sure made things easy for the convention cooks!! While waiting for supper, some played guitars and sang. Renante played the National anthem, a very peppy melody with big jumps in the notes and "I've a Friend" on a leaf!  It was incredible!

 

In the last meeting, Jon spoke about servants, starting with II Kings 5. The little maid was the first servant mentioned. She wasn't resentful, but wanted to help. Verse 6, the king wrote a letter of recommendation for "Naaman my servant." Verse 8 refers to Elisha, a servant of God. Verse 10, Elisha sent a messenger (a servant) and then it tells about Naaman's servants. Finally, after Naaman took the advice of his servants, he referred to himself as a servant 5 times. God said, "Moses my servant is dead" who died at age 120 after being the leader of that huge multitude.


Peter started his first epistle with, "Peter, an apostle of Christ." Later and older, he started the second one, "Peter, a servant and apostle..." Jesus didn't wash the feet of His disciples because they needed it, but because of who He was.


In I Samuel 9, it was the unnamed servant who knew the prophet (Samuel) was in Zuph (though he'd just arrived there) and the servant had something to give the prophet. Because of all that, Saul arrived where God wanted him. Humanly, the older one is more likely to be served and has the advantage, but our goal is to be a servant and that gives us the advantage in God's family so we can be useful.


Your grateful sister,

Barbara