Myrna D. - Philippines Convention News - April 1, 2013

Lal-lo is the convention furthest north, located maybe 25 miles from the ocean along the Caugayan River (which is the largest in the Philippines). We crossed over this river quite a few times on our way here in the van.  We could see from our vantage point the ladies washing their clothes in the river and then laid to dry on the rocks or bushes - colorful sight.  It was too far away for any photo, and difficult as we were travelling.  There are two crops that dot the landscape, field corn and rice fields.  It is the time for harvest so there was rice drying along the road in many places, or over 100# bags filled, finished drying and ready for the mill.  They say the price is down this season.

So, I’ve been close to some water buffalo as I’ve stayed in the homes of rice farmers.  We also passed by country stands of watermelon vendors.  Watermelons, mangos, and bananas (nothing like we have at home) are commonly served at the meals. Some of the new fruits are star apples (nothing like an apple), soursop (not sure of the spelling), and chicos. Convention is held in a home where the man harvests coconuts, so there is a nice scent of ripe coconut in the air.
               
The gospel is new to these parts.  There was a lady who was raised in a professing home near Cavite, and married outside and moved with her husband to where his people were from, and after several years with no fellowship, asked the workers to come.  We stayed with this couple last night (who are not grandparents). There were about 80 at the convention, and maybe 1/3 was children.  They have 2 convention meetings a day both here and at the coming convention this week.  They have had evening meetings before, but due to rebel activity in these parts and it wasn’t safe for the people to be out waiting for public transportation after dark; they have just the two.
               
The work of God in these lives is the very same and that makes me feel right at home. Hearing the foreign chatter does not make me feel right at home, but the workers I’ve had with me have been good to interpret when it is necessary.  The other day I asked the lady of the home where the bathroom was and was taken to the place to take a bucket shower (so I went and asked one of the sisters where it was). I don’t know if it is true for all parts of the Philippine Islands but I’ve noticed that all the homes have an outside kitchen.  One lady said that they choose to cook with wood outside because wood is plentiful and it saves on electricity. They do have a hot plate and microwave in the inside counters in the house. The outside kitchen is called “the dirty kitchen.”
               
Yes it has been hot, but not so much that it has been miserable for me.  It has ranged from 80-92 degrees since Guam, and it’s been about the same.  They keep lots of fans going. Reminds me of Olympia preps and convention when we get the heat spell.

Since John Mastin and Larry Taylor are from Washington, their names are mentioned when they ask what state I am from.

Yesterday we heard about the true shepherd. He will lead to pastures that are good for us. He counts the times we have followed Him, not every time we have fallen. The shepherd knows what we need, but He won’t give it until we ask. He knows our hearts and He knows if we feel our need or not.

Another spoke on the two branches in John 15. Those that are dead with no life are cut off, and those that are connected and alive that are purged, that they will bear more fruit.

I’ve moved on a couple hours different in time zone, so today when I awoke and began my day (5:30) it would have been Sunday afternoon about 1:30, and you would have all been thinking of the gospel meetings!   

Thinking of each of you in your place, 
Myrna

PS: there have been a few mosquitoes.  They say it isn’t the season, so I’m glad about that.