May 2001 : The Philippines
Greetings to you in the matchless name of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, Daniel Caudell and I traveled to Mindanao, Philippines. Pastor Rudy Dapalu and his wife Vergie hosted us. This is a quality couple who has given themselves and what they have to see the gospel go forth to the people of the region. Pastor Rudy is a second-generation man of God. His father Rev. Ralph Dalapu started the work here in BuenaVista in 1967. Pastor Ralph was killed in 1997, at which time Rudy stepped in and up to his destiny. Pastor Rudy has increased the work and is now overseer of 24 churches. These are primarily independent Assemblies of God congregations. Our connection came as a result of the ministry of the move of God that began in the Norwich Worship Center in 1997. The moment Rudy and I met there was a divine knitting of our hearts together. Our ministry time in Mindanao began with a Jeepney (a fabricated, wonderfully decorated van-bus) ride with about 22 people packed together. We bounced along a pretty bad road for 5 hours. As it happened, the enemy was trying to prevent our going. The Jeepney broke down. I was so blessed. As we waited for the parts to the drive shaft that broke to arrive the brothers and sisters began to sing and worship and just have fun together. They were encouraged because they were concerned that Daniel and I coming from the USA would be upset. Heck, we just joined in and were blessed right along with them. We arrived at Los Arcos just in time to change clothes and begin the evening meeting. We were the featured speakers for the 11th annual convention of the Mindanao General Council of Ministers of Assemblies of God, Inc. The young people led the Worship and Daniel joined in. It was incredible. We ministered by teaching and preaching the Word five times a day for three days. The people just seemed as if they could not get enough. The power of God came and moved mightily on the assembled people. We saw 12 people come to Jesus and over 50 people healed. The presence of God was sensed, and .It was the simple proclamation of the Word of Truth with power that brought about the transformation in the lives of the pastors and leaders. From Los Arcos we traveled to the municipality of San Miguel, a very rural region of Mindanao. This time it was a smaller Jeepney, less people, bless God but a 7-hour drive over very bad roads. We were there to be among the Tribal People of Manabo. In this remote area we took part in the making of history. Although Pastor Rudy has been working with some of the people in Tribal Christian Ministry, we were the very first white missionaries ever to come and be among them. It was also the first time that in this area all the 12 divisions of the tribe had come together. We learned later that the reason they all gathered was because we were there. Dan and I watched as they performed a tribal dance and a war dance, which was a very special event as many of the locals had not seen these dances before. We preached the Good News; the presence of the Lord was evident, and 73 out of the 400 or so present responded and received Jesus. Eight of the 12 Datu (Tribal Chieftains) were some of the first to step out of the crowd and come. We also were asked to lay hands on and anoint with oil the Mayor, Vice-mayor and a Councilman of the municipality. What an honor that by His grace we were there as His Ambassadors. These firsts continue to reaffirm the apostolic pioneering anointing that the Lord has placed upon ELIJAH MINISTIRES. Pastor Rudy and I met with Pastor Benedicto D. Intad and other tribal church leaders. They are seeking to receive training under the teaching of newly formed Elijah School of Ministry International. New ministers will be trained among the Tribal people to minister the Good News to their people. They will also be trained to reach out to the unreached in the mountains. There is much work to do among the tribes. We returned to pastor Rudys church located in Buena Vista after each excursion into the out lying areas. There is such excitement when we give testimony of the works of the Lord to the people of the church. We took a day trip that turned into an overnighter to the Barangay (village) of Delmonte. We spent the time in fellowship with the pastor and his family encouraging them and then we stayed for the evening meeting; WOW! The power of God fell upon us. People were on the floor like a bunch of scatter rugs. There were sounds of crying, laughing and an occasional whoop or two. We were in another remote area outside of Madrid, called Sayuron. We were to be there for one night and then have a morning meeting and leave the next day. This is the place that you need to take a Jeepney to Madrid and then ride three on a motorcycle into the mountains. The first night Dan and I preached. The people were blessed, as we ministered. The next day the pastor said we needed stay over for one more night meeting. We taught twice the next day and then at night I preached on the mercy of God. The church was packed out with over 200 people and they were standing and sitting on the outside. Five people received Jesus, I had words of knowledge for people to be healed; the Lord healed them. Then after the ministry time I just began to sing His Mercy is falling and the worship team took it up from there. For the next three hours it was uninhibited abandoned worship. I blew my shofar and two-thirds of the people present were knocked to the floor. The pastor said they had never experienced getting so lost in the presence of God. One young teenage girl that only knew a few words in English began to speak fluent English while she was in the Spirit. There is a great desire from the people that we return. The next time we come we are to go more into the mountains where there are some tribal people who have never heard the gospel. We are also to go to some of the 7,000 plus outer smaller islands of the Philippines. YEAH LORD!!