April 2002 – The Philippines
Gi panga mosta ko ka mong tanan sa ngalan ni Jesus, (Cebuano, a native dialect in Mindanao Philippines)
Which means: “I greet you all in the name of Jesus.”
I first want to thank all of you who were praying for me as I traveled to Mindanao, Philippines. I traveled alone this time. Even though there were incidents of unrest in some of the places, I felt very safe. Pastor Rudy Dalapu hosted me once again. He and his family are very gracious and hospitable. I am an easy keeper, due to the fact that by Gods grace I am able to drink the water they drink and eat whatever they eat and sleep wherever there is room to lay down. Because of this it has opened up many doors into remote areas for me to minister. We traveled to a very remote place called BOLO-BOLO. To get there we needed to travel by outrigger fishing boat; I use the term loosely. It is about 30 inches wide and 21 feet long and is powered by a 10-horse motor. It would not be so bad except that when we traveled it was necessary to accommodate 9 people. 9 people with a small bag each, three 100-lb. sacks of rice, two big speakers, the amplifier and two guitars. Oh, yes I forgot, enough gasoline to make the 4.5-hour trip. I am telling you that about the time you begin to think it does not get much better than this, it begins to rain. Not just a drizzle, but a downpour. This lasts for no more than 30 minutes, then the sun comes out. The humidity is so thick you can slice it with a knife. The passengers are not discouraged rather they begin to sing songs of praise. This helped pass the time and certainly refreshed me.
We arrived and were warmly welcomed. There were five or six churches that fellowship together and each year they gather for a three-day conference. I was honored to speak. The power of God came upon those meetings in ways I had not before experienced. The first night several people responded and received Jesus, and then it was like a whip cracked and they were struck down. The remaining people were very fearful. Pastor Rudy, acting as my translator, began to explain what had happened. The next day more people came and once again Gods power was evident. By the third night everyone one was involved in what the Lord was doing. A few more people received Jesus, and there were several healings. When it was time to go the pastors offered an open invitation for us to return. I was so humbled by all that took place I just began to weep.
Another very significant ministry trip was to Lapaz. Lapaz is also a remote town that is reached by bus, then by jeepney, and then by motorcycle. Its population is about 9,000. Pastor Joel is the pastor of the church that hosted us. His church is one of the 31 other churches and ministries that Pastor Rudy oversees. Oh, by the way, all these churches and ministries voted unanimously to come and be under the covering of ELIJAH MINISTRIES. Many of their pastors and leaders are being taught in Elijah School of Ministry International. Getting back, Lapaz was a target for a communist rebel take over last spring. It was put down by the establishing of a military camp manned by the Philippine Army 4th Division, 36th company. This camp is as raw as you can imagine. It is cut right out of the jungle and the living quarters are tents and bamboo huts. These men are a special unit. They are known as the Men of Valor. They are an equlivant to our U.S. Rangers. I was privileged to speak to them and their new recruits. Of the 81 new recruits present 40 prayed to receive Jesus. The companys motto is, If God be for us who can be against us. We also conducted a crusade in Lapaz, over 100 people prayed to receive Jesus, and many were healed.
As the featured speaker for the 11th Annual Convention of Mindanao General Council of Assembly of God Ministers, I was so blessed. There were more than 40 churches represented, many were independent ministries. I was told after the convention that several men and women pastors where at the point of quitting but God spoke to them in the Word and Spirit and they felt restored and renewed. At this convention the power of God was as evident as it was in the other places. The first night of the gathering as I blew the Shofar, one of the pastors said he saw two large men in white garments fly from the platform out over the crowd and then gather many more men in white garments who then surrounded the entire arena. During this convention we witnessed salvation, healings, Gods powerful presence and His joy being released. There are many good ministries that come to the Philippines. Most of the ministries go to the large cities and conduct huge crusades, thousands attend. Many people experience the presence of God to save, heal and be set free. I thank God for these ministries. ELIJAH MINISTRIES goes, being sent to the remote uttermost places that no one else chooses to go. These people will not make the trip to the large cities to attend the crusades. I believe where we are going the power of the gospel is making a difference. On this trip to the Philippines three new churches were planted.
Much more took place than there is space to report. I thank all of you so very much. For those of you who support this ministry financially I what you to know that because of your donations, monthly, Pastors, Evangelist and church leaders are being supported, trained and equipped in Africa, India, and the Philippines. Where I go, you go because you enable me to go. GOD BLESS YOU VERY BIG!