. This past weekend we really needed the body of Christ standing behind us in prayer. Sadly, many here keep repeating the same mistakes because satan is making ways to keep Jesus hidden from them. Most Filipinos are blinded by the religious organizations' tolerance and even promotion of various forms of idolatry, such as practice of holy week rituals that have twisted Biblical basis to put aside the true meaning of Jesus Christ sacrifice in Calvary. Instead of coming to know God, many turn further away from Jesus with the popular belief that God is dead starting at 2PM on "good Friday" and remain dead on "black Saturday". Those who try hard religiously to reach out to God think that stepping inside "holy" buildings, performing communion, self-inflicted suffering through actual beatings and crucifixion, and praying to the saints could instantly forgive their sins so that they can go on sinning - making the same mistakes. We saw proof of this blindness when religious Filipinos and tourists flooded this island for the long "holy week" holidays, not to fast, meditate and pray to God, but to party and use the excuse that since Jesus is officially "dead" on Friday and Saturday they can do whatever they want to. So, even in all the drunkenness from drugs and alcohol, and twisted parties we still know and share with others how God is alive and has already made a way to free those who are enslave in satan's snare and bring down satan's plans to capture, imprison and enslave Filipinos to sin. Jesus already died to pay for the sins of the Filipinos, from the corrupt government officials to the street beggars. We at the clinics can provide some physical healing to the consequences of sin: sexually transmitted illnesses, brain and heart strokes and other drug and alcohol-induced illnesses. But only the decision to believe in God, to repent of mistakes and turn away from mistakes, and to receive Jesus will more Filipinos live their remaining lives to the fullest.
"Holy Week": God Not Dead
During the very dark week we saw the power of Jesus and how alive our God is. We started the "holy week" with the arrival of 15 wheel chairs from freewheelchairs.org through the efforts of the fraternity brothers from Phi Kappa Mu, The Fraternity of the UP College of Medicine. God's Living Grace ministries fund helped pay for porter fees, boat transport and land transport on the island.
We gathered in our new home on Friday night, Saturday night, and all day Sunday with the clinic staff to worship, learn from each other and discuss the real meaning of Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection, and then had a communion and foot-washing service. The Holy Spirit filled our home, and every person was in tears, filled with conviction of sin, understanding of what His sacrifice meant for them, and overwhelmed with the Love of God. Several came to know Jesus for the first time, and many rededicated their lives to Him. We are in awe of the power of love of this God we serve.
We celebrated spiritual birthdays of those who just received Jesus into their lives. Two were doctoras who came to work with us short-term, and another One was our niece Alanice. Alanice is one of those who have been known to have a "third eye", a special sense of the spiritual realm. She had been seeing dark and ugly "spirits" unseen by most of us. Imagine having a life like living inside a horror movie. She has been tormented by these demons ever since she can remember. Though they could not immediately physically harm her, they still scared her. She could see what we could only feel like a cold draft of wind that would make our the hair on our skin stand. (I feel such "cold" as I write. I would like to think that this is a draft but the temperature is in the high nineties in Fahrenheit and no wind outside.) Now, Alanice has Jesus in her and the spirits have stopped tormenting her. Instead of dark spirits, she now sees God's angels. She now has Jesus who can free her from Satan's hold. She is growing in her walk with Him every day.
Speaking of Spiritual Birthdays, five years back on Resurrection Day I (Francis) declared my faith in Jesus and my decision to follow Him through water baptism. God has changed me for the best since then. I deeply desire to continue to boldly declare Jesus power wherever I am. I just thank God for the freedom we have to profess our faith.. as you read this many of our Brothers and Sisters around the world are being persecuted to the point of being killed for believing and following Jesus.
April 2011: Family Time and Outreaches
This month we had Francis parents, sister Fritzie and her husband Oliver, and nieces and nephews visit us. While the rest of the family went home we now have both of our neices, Alanice and Toni staying with us for the whole summer, and are loving seeing the beautiful things that God is doing in both their lives. Also, this month, we had missionary friends visit us. They brought with them a couple of friends, who helped us develop a template to help us organize our monthly and yearly personal and ministry budgets. They all also joined me in a hike into the Mangyan village of Sipit-Saburan where MAP nurses Paul and Yan have been ministering for a week, implementing feeding programs, teaching mothers and treating common illnesses among others. They braved eight river crossings, muddy trails, leaches, mosquito and steep terrains. In the jungle village I visited my friend mamay Birong. A few months back, Birong was in his mountain garden when heavy rains caused a landslide of mud and rocks, which fell on him. He suffered a broken hand, a broken arm and a broken leg. The village people brought him to our clinic on a makeshift hammock. At first, he was depressed when he learned his leg needed amputated. He refused to lose his leg. Paul, the MAP nurse, finally convinced him that if his leg is not amputated he will die from sever infection, so only in losing his leg will he continue to live. When we saw him he was with his wife and he looked very happy on his wheelchair. He is living his life to the full as he continues to share the hope in Jesus with his people who gather around his small hut. He looks forward to fishing the pond his grandchildren made him in his backyard. Birong is a recipient of a wheelchair from the first batch of wheelchairs delivered to Daytec Medical Clinics from freewheelchairsmissions.org by Phi Kappa Mu.
1. Primary among our prayer requests for our Mangyan outreaches are: prosthetic leg and fishing rod for Pastor Birong, a place to gather for Birong's community of believers (financial sponsors for a roof, post and benches), and Iraya dialect and Tagalog (Filipino language) Bibles for the two churches in Sipit-Saburan Mangyan village. 2. Pray for deeper friendship with our Muslim brothers and sisters, that as we assist in the birth of their babies and help them heal physically they may also build their love relationship with God through Isa. 3. In the clinics, we are looking to have another stretcher made. We are praying for two sets of intubating instruments. Pray also for our volunteers to grow into a love relationship with God. One of them support us by regularly giving a sack of rice. He now desires to donate a jeepney ambulance service for the clinics.
4.. For the community of Jesus-followers in the island to be truly united through an enjoyable and fulfilling fellowship in growing God's Kingdom. I see the workers like candles lighting up the darkness in the island and satan is trying to extinguish us one by one. Pray that we will love one another all the more and encourage each other with love in the grace of Jesus . We would like to regularly gather the local leaders together for fellowship and accountability. We do this through projects such as medical missions and through simply getting together early mornings few times a month for coffee/tea, fellowship and prayer. Pray, especially as we minister specifically to a clinically depressed servant, a pastor.
God continues to overwhelm us with His goodness and faithfulness, and we continue walking with Him. Thank you for walking with us. We love you all! Francis, Leah and Julia Soleil Daytec
Mindoro Island, Philippines