I’m sitting here inside a cramped A330 bound for Manila. People at check-in told me a while ago that there are 450 booked for this 436-seater flight. Boarding has taken all of 45 minutes. Now the captain announces that we have to wait inside the plane for another hour due to air traffic in Manila! In spite of the long wait, the fasten seatbelt sign is on because the aircraft is loading with extra fuel due to the delay.
The ADHD in me is making me impatient. But the frustration of waiting is nothing compared to the sense of accomplishment that I carry as I and my wife return to Manila after a 10-day trip for ministry here in Southern Mindanao. I believe God answered prayer!
We had three objectives before we left. The first was to proclaim God’s word to the children of parent-beneficiaries of the 4P Poverty Alleviation Program of the government in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. The Lord gave us 150 children in a three-day journey on the Ten Commandments. The children were well-behaved and most eager to learn. Majority of them I believe have never heard the word of God taught this way.
We were careful not to make them good boys and girls in teaching them God’s law, but rather to show them that they are sinners who need Christ and His righteousness to make them acceptable to God. I was told that there would have been more children had the DVBS not been held during Holy Week.
Secondly, we were able to share some of our knowledge and experience to about 50 pastors who attended the day-long pastors conference that our sponsors organized in Tagum City. I am amazed at how many are open to reform. Although there were a few pentecostals in the group who had issues with cessationism, the atmosphere was one of respect and understanding.
The theme was the Doctrine of the Word. I gave three messages on the Necessity, Inspiration and Inscripturation, and Sufficiency of the Scriptures while my partner Pas. Mike gave a message on its Authority. I believe the Lord helped us to preach and to answer questions in the open forum after every message.
Thirdly, I had sought to strengthen our three frontliners in pioneering mission work in Tagum, Davao and Digos cities. I believe they were encouraged by my preaching in their places and at a day-long retreat that the Davao and Digos groups organized in a beach resort in Toril, on the outskirts of Davao City. I also conducted pastoral oversight meetings with them and their wives.
I am also happy that my comrades were used of God to preach in various situations. Brother Mario preached last Sunday in Digos and took a Bible Study in Tagum. Brother Clyde was invited to preach at the 4:00 am Dawn Watch of a Bible church in Tagum. Pastor Mike preached at a funeral service in Tagum, then went on to General Santos City to preach at Bro. Dexter’s pioneering work and then go to Tampakan, South Cotabato for a Bible Study among the B’laan natives in the area.
I can say more but this is enough for now. It’s 3:10 pm and the captain has just announced that air traffic control in Manila has given clearance for us to depart. I have to stow this meal tray where I’m writing on.
Thank God for time enough to meditate on His goodness instead of being flustered at the long delay for the flight back home.
Glory be to Him for mission accomplished!