APRIL 14 - APRIL 16, 2017
My previous visit to the Philippines was in April 2013. I did not travel after a visit to Vellore, India in 2014. In the past three years, there have been many trials and hindrances against my ministry. The assembly was assailed by Satan, and like in the days of Job, there were accusations and frustrations. From many churches in the world, there were many calls and cries for help — spiritually, physically and financially. All these needs were a heavy burden, and with the bad haze that drifted in from Indonesia in October 2015, it took a toll on my health. I was frustrated and under emotional stress. My throat would not stop hacking for many months. I was diagnosed with reflux. My throat had become bad. The hacking coughs and stress made me mentally and physically tired, weak, and rashes and itch broke up on my arms. Good sleep became a luxury.
I had invitations to some nations of Africa, India, Pakistan, Middle East and the Philippines, but I was not up to it. Pastor Jonathan Togonon invited me to speak in the Summer Fellowship, I decided to go since Manila was just a little over 3 hours away by air. (Bro Andrew Phiri of Zambia was able to visit Southern Philippines on the invitation of Pastor Orsel Dumanon in the City of Butuan. As of this report, he is still in the Philippines.)
My association with the Philippine believers goes back to March 1983 when I was invited by an elderly pastor in Gingoog City. Since then, the over-all relationship with the believers in many different assemblies on the different islands have been pleasant and wonderful.
Of course, like in every nation, there were also conflicts and accusations among believers and preachers, brought about by a misunderstanding of spoken words, assumption, or even utter falsehood. Then there were also strange doctrines being spread among the people.
This Summer Fellowship was held in Alabang. Those in other assemblies who could come, came. There were two services a day. The weather was hot but not overly hot to drench a preacher. In my first two administrations of the Word, I dealt with the topic, "Words: Are You Seeing or Are You Looking?" Many Christians/Believers are merely looking at the words of Scriptures or the words of a book, and thus, lose sight of the Truth. In a sense, they could not see the forest for the trees. My third message was, "To Rule and To Reign", centered on how one should rule one's own life before one could reign with Christ. Apostle Paul admonished the saints to be transformed by the renewing of the mind; yet there are believers whose minds are filled with unhealthy thoughts, who will simply let loose their words, not considering the words they utter. They are just like a loose cannon.
The world has become sicker. So, let us saints be watchful and be in supplication lest we enter into the trickery of the Evil One.
That the Lord God will keep His Philippine saints in the continually unfolding Light of His Word, in the largely predominant Catholic nation, is my prayer.
Dated: 20 April, 2017.