MARCH 30 - APRIL 4, 2018
In the past several years, Singapore had been "invaded" by haze from Indonesia, haze caused by irresponsible burning of vegetation for farmlands. I was one of many who suffered from the "invasion". Microscopic particles irritated my sinuses and throat. As a preacher and missionary to several Third World countries, where dust, motor vehicle exhaust and burnt ashes are abound, it took a toll on my throat. And one day, last year, I found my throat very irritated. Phlegm would frequently build up and I had to spit it out. The phlegm had spots of black. At night, sleep eluded me. The doctor did not know what the blackish stuff in the phlegm was. Blood test was done and chest x-ray taken. Nothing out of the ordinary was detected. I had no fever, no infection. After a few months, I decided to see a Chinese physician, who suspected that the blackish stuff might be the microscopic particles from the haze, dust, motor vehicle exhaust and burnt ashes that got embedded in the throat. A week of herbal medication was prescribed, but nothing happened. So, I did some research and bought myself an amount of Cordyceps and Linzhi, and drank plenty of water and sea salt to expel the blackish stuff; by and by the blackish stuff in the phlegm became lesser and lesser. After two weeks, my throat was cleared and the phlegm subsided.
I thank the Lord for the trial, though unpleasant it had been. I thank Him for keeping my health for the last 26 years or more; I had never been sick or had any infection. All I had was the irritation to my throat after every session of preaching, especially in the mission field.
I had not been to Butuan City for 5 years, since the last visit in 2013; I decided to pay a visit.
My son, Zoel, came along. We flew on a budget airline to Manila with a connection to Butuan. It was a Good Friday flight. The flight was full with a total flight time of about 5 hours, but it took us a total of 15 hours from home to the hotel. Bro David Kwan of Zamboanga flew to Manila to connect with us on the same flight to Butuan. At the Butuan airport, Bro Orsel Dumanon and his wife, Sis Luz and a brother, greeted us and took us to the hotel.
The following two days, Saturday and Sunday, I taught on "My Father's House". During this period, I renewed acquaintance with the believers and ministers. I noticed that several were affected by physical health issues. Many were less than 60 years of age. Lack of exercises, a love for fast food, sweet drinks and sweet desserts are the general culprits. There was a general lack of drinking enough water, and the use of sea salt. Instead Table Salt or Iodized Salt was used. I was told by some, that Iodized Salt was promoted for thyroid health.
On Sunday evening, my throat was slightly sore after 6 hours of ministering the Word. I drank water, took some sea salt and also drank some pineapple juice. I did not want a hoarse throat when I get into Manila the next day. I thanked the Lord the next morning that the soreness in my throat was gone.
Come Monday morning, we were driven to the airport for our 8.30am flight to Manila. Bro Orsel joined the three of us. Zoel had to connect his flight home as job called; he had to work the following day.
Bros. Bonifacio Tamparong and Rafael Dumanon received us at the airport. We had a little lunch before we bade Zoel bon voyage and headed to our hotel in Makati, which was a short distance from the church that the two Filipino brothers oversee.
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After an afternoon nap, I ministered in the evening and also the following morning and afternoon, on the topic of "War: Within and Without", on Spiritual Warfare in the Church of our Lord, and the conflicts that are out in the world.
I came to understand that Bro Raphael Dumanon had a fallout with his former pastor, who was Branhamic in spirit. Bro Bonifacio (nicknamed Bonbon) and his wife left their former church, in Dasmarinas, Cavite, to fellowship with this local church in Makati. Bro Bonbon and his wife had a conflict with their former pastor. The pastor not only had strange doctrines and claims but he also made a false accusation against him and the sister that he was courting.
All my years of associating with the many ministers, it was Bro Bonbon who took the initiative to translate my book: LOGOS: The Beginning of the Creation of God into Tagalog; nothing came of several ministers during the past 30 years who said that they would do it. The book was recently printed, and those who could not fully understand English appreciated the book. Bro Bonbon is now translating Interpreting Sacred Scripture.
After dinner on the last day, I had a little fellowship with a few ministers in the hotel room. We talked about the ministry and the problems we faced with insincere preachers, who manipulated their followers in whatever ways possible to achieve their agenda. I have written a book on the subject entitled, If You Will Be Sincere.
We also talked about the confusion in the Philippines and the separation of the churches; churches which I had played a big role in bringing together, since I first came to the Philippines in 1983. Somehow, I was pointed out as the one who caused the recent separation in the last few years. Who said that and how it was said, whether or not it was a rumor, someone had allowed the enemy into his/her life. It got around and came to my ears nearly two years ago. My ministry is to help restore the apostolic foundation for churches that are broken and tossed about; why would I destroy what I built?
I have been accused of many things since the beginning of my ministry in 1971. Through insincere and false brethren, the devil have been knocking me around, giving me hard times; still I stand, for the Lord is faithful to His Word for His righteous ones.
Bro David and I got up the next morning and had breakfast. My flight was at 1.30pm, so I checked out at 10am. The brothers and Sis Sarah came to bring me to the airport. We had fellowship over lunch there before I headed to the boarding gate for the flight home.
There was an event that, if not for the grace of God, would have caused me serious injury. Bro David and I were waiting at the lobby for the brothers to picked us up for the first evening service at Bro Bonbon's. While waiting, we decided to take the escalator to see what was up on the 3rd Floor. There was no 2nd floor level in that sector of the hotel. So, up we went and saw that there were several shops, nothing of interest to us. There was another area further away, but we decided just to go back down. We did. While we waited for the brothers to come, about 2-3 minutes later, there was a loud cracking, banging sound that caused everyone in the lobby to turn their heads toward that direction. I saw a teenage boy flying downwards from the escalator, struggling to keep his balance but he managed to land on his feet. He bent over to pick up his bag, kind of shaken and embarrassed. Some staff came to investigate. I was a few feet away from the down escalator, so I took a closer look. The escalator actually came to an abrupt stop because a screw was caught in between two of the escalator steps as they moved towards the floor plate at ground level. The force of the moving parts crack the steps where the screw was lodged. That caused the escalator to jam up, and stop abruptly throwing the teenager forward down the steps. I thought to myself, Bro David and I might have been on the escalator at that moment of time, had we chosen to walk around the 3rd Floor. We could have been thrown forward down the escalator and injuring ourselves. Praise the Lord! He is good.
Dated: 9 April, 2018.