Stepping off the plane was like stepping into a sauna. Immediately every pore in my body opened up and started gushing sweat. I am not sure but I think that my body even created new pores to let out sweat. To look out the window you would see an overcast day and think it might be a cooler day, but that could not be further from the truth. Yesterday was just like the first day here. It was hot but very fun. We woke up after a cold shower and a good nights sleep to have breakfast. I had chicken, rice, eggs, and the most savory fruit on the planet, mango. We then met for a short devotion and then jumped on the oxymoron named , Easy Ride. It's a lot like riding in the back of a pickup truck. We then drove through several towns and for about 2 hours. The traffic here is still crazy, with no stop lights or stop signs. We then stopped at a little diner called Wonka's Diner. It was basically in the middle of nowhere. Being the adventerous person that I am, I tried squid, pork something or other, and rice. I was half tempted to try the pig intestines but i just couldnt bring myself to do it. My roommate here named Bobby, was afraid to try something so he got a cheeseburger. Big Mistake, because when you say the word cheeseburger you might picture a big patty of beef layered with cheese, lettuce, tomatoe, and ketchup. But in the philippines cheeseburger means something completely different. I am not sure what it was but it did have a bun. But the pink sauce and strange patty would take an iron stomach to digest. Actually he ate it and said it wasnt too bad. There was also a monkey hanging around outside the awning. I got some great footage of Jay giving it a bananna. I hate spelling the word bananna because I can not do it right.
We then hopped back on the easy ride and headed to Bias City. We stopped at the church and picked up some helpers and then headed into the country side. We stopped at a basketball court, which they have probably more basketball courts then buildings with indoor plumbing. We split into groups of three and headed down 3 roads. Our task was to go house to house. Now I have done house to house evengalism in the states, and I hate it. If you go to someone's house in America and ring the doorbell, they open the door and look at you like you just interrupted them in the middle of a very intrisic surgery where any interrruption will cost 400 people there life. American's love their privacy and don't dare invade it. Most people in America will answer as abruptly and do there best to be rid of you.
I am thankful that the rest of the world is not like that. Everyhouse we went to except maybe one invited us into their homes. These people do not live in anything we would call relaxing or sanitary but they would offer all they had to a visitor. As we entered their house they would bring out plastic chairs and invite us to sit, or more like make us sit while they stood. They were polite and welcoming. With the help of our interpritor we would invite them to the crusade or block party we were going to have that evening. We would also talk with them about what it means to be christian. Just like in America, where a large percentage of the population would claim to be christian, most do not know what it means to be christian. They wanted to talk about denominations or religious rituals. But we know from reading God's word, that to be a christ follower is not a matter of outward appearance and ritual but of an inward heart and relationship with God. We would share with them that good news and invite them to accept God's free gift of salvation. At the houses we went to a few people decided to accept for the first time that they needed Jesus's love and power in their lives.
We did this for a few hours and I was sweating so much that I lost about 40 lbs. Everyother house had a small store in the front of it. When I say small, I mean very small. But they would sale baked goods, vegetables, and thankfully bottles of pop. I am talking glass bottles with a straw. For 7 pesos or 30 cents I was able to buy what I would say was the best pepsi I have ever had. It was somehow the coldest drink. They must have used liquid nitrogen to get it so cold. And I drank it down in less then 10 seconds. That pepsi was almost worth the cost of the flight alone.
Then later that evening, we set up speakers and a drum set at the ball court. A filipino band played pretty good music with the reincarnate Jimmy Hindrix on the guitar. This guy was tearing it up on songs like shout to the lord, and lord I lift your name on high. Then everyone and their uncle came to the court. There had to be atleast a hundren kids. The little kids listened intently and loved my video camera. I would turn the view screen so they could see it and they would have wrestlemania trying to get infront of the camera. I taught them the good ol song father abraham. They taught me the philippine version of head and shoulders knees and toes. We then had one guy from our team give a message. He spoke about barnabas and how he old had one possession in the world which was a blanket. When barnabas saw jesus he tossed that blanked away like garbage to run after him.
I noticed that a lot of the older youth hung around the back smoking and talking. I introduced myself and they were very interested in knowing about America. One boy had an mp3 player and was listening to switchfoot. I was able to talk to them about all kinds of this including about what it means to be a christian. During this time, I saw a young woman walking toward the group. As she got closer, one of the more fluent english speaking youth said I want you to meet my best friend and pointed at the girl who I noticed was much bigger in frame then the other filipino girls. The fluennt english speaker then said, His name is Michael. And that is when I realized I had just met my first lady boy. It was very strange. I felt like I was in the twighlight zone. It is one thing to see that behavior in America or maybe in the cities here, but out in the country was bizzare. From what I can gather, filipinos see what is happening in America under the name of civil rights and in our entertainment and they are modeling that.
Anyways the night ended with an opportunity for people to accept Christ and about 100 people went forward. We can never be certain who was geniune or not but God knows. One thing we do know is that God was working there. We may have also witnessed the beginning of a new church in that small village. Since pastor cj has been coming, he has seen many churches start just like that. With people coming to the Lord and then meeting as a family.
We then returned to our hotel late and tired. We got to sleep in a bit today and will be headed back to bias city to do a similar thing in a different part of the area. I will be speaking tonight so please pray for me. Thanks for your prayers and concerns.