We just finished the first conference and the second group arrives in a couple of hours. I really don't think things couple be going any better than they have. We have had a great time together -- the training has been excellent, there were many miracles, and we are moving forward with the progression of the project at the churches fully integrate into Foursquare.
I do not have email access at the conference. Right now I am at Pete and Tina Forras' home. Tomorrow will be a really long day and then the next morning Bryant Sabandal and I begin the long journey home.
Thanks for your prayers. All is well and I will be home soon.
So today is Sunday here in Manila. It's 8:30 a.m. and I just got off the phone with Heidi. If you've never used "Magic Jack" before, it's a great way to make unlimited calls for free if you travel internationally. Great way to keep in touch...
Anyhow, John and Sonja Decker and I are doing well. They were lucky/blessed to be upgraded to first class on our way over here. We arrived yesterday and spent the day "recovering" from the travel. We also made lots of copies for the upcoming training events and did some preparation.
Last night I went to a new Foursquare Church called "The Call". It was attended by Bryant and Patty Sabandal, the Forras family, and Val & Sally Chavez.
Right now I am staying at the Richmonde Hotel, 22nd floor, with great views of the city. As I looked out over the sprawling metropolis I prayed for the project and our leaders who are working hard to see hope and transformation take place is the lives of the millions of urban poor who are pursuing their dreams in what appears to a "dead end road." While on a run just before sunrise I passed a man, his wife and their two year old daughter sitting on the roadside curb just across from the slum where their home surely is located. As I heard the birds singing, the roosters crowing, the warm, humid air enveloping us -- and as they were their chatting as their daughter rode on her tricycle - I thought to myself, this is true happiness. These people appear to be happier than a lot of people I know. They have each other, they talk to each other, and they appear to be happy as they enjoy time with each other as the day breaks.
Poverty isn't all that it appears to be. These people may be incredibly poor. They live in conditions that would break most of us. Yet they have a quality of life that eludes many of us - thus revealing our own emotional, relational and spiritual poverty. There are lessons to be learned from the couple on the curb.
I hope I can sleep tonight. It's been a restless few nights of jet-lag recovery. I don't take sleeping pills like many international travellers,
Tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. (Monday), Pete will come over to watch the Superbowl with me. I don't expect to be eating hot-wings and guacamole. I will be rooting for Arizona (I can never forgive the Steelers for beating the Seahawks). Then we head for Bosa Bosa Highlands where our first training event begins at 11:30 a.m. We are expecting 150 leaders during the five day conference.
Thanks for actually reading this!! (Assuming I didn't lose you). Thanks also for your prayers. Learn more about the project at www.ucpp.org, or view the Power Point I posted on the previous blog. I'll update this as often as I can. Hope to post some photos next time.