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Recollections On Our Trip To Mindanao (Part 1)

by Larry Miles

LarryMiles2017The Lord Jesus commanded us to “go in to all the world and preach the Gospel.” From March 30-April 16, 2017 I was blessed to travel to the Philippines. Since this was my first Mission Trip, I thought I would share some of my recollections of the trip. First of all, this was the longest trip I had ever traveled by airplane. This was Bro. Steve’s fourth trip to the Philippines so I was blessed to have him as a companion and guide. This being my first time to go to the Philippines, I had no idea what to expect.

Our first flight was a 13 hour flight on Korean Air from Chicago to Seoul. We changed planes for Cebu in the Philippines. After spending the night we boarded a flight on Cebu Pacific Airlines for a 1 hour flight to Dipolog.

We arrived in Dipolog on the island of Mindanao on Saturday, April 1, 2017. We were met by Bro. Cyrus Gesulga and some others. One thing that impressed me was the dedication of the preachers we met. While in the Dipolog area we visited 5 congregations. At most places, Steve and I gave short talks, along with Bro. Cyrus. One was in the city of Dipolog where Bro. Edgardo Parangan ministers, and where I gave the morning Bible Study message.  The others were way out in the country. We had to travel on paved, gravel and rocky roads to get there.

Three of the church buildings were made of bamboo with dirt floors.   Everywhere we went we received a warm welcome. I soon learned that the people really enjoyed singing praises to God, whether in English or in Cebuano. It was great to meet fellow believers over 8,000 miles away as they were worshipping our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

After we left Dipolog Bro. Steve was our driver for the next 3 days. We saw some beautiful ocean vistas, as well as mountains in the distance, on our trip to Cagayan de Oro. We visited 3 congregations where we found Christians who loved the Lord and were laboring for Him amidst extreme poverty in some cases. I also found that they loved hearing God’s Word and were intent on learning more about the Word of God. The churches we visited were in Bacolod, Illigan, Patrocinio and Capisnon. I celebrated my 65th birthday on April 5, 2017, and that morning at the Patrocinio congregation in Claveria, they wished me a happy birthday, and in Cagayan de Oro that evening the folks at the Capisnon congregation had a birthday celebration, with a birthday cake, following the Wednesday night service.

In our next newsletter I will write more about our trip to other parts of Mindanao, as well as my recollections of our time in Cagayan de Oro and the annual Lectureship.

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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33