Greetings from soggy Temperance, Michigan. With the torrential rain and flooding we’ve been enjoying here in the Midwest, I’m starting to feel like I’m back in the Philippines during monsoon season, except now I’m driving a minivan as the rain pours down instead of a motorcycle. My family appreciates that.
Our trip back to the States was an adventurous one, to say the least! Our itinerary looked great; we would fly from Dumaguete to Manila Tuesday morning, May 19. From Manila we would travel to Guangzhou, China, then on to Los Angeles, and then the final leg into Detroit. The adventure began when our flight from Manila to China was delayed more than two hours. Unfortunately, our layover in China was only an hour and a half. In such a situation, it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that there are problems ahead, and there were. We missed our connecting flight—surprise! Adding to the excitement of our little adventure, we soon learned that there is only one flight per day from Guangzhou to Los Angeles. I can now say with complete honesty that I have been a missionary in Communist China—I am a missionary, and we were there for 24 hours. However, that is not the end of the story. At this point, our lovely itinerary was shattered beyond repair. We arrived in Los Angeles late Wednesday evening, only to discover that there were no flights available until Thursday morning. We would have the blessed privilege of spending the night in the LAX International Airport with two exhausted but restless children. We found a relatively quiet area in the airport for the kids to lie down, and then I took a walk outside where I met a 24-year-old airport shuttle employee by the name of CJ. He was nearing the end of his shift and there were no customers in sight, so I took the opportunity to ask him if he was sure he was on his way to Heaven. He looked at me and said, “It’s funny that you ask that, because I think about that all the time.” CJ got saved about a half hour later! Soul winning still works in the USA! After he got saved, CJ told me that two days earlier, Monday evening Los Angeles time, he was praying to God and asking for guidance. He prayed that prayer at about the same time as we were leaving Dumaguete Tuesday morning, and God held us up in China for 24 hours so that we could be the answer to his prayer. Our God is incredible!
FBMI Candidate School and Back on the Deputation Trail
We had a great time at the FBMI annual Candidate School, held June 1-5. It was a wonderful time of practical teaching and enjoyable fellowship. It was refreshing in every way. Bro. Bosje and the FBMI staff are doing a great job of making sure that we have what we need to accomplish our work as missionaries, and I am so glad that we get to work with FBMI as we seek to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ together. Since Candidate School, we have begun traveling again on our second round of deputation. God has already proven once again that He is more than able to take care of all of our needs. Thank you to those of you who prayed that God would give us a van; He has answered your prayers and ours. We are now the owners of a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan that is still in excellent condition. Praise the Lord for His provision! Please pray that God will allow us to quickly fill our schedule so we can get back to the field as soon as possible. Thank you so much for your faithful prayer and support. We are looking forward to seeing many of you as we travel.
Dividends on Your Investment
On the first day of Candidate School, the missionaries got to enjoy a picnic at a nearby park with Bro. Bosje and the rest of the FBMI staff. It was a chilly day, but particularly so for my family because we had only been in the States for a week and a half. Towards the end of the evening, I walked over to the playground to check on my children. Near the playground, I saw a couple sitting on a bench watching their son play. I walked up next to the bench and tried to start a conversation. I asked about their son and then commented that my children were probably freezing to death having been born in the Philippines. Startled, the lady looked up and said, “I’m from the Philippines.” I looked back at her and asked what part of the Philippines she was from. She replied that she was from the Visayas (a group of islands in the central part of the Philippines). I was starting to get excited at this point, so I asked her in Visayan if she knew Visayan. Her mouth dropped open with surprise, and she responded to me in Visayan. I soon learned that she grew up just a 10-15-minutes’ walk from where I lived in Dumaguete for 4½ years. Her name was Susan, and she had lived in the U.S. for more than 15 years. Her husband was not bothered, but he didn’t understand anything we were saying, so eventually he walked away, leaving us to our Visayan conversation. I then asked her if she was sure that she was going to Heaven. She said that she had doubts, but about 20 minutes later, all her doubts were gone. She trusted Christ right there in the middle of the park!
Soul Winning Still Works in the USA!
Since our arrival in the States on May 19, Ruth and I have led a total of 19 precious souls to Jesus Christ.
Yours for souls,