September 25, 2012

What I Saw

I saw precious things today...and one of them was this beautiful and perfect pair of little feet. I asked mama if it was ok if I took a picture of her daughter's feet. I have this weakness for baby feet. They are soft and have not yet walked the miles they will walk and developed the callouses they will develop. They are perfect and unscarred. I love them.

I also met "The Winker", Rassel. Rassel is 11 and I winked at him. He "winked" back (closing both eyes). I left a piece of my heart sitting next to him in his hospital bed.

I also met a "Lola" (grandmother) I had to hug. She wept openly while we prayed for her little granddaughter. I asked Annie if she would ask permission if I could hug her. She needed one. Normally, I would have just hugged her--but something in her body language when we first met said "stay away". I did not want to make her uncomfortable. So I asked permission. I hugged her tight. I squeezed her shoulders and whispered "it's going to be ok" when I do not know if this is really true--but I believe it to be true.

NCH--forever a part of me.

September 19, 2012

Precious Little...

I am not sure why, but at some point today, I had this nagging urge to write down some notes for all my single friends.  Consider this FREE and unsolicited advice that you may take or leave.  And know that if we have a conversation in the future and you begin with: "I read your blog about this all those years ago, but..." I will kindly hug you, sit down and listen.  Because even if you don't heed my advice, I will always be there for you and love you.

This really has precious little to do with my current situation...which is being in the Philippines, but it also has EVERYTHING to do with it.  My husband flew out to Palawan on Monday to preach a 3 day crusade.  After hearing he arrived safely, I was relieved and then he began telling me about how "rough" things were there.  Nothing like we (spoiled) Americans are used to.  While I do feel sorry for him, I am also QUITE PROUD of him as well.  I am also a wee bit jealous because I am that wacky gal who ENJOYS roughing it (temporarily) for the adventure of it all.  

So, are you ready for my little bits of wisdom?  Brace yourself.  HA!!

Girls:  How can you tell if he is "Mr. Right"?

If he doesn't live for God now, chances are after the ceremony he won't either.  It's a simple as that.  I know, I know.  He has promised you it is just a matter of timing, his job, his schooling, etc.  Sorry, if he is too busy for God now, he will be too busy later when he is working to keep food on your table and clothes on your back.  It will ALWAYS be something.  Find a man who loves God and is sold out to the things of God.  Period.  This point in NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Does that handsome hunk have a job?  If not, throw him out on his ear.  STAT!  Oh, sure...his little grin makes your heart go "pitter-pat", but that grin doesn't put money in the bank or food in the bellies of your future children.  A man who doesn't work is totally worthless.  Even if the guy you are dating has a job that keeps scheduling him to work on Friday nights and you can't go out like you'd like...that guy is the one who will do whatever it takes to make sure all the bills are paid (on time!!) and keeps a roof over your head.  Giving up date night may seem like a big deal now, but knowing you have found someone who really loves you enough to TAKE CARE OF YOU, is priceless.

Now, fellas...before you get all in a huff because I am dogging on you (do people even still talk like that???), I have some advice for you as well...

Guys:  How do you know that you finally find the Princess you want to make your Queen?

The all-time best place EVER to meet a great, godly girl is NOT in the foyer or lobby of the church.  Nope.  You are gonna find Mrs. Happy Ever After in one of two places:  the prayer room or the altar.  Period.  That's it.  That's the two places to look.  The gal that is praying her visitor through to the Holy Ghost?  She's the one.  The one with the beautiful soprano voice singing during altar call with tears streaming down her face?  Yep, she's a keeper.  If she puts God first, she will be a better wife and mother.  She will be a godly, submitted HELPMEET to you.  If you have a calling into ministry, you will go MUCH FURTHER with a lady that also wants to serve the Lord.  

If that gal you've been eyeing has trouble telling what size skirt actually fits her...pass her on by.  Girls with skirts (tops, dresses, etc) too tight have ZERO respect for themselves.  They subconsciously think the only way to "lure" a guy is to be bait.  Wow...I just compared her to a worm.  Yeah, that about sums it up.  This gal probably has very little self confidence also.  She will require a lot of "work" to keep happy.  More money, a bigger house, a fancier car...the list goes on and on.  She will think these *things* are what she needs to be happy or feel good about herself.  You will literally go mad trying to please this gal.  Stay away.

Really, these examples can apply for either gender.  It all comes down to this:  Put God first and He will show you the right one for you.  I know it is tough falling asleep each night with tear-soaked cheeks and a tear-stained pillow because you are so lonely.  But, these tears are not nearly as painful as tears of a man or woman who is married to someone who doesn't love them, doesn't care for them and wishes they had never married the other.  Being alone is much less painful than being in a loveless marriage or one that has pulled you out of the church family.  

I was a teenager (oh, so many years ago) and this became my "go-to" scripture:  
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give the the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4  

When you stop praying for God to send you someone and start praying: "How can I serve you better Lord?", you will be surprised at how quickly God will answer that prayer...and all the others ones regarding your future.  


September 16, 2012

Not Ready for Goodbye

I'm still here, I promise.  Last week was a tough one for me.  We were texted early in the morning and told that a dear friend and past neighbor of ours was brutally stabbed in his home.  Jim was a dear friend to our family and his adopted son, Alex is Jon's best friend.  I cannot tell you the gaping hole that has been left behind.  It still does not even seem real to me.  I just can't imagine him being gone and poor little Alex without a dad.  Alex's mom is in a nursing home, as she is suffering from Alzheimer's.  Such a sad and tragic thing.  I am happy to report that the 3 killers were captured, thanks to the escape of two separate victims.  One of the men had Jim's gun and the connection was easily made and the 3 men confessed.

Later that same day, Annie and I visited NCH and were told that Steven "The Fighter" (read his story here) passed away on September 1.  Stunned.  I am still just in shock thinking about this sweet little boy, this champion that lost his fight.  

Yes, a tough week indeed.  

The end of the week was much better than the first.  Trent did a PHENOMENAL job at ACTS Bible School's Spiritual Emphasis Week.  I was so proud!!  The first day he taught on accepting the call.  So many things he said were so on target for where I was when I was in bible school.  If you want to do something great for God, don't wait on SOMEDAY to do it--start NOW.  The next day, he taught on building altars and the response was incredible!  Those students poured their hearts out tirelessly, building their own altars and laying themselves on it for a sacrifice to God.  It was beautiful!

I had a personal bought with a belly demon.  Seriously, there is no better way to describe it.  But, as of today, I am victorious--and 5 lbs lighter.  HA!  That won't last too long, as we've been making weekly trips to Krispy Kreme and Pan de Manila (for donuts and leche flan tarts--heaven help me!).  *sigh*

Today, we had service with Pastora Elsie Pestano and tonight will be a Holy Ghost Exlplo (short for explosion) at PARC, Pastor Caesar Pestano's church.  We had at least 8 or 10 receive the Holy Ghost this morning.  It is tough getting a count, as those that are receiving do not know what they have!  :)  

We are at the halfway point of our trip and Trent and I can hardly talk about it without choking up and feeling sad about having to leave.  This has been amazing and life changing on so many levels.  

Ma'am Flowers praying with the young ladies at ACTS.  Building Altars.

Sir Flowers and AIMer Kendra Shock praying with ACTS Students.
She should be arrested for the mutilation of this beautiful donut.  She only ate the icing.  :|
Mandatory Photo Shoot...All Smiles

Ok!  That is ENOUGH!  HAHAHAHA!!!


September 4, 2012


Ma'am Dibble has this little ministry.  She visits the National Children's Hospital (NCH) every Tuesday with Annie.  I've followed her blog for a while now and every time she posts about the hospital, I think: "Wow, she is SO BRAVE and SO STRONG to be able to visit and pray with these kids".  And I always thought that there was just no way I could do the same thing.  I am just not brave or strong.  I did not think I could hold it all together, keep calm, smile and pray without falling totally apart. 

Today was my 3rd visit.  It was quite shocking the first week with Ma'am Dibble.  A little scary the 2nd week by myself with Annie...but something happened to me today. I felt the little "switch" inside my heart turn on for this ministry.

I cannot offer any of these kids money, but I can offer hope.  I can pray, offer a smile, a word of encouragement.  A little bit of sunshine to their cloudy day...that is something I can give.  And I choose to give it.  I choose to share a part of me that I did not know existed until now.

It is hard to find the right words to say when you are praying for a little boy or girl with leukemia, sepsis, hydrocephalus, heart or kidney problems.  It's not something I see very often.  I am not in the medical field.  I do not have a medical background.  All of these diseases or illness are very SCARY to me because it is something I am just not exposed to.

Each week that I have gone, I been touched in a way that I hope I will never forget.  

The first week, there was this little boy in a coma.  His body was so far diseased that he was clinging to what little bit of life he had.  I do not know what happened to this boy.  Whether he pulled out of the coma or not.  But I prayed and cried with that mamma as if that were MY little boy.  I know a God who is able...and a God who is a comforter.  

The second week, I met 3 siblings that were all in the hospital for the same thing:  Malnutrition.  The mother and oldest sister were there also.  They seemed to be in better condition than the 3 smaller children.  They were "healthy" looking.  And yet, here were 3 children that were starving.  They each had a little saltine cracker in their hands, food provided by the hospital.  If there is ONE thing I am taking away from this experience, it is I am going to do my BEST to not waste food anymore.  I am pretty good about cleaning my plate or only taking what I need, but sometimes...well, food is so plentiful for us that I don't think anything of leaving a few bites behind.  But those few bites...they could mean LIFE to someone else.  You've all heard that expression:  "There are starving kids all over the world that would gladly eat your food"...well, there really ARE starving kids here that would gladly eat that vegetable you do not like, that fatty piece of meat, that burnt piece of toast, etc.  

Today, we visited the 4th floor.  Annie told me that when the bill is too high for the parents to pay, the children are moved to the 4th floor.  The care is the same, but they will share beds.  Annie has seen as many as 6 children in one bed!!!  Today, we saw a bed with 3 children sharing--all there for a different reason.  Many of the beds had two patients each.  We prayed for several children with leukemia, heart conditions and kidney conditions.  I told Annie that is is very hard for me to see this, as our hospitals are so different in the states.  

I really cannot put into words how seeing all this makes me feel.  It is a sad feeling, yes...but there is more.  I wish I could describe it.  Maybe, I can find the words someday.

John, age 12

Maria, age 6 (also, Maria's mamma)


September 3, 2012

Super Sunday!

Yesterday, we were invited to preach for Pastor Ceasar Pestano.  His daughter Abigail (Abi) is an AMAZING worship leader.  I told her that if the pastors in the states knew of her talent, they would be fighting over her!  HA!  Seriously, she has a tremendous talent.  That is not an easy job, but she had the crowd totally READY to worship and receive the Word.

This is Annie praying in the altar with a lady.

There were 6 people that received the Holy Ghost for the first time and 2 baptized in Jesus' name. 

Sunday night, we preached at a ROOF service.  ROOF = Ring of OMSIFY (One Million Souls in Five Years) Fire.  Pastor Art Martinez started this meeting.  It is a service for several churches to get together and worship and an opportunity to bring people to receive the Holy Ghost.  This meeting was their 3rd meeting.  They hold the service at a University in the auditorium.  There were several hundred in attendance.

Pastor Ompat greeted the crowd, then Trent preached.  26 or 27 received the Holy Ghost that night!  It was awesome!  Jon and I noticed a boy about his age praying behind us.  I leaned over to Jon and told him to go pray with him.  He was nervous and shy, so he shook his head "no".  I told him that it was ok and there was nothing to be afraid of.  Well, he didn't go--he was just too shy or nervous.  Later, I looked over at him and he had tears running down his cheeks.  Thinking he was feeling something about the service, I asked him what he was feeling.  He said "I don't know".  Later, he told me that he felt like he should have gone and prayed for that little boy.  I smiled because I know God was teaching him a lesson about following His direction.  This is something that you can never really teach a person--but something they must learn on their own.  If he can learn this at 9 years old, he will be lightyears ahead of some of us adults.  

An "updo" for Ella.
A dramatized song from a group of young people.
Pastor Ompad

The boy Jon and I noticed praying.
Jon feels a touch

After service, Pastor and Ma'am Martinez took us to dinner.  We ate at Texas Roadhouse!  We had a great time visiting with them and they enjoyed the time with our kids.  They have 6 grandchildren and not ONE of them live in the Philippines!  Well, after a couple hours with Ella, I think Ma'am Martinez had her fill of grandkids for a little while--haha!! 

It was a fabulous and FULL Sunday.  We all crashed out almost as soon as our heads hit the pillow.  This is the very reason we came here.  We LIVE for Sundays like this.