We visited the Wea village today, which POC has been supporting since a mudslide destroyed several houses, killing 9 children a few years ago. POC supporters have enabled POC to help the Wea people to build breeze block houses, on high ground – more stable structures away from the sea front. A team from POC go every Wednesday morning for a time of ministry and children’s work.
Today we went to Angeles and PPJ jails, where I spoke about the shepherds who visited Jesus. The people judged shepherds as dodgy characters and so they weren’t recognised as legal witnesses, but God sent them as the first witnesses to the birth of his Son! God was breaking down social barriers as soon as Jesus was born! And the shepherds went to ‘see the thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about’. They didn’t sit down and discuss how many angels would fit on the head of a pin, or save up the visitation as a good story to tell the grandchildren, they obeyed God and went to see the Lord. That’s what we are called to do. To respond.
We’ve finished the Christianity Explored course in the local jail today. First thing this morning we thought we wouldn’t be able to run the last 2 sessions but the Lord answered prayer and opened the way!!
We had a graduation for the ladies this afternoon, giving out certificates, and sang ‘Mahal na mahal kita Paginoon’ (I love and I love you Lord). They were a lovely group who really looked after each other well and were hungry to hear the good news about Jesus.
We’ve had a day off today, with a lazy morning and then out to the mall for frappes, pootling and lunch.
It’s been a really busy week, CE all day mon, weds and thurs, jail ministry all day tues and fri morning, and medical mission at the jail after ministry yesterday. We’re seeing prisoners who present with healthcare needs and offering what we can, seeing about 20 ppl between 2 of us yesterday, some new and some follow ups from last week. All communication goes via a translator in both directions.
The CE course in a jail is going really well, the ladies seem really keen and are faithful in attendance. We will have a graduation and certificate giving on Monday afternoon.
It’s been lovely to see old friends, particularly ppl who have been in prison on previous trips and are now free!
We’ve started the Christianity Explored course in 164 jail today. 12 women are in the group, some of whom did the Guilt and Forgiveness course with us last year.
Its a different dynamic to running the course in your own language; the personal conversations are missing, and the depth of understanding of an individual’s journey of faith. But that’s not a problem for God, he knows all those things anyway!
I’m here with Rachael from Integritas Healthcare, and Amy who is a junior doctor. They are running health care clinics for prisoners and POC staff, which I am able to join in with sometimes.
We’re now all sitting in my bedroom, having mossie sprayed the rest of the building. It will take 15 minutes for it to become habitable for humans again. Realised we’ve trapped ourselves in the only room with living mosquitos…
Been to Iba jail today. I spoke on Colossians 2:6-7, about Jesus being our Lord, not just our Saviour. Knowing that Jesus is your Saviour, that he has forgiven you for all your sins, is a wonderful blessing! But knowing that He is your Lord, the One who has authority over your life, mind and heart, can be very inconvenient!
We considered the scenario of spending an afternoon chatting with Manny Pacquiao, who was very interested in you, and you both had a wonderful time. But then you never spoke to him again, even tho he wrote you letters (that you never read) and called you often (but you didn’t answer). You were happy to live on just the memory of that afternoon. That would be crazy! But we often treat Jesus this way.
Had an easy day today to recover from jetlag and unpack. I was reminded of something amazing on the way – Jesus lived a life of complete obedience to God and in the greatest swap in history, he took my sin and paid for it and he gave me his righteousness.
10 sleeps to go till Rachael and I fly to the Philippines where we work alongside Philippine Outreach Centre Ministries. I’ll be running Christianity Explored in a women’s jail and speaking in jails. I’m currently adapting the CE DVD talks as there’s no DVD player in the prison and everything has to be translated so takes twice as long to say!