Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ask for a vehicle with 4 wheels

On Sunday morning each of the guests on this Vision Trip had an opportunity to "go to church" with a local congregation. Some, who had prior relationships with various ones of the translators naturally joined them. For the remainder of us, we were divided between many of the local churhes who participated in the Friday Papalangga events -- churches with whom Lloyd and Dahl Estrada are working to increase their engagement with various aspects of the Bible translation movements in the Philippines and around the world.

I was paired with Cory (who had come to serve as part of the staff for this week-long event as a friend of Wycliffe) for our Sunday morning advanture. (Cory has lived in the Philippines for 16 years and is engaged an a camping ministry here.)

Pastor Mario del Barrio picked us up at the hotel in his very own tricycle and we traveled the 12k out to his little church that lies just on the edge of the propety of the "prison without walls" I'd visited on Friday.

We arrived in time for the end of Sunday School. The transiton to church was quick and easy. I was only in the building for 2 seconds before I had fond memories of another Pastor Mario and alittle church in San Jose, Costa Rica. While this particular church was a bit more rural, the similarites were uncanny in a very good way.

This church is part of the Assemblies of God denomination -- a fast growing denomination in the Philippines we were told.

Cory and I were both asked to share a testimony, which we gladly did. We might have been asked for more if there had not been a guest speaker: an evangelist from the US who was in the area doing ministry. Who knows. Many from the group were asked to preach at the churches they attended -- and did. I'm hoping to hear more of those stories myself as time goes on.

After the services (which included enthusiastic singing which I greatly enjoyed), the pastor and his wife provided a delicious meal. We sat and talked for a while as a tire on the tricycle needed to be reinflated/fixed before we could make our return trip to PPC and the hotel.

I asked this pastor who had given leadership to the Tree Planting aspect of the Papalangga events and who demonstrated in many ways that he is visionary how I could pray for him and his church and family. He shared many things; I want to pass one along to you and ask you to pray with me for this.

"Pray the God will provide us with a vehicle with 4 wheels."

When Pastor Barrio and his wife were first married (they met at Bible school) God provided a bicycle for their transportation needs. Later, he privded a larget bicycle. As their family grew, they trusted God to provide for thier needs and he came through with a motorcycle (125cc). As needs increased (larger and growing family and more ministry opportunities) they began to pray for a tricycle and, once again, God provided. The pastor shared with us that his youngest daughter recently encouraged (more like admonished, a he tells it) her parents to pray for a larger and more reliable vehicle. Will you pray with me that God will continue to supply all that Pastor Barrio needs and that our Father will specifically continue to interceed in the lives of the pastor's entire family in ways that will increase their faith and that will propell them into further ministry?

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