I took a bus to Santa Rosa in Laguna this time, learning to use public transport like the locals. Instead of 3 000 Pesos for a taxi there and back it only cost 122 Pesos by bus!
I have learned to find out how locals do things and it works a lot better than to do things as a tourist. You leave your camera at home and never look lost. Just act as if you live there! You eat what they eat like Adobo, Sinigang, Sasig whether beef, chicken, shrimp or pork! Both Adobo and Sinigang come in form of soup but Sasig is fried. Jollibee is the Philippine version of Macdonalds where you get a hamburger patty with mushroom sauce and rice instead of a bun. You can order soup with your chicken drumstick! People eat with a spoon and a fork and use the spoon as a knife. They use the spoon to eat and the fork to gather the food on the plate. (No more chopsticks!)
Two major storms threatening the Philippines have been averted while I have been here this time – I believe it is because Harvester Church in Cape Town prayed that typhoons would diminish. Typhoon Dodong pulled away to the north after several days of threatening media warnings and Tropical Storm Dolphin (renamed Egay) intensified but moved away! These miracilous changes in weather patterns astound the locals as they are used to 24 typhoons per annum. But since we started praying in 2013 after the Tacloban disaster that claimed over 7 000 people and destroyed the city, they have hardly had any.
It is interesting that these storms and typhoons always have names given to them. People remember the names of the storms. Well, Jesus has been given a Name above every name and at His Name every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord! We rebuke these storms by name in Jesus’ Name! Jesus rebuked Legion by name when He delivered the mad man of Gadara from a legion of demon spirits.
As a tourist one has to make peace with the pollution and congestion of traffic in a big city. One also has to keep a watchful eye on pickpockets, especially at pedestrian crossings while waiting for the light to turn green.
Just by learning a few phrases in the local language you make friends easily. People appreciate the effort you make to learn their language. If you can remember someone’s name it also brings a smile on a face immediately. The sweetest sound to anyone is the mention of his or her name.
We praise Jesus and mention His Name and also proclaim His Name in testimony. We have a businessman in Cape Town that flies three flags outside his office: his country of birth’s flag, the South African flag and a flag with the Name of Jesus on it!
A fire broke out in a rubber sandal factory in Venezuela City in Manila. Manila is divided up into several cities. Many people died in the blaze and they discovered that the building ignored fire safety codes all these years. One of our Harvester members working in the East is a top safety officer for an off shore oil company. Perhaps he should open a business here!
President Aquino gave his State of the Nation address yesterday and informed the public that the GDP has grown by 6.3% in the past year! Universities never gave degrees for meteorological studies, but now four of the major universities do. Because the Philippines, a nation beset by severe weather conditions, rely heavily on PAGASA, the meteorological institute to warn them of approaching storms.
I see people almost every day for counseling and teaching. They make appointments with me and the Lord helps me to minister to them wherever we meet in coffee shops or hotel lobbies.
Today I spent time with our Harvester Representative Pastor Dave Narciso and his wife Hilda. They have five daughters. The one studying Theology is interested in coming to Miracle Bible College next year. Pastor Elmer and Nannette Gaurano’s son Samuel Jireh who is also studying Theology wants to leave the Theological Institute and come to MBC as well. When they hear what our course comprises of they realize that we have something new and fresh to offer. They way we present the courses, like Dr. Gray originally taught me at Miracle Valley, Arizona, is to use the method of questions and answers, teaching people to think for themselves and showing them how to meditate in Scriptures. Our only textbook is the Bible. Because our course is practical and life-changing people show interest once they hear about it. It took 12 years to devise our Bible Course with other subjects but now we have a product or a package to offer.
By the grace of God we finally paid all the fees necessary for paying the notary and registering Harvester Philippines (the second time!) and I hope to sign the generic forms for SEC (Security Exchange Commission) next week. Pastor Dave is handling the process on our behalf.
I have been negotiating with a sister from Mandaluyong who developed her own Coconut Natural soap products to help local pastors to earn extra income by becoming a dealer. She is even willing for us to ship some products to Cape Town. I have tried the different soaps and they are excellent. One is a feminine soap and others include soap for people who perspire a lot. She also developed soap for skin allergies that really work. There is even a soap to help with hair growth!
Pastor Dave and his family intend to relocate to San Pablo where they will start a Harvester Church soon. At the moment he is a ‘Sunday pulpit preacher’ as he puts it, going round to churches to minister. We have given him all our material of MBC and the Foundation Course of Harvester that he uses when he teaches. In this way we are sowing seeds to promote the reform of churches so that the land can be reformed.
It has taken a long time and many visits to get to the stage where I can report all these good tidings in the Philippines. Nothing happens overnight! To build trust relationships takes time.
I thank God for all those who believe in what we are doing to reach all the nations of the world. Their prayers and support are greatly appreciated. Without them we cannot do the enormous task given to us.
Apostle André Pelser