One of the songs we sang this morning was Psalm 16.
God keep me safe! In you I put my trust.
To You I said, "You are my faithful Saviour.
Lord, with your presence I am richly blest.
Apart from You I can expect no favour."
Whenever I mention to a Filipino in Canada, Manila or on the plane that I'm traveling to Mindanao, they always have this negative reaction. They think I'm crazy." It's not safe!" Maybe I need to stop mentioning Mindanao, the response I get starts to make me nervous. I'm sure parts of Mindanao are not safe. You can be sure we don't go there. We've limited our travel to areas we know to be safe. Cagayan de Oro is one of those safe places. Not to say you can't find trouble here but in general its a very friendly place. It's the city of friendship. I've never felt not safe here. Still our prayer is this "God keep me safe! In you I put my trust!" We also pray for and are thankful for those who bring the gospel into those dangerous areas. We have friends here who have been involved in that mission for decades.
I love your saints; with them I am united,
And in their midst my soul will be delighted.
To be with the saints here in CDO and to worship a faithful God, a faithful Saviour. To meet with God in the fellowship of the believers is such a delight. In the four years that I have been coming here it has been wonderful to see the continued commitment to the reformed confessions, to reformed worship. I have to say, I think their singing has gotten better. May God continue to remember the churches here with favour, may they continue to be united in Christ....Apart from You I can expect no favour.
We are thankful for the opportunities to serve and for the possible opportunities that have come with meeting new contacts. We're thankful for the conversations we could have and to be encouraged by them. Yes we are here to encourage but admittedly we need encouragement as well, which is something I've come to realize more and more with our involvement here. If you have missionaries in the field they need your encouragement, they need to be lifted up in prayer.
Something a little lighter.... With any of our instructors we ask they read a few books concerning the cross cultural experiences they may encounter. Here is an example. I order an item from the menu. Art orders the same. I get my order. Art gets nothing. What happened? I explained to Art, "I ordered a burger, you ordered the same." This was a new one for me. Usually I'm quite detailed in the order not taking anything for granted right down to what's on the the burger. Hence Art wanting to save this detail orders the same. Kept it simple. But what it simply meant was that we were sharing the burger. Another lessoned learned in the Philippines.