Innocent youngsters and a Snot-filled Easter Service

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Yes, this is my unofficial Operation Jabez Bicol update.

Sigh, Bicol.

If initially I sensed that attending OJ was the right thing to do, now I know it was. I know because even now, my heart rejoices at what happened and anticipates how God will grow the seeds planted in Manito, Albay.

I just finished my official Operation Jabez Newsletter update and so memories are refreshed. A lot has happened during that week, but my personal highlights were teenage kids and our last day, which coincidentally was Easter Service.

True Love Waits

This was on Day 5 of OJ.

We had two events in church: the adult T4T trainers of the church kept busy with a Leadership Training.

We also invited college and high school kids to the church for a True Love Waits seminar. For sure, ate Feye is the perfect quirky speaker for such a topic.

I sat in and listened in the girls’ group. These kids… so young, so innocent. They had lots of honest, searching questions. They stir a longing in my heart to protect them, to shield them from whatever danger that can befall them.

Still, we could not shy away from reality. In these rural areas, I am told, it is almost the norm for a girl to get pregnant and marry early. It struck me that the best we could do is to inform them and pray for them. Our team intended this TLW seminar be a bridging event for a campus ministry, and so at the end of the seminar we invited them to another meeting in church.

Easter Service

Day 7 of OJ, and also the last day.

Because it was the last day, the pastor called on the church members (specifically our trainees) to come up and say some things.

And so we had the best snot-filled, tear-stained, heart-inspiring Easter Service I have ever experienced. Literally everyone — well, almost — everyone burst into tears right before, during, and /or after giving their testimonies.

There was the woman whose husband finally got saved.

And stories of personal victories in sharing their faith.

There were, of course,  the customary “Thank yous”, then the pastor said:

“We prayed and fasted for your everyday for 40 days until your scheduled arrival here in Manito.”

Now THAT stunned me.

Such devotion and commitment… all I could muse was how beautiful is the Body of Christ! The Holy Spirit so obviously was and is working in the church.

Didn’t I pray that God show me great and might things in Manito?

In a week, the Church members we trained were able to learn principles of Church planting, evangelism and discipleship, and were able to apply this immediately.

How beautiful is the Body of Christ.

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