Talk About a Church in the Country!

When we traveled to Luzon (upper Philippines) for our training a couple weeks ago, we accepted an invitation to visit a new church that was recently planted as a result of the translation of the New Testament into the Central Ifugao language. The church is located in the village of Bitu in the Hinyon municipality in the province of Ifugao. During the service I was invited to give my testimony which I did with the help of an interpreter.


Congregation


Kids in the church

The service was quite special for us even though we did not understand anything that was said. After the service we had a potluck (though they do not call it that) eating locally grown rice and "native chicken". They also served a type a root which was boiled which tasted different but I do not remember what it was called.


Entrance to the church

The people were very nice and welcoming to us. I heard afterward that we made a good impression on them as well with no significant social gaffes. The local kids were amazed at how tall we were.


Half completed state of the church building


View from beside the church


House located next to the church


Entrance to the church from a distance


Pigpen on left, church outhouse on right (behind blue barrel)

As can be seen from the pictures, the church is located in a very rural, mountainous area. The bathroom (called a comfort room in the Philippines) was a small outhouse located next to a pig pen. The church itself was half finished and they were still raising funds to finish the building. The building probably seats 40 to 50 people comfortably. It has three walls now which makes it quite airy (which in this climate is a blessing).

Prior to the scriptures being translated into the Central Ifugao language, this village was known to be very pagan including spirit worship and other practices. Now, through the influence of the Word of God, the gospel is being proclaimed as never before. Yet, there is a long way to go in helping the people understand what it means to live as a mature person in Christ in the Philippine context. Case in point, we witnessed what was reported to us as a case of demon possession at the end of the church service. God knows if that was the case for sure, but based on what we saw it is not hard to believe.

Carabao

I love music and songs. I often think in songs.
So indulge me in this musical montage!

Start singing "The Water Buffalo" song from the "Silly Songs with Larry Veggie Tale collection"...and enjoy the pictures.

Carabao (or cows as they are called here) are the work horses of this agricultural community.

I guess I have some pictures of water buffalo and some pictures of cows....just pretend they are all water buffalo....I'm 'cow and water buffalo' illiterate.........

"Everybody's got a water buffalo
You know your's is fast but,
mine is slow.....

Oh, where do we get them......

(In the Philippines)

But everybody's got a water buffalo

Everybody's got a Water Buffalo

Everybody's got a Water Buffalo

For The Beauty Of The Earth...

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,.........

Hill and vale....glory of the skies!

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,.........

Fields of rice!

Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light..........

Outskirts of Manila area!

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Words Can't Explain

As many of you know, we recently took a trip to Northern Philippines. To Bagabag specifically.
We had gone up for Peer Debriefing Training.

Goofing around the last day of class!

It was also a blessed opportunity to see more of beautiful Philippines, praise God for His Handiwork, (we are standing on a rice terrace at Banaue Rice Terraces in the first photo of this blog)

A rare quiet mother/son moment at a river near Bagabag!

be reminded of the importance of SIL's work in the lives of those who have never heard of His love, make new friends, visit with a dear 'old' friend,

Learning a Thai Dance!

Leena and Kirsten!

Leena and Ben!

...and so much more....it is hard to put into words.

Needless to say, Kurt and I will be blogging frequently about our trip over the next few days!

At SIL airport in Bagabag!!

Peer Debriefing Update

Well, we finished our training. It was very good.

We also experienced many 'firsts' for us in the Philippines....riding a bus for 8 hours, seeing Banaue Rice Terraces, going to a church out in a village.....once we get home we will be posting many pictures. It has been a wonderful trip.....more soon!!!!!