The little Church that would….

September 15, 2008

More than 2 Fridays ago, I was able to visit our small Church in Infanta, Quezon.  I did not expect what I was going to see because it had been months since my last visit there.  The Church planter who took care of this small church or mostly women, is not in the country anymore, but still tending the flock somewhere in the Middle East.

It was more than 4 hours away so we took off early.

When we finally got to visit them, I was blown away by what I saw.  They already have their small church hall from a converted small shack that used to house the rice drying equipment.

They showed me behind the curtain another rundown building which they said “is very  nice for our church building extension…”

It was very encouraging.  The drive to Infanta was very refreshing with the view of the forest, the mountain and once in Quezon, the calm blue waters.  Several years back, Infanta and its nearby towns saw the most tragic flashfloods that ever happened in recent history when in just 2 hours, rain that was equivalent to about 27 days of usual rain was dumped one afternoon.  The water rose and came flashing down the mountains bringing the mud with cut lumber (illegal loggers were very much involved) raged through their towns.

We gathered in a small circle and I asked them to share their stories. They started sharing one by one how God sustained them in recent months. How the small chapel was a reminder to them of the goodness and graciousness of our Father.

One of the sisters suffered a stroke and it was quite a challenge to understand when she spoke.  But one can clearly hear her say “Praise the Lord…”

The women were changing. After their services on sundays, they would visit other members who were not able to attend. They have started praying for each other as well. I noticed how they care for one another now.  The husbands (3 of them) were starting to attend.  One sister who used to be so shy, immediately led in the singing of praise songs a cappella while directing them to a white cheesecloth were the words of the songs were plaintively written.

Smiles after the sharing time.

Smiles after the sharing time.

The snacks served were my favorite.  “Bilo-bilo” with langka served to perfection.  They also gave me a buko juice ( young fresh coconut) and when I reached for it, it was quite cold.

We drove away after about 4 hours feeling very refreshed.  I did not expect a vibrant community of believers.  I was ready to meet a group of women who were discouraged, downtrodden and were just about ready to quit on their faith. But I encountered exactly the opposite.

Posing with the Infanta members before our 4-hour drive back

Posing with the Infanta members before our 4-hour drive back

I thanked God for the many men and women He had used to raise up this small faith community.

Thank you God.  Your faithfulness is truly amazing.

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