Unfathomable love runs deep, but it’s hard to explain. We recently had a lunch meeting among friends, but one person had come to hear an answer to a question: “Why on earth we would devote ourselves in such a way?” We told of personal encounters and the joy of knowing Christ, even with the work and effort that is required to follow such a path.
We return to the Philippines in less than a week to a heavy schedule, but we cannot forget the faces, or the ongoing texts, or the needs of those we love. As we have explained to many, the heart call to return can be around the corner. Our “return” just happens to be a half a world away.
When Christ’s love works in a heart, a walk changes. We have found His love to be without limit. When He touches us or moves through us on behalf of others, we watch Him do things we cannot do, touch people in places we cannot touch, and give hope and peace we cannot give. None of it can be done apart from Him. If that happens often, as it has with us, it’s worth responding to a call to return in the face of expense, inconvenience, changed plans, and years of labor.
With our return, it is also an opportunity to share the truth of the Creator’s Word that attests to how things began, why the human race has so much difficulty, and where it is headed. We know that individual choices make a big difference in how life is lived and how eternity is spent. So we spend a lot of time with people, persuading them as best we can, that they were meant to be related to Him. His motivation is love, but it is not without the reality of His righteousness coupled with it. Of course, all of this is enumerated in the Bible. So, we love people, train teachers, encourage pastors and lay leaders. We urge them to believe God’s Word and walk accordingly. It is a world view dramatically different from a naturalistic or evolutionary one that is morally bankrupt and contrary to evidence from the complex creation we are a part of.
We are not alone in the Philippines, because we work with many Philippine friends who are co-laborers. Many of our staff friends at the Institute for Foundational Learning have given up normal lives and futures to be a part of a work and we are privileged to be a part. We are actually newcomers with only a few years with them. They have been doing this for almost three decades.
The efforts we make have faces and names — real people in places where, by His grace, He has opened a door for us to love. Our return this time will take us to quite a few places, people all over the Philippines, and perhaps elsewhere in the region. But we cannot forget His hand on so many who are young, vulnerable, and have holes in hearts from life experiences. So between the teaching and instruction we often give, there are those faces and lives that keep growing in number that pull at us when we are away from them. He keeps touching them, and we are honored to be a part.
So we return to the path that takes us far away quite often. This particular trip is four months. It’s worth it all. We will post scheduled events and reports periodically. We invite believing friends to pray. Those who are especially close to us in the US already know — they go with us in heart and we appreciate them.
Roland and Faylene