Early September 2017 Report from the Philippines (IFL)
The mechanics of this mission trip were not easy. Preparation was arduous and took days. Other tasks interfered. There was no rest until we were on the flight, and that rest was limited. The director (Pat) of the Institute of Foundational Learning (IFL) picked us up in Manila and took us to IFL compound. Every day since then has been filled with seeing friends and renewing love. I thought some of the tears would stop when I returned from the US, but they have not. I often find myself overwhelmed. It’s home in a big way. My Bride is meeting a large family. Many have greeted her with a degree of affection so it is hard not to marvel at what is happening.
It does not stop there. Our hosts prepared special quarters with Faylene’s favorite colors and made special provision for us to have room for writing stations, a kitchen, space to practice hospitality, and a private sleeping area–all just across from Pat’s home, where her boys reside. Her boys regard us as grandparents. Outside of us, they have none. We have already had multiple visits from children and staff with questions, greetings, and simply good fellowship. Some of the children that are special to me are already “our” children, as if I had never left and Faylene had always been a part.
By the third day plans were in place to include us on a sub-trip to Cambodia in October to teach and share biblical creation as well as teach on observing the created heavens. The couple’s ministry at IFL and the local community made us more than welcome with surprise greetings. We will be sharing more extensively with them in a couple days. A teacher’s conference will be late in the week, where I will present a workshop on biblical creation and conduct a night session of observing. Faylene’s writing ability has drawn attention and tasks for her are already in the wings.
The strength of the love displayed to us as well as given on our part is beyond my expectation. It is for a purpose. We have work to do and people to affect or assist as the Spirit of God gives us direction and the IFL staff gives us assignments. I am humbled by the family who are embracing us. Faylene is a joyous part of what is happening. We hit the ground running, but it’s together and with a degree of unity and love I did not anticipate would materialize so quickly. It needed to. We talk, write, and visit with people, while the Spirit of the Lord continues to add a little here and there to personally show us that we are in the middle of stream much larger than us. With all the happenings, we still have private time that is so necessary for any new couple.
So, in short, we are home. It is our first home made together, and it is in the midst of an outreach-oriented ministry bent on purposes associated with the Kingdom.
The picture is from today, when some members of the couple’s group and a few staff wanted to get a picture with us…