Ministry Highlight: Loving people in Tribal Mountains of the Philippines

Ministry Highlight: Loving people in Tribal Mountains of the Philippines

The Mapes A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Cebu, Philippines, where I was able to visit with some old friends, Chris and Cathee Mapes. Cathee was our Filipina host and guide in 2004 when Emily and I joined with a team of midwifes and medical doctors to love the people in the remote mountain tribal villages of Northern Luzon, Philippines. We met Chris a year later when he came to Boise as a student at the Vineyard College of Mission out of the Vineyard Boise. After graduating from the Mission Medics program, Chris moved to the Philippines where he met, and later, married Cathee. Together they have been involved in many different types of ministry within the tribal mountain or resettlement villages in Northern Luzon. The first major focus was medical outreaches sponsoring medication for children and adults with tuberculosis. They also ran a boarding house for college students from the tribes – allowing them to disciple them and guide them deeper into a loving relationship with Jesus. Today, while they no longer have run a boarding house, they continue to focus on discipleship and strengthen the body of Jesus through a bi-lingual video bible school in the villages. “Through this Bible School, we have had testimonies of healings, of boldness in witnessing, and many powerful class teachings and discussions. These classes go out and evangelize other villages in their own tribal dialect. Our last outreach, we saw 11 salvations from older people who understood the gospel in their own language for the first time. After that we learned that one of the old...
Stories of the Coming Age Breaking into This Age (Part 2 of 2)

Stories of the Coming Age Breaking into This Age (Part 2 of 2)

Yesterday and today I have been sharing some stories from last week’s Asia Summit about the Coming Age breaking into this Present Evil Age. They are stories of God’s physical, emotional, and spiritual provisions to which we give thanks and praise to the Lord Most High. These are not the only stories out of that week – nor are they ‘special’ in the sense that they are rare or unique. They are stories God loving His kids. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. –Hebrew 12:28-13:1 Story Two: God at Work We were supposed to hear from a panel on culturally relevant mission last Thursday evening as part the Summit’s focus on the Vineyard’s Five Values. God, though, had other plans – leading to a night of worship and prayer. At one point during this impromptu worship session, the session emcee asked if anyone had a word to share from the Lord. Some folks came forward with different pray topics and what not…ok…truth be told, I don’t know what they said as I was too busy thinking about kidneys. Specially I was thinking about a time last year when God showed me a wilted right kidney while visiting a former church’s worship evening. Seeing how this evening in Cebu was similar to that evening a year ago, I begin to wrestle with myself as to whether or not it was God telling me to pray for...
Stories of the Coming Age Breaking into This Age (Part 1 of 2)

Stories of the Coming Age Breaking into This Age (Part 1 of 2)

Today is Thanksgiving – a time in which we stop our busy lives and give thanks to the Lord for His provisions in all areas of our lives. Along those lines I want to share with you a couple of stories from last week’s Asia Summit about the Coming Age breaking into this Present Evil Age. As will see over the next two days,  these are stories of God’s physical, emotional, and spiritual provisions. Story One: Gray Feathers There were four of us standing in a circle praying for unity and tribal reconciliation among the Filipino followers of Jesus. As my companions prayed, my eyes slowly closed and there out of the darkness stood a grey feather off to the right side of my vision.  Looking closer I saw that the feather was sticking out of a red headband… Still not sure what was happening, I asked the Lord what I was seeing. As did I did so, the red color of the headband moved up towards the feather – turning it red before becoming a dense red cloud blocking all sight. After a time the red cloud slowly faded, reliving a bright multicolored feather standing tall in the darkness. As I watched this feather begin move – rocking softly in the wind…. then the feather faded into hundreds of trees lining sides of the mountains as they overlooked a fogy valley. Then my eyes opened…. Not quite sure what had happened or what God was up to, I cautiously asked one of my companions if a gray feather meant anything to him. Happily it did – which lead...

Asia Summit Debrief

The last few days have been crazy!!! Just about every spare minute was used talking to people, building relationships, and networking with folks from 15 different nations. Worshiping the Lord with these guys and gals gives one a picture of heaven – the nations rejoicing and praising the King Most High! The focus of the conference as been the Vineyard Values – with each of the main sessions tackling one of the five core values of the Vineyard. Phil Strout, the new Vineyard USA National Director, spoke Tuesday night about the Kingdom of God and following the King. Wednesday morning saw a panel of speakers from various nations talk about and answer questions concerning being a reconciling community. That evening a lady from the Philippines spoke about compassionate ministry using stories from her life and the people in her church. We ‘played’ Thursday morning with folks going swimming, shopping, or sleeping. But that evening we were right back at it with a session on culturally relevant mission. Or we were suppose to have a panel talking about that… God had other plans as we spend the evening worshiping, praying for each other, and basically experiencing the presences of God. Phil Strout ended the summit meeting with a great, but tough, talk on experiencing God through the cup given to us by the Lord. This cup could be one of suffering or joy, bitterness or love, fame or shadow, wealth or poverty…. like I said, it was a tough but needed message. Actually that phrase, “Tough but needed”, sums up this entire week fairly well. I have had to have...
Sitting In An Airport

Sitting In An Airport

I’m sitting in an airport today waiting for my plane to load…. Not much is happening other then that… just waiting… In a little bit I will be boarding a plane for Seoul, South Korea, and then to Cebu, Philippines for the Asia Summit.  It should be a good time hanging out with old friends, God and a ton of new friends. Sunday should be really good as I get to attend one of the Filipino Vineyard churches! 🙂 Prayer Requests: Travel mercy Focus – I am hoping to spend some time writing during the layovers and at the hotel in Cebu, only I know myself and I can see myself getting sidetracked… 😛 Connections – As the Philippine Partnership representative, please pray that I will be able to make some good connections with the pastors and missionaries at the summit. Presences of G0d – pray that I will see and hear God throughout this trip as I want to walk with Him. That’s about all… Hopefully the hotel will have wifi so I can post updates throughout the week…otherwise you will all have to wait a week or so. 😀...
Headed to the Philippines

Headed to the Philippines

Two weeks ago I had no plans for leaving Idaho, let alone for going out of the country… yet, I can now announce that I am headed to the Southeast Vineyard Asia Summit in Cebu, Philippines in ten days (Nov 11-19th). It is a good things I keep a passport on hand. 🙂 How did this happen? And why so fast? Well, a few weeks ago, I was attending the Vineyard Boise Christian Fellowship Missions Board meeting when it was discovered that the folks who were originally planning on going to the Asia Summit were unable to go. Being part of the Board and having visited the area previously, I was asked to attend the Summit and foster the connection we have with the Vineyard churches in the Philippines. After a few days praying about the trip and talking with folks, I felt like Jesus said to go…so I bought tickets and made the proper arrangements. 😀 I would appreciate it if you all would be praying for me as I still has some travel details to work out… this will also be the first time I have embarked on solo international trip as all my other trips have been with teams, so please pray for travel mercy as I navigate all the ins-and-outs of international travel. :/ Oh…and above all, pray that this will be a relaxing, peaceful trip as life has been really hectic lately. :/...