Thrilla in Manila – Grace Empowered Conference
GRACE EMPOWERED LIVING MANILA CONFERENCE
My wife Debra and I are excited about an opportunity to do something we have dreamed of for years. It all began thirty years ago when we left with our infant son Daniel to live and work in the Philippines.
While there we we held crusades, spoke to school faculties and students in the university district, spoke in prisons, and filled in as a Pastor in Mindanao. I created materials that were distributed to over 100,000 people. We were filled with vision and purpose to make a difference in that country. Unfortunately our time was cut short because of lack of finances, and over the years we have had a compelling desire to go back to that mission field. We spent three years as Pastors in one denomination who promised that they would fund our efforts in the Philippines, but sadly, we left their organization disappointed.
All In God's Timing!
Recently a Pastor in the Manila area reached out to us. He has been watching our ministry videos for two years. He loves the Grace message and what it can do in the lives of people. He and a group of pastors, are coordinating together to host a GRACE EMPOWERED LIVING Manila Conference. They have already acquired use of a building that will hold 400 people. We will not only hold this conference in Manila but it will be repeated in CAVITE, Laguna and near the Davao, Mindanao area. Alejandro Flores will be our host in Digos City, Mindanao at his church "Jesus is Our Lord Ministries Int."
We both feel strongly that this is a kairos moment. From the moment Pastor Paul reached out to us and started communicating, I became overwhelmed by the presence of God. In many ways it is like a full circle from where we began so many years ago in 1987. Thirty years of desire to reconnect with the Philippines are coming to fruition. God's wonderful GPS system always, always, always works to brings us back to His purpose that he places in our hearts.
I can't tell you how stirred we are about this trip. I have no doubts whatsoever about the impact that our efforts will have in working with these ministry leaders. We want to use our time wisely, and are looking to invest ourselves into these people for up to one month. We are leaving the last week in June and will return, the end of July.
These people need to hear a message of freedom and love. Religion has bound so many in this culture. It instigates a message of fear, which dis-empowers them from experiencing God's blueprint for their lives. Debra and I have a passion for connecting people to their true identity and blueprint and showing them what is possible for their lives.
We want to give our friends and family the opportunity to seed into this wonderful opportunity. Can you help us? I believe that God will stir and will bring the full amount that we need, which is about $5,000! God is our source but he uses the relationships of those around us to work through. To that we both say thank you in advance.
It is sometimes difficult for us as westerners to grasp a clear understanding of the Philippines or her people. There has always seemed to be a clash of cultures, with abject poverty in the provinces on the more than 7,000 islands and children seen begging on the streets streets of Manila, and at the same time an industrious people seeking to lift themselves up. They are a family and relationship-based people who are committed and dedicated to the things in which they believe. They are proud of their heritage of standing tall, even though they, as a culture, have suffered greatly. I have sat across the table listening to a Filipino describe themselves as being like a strong bamboo tree that bends with the winds and storms, but never breaks. We were there during the People Power Revolution starting in 1983. The country was represented by half of the population being under the age of 18. We saw the youth as a huge opportunity and reached out to them in the University belt area. Our desire was to print and distribute a magazine called “The Student Prober”. It was a huge vision but we knew that it would open doors into the hearts and minds of the youth of that country. Our maiden issue was to include an article called, Who Are The Supermen of Our Generation?
It addressed our need as a society to look for saviors, superheros as it were. At that time many young people saw Cory Aquino as that one person who would save their country from the previous years of the Marcos regime. Obviously we understand that there is only one who saves and it is He who has given us the mandate to bring answers to our world around us.
Incredible times to be sure. The challenge remains and the needs are just as large today. We believe that God has called us to help....