Body clock at the ready; it's another early start! Over breakfast we heard Gemma's life story & we're all pretty in awe of this woman of great spiritual maturity even after only having known the Lord for a short time in her adult life. As a team we've also been reminded of the importance of early investment in young lives as Gemma was discipled in her early formative years, perhaps a large part of the reason for her maturity now!?
After the world's shortest jeepney ride - literally around 300m (good ole health and safety) we arrived again at the community that we had our first adventure into on Wednesday. We were hearing from the Lord that we ought to visit house to house again but also to leave some to inhabit the church building to pray, worship & intercede as well as be ready to receive people and offer hospitality. We also felt reminded to focus on Deuteronomy 28 - that The Lord has given us principles that lead to fruitfulness and life lived well - it was the fullness of life together that we wanted to learn together with this community.
We co-opted some young gents - aged around 7 - to be our 'tour guides' helping us navigate around the community. We found plenty of people hanging out and enjoying their Saturday. Some we had met before and some we encountered for the first time. Plenty of banter, plenty of learning about families, dreams & needs. We met four heavily pregnant women who we were able to bless, it made me rather wish that Freya was here. We also found the young chap healed on Wednesday from his hip and shoulder issues - walking around freely with no misalignment and no pain. We discovered why he wasn't so happy about having being healed. Our tour guides told us that he is a Muslim & that he was scared and that his family didn't want to know the gospel - we explained that we had no desire to 'convert' him but that we were simply happy that he had freedom from his ailment and that the kingdom of God has come near to him.
On our return to the church building we found a hoard of kids and perhaps 10 adults as well. One of the team introduced me to a tatai (grandad) who had a broken leg a ceased back which obviously led to rather limited mobility. Some of the team and I prayed several times and each time the man seemed to be getting better; he straightened up, experimented with some twisting, bending, walking (video below) and finally he ran! I didn't see him arrive but those who saw him were amazed at the transformation - this then led to a woman having a partially blind eye being restored & the associated pain in her eyes and head disappearing; a woman being healed of fever and stomach issues & there were others who said that prayer had healed them of pain in various areas - we couldn't see any physiological or anatomical changes but there were significant changes in countenance and this added to the party atmosphere which a few more had now joined as well! There were two children, one with a rash & one with swollen glands neither of which got healed so please do pray for them. Those parents were explaining that they had both developed the condition due to washing in the river. After further questioning we learned that the lack of good water for washing and drinking is one of their biggest concerns.
We finished our time together by celebrating communion with various breads and bihon (really fine noodles) bought in the community. Togetherness, freely giving, freely receiving, healing, reconciliation different nations together... A vanguard of the kingdom!
In the afternoon we sought the Lord as a team and reflected on our first few days & our goal of being part of God's justice being enacted here in Cagayan; that the oppressed and downtrodden would be empowered, those with ailments healed & those who are trapped, set free. Many opportunities ahead... Watch this space!