Cover Letter for December 2017 FFI
Issue No. 353 - Cover Letter
I apologize for sending out the FFI a few days late. I thought I would be able to write the December FFI immediately when I returned from Cambodia, but I was delayed. Originally, my intent was to return on Saturday, November 25, but as I was booking my flights last September, I felt nudged to come home two days early on the 23th. Afterward, I thought I may have made a mistake, but it proved to be the leading of the Spirit.
On Monday, November 20, a good friend from Minnesota, Kevin Jacobson, passed away, and his funeral was held on Saturday the 25th. If I had gone by the original plan, I would have returned too late in the day to attend his funeral. So it all worked together perfectly by returning on the evening of the 23rd.
I also made prior arrangements to teach at the Apostolic Revival Center, pastored by Chris Reed in Peru, Indiana on Sunday, December 3rd. Chris was one of our speakers at the Tabernacles conference in mid-October. We were introduced by telephone last summer through our mutual friend, brother Robbie Yeats, who has spoken at our conferences a couple of times. We have since become good friends. I did not meet Chris face to face until the October conference, and now my wife and I will be able to visit with him for a few days and to meet the people in his congregation.
Teaching in the Philippines
I plan to give a full report online about the month-long trip to the Philippines and Cambodia, complete with many pictures. It took most of a morning to sort the pictures and get them ready for the report.
Brad and I flew to the Philippines on October 24, arriving in Manila the evening of October 25. The next day we flew to Davao City on the southern end of Mindanao. I had asked not to speak at the two-day conference Oct. 26, 27, but rather to teach in a series of meetings where I could get into deeper teachings.
I did, however, speak at Pastor Cano’s church on Sunday, Oct. 29, after getting a word from the Lord about the Philippines. I noted that Philip was the first to begin the Great Commission, when he left Jerusalem to preach the word in Samaria (Acts 8:5). I believe that Philip was a prophetic type of the Philippines and that the Philippines will raise up evangelists to preach the gospel of the Kingdom to other parts of the world.
Our task is to train and equip Filipinos in the deeper things of the word of God, so that they can fulfill their calling.
You know, of course, how signs follow important revelations of the word (Mark 16:17). As it turned out, after the meeting, Pastor Cano went to the airport to fly out on Philippine Airlines (PAL). He was flying to Alaska, where he will be ministering for the next two years. I thought it was interesting that Philip also took a flight on “Philip Airlines,” as I have long called it.
That was my introductory teaching on this trip. Meanwhile, Brad was asked to teach in a nearby church, where he was able to counsel a young, troubled girl who had been contemplating suicide. All in all, it was a good day.
I then taught for the next five days at Pastor Sammy’s church. Two years ago, I had taught in his church one Sunday morning, so I already knew him. He is a key figure, a leader and an overseer of many other pastors and churches. My main theme was Knowing Your Identity, relating to the principles of Sonship and the New Creation Man.
During that first week, we were going up an escalator at the SM Shopping Mall when an American woman tapped us on the shoulder, asking if we were Americans. We discovered that she and her husband had been missionaries in the Philippines for the past 4½ years. They had a church about 2 blocks from the mall. The next day we were able to meet her family as well, and we discovered that they understood the Restoration of All Things!
We spent the day with them on November 6, as they took us to the mountain overlooking Davao City. There we did our first prayer work at a large, old historic tree. There we prayed to bless and cleanse the land of innocent blood in the manner that we learned at the Passover conference earlier this year.
The rest of the week was spent teaching at Pastor Bing Oligario’s church. I had taught one day at her church two years ago, so it was nice to renew our friendship. After each teaching, she got up and summarized the teaching to reinforce it in the minds of the people. I think it was also her way of processing it in her own mind. I have found that the people are very hungry for the word, and more than one pastor told me privately that he was glad that I was sharing the deeper things of the word. So many come with a simple evangelistic message that is soon forgotten.
We flew to Cambodia on November 11 and stayed for 12 days. Setra met us at the airport in Siem Reap, and he told us that he had just learned that he was engaged to be married. (Both he and his fiancé had put in their request previously, but only on his arrival in Cambodia did he learn that it was “official.”
Since his father is dead and he had no family with him, he asked me to be his father and Brad to be his brother at the (elaborate) engagement ceremony. This was a great honor for us, and it gave us additional authority to do our work. So we played our roles in the Cambodian traditional ceremony on November 16. I will post pictures of this, of course, when I do the longer report online on my website.
Most of our work in Cambodia focused upon cleansing the land of innocent blood at various sites where the Pol Pot regime had killed so many people in the late 1970’s. In those days having an education was a capital offense, and much of the educated class was eradicated from Cambodia. A third of the population was killed. Setra himself (as a child) was a survivor of the “killing fields.” He took us to sites where he had not been able to enter, on account of the pain and anger that he could feel in the atmosphere and within his own heart. After we prayed, he could feel the pain lift, and we knew that our prayers were accomplishing much.
Because of our new position as Setra’s family, Brad and I found ourselves guests of the bride’s family. His fiancé, Daravy, is a beautiful 28-year-old girl who heads up a humanitarian organization. So nine of us piled into two cars and drove to a few remote primary schools, where we gave poor school children uniforms, pens, slippers, books, backpacks, note pads, etc. They were so excited to get these supplies!
One school, situated in a small community in the middle of miles of rice paddies, consisted of a hundred elementary school children whose parents had abandoned them in order to find work in Thailand. The local policeman watched over them and protected them. We went to another primary school in the middle of a forest, and it took 2 hours on an awful road to get there. The road was wet clay, destroyed by logging trucks that had left deep holes in the road. The logging was illegal, but they came during the rainy season when no one was looking. Getting bogged down on the roads absolutely destroyed the roads.
But we made it on 4-wheel drive vehicles and blessed 55 school children with school supplies and uniforms. We then continued south to Phnom Penh and even further south to the beautiful beach. I think it was supposed to be a pre-honeymoon of sorts to celebrate the engagement. Daravy and her parents, her brother, two other friends, Brad and I, and Setra himself spent part of the day at the beach before driving back to Siem Reap so that we could catch the plane back to Manila and then home to Minneapolis.