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August Newsletter

August 28, 2013

In the two weeks or so leading up to the marriage seminar, we were kinda hitting ourselves over the head for scheduling two seminars back to back, simultaneous with the opening of Bible School classes. Then with the terrible weather we had the week leading up to the first seminar, Luke was seriously considering postponing the seminars. If the weather didn't cooperate, we thought we might be looking at two miserable, grueling weeks of hosting a ton of people in less than ideal conditions. So all things considered, I'd say it was best case scenario.


We had an opening night service with testimonies and special numbers. It was really a blessed time... with unusually encouraging testimonies and special numbers. A huge, I mean HUGE beautiful moth flew in and flitted over everyone's heads for a while then perched on one of the beams near the front. It reminded me of Maw... cuz Vid called Moths - Maws. :) I think God sent it to encourage me, or to make me hope Mom was there watching and participating. :)

Luke shared each morning and evening. We split up the men and women for the second morning session, and Luke shared with the men and I shared with the ladies. Luke's sharing went well. He used his Marriage and the Family course based on The Kingdom Living Series from Pastor Mark Byers and Calvary Christian Church, with examples from his own Christian upbringing, and our own marriage experience. I think that many marriages were strengthened by the teaching.

On Thursday, the last day of the Seminar, we held a Renewal of Vows Ceremony. We had 26 couples participate this year. Though we have held them before for the Bible school students, this was the first time for pastors. We did everything we could to make it like a real wedding. Most of the brides found something white to wear... not just the top ten longest married couples. Many were all dressed and ready for picture taking at the beach by 7am. The wedding started at 9:30am.

Our Door of Hope house parents both participated, celebrating their 25th silver wedding anniversary.

We had a white aisle runner, with 3 flower arrangements on either side connected by tulle, then palm branches and more flowers in all the windows.

We managed to seat all 26 couples at 4 large tables across the front for the meal after the wedding.




There was a moment of panic after the wedding, when Raul came to Luke and told him he didn't have any help with the pig roast, so it wouldn't be ready until dinner time. And someone else realized the fish we had reserved on ice for the wedding, hadn't been roasted either.  But after getting over our shock, we realized the Lord is never surprised and has everything under control even when we don't.  As all the Brides and Grooms were seated at the head tables, I announced that they couldn't go home just yet after the wedding, but had to wait till Friday morning.. cuz the litson (pig roast) wasn't cooked yet and would be served for dinner. To which they all laughed and cheered. There was plenty of food. Everyone was filled to the brim. The Lord knew we didn't need the litson, and saved the best for last. We served a buko (young coconut) to each couple with two straws in it. When they finished the juice, the bukos were split in half and filled with buko-fruit salad. :) Just like at the Palawan restaurants.

A few other points of interest....Food: Luke invited Joel Nonales, a much sought after cook for weddings, to come and cook for the week to take some of the load off the staff. SO the wedding meal was tops. Housing: The pastors and wives who attended really appreciated the bigger rooms in the new building, even though the rooms were temporarily tarped in.  Weather: After heavy rainfall on Sunday through Monday morning, all we had was a little sprinkle Tues. and Wed. afternoon. :) Even the waves calmed down so the guys could spear fish Tues and Wed. PM. Attendance: We had a great show from the southwest churches. But from the churches of the rest of the Island there was a small representation. So though the attendance was smaller than expected, and we were sorry for those who couldn't make it, we enjoyed good fellowship with those who came. It seemed much more relaxed because of less people. We had about 100 -150 including kids, staff, and bible school students.... about 1/4th of what we expected. So it saved money on rice and fares....

The singles seminar actually had a better attendance then we expected. We had 11 graduate ladies and 17 graduate guys, besides all the single Bible School students... at least another 20 guys and girls, about 70 in all. The theme verse was part of 1 Samuel 7:3- "Prepare your hearts unto the Lord." Again we had special number night and testimonies on Monday night. Luke asked Ptr. Silverio Melendres, to share two sessions. Luke spoke 4 sessions, and I shared in one session how the Lord brought Luke and I together.  We had a question and answer session also.

The graduates went to Katuwayan falls Tuesday afternoon. They played volleyball and beach soccer Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon, we had the single graduates to the house for games ("spoons" and "headbands") and snacks. On Thursday night we, finished up the week with a pig roast and bonfire on the beach. It was a beautiful night and a beautiful week. No rain all week long. Every day was more and more beautiful. After the bonfire, the graduates came back up to the house for fellowship.

We praise God for His goodness and blessing on both seminars. We experienced His abundant grace for the two weeks of ministry. We continue to pray that there will be good fruit in the lives of all those who participated. Now it's back to the regular schedule of keeping the Orphanage, Bible School and Christian School going. Well, that's Luke's and God's job. I just manage our household. It keeps me busy, and I love the job God has given me here at home.

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