Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Spell, A Dream and A Mission

It was as if someone had cast a spell on me. I had read how Douglas MacArthur had said that he had been enchanted by the Philippines the moment his eyes beheld the majesty of Manila Bay. I was equally charmed by the Sprawling City framed by mesmerizing mountains and a spectacular sea! I fell in love with the place and the people – one person in particular – and merged my life path with them! The Philippines has since become an inseparable part of my ministry and life focus.

Luz and I have spent the entirety of our married life reaching out to the Philippines - sometimes in only in small ways, but always with an enormous desire to do our very best to contribute good things for the nation and people. For a season, we quietly pursued full-time missionary service there, but oddly didn’t meet the criteria of the ministry group with which we served at the time.

Undeterred in our desire to somehow serve in the Pearl of the Orient, we found other ways to devote our time, talent and resources to ministries that touched people lives. Our dreams and desires found a main point of focus in the ministry we now call Angelstone – a ministry we have dedicated to the premise that God loves people and is continually in the work of transforming lives for His glory and their benefit. It is our calling to share that great news through our actions and words, giving people true hope in situations that are desperate and sometimes border on impossible.

For the last almost 3 and a half years, we have been blessed to serve in a church that shares a commitment to missions and outreach. Because of the readiness and willingness of individuals in our church to be actively involved, and a tremendous team of ministry partners in the Philippines, we are now thrilled to be leading our first team mission outreach to ministries we have helped to start and build in the Philippines!

Our focused expedition will begin on March 23 and extend through April 3. During our time in the Philippines we will reach out to the extremely poor on a Manila Garbage Dump, then travel to the central Philippine island of Bohol to encourage couples who want their marriages to be sources of blessing and peace, offer health screening and basic medical assistance to those who have not been able to afford any kind of medical treatment, show the Jesus Film to groups who have never really heard an accurate account of Jesus’ life and ministry, sponsor a basketball camp and hold a multi-day session of Vacation Bible School!

The ministries in which we will take part are the fruit of years of sowing seeds of love and seeking to reach out to people who have not had the blessing of effectively connecting to a ministry. Our team is made up of a great mixture of demographics and personalities. We have crossed age barriers, racial barriers and all kinds of other barriers to put together our Dream Team! We are also backed by an equally diverse multitude of people who have given to our work, prayed for us in our work and showered us with love and encouragement as we have stepped forward to carry out our work for the glory of the Lord.

Stay tuned as we roll along on our journey, taking the time here and there to post what we are experiencing and to share how the work is impacting us and those we seek to serve. There is no doubt that we are dreamers, and we are delighted to have you along as we see our dreams to serve coming true! Until next time…

Sam J.

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