One Week and Counting

Well, we’re almost through our first week of ministry.  After the weekend we’ve settled into a rhythm of ministry at Cebu City Alliance Church (C.C.A.C.).  In the afternoons (and on a few mornings) it serves as an afterschool program for well over 100 children from the community called Loving My Neighbor.  Most of the kids are sponsored through Compassion International and come to get a little love, hear a little gospel, and eat a little rice and meat.  This week we’ve been giving a lot of love, trying to present the gospel through songs and stories, and eating a little rice and meat with them.  We’re usually not used to whatever mystery meats show up on our plates – but usually by that point in the day we’re hungry enough to live with the mystery.
Tuesday we were welcomed by the local church.  We had a big meal and a bit of a dinner party where we played youth group games with a bunch of local pastors.  It was a blast watching a bunch of foreign pastors cheating to try to win The Human Knot.  We even played charades, during which someone mistakenly took my “Beautician” gestures for a “Prostitute!”  Overall, it was a beautiful time of sharing our stories and a lot of laughs with the leadership of C.C.A.C. and breaking through a few more cultural barriers.
This weekend we will be finishing our time at Loving My Neighbor, so pray that our last few days with the children will be incredible and that they truly will see Jesus through our feeble attempts to show them love.
Saturday, after we visit Loving My Neighbor for the last time, we will be teaching and singing at a feeding in the community of Lorego.  Lorego is a squatter camp in the middle of a gothic-style cemetary.  The houses are mostly tin and scrap metal built around the above ground tombs of the cemetary.  The tombs are broken, grafittied, or modified into pulpits, coffee tables, or beds.  We’ve been able to visit Lorego twice in the past week, and some of the children regularly attend Loving My Neighbor.  There are loads of children, mostly dirty and hungry.  There is also a lot of drug trafficking and prostitution that go on around the community.
Saturday afternoon, we will be helping to facilitate a True Love Waits conference on the campus of a local college.  We had an orientation meeting last night to learn more about the event, and it was probably one of my favorite times we’ve had so far.  Trying to communicate in English with the people of Cebu is sometimes a challenge, but when the communication revolves around topics like sex, and when you play games in which each member of your team receives and imaginary sexually transmitted diseases – the communication becomes hilarious.
Sunday we will visit a new church as well as the church pastored by one of our hosts, Pastor Ruben. 
This week as a team we’ve been studying the mind of Christ – trying to dig into what it means to think like Jesus thinks and to see the world like Jesus sees it.  Since Jesus seemed to disagree with the Pharisees on a lot of points we’ve looked at the things he had to say about the Pharisees.  We have been trying to find the parts of our hearts and minds that operate more like the Pharisees and less like Jesus – so that we can drag those things out of our dark corners and closets and into God’s light.  All of this in the hopes of having our minds renewed and transformed to be more like Christ’s.


Also, if you want to see a lot of really bad car accidents ALMOST happen right in front of you, you should come to Cebu City.  It really gets your blood flowing – and once you get used to it, its really entertaining.


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