February 9, 2013
Dear Praying Friends,
Pastor Hermando Abelitado was one of our college’s early graduates and started several churches that reached tribes in the mountains. His life was taken in a roadside accident a few days before Christmas as he was preparing for his newest church’s anniversary. He was married and had four children. The alumni and staff here loved him, and it was quite a shock to us all when it happened. I had spoken to him two weeks prior, and he was excited about his church and a future project we had been planning. The picture above is of a memorial service at our December alumni meeting. We heard some great testimonies from his fellow pastors. Please pray for his family and church as they figure out what to do next.
Yesterday I traveled to Cebaguan, Tapaz, Capiz, to visit with some pastors and to recruit for the college. I was served sweet fried bananas called Banana-Q and Coke, cordially breaking my New Year’s resolution, as I didn’t want to insult my hosts’ limited beverage selection. The village is a few kilometers northwest of nowhere, and I was advised to be out by dark because of some skirmishes in the past with insurgents. I listened. Here is a picture of some of the teenagers who enrolled at Iloilo Baptist College.
Brandie, TJ, and Ava are good, though Ava is developing a strange vocabulary. There was a giant spider in our bathroom (giant even by tropical standards) and TJ tried to shoot it with his Nerf gun (a toy, if I need to clarify). I explained to him that the spider was our friend because it eats roaches and scorpions. TJ had somehow remembered where he had seen a dead roach outside a few days earlier and scooped it up on a paper with his sad/angry face drawn on it and presented his peace offering to the spider. Whatever cognitive, analytical, or critical thinking abilities a spider may have, watching me and TJ have this talk in front of her (we named it Betsy) must have been entertaining. Brandie upset me and sprayed a different one, also a giant, in TJ’s room last night (pictured below). I don’t know who’s the weirdest in our family, probably yours truly. The mission field can do some strange things to your mind.
If I may, there are a few things I’d like to ask you to pray about: our soon-to-be radio station, college graduation in March and church planting by those graduates, Family Day in two weeks, and, as always, student recruitment.