Saturday, October 27, 2012

They That Wait Upon The Lord....

    I think as a child of God one of the hardest things I do is... WAIT!  I'm so busy in "the doing" of the ministry, and even find myself sometimes trying to tell God how I THINK the best way for him to answer my prayers,  that I miss the lessons and the blessings HE has for me in the waiting.  As we raise finances to finish the building of the church in the Philippines I have to learn that God is in control and he knows what is best for us. I want to see the church completed and ready for the church members to begin having services in it right now, but I must remind myself that God knows the future and what will be best for us and for the church members! He has told me quite often that HE can work things out just fine without my help!

   We are so excited at the progress that has been made on the Liberty Bible Baptist Mission in Negros, Philippines. Unfortunately, we have had to put it on hold until we can raise more finances for it! The construction crew have the first floor finished and were ready to start on the second floor,but are now just waiting on us to raise enough money to do the next stage.

   We're getting closer to the Christmas Season and that brings us to our most special time of serving The Lord. Our Christmas Gift Giving program.  We are looking at supplying gifts for 3600 children this year. We cannot do it by ourselves, it takes the love and help of ALL our friends to make this happen! For a gift of $25.00 YOU can give a Christmas Gift to a child who would receive nothing without your help.This $25.00 will purchase a new pair of shoes, a backpack, a toy, fruit and candy. It also make a way for us to be able to preach to the child's family members and bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ's birth to those who have never heard. It gives us a chance to tell them what Christmas is all about and why Jesus was born. God has always blessed us with a great harvest of souls saved each year. If you want to donate towards this or the church building project you can safely do this through the PayPal button to the right.  I will post more pictures of the new church building a post more about the Christmas Program next week! Hope to see you then.

Love and Gratitude from  a Gypsy For Jesus

Monday, October 15, 2012

Progress on the Church in the Philippines

Pastor Catamco and 3 of his kids.
   I am so amazed at how God answers pray! I know I shouldn't be but I am. I guess it's more the way  than him answering my prayers. I have been a Child of the Lord Jesus for over 37 years now and I get so excited to see how God is "going to do one more time"! We began getting things ready to build a church on the island of Negros, Philippines back in 2010 by first getting our foundation recognized by the Philippine Government. That little job took us over 1 1/2 years and more money than I can tell you of.  We purchased a small piece of land in December of 2011in the village of Guihulngan,Negros where Pastor Arturo Catamco pastors the Liberty Bible Baptist Mission. As soon as he was able he put up a small brush arbor style church and built pews our of planks. This dear pastor has such a heart for the lost and is on fire to reach them. He and his wife, Emily and their 5 children have given their lives to work in this area that needs a sound Bible preacher. The cults are so strong in this area and they are constantly trying to steal away the new Christians.
   Praise the Lord we broke ground for the building project in September of 2012 and the church is about 3/4th of the way to being completed. God blessed the foundation with a sweet family donating a large financial gift toward getting it started and God is sending the rest in BY FAITH!!!!
   The contractor and his work crew of 9 men showed up early on a Thursday morning ready to work, but Pastor Catamco wouldn't let them start until he had a Bible study with them! Praise the Lord six men accepted Jesus as their Lord and can to church with their families on Sunday morning!!! Now he has a Bible study with these men every morning before they go to work.   Keep praying for us as we raise the money for this church, please. The total cost of the church building is $26,000.00 and we have had $10,000.00 come in. So please help us pray that God will bring in the remaining $16,000.00 so we can complete this project and see the Liberty Bible Baptist Mission  grow for the Lord.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Crazy Travel or Travel Crazy?

   I used to wonder about these people you see in airports who are sprawled out all over the benches or even worse, on the floor. It's been so bad in some places we have flown into that you had to literally step over bodies!! BUT! After more than 13 years of flying all over the world I have joined this crazy group of people who are spread out like dead bodies from complete exhaustion! I have even thought about shoving a persons feet off of a padded bench so I could lay down on the end of it! The only thing that kept me from that or laying on the floor is my Germ-a-phobic hubby! He has been my pillow, my cover and my alarm clock on so many trips that I can't even think of travel without him!

   People have made the comment to me on so many occasions that there is no way they could do what we do. My answer is always the same,"When you are doing what GOD has called you to do, he also gives you the heart, love and strength to do it! Where God guides, God provides".  I love the work that God has placed us over and I love working for the Lord. All the places I have been and the things I have experienced are more than I can put in one blog, but I am going to try and put some of the milder happenings down for your enjoyment. Maybe then you can help me tell if I've become that Crazy traveler or just travel crazy!

   I have learned (the hard way) to never say, "I AM NEVER GOING TO DO....(fill in the blank)", cause I really believe God has a sense of Humor and tries us when we say we won't do something! Yep! I made the silly statement that you'd never get me onto a pump boat!!! Silly woman!

   THIS.... is called a PUMP BOAT! It is a local boat made by fisherman in the Philippines. Now, it doesn't look like much in this picture, does it!  It is hand made with bamboo out riggers for balance. This boat is 18 foot long and I would say about 3 1/2  feet wide. When they tell you it's a pump boat does not mean it is equipped with a pump! Then you begin to wonder why would you need a pump?  The owner of the boat kept trying to reassure me that it was a new boat, it was a good boat!  I sure wasn't feeling very confident in it or the captain. Please notice the "plank" that little filipino man is walking across with my briefcase.  There are life jackets for the passengers, but if you notice they are tied down on the outside of the "roof". The reason we ended up on this tiny pump boat is that we got to the dock and because there wasn't enough people to take across on the regular ferry they cancelled it! Well, that's great except we HAD to get to Cebu Island from Negros to get to the airport to fly out at 5 am the next morning! The young pastor we were with kept telling us to not worry that he'd get us across! I think next time I'm going to be asking a lot more questions before I say okay!!!! He brought us over to look at this boat and my stomach did a flip!! After haggling with the man on how much he was going to charge us, we gave him $80.00 to take us across an 18 mile strip of the Asian sea.
   Silly Americans, we are standing there thinking okay, it can't take very long to get across 18 miles in the daylight so we agreed to go.  After loading our 3 HUGE suitcases (I know, I still travel with way too much junk) 2 roller briefcases, my purse (which has been called a small suitcase) and Harrell's Computer case we climbed down these huge boulders to get on the boat. You would have thought that the red flags would have started going off because we had to literally climb into it! I told Harrell if he took any pictures of me he would surely die!!!! Once we got on the boat and settled in, a rush of people climbed on with us! I counted 19 people when we pushed away from shore!
   The sun began going down and before we get a few miles out into the water it is dark! I have never seen night time come on so quickly. We pull into a dock at a little island that's just a couple of miles out to get gas! All of the passengers got off here and we had to wait for the boat men to go into town to get gas for the little 18 Horse powered engine. After almost 45 minutes we are asking what's going on and why is it taking so long. Finally we are told that they Captain had to jump on a motor bike and go into the next town to get gas! When he came back he was holding 2 bleach bottles! We were latter told that it was against the law for them to transport after a certain time because this area is a shipping lane for the big freighters.  Once we were under way again we start to notice a few things that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up! Number one; there are no lights of any kind on this boat, #2; no radio #3; You couldn't see the other island except when you were on top of a wave!
This really made me appreciate the story of the disciples when they were on that little boat with Jesus in the midst of a storm.  The weather was fairly calm but we still were riding some awesome waves. I was sitting about mid way of the boat and I was completely wet from waves splashing over the side.
   About an hour into the trip the captain stopped the boat and one of the men started tearing the floor up next to me. I was so shocked when I saw the water that was in the lower part of that boat. Even more shocked when this man pulled out a big jug with the top cut of and started baling water!!! That's when I realized that just because they call it a pump boat doesn't mean they have a PUMP!!!!!!!!! That really freaked me out! All this time I was praying and asking God to help us make it to the other side okay. This little act put some fire into my prayers and it became VERY serious that God hear me!  Then latter they stopped the boat so they could swap the bleach bottles that were the boats gas tanks. I was just praying that this trip would end with us safely on Cebu!
   We did make it to Cebu, but it took us 3 hours to do it. by the time we made it to the shores of Cebu the tide was out so this made the dock 9 feet above our heads! We then began a search up and down the coast trying to find a place to go ashore. With the tide out we couldn't get close enough to the shore to walk onto the beach. We had to wade on to the beach in water that came up to my hips! If you can get the picture set in your mind of me in a skirt with my purse and computer case over my head, wading across huge rocks barefoot just so I could get off that boat I'm sure you'd get a good giggle! I was wet, scared and just a little mad at the young pastor so when I came off that boat all those men got out of my way!!! So take it from a traveler when I say, "Never say Never" cuz you just might have to!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Little Time Alone...

   I'm sitting here all alone in the quite because my grand children have gone to the church to help their momma and daddy work for a little bit. It is so amazing just how quite it seems after the noise and commotion of 3 kids playing with all of their might all around me. I love the life, the energy, the total abandonment of their imaginations. 

   Jacob, who will be 8 years old in December is so obsessed with Legos! He has such a vivid imagination when it comes to building with these tiny little blocks! He has never seen an episode of Star Wars but has a Wii game for it so he knows everything about Star Wars without having seen a single movie!! Go figure! I have had a fantastic time spoiling him and giving him stuff and loving on him! About every 3 days he will walk up to me and measure how talk he is next to me!!! His Pappy keeps telling him that measuring against nanny isn't very tall! He doesn't care, he just wants to grow!! He tells me that as soon as he grows up he wants to "go around the world like Pappy and Nanny"! I'm waiting for that too.
   It's hard to believe he's in the second grade already! He loves school, especially since his momma is his teacher! Lena has been home schooling since last year and the kids love it. Well, they enjoy most of it! I can't wait to see what God has in store for this little man of ours. Of course, my prayer is that God will call him to preach and that he will either be a pastor or a missionary.

   Lydia Mae is and always will be my little Princess! She is such a beauty and loves to dress up. I laughed at her yesterday because she changed her clothes at least 6 times in one day!!! And she has a wild love for all SHOES!!!! I wonder where she gets that from, all at the age of six years old? We got up this morning and her daddy (that's Brad) was telling them he had a surprise for the kids. He was going to surprise them with a trip to the park to play before they went to the church to work. The first thing out of Lydia's mouth was, "OH, Daddy! Are you taking me to the MALL?" We got a big laugh out of that and told her dad that it was starting already.
   Lydia has such a sweet heart and she is a great helper in whatever you need to do. She is the one who will ask to help you or start picking up things. It has been a joy to be with her these days and see my baby girl growing into such a sweet little thing. Don't get me wrong...she is definitely a Drama Queen when she wants to be! I am praying that God will guide her and help her to grow in grace and beauty for HIM. She likes most of her schooling but would much rather be painting her fingernails. 

Lily Jean is so full of life that I need a nap after spending time with her! I couldn't find my iPad and so I know to just go ask Lily where she put it. I was looking for a picture to send to a pastor and found over 50 pictures she had taken of herself!!! SHE'S FOUR YEARS OLD!!! I asked her how she did it and she proceeded to show me how to use the camera and put special effects on the pictures. She looked at me as to say, "Well, Duh, Nanny!"  I think her mom and dad are going to have their hands full with this one! She keeps me laughing and looking for what she's going to come up with next! The greatest thing that has happened with Lily is that she accepted Jesus as her Savior in July and we were blessed to be here to see her baptized. She crawled up in my lap and told me she was going to get baptized in the churches swimming pool! Hmmmm? makes you wonder if she's been swimming in it before! I am praying that God will use her and her energy to make a difference in people all around her.  She is that wonderful mixture of prissy and a little bit of a tomboy. She can climb trees while wearing her princess high heels and never miss a beat! She has brought me bugs, leaves and lizards. I told her that was okay BUT, NO SPIDERS!!!!! I am so blessed to have these 3 precious jewels from God. I pray that I can live my life before them that they will never be ashamed of me or my service for the Lord. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

The Beginning of a Dream!

    After many years we are finally ready to begin the construction of the new church building for the Liberty Bible Baptist Mission on the island of Negros, Philippines. Pastor Arturo Catamco has been working in this area for about 7 years now and has had to move his "church" 10 times. It's hard enough having to relocate but also so disheartening because in many of the moves he lost church members. Not because they didn't want to move but because the new location of the church was too far for them to walk and they had no money to spare to catch a ride.
    The Brian Noble Children's Foundation was able to purchase a plot of land back in December of 2011 and have been praying that God would send us the money to begin construction. The church will be a 24x18 square feet, two-storied building. We are so excited to start breaking ground now!!
Future site of Liberty Bible Baptist Mission
    In June of 2012 we had the honor of holding their first ever evangelistic revival services under a tent! God blessed us in that 4 day meeting with over 50 souls saved!  God blessed us with such a sweet spirit and a full house every night. It was so thrilling to see both young  and old giving their lives to Jesus Christ.
   With a building here Pastor Catamco can be settled and not have to worry about the greed of landlords who raise the rental of a piece of land so high that he cannot afford to remain there.  Brother Catamco, his wife, Emily and their 5 children will live in a portion of the upstairs area of the church so this will relieve him of having to pay rent for the little place they are staying now.  The Bible is so true when it said," It's more blessed to give than to receive"!!  This will also provide a stable place to have the Feeding program for the children in the area as well as a place to train those who accept Christ as their Savior.
Pastor Arturo Catamco and family

         God has miraculously given us half of the $20,000.00 needed to build this church. As with all building projects there will be over runs and unexpected costs but we are depending on the same GOD who brought in the money to begin with!
     We are making plans to go back over to Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, PH on August the 14th  to meet with the Engineer and Contractor to set up a schedule of building.  We ask that you would please pray for us as we begin this project that JESUS WILL BE GLORIFIED AND HIS HAND WILL BE ON US.      If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause you can give through the PayPal account on the side bar. All gifts are so very much appreciated and they are tax deductible.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From Tragedy Rises A dream....

       One week ago today we experienced a terrible tragedy at the Berean Bible Baptist Church in Binalbagan, Negros, Philippines.

    The church building that has stood as a lighthouse and a beckon of truth for over 25 years burned to the ground. They believe it was caused by faulty wiring. The fire took down the building in such a quick manner that the Fire Department could not save anything. It has been hard to know that this building that has so many great memories is there no more.

     We praise the Lord though that the building is not the church!! Within 2 days the pastor and all of the members had begun salvaging what materials they could and began making plans to go forward for the Lord. We praise the Lord that there were no injuries and that the members have a vision of what GOD is going to raise up out of the ashes of the past.

    It is going to cost about $50,000.00 to rebuild the church building and replace all of the pews, sound system, Piano, guitars, tile. carpet and fans that were lost also. As far as we know, the only thing they could salvage was the tin for he roof. PLease pray with us that God will supply the need to rebuild this mighty church back up to be that haven of rest and lighthouse this city needs.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blessings come in Strange Packages!

For some people they have a preconceived idea on how they think God is going to bless them. It's easy to see a need and think , okay God can answer this need "this way" or "that". We pray and tell God we have a need and then we tell him how we want him to answer our prayers!!  One of our dear pastors in the Philippines was in need of a new motor bike for his ministry.  He uses this with a side car to pick up children and adults for church every Sunday. He also uses it to take food out to all of the feeding sites we have established through his church. At this time he is feeding and teaching the Bible at 12 different areas.
Now, we had been praying and asking God to answer this need but, we had also been trying to figure out how WE were going to do it!! We took a couple from Texas with us in January and when we visited Pastor Catamco's church they were overwhelmed at all he was doing. Brother Gregg said he wanted to take a ride in the side car so we sent him out with the Pastor. He came back telling us how bad the bike was and how there was no way it could run much longer. He returned to Texas and shared this need with the men in the church in within a week he had raised enough money to purchase Pastor Arturo Catamco a brand new bike for the ministry! This is a great need for all of the pastors in the Philippines. We have personally seen them put 16 children on a bike and sidecar for church. Talk about a bus ministry!!!!

Pastor Arturo is also in need of property to build a church building on. He has found this piece of land that we have claimed fort he Lord. In the 2 years we have know and supported Brother Catamo He has had to move his church 4 TIMES! All he can do is pay a person a small rent to use their land, or as they are doing right now, having church in a ladies carport. Help us pray for this land that GOD will give it to us to build a church that will stand true to God's Word and His Truth! The people in the Photo are bro. Arturo, his wife, Emily and their 5 children.

Just to share a little humor on one of our trips...
This is Harrell, me, Carol Jones, Gregg Jones and all of our luggage in a jeepney. It was so crowded that Harrell and our Field Rep, Renie Jun, finally hung off of the back. It was close to 35 minutes to where we were staying and they hung on to the back the whole way!!! The roads were bumpy and the drivers were down right crazy! Just imagine hanging onto the back of a race car, plowing down a bumpy race track with a drive who is trying his best to hit every hole in the road and you have our trip in a Jeepney!!!  It was an exciting adventure and it was all worth it to see the 600 souls saved on that trip. This is not just children accepting the Lord as their Savior but their parents also. We are so blessed that God has allowed us to be a part of the work on the islands of Cebu and Negros, Philippines.
If you would like to help us we would be so grateful. We not only have to raise the money for rice (close to 2 tons a month) to feed the hungry each month but we also do an Annual Youth Camp and Christmas Gift Giving Program every year. God is so good to let us see so many saved through these ministries he has placed in our care.
Don't forget to pray for us if you can't do anything else!!!