Apr 10


Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does!! Rick and I have just returned from our trip to a very remote place called “Dalaguete”, on the southern part of the island of Cebu, Philippines. The two hour bus ride was great. It was air conditioned, and as we watched the view of city buildings turn to palm trees and water buffalo, we started to get excited! The city has been wonderful and the friendships that we have developed are priceless. Carrying the Cross in the crowds has been great, but we had been longing to walk the dirt roads of Cebu to meet the mountain folk and experience their simple ways of life. We knew this was our chance!

To the next village!

We were excited to have Joel, a brother in the Lord along with us. He came to the Lord through the Christian camp of Shakinah ministries. Joel, now in his early thirty’s, was reservedly excited in anticipation of sharing his faith in a new way! He has been such a blessing to us from the first week of our arrival here on Cebu island! Since he is unemployed right now, he has taken us under his wing and helped us through many cultural adjustments, transportation and such, making sure that we are not taken advantage of, as is the custom of most taxi/bus/tricycle/jeepney drivers with American visitors.


We arrived Tuesday, March 13th around 6:30p.m. and got off the bus right in front of the home where we would be staying. Alma and Lisa where outside waiting to greet us with welcoming arms! Charissa was a bit concerned about how I would handle staying in her grandmothers old style, Filipino home with no windows, shower or hot water. I knew it was going to be very different for me too, but I was ready!

It had been 4 years since Joel and the girls had seen each other so conversation stirred immediately about the days of growing together in the Lord at the camp and filling in the blanks! Alma and Lisa showed us to our room, the only one with an air conditioner (or air-con, as they call it). Charissa had asked them to give us that room but we could tell that sacrifice was no stranger to these girls! We felt honored and blessed to share their home!

Morning came quickly, as breakfast was served at 6:30. Alma and Lisa dismissed themselves promptly at 8:00 to begin their day teaching the children. Both have earned degrees in teaching, and though they could go abroad and earn a good living, they decided to stay in the Philippines to serve the Lord among their own people.

With our new Filipino language tracts in hand, Joel, Laarney, Rick and I had prayer and then headed out with the cross! The hot humid air clung to us like a wet blanket as we started up the mountain and we watched palm trees all around us swaying in the breeze. As we came upon this large group of men sitting around under a bus shed on the side of the road, we passed out our new tracks written in their language, preached, answered questions, and continued on. As we climbed the mountain, we enjoyed the tropical beauty, deep ravines and coconut trees, it was just beautiful! Our hearts beat with excitement about what God about to do! It was uphill all day but such a blessing to be so remote!

We had carried the cross up the mountain only about a kilometer when we hit the first grouping of huts. Laarney went to the right and Joel jumped the ditch on the left, past the goat and went under a home built on stilts where an elderly woman was sitting. He sat right down next to her and started sharing the gospel with her as he went through the track. He took his time to make sure that she understood clearly. Rick and I found a little hand made bridge of split logs (with flip flops nailed to them to hold it together) and crossed over with the cross to join Joel.

Rick leaned the cross up against the stilts of the neighboring hut and gave stickers to all the children looking at amazement at this white man carrying this huge cross! After Joel finished sharing with the women, he joined us and shared with all the children in their native Cebuano language. We crossed back over the little bridge to the other side of the road where we found families gathering to see what we were doing.

Laarney had already begun sharing the gospel, distributing tracks and telling them why we were there. After Rick shared with them while Laarney translated, we continued on up the mountain looking back to see many of the people intently reading the tracts! And so it went all day, one hut after another, never missing one. We found people going about their various chores as we climbed the mountain. One man was shaving a banana tree trunk with a very sharp machete, making fodder to feed his cow, another man was chopping up coconuts and laying pieces in the sun to dry, to then make cooking oil out of them. (That is very common here as it is a way to make an income). One man that stands out distinctly in our memories, after taking the tract, seemed to devour every word even as he walked back to his home never lifting his eyes from it. As we walked away we saw that he had sat down still looking intently at this tract that explained his need for a savior! His expression will forever be etched in our minds for we knew that something was happening in his heart. I just had to take a picture!

As our day ended we made our way back down the mountain along this narrow trail. Our feet ached from the heat and the steady climb all day, but our hearts soared when we thought of each time we looked back over our shoulder to see those people eagerly reading their gospel tracts. As we got to the bottom of the mountain, Laarney’s sister had coconuts and coconut pie waiting for us as refreshment. What a treat!

Please join us in prayer as we pray for this region and those beautiful people of the mountain and we also would like to ask you to please prayerfully consider helping them financially. You cant even imagine how just $10 can help! We could, upon request, share an address where you can write to them to introduce yourself and your desire to help or whatever you’d like to share! They truly are wonderful, dedicated, God loving, Self sacrificing servants of the Lord! These saints are barely existing for the sake of the gospel! Each of us giving so very little will enable them to do so much more!

Though the girls never asked for any thing, when Rick and I found out that they literally were scavenging the beach for shells and seaweed to eat, we decided to take them on a shopping spree, not just for rice and food but also for products like shampoo, soap and toilet paper which is really a luxury to them!! Just the look of humble appreciation on their faces blessed us immensely and knowing the hearts of our supporters, we knew that you all would have wanted us to help them!

Thank you all so much and remember, you give so that others may live eternally!

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1 comment

  1. alma s. claret

    Thank you ate Doreen and Pastor Rick for sharing your lives in my country men. First time in my life I saw such dedication in sharing the gospel in that way. I’m so amazed of how God gives you the heart to go in different languages, cultures, and people.

    I am blessed with your life.


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