Mission / Philippines

There’s An Army Rising Up!

Ezekiel 37:1-6″The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley;it was full of bones.  He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.  He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know. ”

 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord. ’”

When I first walked into the village this summer, I felt much like I imagine Ezekiel felt as he walked through the valley of dry bones. Everywhere we went I felt like I was encountering spiritual dryness. The people were nice enough, but most of them that I met were either followers of a local cult or extremely nominal Catholics. The religion that they were embracing left them more spiritually dry then the bones Ezekiel walked upon in the valley. If God had asked me “can these bones live?” I honestly wouldn’t have been quite as optimistic as Ezekiel was. However the last few weeks have taught me more than I could have dreamed. The God I follow has shown me time and time again that He is the very best at bringing dead things to life.

Over the last few weeks one of my consistent prayers has been that God would lead my team and I by his Spirit to the houses of people of peace. People who are ready to receive the Kingdom of God or who have received the Kingdom and want to grow more in it. Our God is faithful. He has been doing a glorious work in the lives of many of the villagers. Every day we have gone out to different households sharing our testimonies and building friendships with the locals. I have discovered that many of the people who I first wrote off as spiritual skeletons are actually living, breathing soldiers of the same God I serve.

I have learned that over the last ten years many different denominations have traveled through this village sharing the Gospel of Christ. Quite a few of the villagers have accepted Him as the only true way to salvation but very few of them have actually grown much in their faith in the absence of other believers. They have wasted away in their hunger because there is no one there to feed them and no one has taught them how to feed themselves from the word of God. Despite the language barrier I have been able to sense their hunger for the teachings of God. We are constantly invited into both believers and non-believers households alike to teach bible stories and explain questions. And teach we have! We have used many of Jesus’ parables such as the ‘great banquet’ and the ‘parable of the lost son’ to explore the simple truths of the Kingdom of God. We didn’t come with powerful words or persuasive arguments but with simple truths and with a pure and powerful love, and the results have been incredible. God is raising up an army in the once dry Valley of E.G. Montilla. Flesh and tendons are appearing on the once dry skeletons. I wish I could tell you now about all that he has done but the thought of typing all of that out just doesn’t appeal to me all that much at the moment. :p

Just know that God has been at work in mighty ways for the last two weeks and I don’t believe that he is even close to being done. As our last week in the village quickly approaches, pray that God  would unite the believers in this village and set them on fire for Him. He has started a work in this village and He will continue it.

Ezekiel 36:26-27

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

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