Update posted 01.29.2011
Well, it's Saturday again, the day these updates seem to have settled on. This is also the day that Cathy handles the feeding program at Rosemary, which is a community not far from where Cathy's family used to live. The average number of children fed each Saturday is usually around 80, I think, but Cathy says this morning there was a turnout of over one hundred kids, some of which hadn't been coming for a while until today. This is a good trend, as we really want all of the children that have joined the program to be consistent. Speaking of programs for children, a lady came to our door today asking donations for a charity she said she works with here in Davao. This is something that happens occasionally here, and while the charity sounded familiar, I had to tell her that if I was going to donate, I'd prefer to do so at their office where I can be certain of where it goes. My mother-in-law later told me that it was good that I didn't give her anything, because that is a common tactic local cults, fringe groups, and scammers use. Davao is home to a surprising number of obscure religious groups that seem to have branched off of Christianity and come up with their own 'gospels'. One in particular is very large, and the founder is living here like a king while he claims to be the 'new appointed son of God'. I'm told his followers often ask for donations claiming to be students that need the money for school or some such thing, but even if they really do need it for school, it all goes to their new 'messiah'. These things impress on me the need to show God's love through how we live our lives. People have heard many different messages, but they will know the truth when they see our lives transformed by God. Our Father in heaven may even allow us to undergo difficult times so those around us can see His peace in us and want to know what makes us different. It's pretty clear I'm a guy who likes words (Galatians
6:11), but I still love the old saying, "Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words."