Open Door In The Philippines

June 18th, 2008

Praise the Lord!  The entire Vierra family is here with us in Dumaguete City!  They just arrived here today :)

God provided flights for the seven of them to get to the Philippines.  Now we are just faithfully waiting on Him to provide so we can book their flights for the rest of the tour.

Below is a recap of last week and all the craziness & abundant blessings.   We hope that you are blessed and encouraged as you read all that the Lord has been doing.  We also want to thank you again for your faithful prayers, and your emails of encouragement.  We read every single one and try to reply to all of them as well.  We are so uplifted by your words of love, wisdom and exhortation.

Our last full day in Hawaii was the best!  It was a Tuesday, so our entire team spent most of the day fasting, praying and spending time with Jesus.  During the afternoon, as the team finished packing everything up, Eric and Ian drove all around the island of Oahu to meet and pray with the pastors we did ministry with during the last month.  It was special to connect with SO MANY churches and be able to serve alongside such committed Christ followers.

That evening our new friends (more like family) up on the North Shore invited our entire team of 19 to come over for an "Aloha Send Off".  By the end of the night all of us were weeping together as the Holy Spirit moved us to wash each other's feet.  It was by far the most intimate time our team has spent together.  So blessed we were able to share it with Corky & Deanna and Poi's family.

We left Hawaii on Wednesday morning June 11th and arrived in Dumaguete late in the afternoon on Friday because there is an 18-hour difference.  We had an eleven-hour flight, then a 20-hour layover in Manila, and finally the hour flight south to Dumaguete City.  That was a trying time since everyone was hot, exhausted, sweaty and really hot.

During the layover we slept, or at least tried too, outside on the ground because they shut down the Manila airport during the evening.  We were blessed with numerous witnessing opportunities!  We worshiped the Lord out in the open with our guitars and voices as many Filipinos watched.  It was a fruitful night, although we were all exhausted, the Lord was our strength.  He gave us a great love for those around us.

"Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.  For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.  And always be thankful."

(Colossians 3:14-15)

We were grateful for this whole experience because trials strengthen each of us individually and also strengthen our team.  When we got to our base site in Dumaguete, we were above and beyond blessed by the facilities, and the food, and the AIR CONDITIONING!!!  Did we mention how amazing the food is?  We get to partake in luscious juicy Philippine Mangos every meal :)

The missionaries and staff at Pastoral Training of Asia are amazing servants of Jesus.  The love that pours out from them is encouraging and contagious.  We are so grateful for the grace God has given us on this trip.  However, the Lord is teaching us how to bless His name, even when the circumstances are difficult and we are operating on a couple hours of rest.

Friday night, a couple hours after getting off the plane, we were able to do a concert at Café Antonio in downtown Dumaguete.  After a handful of songs the band said good night and everyone at the concert yelled, "No, do more!"  So with no strength left, the band trusted the Lord for the ability and did about another dozen songs!!

After that, Ian and Johnna went to a radio station interview, where they were able to share about who Take No Glory is, what we do, and most importantly the Good News of Jesus.  The Holy Spirit was working in that radio station.  In fact, every time Johnna wanted to share verses about the ministry, the interviewer would turn to those exact same verses and read them right before she was able to.  This happened 3 times in three different parts of the Bible!!! There were multiple text messages that came into the station to ask questions.  Every question was somehow answered with the Gospel.  Jesus Christ, Him crucified and risen from the dead!

On Saturday morning we were able to participate in a children's outreach.  It was an incredible blessing.  We sang with the children, and lead them in worship.  We also performed a drama/dance to one of our songs "Lions Den".  We taught the children different hand motions to some of the praise songs, and afterward we handed out snacks and drinks to them.

The best part of the time with the kids was the opportunity to pray for each one of them, individually.  The Lord spoke through it and He prophesied over the children.  One mother came up with her 2 sons and asked for prayer.  We prayed for her family's health, financial provision, and spiritual fruitfulness.  We prayed over her two sons, that they would be dedicated to the Lord's work, and that many would come to know Christ through them.  When we looked up, she was weeping.  No doubt she didn't have enough food for the day, and she was doing the best she could to provide for her children.

A harsh realization came over us as we thought of all the things that we take for granted in life.  In the United States, we have access to clean water every day.  No one starves to death because there are so many options for food and shelter.  We have immediate access to pharmacies when we are feeling sick, and the list goes on.

Eden (Eric and Mandy's 4 year old daughter) also got up and spoke to the children that morning, reminding them that God loves us, and is always with us, even when we sleep.  She even paused for the interpreter in between sentences!!  The children were fascinated with her, and listened to her, undistracted.  Eden seemed to be in her element as she allowed the Holy Spirit to minister through her.

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me.  Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

(Luke 18:16-17)

Later on Saturday afternoon we heard the news that someone donated all their frequent flier miles that they had accumulated over the years to pay for Boy and his entire family to fly to Manila, and for the flight from LAX back to Hawaii at the end of the tour!!!  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  The Lord, has once again, provided for His people He has called.  Be encouraged, if you respond in obedience to His calling upon your life, He will provide for you.

On Saturday night we played down at the beach.  It consisted of a long worship set, and some original tnG songs.  Well over a thousand people stopped by to listen!!  Ian and Eric both preached the Good News and exhorted people to make a commitment to Christ and to have a personal relationship with Him.  Over a hundred children showed up that night and worshipped with us.  The Lord anointed Eden to speak as well, as she encouraged the crowd that Jesus forgets all of our sins, and that He loves us, even when we mess up.  What is really amazing to note, is that she captivated the entire crowd, not just the children.

Eden, at just 4 years old, seems to have a huge ministry before her, and the Lord is already using her in mighty ways.  We need to continue to keep her in prayer, for protection, and fresh anointing.  The last couple of days has been a joy and a blessing to watch as Eden fully worship the Lord with eyes closed and hands raised, with intensity written all over her face.  We are constantly reminded that no one is too old, or too young to be a powerful witness for Christ!

"Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young.  Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity."

(1 Timothy 4:12)

On Sunday morning, we played at Calvary Chapel Dumaguete for both morning services 8:30am and 10:30am.  It was an awesome blessing to worship with fellow believers.  The house was packed out for each service.

Some of the School of Ministry students (from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa) and some of our own team got the amazing opportunity to teach the children's Sunday School for the first service.  The Holy Spirit spoke through us and gave us the words to say, and the things to teach.  Many children were blessed, and some even stepped out of their comfort zone, and shared their testimony in front of all their peers.  God really worked miracles in those classrooms.  All of the teachers were in tears over what the Lord was doing in the kids, and in themselves!

After church our pastor, Carl Westerlund (the director of the School of Ministry), took us all out to a Filipino lunch buffet.  The food was, once again, amazing.  We are so grateful for the fellowship that we are able to partake in.

Later on Sunday evening, the Huff's, the Utile's, and Landon all went over to Calvary Chapel Dumaguete to play acoustic worship for the small bible study that was being taught in Cebuano (the local dialect).  In between worship songs, Landon was led to share about the time the Lord healed him in Hawaii, when he was suffering from SEVERE stomach pains.  The church was greatly encouraged by this testimony of Gods power.

God opened the door for us to play a full evangelistic concert at Sillman University.  Missionaries established this university in 1901 and we have been told they have NEVER let a band come do an evangelistic concert before.  So, all the locals kept telling us this is a VERY big deal that we are invited to play and preach the Gospel.  What great favor the Lord has shown us!

We just got back from the event.  It was packed with almost a thousand people there.  Eric and Ian boldly shared the Gospel with all the students.  They exhorted them to make a commitment to Christ and to have a personal relationship with Him.  Lives were be changed and the students were able to connect with the local churches to get discipled.  Hearts were convicted and refreshed as we worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth.  The Lord worked in supernatural ways as we witnessed spiritual revivals within the hearts of these college students.

"This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world.  It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God's wonderful grace."

(Colossians 1:6)

This Saturday June 21st at 7pm is the BIG free concert at the Macius Sports Complex.  Prayerfully, the local churches are expecting 5,000 people to be there.  Take No Glory is the only band playing and we will hand out as many free CDs as possible while also connecting the attendees to the local churches.  The Gospel will be preached and there will be a call to respond.  Right now there are almost 200 volunteers available to serve!!  Please pray for this important event.  May it transform Dumaguete City.

One very specific prayer request we have is that we NEED to have the funds by tomorrow morning for the entire Vierra family of 7 to join us for the rest of the tour!!  We have their itinerary scheduled so they can fly with us from Dumaguete to Manila to Hong Kong to London to Austria back to London and finally to Boston.  Now we just need to show up to the travel agent with the $.  We know God will provide just like He has every other time we have been in NEED.  Is anything too big for God?  The Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills!  So please join us in prayer as we eagerly await the Lords miraculous provision!  We can't wait to tell you how He ends up providing for this :)

God gave us a Word today.  "WAIT"

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen you heart; wait, I say, on the LORD."

(Psalm 27:13-14)

Pray that the Lord would continue to open doors for the gospel to be preached, and that we would all be faithful to serve Him no matter what obstacles may come our way.

May the Lord bless you!

Joyfully serving Jesus,

The Take No Glory Team

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