How in the world did I get here?
If you look at this picture and pick the one that doesn’t belong – it’s me. I got here by an invitation of Meridith’s dad, David. He couldn’t come and I think he wanted someone to keep an eye on his daughter. I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep an eye on mine as well so I went for it.
My special services rendered: Painting, human lampshade, human light holder and human headrest.
Monique, the lady between me and Don (her husband to my left) was our team leader and instigated the whole thing. Her gift is dental hygene. She has been to many short term missions, mostly to Guatamala, and put the word out to all the local churches concerning this opportunity. So what we mostly did there was assist her in pulling teeth and applying a protective coating for the teeth for the girls.
On a couple of days we serviced the community of a church with free dental care. People came from a long ways to take advantage of this badly needed service.
We also did a little painting on two of the houses and I did a few card tricks for the girls.
Nehemiah House is a ministry created by Michael Casey. His calling was to minister to sexually abused girls. The Philippines has many cases of abused and used girls. The government sends these cases to Nehemiah House for portection and care. Michael supplies staff, services, shelter, food, clothing and especially love to these girls. Every girl has accepted Jesus as their savior, learned the Bible and prayer, and each is then sent back to their families when the legal situation is resolved to a safe level.
Michael shared with me some pretty interesting stories about these girls. One was dumped on their doorstep by an ambulence from the local hospital recovering from no less than 9 bullet holes. She had no name, no date of birth, no nothing. Michael gave her a name and a birthday and took her in, healed her, and eventually she was returned to normal life. The girl had been kidnapped at an early age by a muslim family that used her as a slave girl. When she became of age, one of the son’s of the house decided to try her out as a concubine. She apparently failed his expectations and he promptly shot her 9 times and left he for dead on the livingroom floor. The mother of the house called the ambulence, seeing she was still alive, to get her off of her clean floor. The hospital kept her for two weeks and miraculously managed to keep her alive and then dropped her off at Nehemiah House to Michael’s care. Just another, somewhat unusual, day at Nehemiah House for Michael Casey.
Another incident he shared with us was about a girl at the house that was kidnapped by some muslims. Michael wasn’t there at the time but his social worker who belonged to a Philippine clan that was on good terms with the muslims was. She insisted on going with the girl and the muslims even though it was puting her own life in danger. The Muslims needed hostages to trade in exchange for charges being dropped against one of their sons. I believe the charges were for rape. Anyway, eventually, this heroic social worker and Michael managed to get the girl and social worker back unharmed.
Micheal Casey was a very neat guy to get to know. He was most definitely called to this ministry. An ex Navy Operations Specialist Chief of 12 years service, Micheal and I had the Navy in common. God had spoken directly to Michael on 3 occasions that directed his life eventually to Christ, then to the Philippines and finally to Nehemiah House. He tells the story of him getting a verse from God and thinking deeply on it. The verse was
Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten , the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
As he was contemplating this verse in a cafeteria at YWAM’s decipleship ministries training center, when a visitor came to him with this verse written on a leaf. The messenger told Michael that he would cross the sea and not return and that this verse would be fulfilled in his life. Micheal at the time had no idea that this verse was for the girls he would one day care for at Nehemiah House.
After the mysterious messenger left, Michael asked his onlooking friends in the cafeteria who this guy was. They all insisted they had seen no one sitting with him. Only him alone at the table acting strangely.
It was always a great pleasure to listen to Michael’s sea stories. He also turned me on to a nearby ministry called Aloha House which is an orphanage that specializes in organic farming to provide orphans and the local area with healthy chemical-free foods. Aloah House uses home-grown microbes, worm castings, and composting to create super-healthy organicly grown crops. Michael gave me a free bottle of these microbes to try on my ranch which I am very excited to try out.
Michael runs 3 separate houses for girls. The one in the highlands of Malaybalay (pronuonced Mah-lye Bah-lye) also contains a farm of some 20 acres. The altitude has made growing trees a challenge but with his microbe methods he has managed to turn a dead, overly utilized, chemical laden land into lush grass and vegitables with some small trees. His immediate neighboors grow DelMonte pineapples who’s chemical usage is so high that the rainwater gathered off of his roof is undrinkable and one smells the chemicals while taking a shower. Water into a bucket foams and my eyes burn – not a good omen for our food supply.
Mike is a truely gifted individual with people. He is the heart and vision of the ministry while his wife ta-ting is the organizer and detail expert. They came together by specific callings from the Lord and function as God’s team on the mission. Before being saved, Mike was a true rebel, tatooing himself just to make his father mad, eating live cockroaches on a $50 bet, owner to exotic and dangerous pets, biker, and all around troublemaker for anyone not in his sphere of trust. Mike is a new man but he still loves to party – he is a kid at hart and loves teasing and playing with his girls. He disarms any visitors with his charms and makes even the most nerdy individuals like myself feel at home and accepted.
Here I am lending my beautiful bhudah belly for the comfort of those in need.
Really I personally did very little. The requirements for me were simply to be available for whatever. I’m not much with playing with girls but they made me feel comfortable and I mostly enjoyed showing them card tricks. I was asked to lead some bible studies which was real fun for me because I have so many whacky opinions on scripture I love to share – but sometimes I got a little too deep for people.
My daughter was able to exercise her natural gifts of ministry to children. She has always been a natural orphan mother and so she excelled at leading the girls in crafts and games and just loving on them.
By far the most difficult part of this mission was the conditions of the Philippines. Hot and muggy almost continually, we were blessed to have fans in our rooms so we could sleep. Cold showers were the exclusive norm. Ants covering our toilet and cockroaches darting around in our bedrooms and bathrooms were common. Power and water were lost several times. We drank exclusively from bottled water. Dengie Fever raised his head with 6 staff just before we arrived but the Lord spared us from the sickness. Mosquitos were carrying the fever so we had to almost constantly wear repellent. The first few days, I got bit probably 10 times but had no fever. It remains to be seen if the MMS I was taking prevented it or not.
However the food was awesome! We were very well fed and loved our Mangoes and Pineapple with almost every meal!
They told us that Malaybalay would be “cold” but it wasn’t to me. We did enjoy the rain at night though and the first night we enjoyed a lightning storm over Mount Kitaglad, reminding us of Mount Sainai.
Later we went to the third house at Magalanes where we were warned that it was hotter than the others due to being surounded by montains on 3 sides. However the days we were there were fairly rainy and cool so no problem! For some reason all my pictures from there were not on my camera.
The travel to and from was fairly uneventful but let it be known, Manila airport isn’t rated as one of the worst airports in the world for nothing. When leaving, we found out that the airport had been without water for 5 days. I am glad I didn’t have to use the bathroom while there!!!
On the way home we stayed for 3 days in Seoul Korea. A beautiful city with very modern acomodations. An amazing hot shower was enjoyed by all!!!
We had a guide to help us through the shops and markets and the subway. The city is so friendly though, I felt confident spending most of a day roaming around by myself on the subway. If there ever was a big city to visit that does not speak english as a first language, I would have to say Seoul is the best.
I am writing this blog from my room at the Ramada Seoul because their connectivity is better than I have at the ranch.
Here’s a map of where we were on the island of Mindinao: