Stories

  • 08 Jul
    Pray for the Philippines: saints and saviours

    Pray for the Philippines: saints and saviours

    Former President Corazon Aquino died on Saturday, August 1, 2009. Tita (Aunt) Cory, as she was often affectionately called, is a national hero. She led the peaceful People Power EDSA revolution of 1986, restored democracy, and served as president of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992.

    The day of her funeral was declared a holiday and Roman Catholic Archbishop Ramon Arguelles proclaimed, “Because of Aquino’s great contributions to the Church and to the country, certainly she’s now in heaven.” The 9th day after a death is one of the traditional times from praying for those in purgatory. These prayers are seen to be instrumental in allowing a person’s soul to enter heaven. On August 10, tens of millions of Roman Catholics prayed for the eternal rest of Tita Cory’s soul.

    A saint is believed to be able to mediate and answer prayers, so, having prayed for Tita Cory, many Roman Catholics are now praying to her, hoping she will answer with a miracle. The truth of Jesus as the only mediator is not embraced, nor the awareness that through Him, and only Him, we can enter directly into communication with God.

    Pray

    • Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring understanding to those confused about the unique role of Jesus in our salvation.
    • Pray for Christians to clearly share the gospel about Jesus as the only way to the Father, and the salvation He offers.

    Putting it in Perspective

    Saints, as Paul refers to them in the Bible, are those who follow Jesus Christ and live their lives according to His teaching. Roman Catholics, however, use the term more narrowly to refer to men and women who, through extraordinary lives of virtue, supposedly have already entered into heaven. Among other requirements, in order to be declared a saint, a person must have performed two properly accredited miracles.


    Originally published as “Saints and Saviors” in Glimpses of the Philippines: a prayer guide.

  • 16 May
    Memories and Mourning: a letter from OMF’s General Director

    Memories and Mourning: a letter from OMF’s General Director

    As we mark our 150th anniversary and give thanks for God’s faithfulness we remember that OMF is an organization committed to honouring God. But some of our memories are deeply painful, not joyous. This is especially true for some who are victims of abuse and for their families. As we remember those who were abused, we are called to repentance, to contritely turn away from all that grieves God and wounds people. In our rejoicing with those who rejoice, we must not forget to mourn with those who mourn, especially as the result of the evil actions of those who betrayed a position of trust.

  • 16 Oct
    Sneaky, sneaky

    Sneaky, sneaky

    Author: Hannah Chapman
    Location: Central Mindanao, Philippines
    Period: 2009
    Source: Project Story by OMF International, 2014


    The most popular mode of public transport in Mindanao is jeepneys: long, robust vehicles adapted from the jeeps left behind by American soldiers after World War II. They drive along a specific route, collecting and dropping off passengers. The passengers usually take the back seats made of two long rows where they sit facing one another.

    When I was travelling on a jeepney once, I sat next to a group of teens who were loudly babbling away. As soon as I got on, they quieted down, but not long after, they restarted their chattering. Since I could understand Bisaya (the local dialect), I listened to their conversation. To my surprise, I discovered that they were talking about me! Of course, since I am white, they found me unusual and an interesting topic for conversation. They talked about my hair and my skin and were trying to guess where I was from.

  • 03 Oct
    Growing up behind bars

    Growing up behind bars

    The new boys look blank, not knowing what’s going to happen. They sit at the back and don’t yet have friends. They listen intently, ears raised, to this foreigner asking them questions. Some look confused and almost lost in a sea of faces. This is their new home for at least 18 months, possibly 3 years.

    One boy rests his head on the desk, and nods off. Another 2 or 3 chat among themselves. But as the music begins and the words are projected, almost everyone joins in to sing – songs of truth and joy and comfort; songs about the living God, the Creator, the One who helps the weak. Not that all these boys are Christians. No, some have traditional Chinese beliefs, others simply don’t know and yet a number genuinely believe and are growing in their faith.

  • 28 May
    The Power of Love

    The Power of Love

    As the typical tropical rain clouds where gathering for their usual afternoon downpour we sat on our verandah feeling the rapidly rising humidity. Moy and I were finishing off the last Bible study in his preparation for the long awaited baptism of the first spirit priest in his tribe. The day before, I had once again challenged him about any remaining paraphernalia that he had not yet surrendered. After the study he sheepishly pulled from his pocket two small rectangular bottles containing powerful concoctions that the spirits had given him many years earlier. The contents of these bottles enabled him to ‘heal’ many sick people and gave him protection from any who would try to harm him. With a trembling hand he clutched these two tangible links to his life on the dark side and asked for help to destroy them so he could be free once and for all.

  • 24 Jul
    6 things I learnt living in a slum

    6 things I learnt living in a slum

    For five and a half months I lived in a medium-sized squatter community on the edge of a 7-lane Highway in Quezon City, Philippines. It was called Manggahan. I learned to call it home, and much more besides…

    1. Always survey the area before stepping into a room. This means that you are less likely to have a heart attack if a cockroach or a rat suddenly shoots out from behind the door. However, after doing this every day for the past 5 months, I began to see the benefits of a ‘look before you leap’ mind-set also applied to everyday life. Before agreeing wholeheartedly to a task, assess how capable you are. There is not much good that comes from a project started enthusiastically, if you are to freeze, realising your fear and limitation, and then drop it later on.

  • 11 Jun
    When Jesus calls…

    When Jesus calls…

    When Jesus calls you, and you get up, leave everything behind and follow him, your life gets changed. It is happening to Bai Chaa (Tea Leaf) and I marvel at the impact her meeting with Jesus is having. Tea Leaf lives in a very simple house at the edge of her village, together with her husband, daughter and son. Tea Leaf’s life is far from easy: the budget is tight because the husband recently lost his job and he is quite a drinker; her son is small and sickly and she is being talked about in the village because of her faith in Christ.

  • 11 Jun
    Silaa Farms Coffee

    Silaa Farms Coffee

    I come from a background in electronic engineering, and I worked for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment on the storm surge barrier in the eastern Schelde. After I had been there for a few years, Maaike and I felt called into ministry by the Lord through a sermon on the life of Jonah during a day from the Dutch Mission Alliance. Romans 10:14-15 has also played an important role in our lives when we sought direction for where to go.

    In order to have opportunities to share Christ or to build up believers in their faith, you need to have relationships with people. A missional business can be a great help in developing authentic relationships with the people you work with every day, and the people you meet through the business. It gives you a genuine reason to be at a certain place and a good opportunity to live out Christ who lives in us. People will observe you as you lead the business and watch how you deal with life’s problems and difficulties. Colleagues that work with you closely will see your heart; they will see what motivates you and why you do things in a certain way.

  • 10 Jun
    Culturally Connected

    Culturally Connected

    Although I was raised in a Christian home by mission-minded parents, I had no intention of becoming a missionary. The thought of learning a language like Chinese or Japanese scared me. As I grew up, I learned about past mistakes of culturally insensitive missionaries, and I met a few missionaries who didn’t seem to like or even respect the people among whom they were working. If that’s how missionaries are, I don’t want to be one, I thought.

    However, God graciously allowed my husband and I to meet all sorts of wonderful Japanese friends. I studied music in college and graduate school and had the opportunity to perform with a number of Japanese musicians. In particular I came to appreciate my friend and colleague, Akiko, who introduced me to Japanese food and tea. From that time on, my interest in Japanese culture and language began to grow.

  • 06 Jun
    Climbing the Mandarin Mountain

    Climbing the Mandarin Mountain

    It is 7:50 a.m. Another day of Chinese class awaits. Tom gathers his books and heads out the door. Downstairs, he waves at the door lady. ‘Zao (good morning),’ she says with a smile. In case he had forgotten, this is the day’s first reminder that he is in China.
    On the short walk to the language school, he passes a group of old people using fake swords to do their morning t’ai-chi exercises. He is defi nitely in China.
    Tom arrives at the school at 8:00 a.m. sharp, usually at the same time as his teacher, whose English name is Mary. Neither one of them is ‘a morning person’ but within a few minutes Mary is her friendly, ever-corrective-of-his-Chinese self. Today, they were starting a new lesson, which meant new vocabulary. In the cycle of the lessons, this is Tom’s favourite day.
    Tom opens his book and begins repeating each word Mary says.
    ‘Pingshi,’ she begins.

    By tonywaghorn Uncategorized
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