Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moving Beyond the Bridge

For almost two years now I have been building friendships at the bridge, helping to start bible studies for all, for women, children, and youth. Those helping me include my wife Jessica, our friends Meriam and Sheryl, pastor Rick, and now pastor Richard and Ate Cecil. Last Friday and Saturday nights we moved beyond the bridge to reach out to the community. The city where the bridge is located is called Manggahan. We had our first out reach event to that community so that we could share the gospel with them and invite them to be a part of existing bible studies or to start new ones in their homes.We showed movies, gave testimonies, performed special music, and shared the gospel message. It all took place in the basketball court of the town center. Our supporters provided the equipment which included a P.A. system and a projector to show the movie. We showed the movie "The Cross and the Switch Blade" in Tagalog. This is a film about Nickie Cruz a former gang leader turned evangelist. The evening started with a focus on the family cartoon for the kids and ended with snacks. It was such a joy to see many of our friends from the bridge serving the community for Christ. A few years ago there only concern was getting by in life. Now they are serving others and taking part in sharing real life - eternal life. Someone donated 200 pieces of sweet bread, Jess and I provided juice (which our friends from the bridge prepared and served), and 6 other men volunteered to help with music, testimonies, and teaching. Over a fifteen people/families signed up to join bible studies and many bowed the knee to pray after hearing the good news that Jesus forgives the sins of those who trust in Him alone. It was truly a privilege to help prepare and empower my Filipino friends and co-workers to do the work of the ministry. I was intentionally not a speaker at the event and I keep deferring decisions to those I entrusted to lead. They kept asking me to help make decisions on things like, "What movie do you think we should show?" "What should the order of the service be?" "What type of training should we provide the workers?" My answer was almost always the same. It may have even puzzled some, but I would say
something like, "It's up to you" or "What do you think?" However, I think that they are starting to get that I trust them, their abilities and judgment and that I want them to lead rather than be dependent on me.
We learned a lot this first time and look forward to our next opportunity to reach out beyond the bridge and into the community of Manggahan Pasig.