Today, as the long black, American-made hearse, pulled slowly out of the tiny parking lot of the Riverview SDA Church, John Bradshaw’s warm New Zealand voice sounded from the loud speakers hidden somewhere beneath the hearse’s black panels. The drivers had been instructed to tune their radio to 101.9 FM, the HCBN (He’s Coming Broadcasting Network) broadcast that Aileen Jamandre helped to start. It was a fitting postlude as her body was borne away to its final resting place to await the resurrection.
Friends and family from across the Philippines and some from abroad, came to the funeral of Aileen Jamandre who died Monday morning, February 13 of aneurism complications. Aileen helped to establish the Riverview Adventist church and Academy, where her funeral this morning was held. Among the many other ministry projects she promoted, was the fledgling PAFCOE Evangelism School. She even enrolled herself as one of our first students. Though she is gone, she has left a legacy that many of her friends and family are committed to continuing.
Last week, we had a most interesting experience—an hour-long visit with the local city mayor! Aileen’s brother (Boyz) is married to a medical doctor who was a classmate of the local city major, so through that connection, he was able to set up an appointment. Since the mayor has recently had some health challenges, he was open to meeting Dr. Blessy Varona from Manila, the doctor/nutritionist who led out with our Health Expo last week.
Dr. Blessy together with her son David, Boyz, and I, arrived at the mayor’s temporary office, which is in the same mall where our Health Expo and Prophecy Seminar is taking place. After going through security, we waited in his busy office complex, surrounded by city officials and secretaries, all involved in running the local city government. One of the secretaries took down our names and occupation on a sheet, and we were seated in front of the mayor’s huge desk and large chair. The chair sat strangely vacant, and we assumed that the mayor was in a side room, meeting with someone else.
Presently, we were informed that the mayor had decided to see us at his private home. We smiled at one another. Originally, we had thought that we would only get a few minutes with the mayor, but this was a good sign, meaning that he actually wanted to spend some time with us.
One of his private body guards accompanied us out into the mall, and after a few more minutes of waiting, we were instructed to meet the guard in the parking lot. Outside the parking lot, another guard got in the car with us, and guided us to the mayor’s private residence.
We arrived outside of a modest looking compound, with little sign of official status except for the guard watching from across the street. A servant motioned for us to take a seat at an elevated veranda overlooking the river. We assumed all the while, that we were waiting for the mayor to arrive from his city office.
After waiting for a few minutes, a servant beckoned us to come into the mayor’s house. When we stepped inside, there was the mayor, seated in his living room in his pajama pants and a tee-shirt! He had been there all the while, rather than at the office.
The mayor apologized for his appearance, and said that he was sick, and that the office environment made him cough. So he had stayed home. A classmate from medical school (the mayor was originally planning to be a doctor, but dropped out after three years to pursue politics) with her daughter was there visiting, but they shortly excused themselves.
The mayor, though sick, was interested in meeting us, especially Dr. Blessy. When Boyz raised his camera to take some pictures, the mayor quickly decided to put on more official attire! Minutes later, he came back from the bedroom looking very sharp, in a collared tee-shirt designed like the Filipino flag. Beside the logo of the Philippine islands was a large “M” for mayor.
At first it seemed that the mayor was too busy to really visit. He couldn’t seem to get away from his phone—receiving and sending text messages. However when Dr. Blessy set up her micro-circulation tester and the mayor caught a glimpse of his blood circulation on the monitor screen, the doctor had his full attention. Mayor Jed is diabetic, has high-blood pressure, and has been told by his cardiologist that he needs to get on an exercise program.
Mayor Jed asked Dr. Blessy, “Are you a medical doctor?”
“No” she replied. “I am a doctor of Public Health, and a licensed nutritionist.”
“Oh,” said the Mayor. “That’s what I need—a nutritionist! We need a good nutritionist here in the city.”
Mayor Jed asked many questions, and was so impressed with what we were doing with Health Expo, he made arrangements for Dr. Blessy to give a health lecture to all his office staff the next morning. He also set up another appointment on Friday morning, for the doctor to lecture to city officials and leaders from the various districts of Iloilo.
The following day, after Dr. Blessy’s lecture at the mayor’s office, one-hundred-forty-five people came through the Health Expo screening, ninety-five percent of which were city officials and secretaries! Praise God for the many opportunities that He has opened for us through the health message.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
Pastor Lowell, family, and team,
PAFCOE (Philippine Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism)