This is an update that Dad wrote.
Greetings from the Philippines! PAFCOE (Philippines Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism) is starting its second week, and already is unforgettable. On the second day of PAFCOE training, we came through a 6.9 earthquake. I’m sure that it wasn’t quite that strong here locally, but at the epicenter 120 miles away, that was the number on the Richter scale. Here it was probably closer to 6 on the scale—strong enough to shake everyone up, and not enough to do major damage.
We were in class in the afternoon at the Riverview Church, when everything started moving and the chandeliers swaying. Eugene Prewitt who was teaching Literature Evangelism said, “We’re having an earthquake! Let’s get out of here.” Since he grew up in Alaska, he knows what earthquakes feel like. The swaying reminded me of an earthquake that I went through years ago in California.
We waited outside in the church’s tiny parking lot, watching the power poles swaying. It felt similar to what it’s like to get off a merry-go-round after a good spin—like you’re not able to really get your balance. The quake only lasted a few minutes, but we waited sometime outside, before venturing back into the building.
My wife who was home at the time in the house we have rented on the edge of the city, called me very shook up. I didn’t realize till later in the evening that the area where we are living is near a fault line, so the quaking was much stronger at home than at the church. In fact, there are cracks now in the concrete walls of the house we’re renting!
Interestingly, the Robinson’s mall where we are scheduled to have our Health Expo and Prophecy seminar was one of the few buildings here on this island, damaged in the earthquake. AND, the crack in the wall is directly behind the cinema hall we are scheduled to use for our meetings!
Back at the church on that shaky Monday, we hadn’t been inside too long, before we were all chased back outside by an aftershock. We had several more that evening. In fact my message during the week of prayer that night, ended with a strong aftershock! That was an unforgettable experience—seeing the lights swaying, and the supporting pillars moving, and watching people get up and run out. We ended the meeting with prayer groups, and many opted to pray outside!
A tsunami warning was in effect for several hours, but nothing ever materialized, since the earthquake was centered inland on the neighboring island, rather than at sea.
Now, barely a week later, actually this morning at 2:30 am, (Monday, Feb 13) one of our students passed to her rest. Aileen Jamandre, one of our most enthusiastic supporters, and a key leader here in the church, died of an aneurism in the ICU unit of a local hospital. She was admitted early Sunday morning with chest pains, and was soon in ICU. This morning, she was gone. Her loss is deeply felt by our students.
Aileen was a key promoter and organizer of the local HCBN television network, and a visionary for local evangelism. A business woman together with her siblings, the Jamandre family, she signed up to attend PAFCOE, as much to support the program financially as to sharpen her own skills in personal evangelism. She leaves behind two children in their early twenties, her mother (the church’s and PAFCOE’s local matriarch), her brother Boyz, the director of HCBN TV, and two sisters—one here locally and the other in the States. Needless to say, our PAFCOE class was not as cheerful today.
We started out with around 30 students registered, but several never came, and now one is sleeping in Jesus, leaving us with around 25 very dedicated students. Our oldest is 66, and the youngest is 17. Each afternoon we have the students out on the streets of the city, either distributing flyers for the up-coming meetings, or selling books. They come back in the evenings excited for what God is doing through them. Several had even gotten Bible studies from their book sales.
What makes our Literature Evangelism training even more amazing is that when we started, we didn’t even have books to sell! Thanks to Aileen who is now sleeping in Jesus, we came up with about 13 boxes of the “Story of Redemption” to sell, and more books are on their way.
Overall, our students are enjoying the program, and we are thankful for the team that God has put together for this AFCOE School here in the Philippines.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support!
|Our home is on the right.|
Lowell Hargreaves and family and team.
These aren't the best pictures, but we'll upload more later on which are hopefully better!
Below are some pictures from our time here:
|Some cute little baby goats who were only the size of a cat!|
|The road where we go walking along the floodway that leads to the sea.|
|Passing out health expo flyers|
|First day of class in the RiverView Church|
|Dad teaching class|