Monday, April 30, 2012

1,000s of Crafts!

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... 148, 149, 150! Oh, will we ever get done?"

This is what was going through my head for the last week as we were getting the materials ready for the student's children's programs.

After 3 months of training, the students are going out for a one-month on the job training to different places around the Philippines to practice what they've learned. There will be 20 seminars happening at the same time! And about 12 children's programs will also be going on at the same time with approximately 2,000 kids all together!

We had been working for awhile to try to get the crafts for the children's program printed for a reasonable price.  To print 50,000 crafts was quite an amount and several places offered to do it for us, but it would have been a fortune to do it there! God guided us to another place, which agreed to do it for a cheap price, if we provided the card-stock - which we did.

Last Thursday, they finally got some of the crafts printed and delivered to the church, where we have classes every day. All of them needed to be cut in half and then punched so each page would have 2 holes in it. We had one hole punch and one paper cutter (later we found another one) and 1,000s of crafts to do.

We started with just our family and a couple helpers. Soon others came in and said, "Oh, can I help?" "What can I do?"

Soon we had a whole group gathered around, helping out in whatever way they could. Some of them counted the crafts into groups that could be cut in half by the paper cutter, others counted them into groups that were just right for the hole punch and others divided them into groups of 50, 100, 150 or more, depending on how many we needed.

Julius (PAFCOE student) cutting crafts. He was singing as he worked and inspired us all! :)
Everyone had such a good attitude, too! There was no complaining or grumbling that there were so many crafts and whether we would get done or not. They just pitched in and were glad to do their part in helping along! Praise God for willing hands! I was so inspired by their willingness and cheerfulness in doing a hard task.
Some of the students and helpers hard at work

More preparation
Thanks to God's help and the locals (who helped so willingly), in 3 days, we were all finished! It truly was amazing!

It really is true that "many hands make light work"!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mangoes, mangoes and more mangoes! :-)

"Chandelier" made from mangoes - they were so creative! :)
Guimaras mangoes.... the best in the whole world!!

We first tasted Guimaras mangoes in November-December of 2010, when we were here the first time in the Philippines. I had never been too crazy about mangoes, but these really were so sweet and I just loved them! Guimaras is a small island about 15 minutes by boat ride from Iloilo.
On the boat to Guimaras
The sign at the dock


We were told about the mango festival which happens once a year in April and how people from all over come to the island, pay a small fee and eat all the mangoes they can.  There is a competition to see how many mangoes people can eat and the winner for the past 3 years in an Adventist student from Mountain View College in Mindanao. He ate 14 kilos (about 30 pounds) of mangoes in one day! Of course, we were impressed with the stories, but soon forgot about it.

More students enjoying mangoes!
This time, since we were here in April, I wondered if we would be able to go to the mango festival or what it might be like.  We asked lots of questions about it and discovered that it would happen on April 23, 2012.

After some consideration, we told our students that if they got all their homework done (we were almost at the end of PAFCOE), we would take them to the mango festival. That provided some amazing motivation and they all started working really hard to finish on time!

Niegel and Zenia - the 2 PAFCOE kids
Some had not managed their time well earlier, so it was impossible to get everything done in time, but about 5 students (out of the 25) finally finished and we all went together to Guimaras Island. We took the 15 minute ferry across the channel and landed on the island. Then we had a 20 minute jeepney ride and at last arrived at the place.

There were mangoes, mangoes and more mangoes! I had never seen so many before! We walked around, just looking at all the mangoes for awhile and then went to eat them. We paid around $1.50 and were allowed to eat all the mangoes we could hold. We hadn't had breakfast and so made our whole meal from mangoes. I couldn't hold very many and Michael, Dad and I could only eat 2 kilos (about 5 pounds) of mangoes - this amounted to 6 big mangoes a piece. The students did about the same - more or less, except for the Indonesian man who ate 11 or 12.
Our group
My family and students enjoying mangoes!
It was so fun! I had never eaten so many mangoes! We had a nice time visiting with our students and friends and came home later in the day. It was so enjoyable!

It made me look forward to the day when we can eat the fruit of the tree of life and how delicious that will be - even better than Guimaras mangoes!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Printers are... a real blessing....or a real headache...

Last week, we wanted to start printing the crafts and materials for the 12 student children's programs that will be happening in the month of May. We went to the store and found card-stock at a decent price and a big enough quantity. It was so amazing how God provided all the paper we needed! With all the 12 children's programs combined, we are providing materials for around 2,000 children.  I don't know how we have enough supplies, (as we didn't plan for that many originally), but God has taken our "loaves and fishes" (so to speak) and multiplied them into just the right amount! What a faithful God we serve!

The lady at the store said they had ordered this paper months ago, and wouldn't get more in until many more months. Obviously, God knew months ago that we would need this much paper and He arranged it all, without us doing anything! How amazing!
PAFCOE printer needing repair...

After buying the paper and plenty of ink, I brought the PAFCOE printer home to start the huge job of printing the crafts (it was far too expensive to take it to a print shop). This printer is new and had been working just fine for a long time.

But after only a few pages of printing, I realized that the printer was having problems. I did everything I could to get it working correctly and nothing worked. I gave up for the day and tried again the next day with no better success.

That afternoon, we took the printer to a repair shop and within 2 hours were told it was fixed. I was dubious about that, but we brought the printer home again, and I tried to resume the printing. But... it had the same problems again. The repair shop hadn't really fixed it, as I had thought.

I was getting worried with how we would ever get all the crafts printed, the longer we had to wait. We prayed earnestly that God would help us fix the printer, since it had been working just fine before we started this huge project.  The following day, we took to the printer to class with us and one of our students (who knows lots about computers) took a look at it.

"Dr." Mark fixing it.
He soon found the problem and right away knew how to fix it. "Dr." Mark gave the printer a "shot" while it was on the operating table (really the church bench!) and after doing a few more minor things, he had it working again, praise God!

Working again, praise God!
I took the printer home again, rejoicing that it was working again and with God's help and blessing, it's still working! Please pray that it will hold up for the huge amount of crafts we are printing! God cares even about paper, printers, and a busy teacher at PAFCOE! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Video Updates

HCBN (He's Coming Broadcasting Network) has been filming weekly updates of what's happening here at PAFCOE.We are so blessed to have their help and support!

This was filmed the first week of PAFCOE and the one below is the second week:

The next one below is the third week:

The following one is the 4th week, which is the last one so far (I will add more when they are done!)

Enjoy! Here you can get a little taste of what life is like here! :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another update from PAFCOE

This is an update that Dad just wrote:

What’s happening at PAFCOE?  We’ve been busy!  The five-week “Mysteries of Prophecy Seminar” ended a week ago, with 84 baptized (79 on Sabbath and 5 earlier), and more planned for the end of April.  One of our students, Jowel, had 15 of his Bible study interests baptized!  He was thrilled.

One of those fifteen was a lady named Beth.  Her husband, working in Saudi Arabia, had attended Adventist schools when growing up, but was discouraging her to join the church.  His father, Beth’s father-in-law, is a stroke victim, but had been studying the Bible with Jowel.  When PAFCOE started, Ayolani Hill, an AFCOE graduate that has been teaching home remedies here at PAFCOE, took some of her students to his home, and began giving him treatments.  Amazingly, he began to recover feeling in the side of his body affected by the stroke.  He decided to get baptized, along with his granddaughter Bethany, Beth’s daughter.

When I visited in their home, Beth told me that her only hesitation for baptism was her husband.  As we talked, I ask her, “Beth, if Jesus came here and asked you, ‘Beth do you love me?’, what would you tell Him.”  Without hesitation, she responded, “Yes.”  I replied, “and if He were to ask you, ‘Beth, do you love me enough to get baptized this Sabbath?,’ what would you say to Him?”  She smiled and said quietly, “I’d have to tell Him, ‘Yes.’”

Beth together with her daughter and both in-laws were baptized a week ago in the blue waters of the ocean.  Her father-in-law was one of the last baptized.  Four pastors carried him out into the ocean in a plastic chair, and gently buried him, chair and all, in the water.

The baptism spot was behind one of the local Adventist churches in the southern part of Iloilo City.  It was a beautiful location, and a beautiful baptism.  You can read more about it, and see pictures at  , Teresa’s blog.  You can also view our video updates at or on YouTube.  Just type in “pafcoe” to see video updates for each week.

Now that the Evangelistic series is over, life has slowed down—slightly.  We are doing follow-up meetings for the interests once a week, along with our students doing follow-up visitation and Bible Studies.  Classes at PAFCOE during the day, still keep us busy.

It has been a thrill to have a team of twenty-five students helping out with this past series of meetings.  Teaching classes during the day, and conducting a full-scale evangelistic effort in the evenings, has left little time for anything but the absolute essentials.  And even those were crowded out occasionally!  We apologize for not sending a report last month.

Now our focus is getting all the details together for the Student Seminars that will take place during the month of May.  There are nineteen sites across the Philippines, along with two more locations where the PAFCOE staff will be holding meetings.  This is part of the PAFCOE training we offer here—sending the students out either singly or in pairs to conduct their own evangelistic efforts.  

Excitement is running high among the students, along with a few threads of fear about doing their very first evangelistic series, but all are really looking forward to the experience.

The student meetings will all be conducted on a “shoe-string” budget, but we praise God for the “shoe-strings” He has sent, and we are moving forward with our shoes tied!  The participating churches are covering the costs of food, housing, and transportation for our PAFCOE speakers, and we are praying that God will multiply the loaves and fishes.

Again, thank you for your prayers and support!

Your friends,
Pastor Lowell, family, and team,
PAFCOE (Philippine Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The End...

Farewells are always hard… Never easy…

Growing up as an evangelist’s daughter, life was always full of good-byes and farewells, since we traveled from place to place. And yet, I look forward to heaven when we will see all our friends again forever!

Tonight was the last night of the 5 week seminar.

  •  Five weeks of blessings! 
  •  Five weeks of seeing God come through time and time again and work miracles for us over and over! 
  •  Five weeks of making friends for Christ and seeking to lead them to a deeper relationship with Him.
  •  Five weeks of watching our dear PAFCOE students learn the principles of public and child evangelism and what a blessing and help they were to our family!
For the last night of the seminar, we had the children go to the cinema where their parents were having the meeting and sing for them. The stage was very small and I was so concerned that not everyone would fit on there, but amazingly enough, they did! To hear 200+ children singing the 10 Commandments from memory is truly an amazing thing! After the children had sung their song, and I was watching them file off the stage, I was thanking God for the opportunity to teach these children (many of whom aren’t Adventists) the simple truths of God’s Word!

The last topic was heaven and what a great topic to end with! The children sat very quietly and listened intently as I shared a small picture of what heaven will be like. Most of all, I wanted all of them (and me) to be there! The graduation of the faithful attendees was next and lots of them got certificates and were very pleased with their gifts!

Kristy, the wife of a PAFCOE student read the names off, since I can’t pronounce them too well! Without my Mom, the PAFCOE students and the teachers of the schools, this children’s program would never have happened at all.

And now it’s all over… I already miss teaching the children and hearing them sing the songs so enthusiastically, but as with all good things, it came to an end and life goes on. During this month of April, we will be doing follow-up and nurturing of the new believers and then in May all the students and us will go to some church in the Philippines and hold another seminar. The students are excited and so are we!

To see some pictures of the seminar, click here.

Praise God for His blessing and strength throughout this seminar! He is so faithful!

Monday, April 2, 2012


As I stood barefoot on the gray sandy beach, with the waves gently lapping at my toes, my heart overflowed with gladness and happiness!

I listened as the only sounds that could be heard were the voice of my Dad as he said, “We baptize you…” and the splash and someone was buried beneath the waters of the sea and raised to a new life.

I thought of all the difficulties and trials and stress of the past 5 weeks. Yet as I saw man after man, woman after woman and child after child being baptized, the trials seemed so small and insignificant! They all paled in comparison to the joy of seeing those that we worked for giving their lives! It was so worth it!

Praise God that 79 new members were added to the Seventh-Day Adventist churches here in Iloilo! It was so exciting to watch as they all walked hand in hand out into the sea and then were baptized by the 10 or so Pastors.

It was just perfect weather, too! This is the summer season here and can be very, very hot, but it was cloudy, cooler, and no rain fell. God provided just what we needed to make this service a special occasion! The service was held at the Adventist beach about 20 minutes drive from Iloilo. It was clean and a wonderful spot for a baptism.

Lots of people came to watch and after all the candidates were baptized, they all knelt on the shore and Pastor Esico (the former President of the Conference) had the consecration prayer. My heart was bursting with happiness to know that all heaven was rejoicing in the new lives started that afternoon!

After the consecration prayer, all the church members filed by and greeted the new members and welcomed them into the family. About 1/3 of them were children, most of whom I knew. Then there were lots of pictures with the new members and their friends and family.

As I brushed the sand from my feet and prepared to jump in the car for leaving, I thought to myself, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Thank you, God, for having a small part in all of this!” To see more pictures of the baptism, click here.