Turmoil, driving hazards, inquirers, uncertainties, etc.

manilastreet.jpgTurmoil: This last week has been full of turmoil in the Philippines. A former government official who has turned whistle-blower has implicated people in high places, including the First Gentleman in a huge bribery scandal. It seems that there’s a growing movement for the ouster of the present administration. This reminds me of the big question in the U. S. when there’s a presidential crisis: “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” (This was Sen. Howard Baker’s question during the Watergate scandal.) Right now, the country is on hold.

Driving hazards: Last week, I got pulled over for the 5th time in my 8 years of driving in the Philippines. (Compare this to one minor moving violation in 25 years of driving in the U.S.) It gets frustrating, and infuriating, when you get cited for “reckless driving” while driving 10 miles an hour! This is because the traffic police make up traffic rules on the fly so they can augment their income. I drive a lot to teach – about 10 hours a week – through streets that my son called “an obstacle course” of jeepneys, buses, motorcycles, tricycles, bicycles, carts, jaywalkers, beggars, vendors, cows, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, cockroaches, anything you can think of.

Bible StudyInquirers: At seminary, my young students finally aren’t intimidated by this old, American-educated “theologian” who uses long English words (“anthropomorphism” “propitiation”) and strange Greek words (“dikaiosune” “hilasterion“). More and more, they detain me after class for additional inquiries about “limited atonement,” “liturgical worship,” and other things. I’m very thankful for what I see as intellectual progress and spiritual maturity. This is also true in a Wednesday Bible study on Hebrews I conduct for about 10 adults. It’s very rewarding.

Preaching: I still preach once a month in a church 5 hours north of Manila. Once in a while, I get invited to preach in other places, such as on Thursday (Valentine’s Day!), when I’ll be leading worship and preaching at the Presbyterian seminary where I’m teaching. I’m taking this opportunity to introduce Reformed worship to the students, of which I’m writing a series of posts in my Doctrine Unites! blog.

Taal VolcanoUncertainties: I finally submitted my application package to Action International Ministries, and Evelyn will complete hers, hopefully soon. We have a very important family event in October (more on this in later posts), so we have to be in California at that time. We’re still not sure if we’ll go back on furlough this summer, or postpone our furlough for the end of October till January 2009. And Rachel doesn’t want to miss her first quarter, at least, of her freshman year in high school, so we’ll weigh the pros and cons of both schedules.

Lost? Call Pizza Emergency: Rachel just came back from her outdoor education trip to Taal Volcano’s crater lake with many exciting stories. On their jungle hike, Rachel and her group of four girls were lost for a few hours, but one girl carried her cell phone. Here’s a part of their conversation about their predicament:

Rachel, Twyla: We’re lost!
Heidi, Ashley: We have to get back to camp before dark!
Twyla: Let’s call 911!
Rachel: Twyla, why would you want to call Pizza Hut?
Twyla: Oh yeah, I forgot.

Pizza Hut’s delivery number is 911-1111.

About Nollie

Associate Pastor of Trinity United Reformed Church in Walnut Creek, CA. Assigned as missionary to the Philippines. Lives just outside Metro Manila with wife and daughter. Three older boys live and work in CA.
gitanosoy says:

I’d rather that EURC would call you as their missionaries; if they don’t, it would be a shame.