Philippines 2016

Day 7

 

Jim led devotion this morning and read from 2 Peter 1:2-15. He started with v.12, "For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things...". Three times in this text we are told to remember these things.  What things?  The meat of the message is in:

 

v.2-4 God’s provision to us.  "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness..."

 

v.5-7 Our response.  Adding to faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

 

v.8 Our benefit. "...you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

v.9 Warning. You will become shortsighted, blind, and forgetting you've been cleansed.

 

v.10-11 Promise. You will never fail and receive a rich blessing.

 

Today is our final day, which consists of demonstrations of the three disciplines learned, a message from John, and the passing out of certificates.  The first demo was Swift Water Rescue.  We did not have a river to train in so we improvised.  We had a dead-end street that simulated a river and built a cart on casters that pulled our victim down the street.  It worked extremely well, gave the students a realistic visual on how the throw-bag/pendulum works by swinging the victim to shore, and the demo today went well. The second demo was Auto Extrication.  The team put two saws to work and one jack, removing one door and the roof.  They worked together like a seasoned team.  Last, but not least was the Brush demo.  They lit a line of fire and had a crew cut line right behind it.  A slight breeze pushed the flame and smoke their direction but they cut away like champs.  All three demos went very well.

 

We took a break for lunch and the students cleaned up for the afternoon presentation.  This began with an opening prayer from Jude and welcoming remarks from Senior Superintendent Samuel Tadeo.  We played a slide show of photos from throughout the week that Simon put together, which included a video 'thank-you' from Mariano, the commander of the tactical rescue team, and another from Senior Superintendent Kwan Tiu, from Davao City.  Both were very appreciative and sincere. Next, we played the Billy Graham video of Cheyane's story, which led in to a message from John.

 

John talked a bit about Cheyane, the two definitions of 'savior', that Jesus was sent to us to save us from our sins, and that we all need to be saved.  He mentioned that almost no one plans, nor anticipates their death; it comes suddenly.  Without necessarily citing the source, he spoke I John 5:11-13, Rev 3:20, Rom 10:9,10, John 3:16, John 14:6, and from several other scriptures.  He acknowledged that many in the room might be religious, but God is not concerned with what religion you practice, only with what you have done regarding His Son.  He finished off again with 1 John 5:11-13 and invited those wanting to receive Jesus to pray along with him.  He said that afterward he was going to ask those who prayed to stand up and make a public statement of their faith, in front of their peers.  When He finished praying, everyone stood.

 

It was a great ending to a week of training.  After this, certificates were passed out, we officially turned over the equipment to the BFP, and they presented us with certificates of appreciation and other gifts.  Director Ariel Barayuga, 3rd highest ranking General of the BFP, ended with some closing remarks.  Pastor Go, a local pastor who meets weekly with the FFC Philippines chapter, prayed the benediction.

 

Lots of group pictures followed and farewells were made.  After a brief stop at our hotel we met for dinner with all the FFC Philippines people at our favorite restaurant, Dad's World Buffet.

 

Wifi has been real sketchy here, and I don't really know if these blogs ever made it out, but if they did, thanks for your prayers.

 

John shared the Gospel and led in a prayer for firefighters to ask JESUS into their hearts. When John asked those who prayed to receive JESUS to stand to show they were not ashamed of Him, everyone stood in one accord. May the fruit of this mission last for all eternity!  Final presentations from one of the BFP Chiefs.Victor Laveaga and his new friend traded hats and patches. Final time of prayer with the Filipino FFC leadership team. Giving thanks to God for a successful mission. <>1 - 6

 

Day 6

 

Bob led devotions this morning and read from Luke 8:22-25.

 

"One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples came to him and awoke Him, Saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing! Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water.  And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, "Where is your faith?""

 

In these verses, Bob noted that the Apostles, some who were fishermen who were use to working in rough seas, were shaken by the storm that was upon them. He wanted to share a couple of points.

 

1.  Jesus Christ is with us.  That statement is saying a lot to us.  Whether we feel Him or not, He is here.  We are never alone, even if we think we are. So praising or talking or praying to Him in all occasions keeps our focus on Him. In Acts 2:25-28, King David said, "...I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me."  "...my body rests in hope.” “You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’”

 

2.  The Apostles were faithfully following Jesus' command.  So even as the storm built and became fierce to the point of filling the boat with water, although the Apostles knowing they were in real danger, they were still obeying Jesus' command.  It says to me that even when I following Jesus' commands, it doesn't mean it's going to be smooth and safe.  It doesn't mean it will be peaceful and free of life's storms.

 

3.  This is a great reminder for me that I need to be in communication with Jesus all of the time, not just when the storm are overtaking me.  What would this story look like if they were praising Jesus and encouraging each other in the Lord.  I can see it now as Matthew begins to worry as the storm was upon them, Peter comes along his side to encourage him to keep strong and trust. "No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises"!

 

4.  To me, this is a picture of the "peace that surpasses all understanding", with Jesus sleeping through the storm.  Knowing that Our Lord is always with me, no matter what's going on from perfect tranquility to hardships of life in this world. Peace is sleeping through a fierce storm.  Peace is my eyes on Jesus during the storm and knowing He is with me and going over and lying down next to Him.

 

(Bob told a quick story about a dream Lori had in which they were in a tent and war was all around them, but as they prayed, Jesus appeared, and they were at complete peace in the presence of the Lord)

 

5.  Their fear was drowning in the deep water as the boat sinks.  After Jesus calmed the storm and seas, the apostles were still in deep water but didn't care because their eyes were fixed on Jesus and what he just did.

 

6.  I want to be a man of faith, and not hearing the Lord say to me, "Where is your faith?"  The previous 4 chapters record the Apostles watching Jesus cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform many other miracles, so you would think that their level of faith would be extremely high in Jesus.

 

Bob closed with, "I want to be a man of faith and keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus."

 

Our devotion was momentarily interrupted by Philip, a pastor/church planter with a team of pastors from Virginia Beach who wanted us to refer our new believers to his churches.  We talked briefly, prayed with him and referred him to Jude for follow up with new believers.

 

At the conclusion of Bob's message, John added - Jesus said for them to "...go to the other side."  If that's where Jesus tells you to go, and you are following his commands, you WILL make it to the other side.

 

It's hard to believe that this is that last real day of training.  So much time is spent in preparation for a trip like this and once started, the trip goes by so quickly once we get here.  The work in planning and preparation at the recipient's end is much greater.  The FFC Philippines chapter had to plan all the logistics for our local transportation, meals, and accommodations, as well as all the logistics to train 100 students.  This includes obtaining department approvals, invitations, a student selection process, facilities, meals, training aids (cars, brush tools, computers/projectors), etc.  I'm not really sure of the selection process to determine who got to attend this training, but it seems like our students are a mix of ranks and assignments; from high-ranking regional directors, technical rescue specialists, and firefighters with only 1-2 years on the job; and I've noticed and they come from different parts of Manila, surrounding cities, and some from other islands.  There is also a very hard-working group of 'cadet-type' firefighters, who are part of a 45-day apprentice program (prior to starting their 6-month boot camp), who have been kept very busy.

 

While helping set-up the training facility this morning, I was talking to Mai, one of the core-group members of FFC Philippines, who has been helping out all week.  I found out that she works at Regional Headquarters (about an hours travel by car - in light traffic) but lives beyond that a bit.  It takes her 2 hours each morning to get to the training site, and between 3-5 hours to get home, depending on traffic.  That is because she travels via Jeepney and her route requires four transfers (and Manila traffic can be brutal!).  As we were talking, there wasn't a hint of frustration about her commute or the long days she's been putting in, only continual thanks and appreciation for us being here.  Amazing dedication.

 

We've been starting out each day with a short message to our group of students from one of our team members, followed by prayer.  This morning I spoke and gave a brief testimony about how I came to Christ.  In a nutshell, I told them that it's nothing that I, nor anyone else will say that will convince them to become a Christian.  That decision of faith comes only after the Holy Spirit takes hold of your heart and draws you to Himself.  Sometimes He uses personal tragedy to get our attention, but for me it was more of an unsure feeling of my eternity.  I already believed in God, Heaven, and Hell; I just didn't know where I was going to spend my eternity.  I was religious but stuck on the idea that I had to work my way into Heaven, and knew that even if I tried, I was a sinner, fell short, and was unfit for Heaven.  I had a faith in Jesus, but I only knew about Him, I didn't know Him.  When someone finally introduced me to the Jesus of the Bible, and made me feel as if he really knew Him, not just knew about him, I wanted that same assurance and prayed to receive Jesus.  So started today's training.

 

Training went well at all three disciplines.  The weather forecast has been about 20% rain the past few days, but it held off until the end of the day.  Tomorrow, it is supposed to be 80% chance of rain.  We're praying that it holds off for our demos.  We ended this day gathered together as a group and Senior Superintendent Rico Neil Kwan Tiu closed the day with a speech.  I believe he holds the rank of colonel, is a Regional Director, and was very active in all our scenarios.  He would very much like to see us come to his region of the Philippines on a future trip.

 

We finished the day, cleaned up at the hotel, and went out for another eating adventure with our Filipino brothers and sisters.  This time to a Japanese restaurant that featured a self-serve buffet, which included a section of raw meats/vegetables that could be cooked in a hot plate built in to the tables.  It was another lesson in the fine art of eating and socializing Filipino style.

 

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Dan Rodriguez is teaching swift water rescue on a simulated river! Steffen Schwarz led training in throwing the rescue rope to a moving target. Easier said than done! They are getting ready to throw the rescue rope.  Victim captured!  Jim Haney was part of the Swift Water Training Team. <>1 - 7

 

Day 5

 

Pat led devotions this morning and began with Proverbs 8:32-34.  "Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors." This is a scripture Pat has been thinking about the last couple months, and the concept of 'watching at the gates', or being a 'Gatekeeper'.  Doing a quick word study, Pat noted:

 

- Shepherds used to lie across the gates to keep watch of their sheep at night.

- A gate was more than just a fence; it was often the center of power.  All the leaders sat at the gate.

- Gates were important.

 

A study of last words in the Bible is often full of warnings, to be watchful and careful. We are to be watchful over our:

 

- Heart: Proverbs 4:23 "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life."  Our heart is influenced by input from our eyes, ears, and thoughts...and what comes in effects what goes out.

- Home: Proverbs 22:6  "Train up a child a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

- Others: we need to be watchful over our Church, calling, and work.

 

FFC leadership has a responsibility as gatekeepers to be watchful over the purity of the ministry, careful to not link up with other ministries that are not in line with our core values or doctrines.

 

Joe added that as gatekeepers, we need to filter things that come in through our eyes and ears through the Bible and our heart before coming out our mouth.

 

The Wildland guys found three snakes yesterday while cutting brush.  They were little guys, but the students said they were Philippine Cobras.  That doesn't sound good.  We try to address environmental hazards as part of pre-planning but didn't cover this one.  Judging by the attitude of our Filipino students, our instructors were guessing they might have been pulling their legs.  Snakes, yes, Cobras...maybe.  Otherwise, training today was uneventful and all three disciplines had great students very appreciative of our being here and eager to learn.

 

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Day 4

 

At breakfast this morning, a lady came up to us and said something nice about us being firefighters here to help out, or something like that.  She was given an FFC tract and told in a sentence or two who we were as she walked away.  She quickly returned after viewing the tract (realizing we were Christian firefighters) and asked for prayer for her brother.  He was in Syria as part of a band or singing group to somehow further the cause for peace.  We prayed for her brother (James) and found out that she (Lisa) lives and has a business in Southern Cal but was in Manila working for the Nobel Peace Prize commission.  Interesting contact.

 

Victor led devotions this morning and titled his message, "God’s Search Pattern."  It falls on the heels of yesterday's strap training, which covered some search and rescue usages.  He passed out the following scriptures for people to read and added some comments connecting each sequential scripture.

 

Ezekiel 34:11 - "For thus says the Lord God: Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

Isaiah 53:6 - "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

I Peter 2:25 - "For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."

1 Peter 5:8 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

Mark 4:15 - "The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts."

Jeremiah 17:10 - "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."

Proverbs 20:27 - "The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inner depths of is heart."

Psalms 119:130 - "The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple."

Psalms 139:23 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know m anxieties;"

Hebrews 4:12 - "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than an two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

1 Corinthians 2:9-12 - "But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love HIm." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God."

 

We left the hotel at 7:30, arrived at the training site at 8:00, did some final adjustments on classroom logistics and began instruction.  FFC Philippines has numerous volunteers running around providing for all our logistics such as: local transportation, facility set-up, snacks/drinks/lunch for 100 students and instructors, facility clean-up, overnight facility security, dinner for instructors, and the list goes on.  They are doing an amazing job!  We divided the class into three groups today and sent them off to one of the three disciplines.  Training went well (there may still be some issues with cutting up cars), the group seemed very appreciative, and we were relatively injury free.

 

I enjoy exploring other cultures.  It may not be politically correct to stereotype, but I will note some characteristics I have found common in most Filipinos.  They are very warm and friendly, can find humor in most anything and love to laugh, are courteous and respectful, very social, many are musical and like to sing, and they love to eat.  We have breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, then dinner.  Today's morning snack was pasta, sauce, and bread.  The afternoon snack was a hamburger and chips. (I'd call these snacks meals.)  Dinner tonight  was UNBELIEVABLE!  They took us to a place called Dad's World Buffett.  They serve over 300 different items and cover a variety of cultural foods: Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, American, and more.  It was an endless selection of amazing food.  And meal-time for most Filipinos isn't just a time to eat and be full, it's more of a social time to visit, relax, eat, and laugh.  I almost skipped dinner tonight in order to get caught up on the blog...but was told where we were going (I had been there once before).  Glad I went.

 

Prayer:

 

Pray for other Divine Appointments

Cars to cut for Auto-X

For our FFC brothers and sisters in Manila (doing such a fine job hosting)

For God to continue to open the hearts of our students for the gospel

 

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Day 3

 

So much for the sleeping in.  This morning we were up at 4:30 and began devotions at 5:00.

 

Steffen led devotions and began with Joshua 13:1.  The previous chapter and a half detail the lands and kings that Joshua had conquered, yet chapter 13 starts off with, "Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: "You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed." God then maps out all the geographical boundaries He had promised to Israel as an inheritance and names the inhabitants that he said he would drive out before the children Israel.  This message from Steffen ties in with John's message yesterday, that we are commissioned by the Lord himself in Matthew 28:18-20, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, (and John's conviction of ministering to the island nations) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

 

Steffen added, that having a map alone is not enough.  It requires obedience and action.  He read from James 1:22, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."  But in so doing, we are not to get caught up in ourselves, because it is not about us, but Christ working through us.  He read from Colossians 1:27, where Paul speaks of his commission to the Gentiles and says, "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  So we are to possess the land God has called us to, follow through with actions, but realize that it is ultimately Jesus working through us to accomplish his will.

 

Following breakfast, we departed at 6:30 to attend a flag raising ceremony at the National Headquarters of the BFP.  This was a very formal event with about 100 BFP personnel lined up at attention, along with 28 visiting Brunei firefighters, and the 12 of us.  This included a singing of The Our Father as a benediction, the playing of the National Anthem, the recital of their vows as firefighters, and an official speech from The General (their Fire Chief).  John was asked to say a few words about our presence there and the training we were about to conduct.  He spoke of our Emergency Relief Team's visit to assist in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, how they became stranded at the airport in Manila, and how some BFP firefighters came to our rescue.  This resulted in a close relationship with Jude Delos Reyes, the beginning of the FFC chapter in the Philippines, and this training that we were about to conduct.

 

After the flag raising ceremony, we and the 28 firefighters from Brunei met with the Fire Chief in his conference room and were given a brief presentation of the BFP.  This is a national fire department with a membership of roughly 20,000 personnel.  They are extremely diverse in the areas they serve with some working in a high-density metropolitan high-rise districts, and others working in small villages on remote islands.  There are some communities without fire stations, and some fire stations without apparatus.  The training we are providing will be quite valuable for the need is great.

 

We went to a regional headquarters nearby for lunch with their 'chief' and some of his staff.  We re-grouped back at the national headquarters where we began training.  We introduced our staff, passed out straps and carabiners, and then John and a couple guys began instructing this group of 100 firefighters (and officers).  Those not directly involved with training went shopping for brush tools and other supplies in preparation for tomorrow.

Training today went well.  The class is very attentive and initial feedback is very good.

 

Lesson learned.  Not all transformers (battery chargers) are able to run on either 110v or 220V.  The DeWalt battery chargers for the 18V Lithium Ion batteries we bought are made for 110V receptacles ONLY.  They tend to heat up and smoke when plugged into 220V.

 

Prayer points:

 

- John's legs are a bit tired and causing some pain after a long day standing and walking about.

- Bob has some stomach issues going on.

- Still need approval to actually cut up the cars they provided for class.  There was some mis-understanding about this and the cars provided are actually slated for auction.  We need some 'junkers" that we can really cut up and destroy.

 

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Day 2

 

We were able to sleep in this morning to 8:00, the latest I've ever been able to sleep in on a mission trip.  The hotel is really nice and the ability to sleep-in was much appreciated.

 

John started off the trip leading devotions this morning.  He spoke about the clear vision he'd received a number of years ago that he was to go to the nations and share the gospel.  More recently, this vision was focused on evangelizing the islands.  Looking back, he has shared the gospel in over 30 nations, many of which have been island nations, such as Guam, Saipan, Haiti, Japan, and now the Philippines.  Tomorrow during an official flag raising ceremony, we are supposed to meet with a group of firefighters from Brunei, a small island nation that is predominately Muslim.

 

John began his devotion retelling the story from Acts 4, where Peter and John had been placed in jail by the captain of the temple guard because they were causing such a stir in and around the temple proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead (there were about 5,000 new believers as a result).  The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.  Peter and John were brought before the high priest for questioning.  When asked, "By what power or what name did you do this?" (They had healed a cripple.) Peter responded, "Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."  The Sanhedrin was astonished at the courage of these unschooled, ordinary men, and took note that they had been with Jesus.  After they had scolded them and warned them not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus anymore, Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

 

John noted that Jesus will use any man that chooses to follow him.  The key is to turn from the direction you are going and follow Jesus.  Over 60 times Jesus just said to follow me.  He spoke of the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, recorded in John 4, where Jesus asked her to draw him some water and a discussion ensued.  She initially tries to end the discussion referring to social etiquette pertaining to Jews not associating with Samaritans.  Jesus starts to reveal himself hinting about a gift from God and Living Water.  She questions his ability to draw any water and he counters with "whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst."  When Jesus reveals that he knows more about her life (five previous marriages) than a simple stranger would know, she perceives him as a prophet and changes the subject to spiritual matters, inquiring about the correct way to worship God.  Jesus answers her question, but almost to discredit him she ends by saying, "I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."  To which Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." Powerful words.  She drops her water jar and takes off back to town to tell others of this encounter and wonder, could this be the Christ.  Shortly after this, Jesus tells his disciples in v. 35..."I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest."  And later in v.38 "I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

 

There are people who have agonized over the people of this country that they might know Jesus. We get to come in and reap the harvest.  We have the privilege of being invited here. We all have an equal part of what God will ultimately accomplish.  But we must remember John 15:5, "...if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

 

John's message continued with many stories from his and Jim's trips to Russia and the miracles they saw on those trips.  We then spent some time in prayer before starting off the day.

 

After breakfast, we left to attend church at Christ's Commission Fellowship.  This is Jude's home church and it was massive.  I'm guessing on par with Saddleback Church in Orange County or the Rock Church in San Diego.  The main auditorium seats 8,000 people and they have five services per Sunday.  More impressive than the shear size of the auditorium was the demeanor of those seated as we entered.  The atmosphere was quiet and those seated were engaged in prayer.  When the service started, worship was amazing.  Everyone sang and Jesus was definitely the center of attention.  There was a worship band, singers, and high-tech equipment, but not overdone.  Dr. Ravi Zacharias was the guest speaker and gave a great message titled, "Who are you God?"  He was born in India, obviously highly educated, well read, the author of many books, and a great speaker.  It was a great message, but for the sake of time, I can't include it in this blog.

 

In the afternoon we went to the training site that Jude had picked out and planned out the next few days.

 

Tomorrow begins our first day of training.

 

Day 1

 

In December of 2013, Firefighters For Christ sent an Emergency Relief Team to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.  The team experienced many miracles on that trip, one of which was being introduced to Jude Delos Reyes.  Jude was an Inspector with the Bureau of Fire Protection and became very interested in Firefighters For Christ.  After the team left he inquired about starting a chapter in the Philippines.  To date, he heads up the largest and most active chapter in FFC.  Jude came to Hume Lake Firefighters Conference last year (April of 2015) and learned more about the ministry of FFC.  He learned that one of our ministries is to provide training and evangelism to fire departments throughout the world.  He asked if we could send a training team to the Philippines and then enthusiastically began planning this event.  Thus was the beginning of this training trip.

 

 

Our team of 12 consists of 10 from the U.S., one from England, and one from Germany:

 

John White

Joe Lindaman

Greg Gibson

Pat Stilson

Bob Ameche

Dan Rodriguez

Victor Laveaga

Luis Carlos

Jim Haney

Tom Nichols

Simon Hewitt

Steffen Schwarz

 

This team will train 100 members of the Bureau of Fire Protection on Firefighter Rescue, Auto Extrication, Wildland Fires, and Swift Water Rescue.  We take with us about 900 pounds of tools and equipment that will be used for training and donated to the BFP upon completion of the training.  This five-day class provides the format to connect with fellow firefighters, build a relationship throughout the week of training, and share the gospel in the process.

 

The first day (today) is all about travel...18 hours worth for most of the team.  We left January 29th at 11:15 a.m. and arrived in Manila January 30th at 9:30 p.m.  A drive to the hotel, check-in and unpack, meant in bed by just past midnight.  Tomorrow we will attend church at Christ's Commission Fellowship, do some meet and greet, scope out the training sites, and prepare for Monday, the first day of instruction.

 

Prayer points:

 

-Rest and recovery from travel

-Everyone stays healthy

-Classroom training logistics (computers, projectors, etc.)

-Training sites will provide sufficient water and brush dynamics for hands-on training

-Auto Extrication needs sufficient cars to cut up (salvaged cars hard to obtain here)

-Quick connection with the class

-We're told a group of visiting Brunei firefighters (primarily Muslims) wants to meet with us.