londijoy's blog

Journey to the Taw't Deram

As the appointed departure date drew closer, I found myself unable to sleep well as I was always thinking about what might happen when we made our epic journey to the Taw't Deram, the feared cannibals of Palawan. Not sure if I was more concerned about being AMONG the Taw't Deram or more concerned about how we were going to GET to the Taw't Deram, I was restless and prayerful.

Update on Jilin

We're making progress!!  This past Thursday and Friday Jilin and I spent four to five hours each day sitting and waiting and processing through the medical examination mandatory to sitting for a visa interview.  She received five immunizations in one day!!  She's shot up: two in each arm and one in a thigh.  I'm concerned because they wouldn't let me ask very many questions,


In the local language praise is 'pegbantug', it carries the connotation of uplifting, honoring, magnifying, appreciation.  So this is what was going through my mind as the following events were taking place.  Does praise in English have a similar connotation?

Locked Out!


Update from Palawan

I am finally back into our beloved mountains and with our people after an extended stay in the capital for writing purposes (writing two volumes of Bible studies for our native pastors to use in the local dialect).  I found out that I had grown used to having people around all the time, and got pretty lonely.  But it was wonderfully spiritually rejuvenating to have more time for study

medical runs

Yesterday, Sabbath after I taught the ladies Sabbath School and after church, a young guy showed up telling us about more people that were sick in an area that Kent and Jilin had hiked to the previous day in order to make sure a landing pad was appropriate for the helicopter to get in.

Good Gifts


September 20, 2007

How do I remove my name, etc.

How do I remove my name etc. from the subject or title line on my comments.  It just kind of appears - I'm not typing it in....

No, Lord! Not another one!

You could say this hasn't been too good a day.  One of our patients died this morning - a young boy of perhaps 8.  He was home with his mother, but still under our treatment.  Then just as we were getting close to closing time at the clinic, we got word from our student missionary helping four patients we had at the hospital in the lowlands, that the baby we'd sent out earlier that week (and had barely made it!), had in fact just died!  NO Lord!!  Not another one!!  Today was Sunday.  Sabbath we heard about another child that died - one we simply couldn't get to in time.  Another older gentleman who had been under our care for months, finally went home against medical advice and we just heard that he died last week, as did his elder brother.  So within the last week - five deaths.  Pretty sobering.

Letters from the Battlefield-3

 This latest letter is entitled A Lesson in Forgiveness, but I think it would more accurately be entitled, " A Lesson in Confession and Repentance".

A lesson in forgiveness…

As time goes on and we hear from more and more people about the story of
what happened to Nurgina, we find more and more lessons to be learned.  The
common theme of them all, however, seems to be forgiveness and deliverance.

Apparently, on Friday night before this all happened Nurgina and her mom
heard there was a wedding at a neighboring village.  They decided to go and
when they arrived they found that it was not really a wedding but a
“siburan.”  A siburan is a ritual that is held in honor of their gods asking
and/or thanking them for a good harvest.  It usually goes on all night long
and there is drum playing as well as a lot of drinking.  At a siburan
EVERYONE is supposed to drink.  They even get babies to drink the fermented
rice wine and many people get very drunk.  Mix that with homage to satan and
you’ve got a deadly combination.

Nurgina, being a Christian, was disappointed when she found out what was
going on and she chose not to drink or participate.  However, she didn’t
leave.  She stayed and was subject to a lot of “bad words, and bad
drinking.”  She realizes now she was in the presence of Satan and wishes so
much that she could go back to that day and do it all over, only this time,
she’d leave right away.

She slept there that night and the next morning she went to church.  After
church was potluck and after potluck she waited while her mom was given a
Bible study.  After that, it’s really best if her mom picks up the story.

According to her mom, they were walking home from church and she stopped to
drink some water, this much you know.  After she drank the water she turned
her head funny and told her mom to pray for her and to pray that satan
leaves.  Her mom noticed that her eyes were completely closed at that time
and after speaking she put her head down and ran like a battering ram, all
the way back home.  How she got there with her eyes closed and her head down
no one is able to explain but I’m convinced that an angel led her there.

Arriving home she got down on all fours and the elders of the village
noticed that something was wrong.  They suggested doing a ritual to the gods
for her to be healed.  She remembers hearing that and telling them that she
ABSOLUTELY did NOT want that and that they shouldn’t forget God, that they
should always remember God.  After that, Nurgina reports not hearing or
seeing anything.

Her mom said that shortly thereafter she quit breathing, almost like she was
holding her breath.  She said that it was probably a half an hour that she
didn’t breathe and they thought for sure she was dead.  Her brother began to
cry but her mom refused to believe it was true.  Her mom insisted that they
needed to pray and so they did.  Her mom (a baby Christian herself) began to
pray for forgiveness for staying at the siburan and pleading with God to
save her daughter.  At that moment sometime during/after her prayer, Nurgina
began to breathe.  You can imagine the rejoicing that took place.  They
moved her into the hut and she slept fine the rest of the night, though
never once opening her eyes.

The next morning Nurgina woke up ranting and chanting, “pray for me, let’s
pray, let’s worship, where’s my mom, where’s my brother, etc.”  Realizing
that the worst was still not over one of her brothers asked the elder of the
village what they should do.  Being a witchdoctor he decided to take care of
it himself.  He took some leaves and some water and put them on Nurgina’s
ears entreating the gods to heal her.   After this, they say, she only got
louder and louder in her cries.  The witchdoctor then conceded to allowing
her to be brought to us for help.

You know the story about her being brought in and the torment of those two
days.  I won’t repeat it but speed things up to that Monday night.  We had
just finished a prayer vigil, as you know and I was outside talking with the
other SMs.  What we didn’t know was that inside the hut where Nurgina’s mom
was by her bedside, Nurgina’s mom was praying.  She had forgotten about her
prayer for forgiveness until that moment and decided to pray it again.   So
again she begged forgiveness for attending the siburan the Friday before and
again she pleaded with God to heal her daughter.  She had no sooner finished
praying when she heard a voice in her ear saying, “Are you afraid for your
daughter?”  Nurgina’s mom responded quickly, “No, I am not afraid, God is my
hope.”  The voice answered, “Get that rice that you are cooking and feed it
to her.”  Right away Nurgina’s mom jumped up and began getting rice for her.
 Meanwhile, Nurgina lay there moaning and seemingly unconscious.

With the spoon of rice held to Nurgina’s lips her mom prayed, “Lord, forgive
us…bless this food, and save Nurgina.”  At that moment, Nurgina took the
food on the spoon, opened her eyes, and the first words from her mouth were,
“Thank you Jesus for this food.”  Then she recognized her mom and began
thanking her mom and she asked where everyone was.  Excitedly her mom called
for us and it was then that I heard Nurgina say, “I heard my mom praying for

The rest is history.  I’ve already told you how she hugged and thanked
everyone present, and how every word from her mouth was a praise to God for
delivering her.  I can’t tell you how beautiful it was to see her smile and
to see her eyes again at that moment.  Truly, she was dead and had been
raised right before our eyes.  God is still working giant miracles today.

What I thought was interesting was how seemingly harmless it was for her to
be at that party.  She didn’t participate, she didn’t drink, and yet, just
being where she shouldn’t be opened her up for attack.  And it prayers for
forgiveness and entreatments of God’s grace to ward off satan and bring her
back to life.  I tell you what it brought me to my knees and stabbed me
where it hurt.  How often I’ve justified being where I shouldn’t by saying,
“Well, it’s not like I’m gonna drink, It’s not like I’m watching the movie.  
I just wanna be with my friends, what’s so wrong with that?”  I have
absolutely no more to say from here on.  If satan’s there, it’s better that
I’m not.

Also, though just a human I am, my God is bigger, and stronger, and ready
and waiting to forgive me for whatever separates us.  Absolutely nothing is
too hard for him and though I’m too weak, he is not and he knows what
weapons to use.

It is my prayer that we never forget to call sin by it’s right name and to
bring our cares and sins to the feet of Jesus who thought of us by name
while he was on a cross.  Our Father in heaven looked upon our helpless
state even before we were born and proclaimed, “Live, I have found a

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