Grace, peace and abundant blessings to you all from the Lord Jesus Christ and our loving Heavenly Father.
I would like to share with you all a testimony of how sin abounds so that grace much more abounds when we trust upon our own wisdom and self reliance when faced with seemingly difficult situations and the plans that We make for our life.
I moved to Lucena city in the Philippines in late December of 2020 and soon after began my book ministry there, printing our books and offering them free of charge to everyone who wanted them by setting up a display of the books on a table in a busy thoroughfare and letting whosoever wanted a book or two to take them.
Initially I had only a small inkjet printer to print the books and booklets on using A5 size paper and a few simple tools to bind the books. When it came to the large books I used an electric drill to drill holes and then sewed the pages together. For the booklets I used a long edge stapler.
As the number of books taken increased the time I had to spend producing the books increased also and I soon wore out several printers in the process. They would start to miss print pages and generally make the printing process very difficult and time consuming. In the end I had gone through 4 small capacity printers before I decided to invest in some heavy duty printers along with a heavy duty paper cutter and a heavy duty stapler.
These printers made it much simpler once I worked out the printing dialog and started using A4 paper to print two pages per side and automatic two sided printing. I chose to use Epson printers with refillable tanks to save the cost of ink but I made the mistake of purchasing the wrong ink and consequently clogged up the print heads in two of my new printers. I have almost managed to fix one of them now but I had to purchase another printer in the meantime.
Since I started this ministry in Lucena City 6,934 books have been taken or distributed by mail to various places all over the Philippines. I praise God for the privilege of sharing this wonderful message to those who know not of the love of the Father and His Son.
Just like the apostle Paul I have felt the call to preach the word in other cities also and I felt a call to move to the southern island of Mindanao and the city of Davao. Here is where I started a journey that would try my faith and patients to the upmost. I am living in a country that is not my own and I can not speak or understand their many languages. I had to find a shipping company to move my things and arrange flights and transport for myself and my cat to Manila airport and all within the restrictions of the Covid pandemic. The first problem that I faced was if I send my things to Davao by ship and then I couldn’t travel myself because of the travel bans in place I would be stranded in Lucena without my printing equipment, my scooter and a lot of my personal items.
Thankfully the Lord impressed me to do one task at a time so I packed up my printing equipment and things and had them shipped to Davao. Next task was to arrange for my cat to be vaccinated for the travel requirements here. Once I had her vaccinated I had to get approval from the department of animal health and quarantine. I was told that it could be obtained online, all I had to do was fill out the form and submit it online and that was all that was all I needed to do. I tried to do that but to no avail. Here is where I lost it so to speak. If after all my efforts to get to the airport in Manila only to find that I couldn’t take my cat on the plane all would be a waste of time and money, I would loose the money for the flight and I would be stuck in Manila with my cat and my journey would be at an end.
In all my life I had not been so upset or at such a loss as to what to do. No matter what I couldn’t see a solution to this dilemma and I was really panicking and almost at a point of a nervous breakdown when a friend of mine offered to take my cat to her home and she would keep it there. While I was in the worst of my panic attack a word came to me in my mind and that was PRAY! But being the self reliant person that I have become I didn’t do it. When my friend stepped in and offered to take my cat off me I calmed down almost immediately and saw the leading of the Lord in His mercy and love for me. In hindsight if I had tried to bring my cat to Davao all manner of problems would have arrived. I have been humbled to find that the Lord had forseen this and arranged things for me to make this move as easily as possible.
My next problem was getting a travel pass and getting a health pass. The travel pass was easy to obtain. All I had to do was request it at the local council and it was given free of charge. What I didn’t know was that I needed a negative Covid test result before they would let me fly.
In His, The Father’s mercy, I arranged for a neighbor to take me to Manila airport in the early hours of Wednesday only to find out when I got there that I had come a day early for my flight! And I was informed that I had to have a certificate of health stating that I was Covid negative. I was told to go to a place to get tested which I did and the negative result didn’t come until late in the afternoon of that day. If my flight had been on that day I would have missed it because of this Covid test. Praise the Lord that I came a day early to the airport.
After spending the night in a hotel I went to the airport again with the necessary documentation to enable me to fly only to find out at the check-in desk that I needed a QR code to enter Davao and without it they would not issue my ticket. Thankfully the lovely young lady at the check-in desk helped me to obtain it while I was there. This time when the panic started to rise in me I remembered the word spoken in my mind before and I prayed for help and God is faithful and heard and answered my prayer.
Upon arrival at Davao airport all passengers have to show their negative covid test results as well as their OR code and give a place of residence before entering the city. Wow what a hassle to get to another city during this time.
My friend Temujin Divinagracia, who lives in Davao has been helping me tremendously with providing a place for storing the shipment of my goods and has been searching for a house for me to stay in here in Davao, and taking me to Vegan restaurants for some delicious meals. Our previous plan for me to stay at his home in the country was dashed when the authorities placed a travel ban from district to district.
I am spending the weekend in a hotel room over the weekend and praying for the Lord’s leading in finding a place to stay that is suitable for setting up my printers and comfortable enough to live in.
In all of this most stressful experience of moving from one city to another during a pandemic in a foreign country has taught me (hopefully) that when we pray to the Lord for His guidance and blessings we/I should trust that He will fulfill his word and take care of our needs in all things. When I look back on the way He has arranged things for me in every step of the way I am amazed and humbled by it. I remember the way I panicked and failed to bring glory to Him when if I had calmly trusted and obeyed Him I would have bought honor and glory to His name. In the times ahead of us when all earthly support shall be taken from us we will need to have a personal experience of what it means to trust in His promises and rely upon Him to bring us through. I hope that the memory of this move to Davao will be a good reminder to me to trust that He has not forsaken us and that we are never out of His sight and watch-care. Praise to the Lord and His holy name (character). Amen.