While we were in the Philippines this past month, we spent four days ministering in Baguio, a city of about 500,000 people in the north and, because of its elevation at nearly 5,000 feet, is dubbed the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Tropical pines, vibrant flowers, and mountain scenery, along with cooler temperatures, are a big attraction to this area.
We were in the city at the invitation of Greenhills Christian Fellowship Baguio, a fairly new church plant, to train and challenge local leadership to reach out to their community. Activities included several church leadership dinners and an all-day leadership seminar, a banquet event planned so that folks could invite their non-Christian friends, Sunday morning service, and then separate events for men and women Sunday afternoon.
Sometimes you just know that God is present in a service. Of course, He’s always present, but sometimes you sense that in a special way. That’s how it was in our group of ladies who met that Sunday afternoon. I spoke on Encouragement, reminding the women that God knows where we live and will never, ever forsake us. And secondly, that He loves us with an everlasting love--nothing we have ever done or ever will do can separate us from His amazing love--Isaiah 49:14, 15. Then we broke into small groups to share our hearts and to covenant together to pray for one another for the next 30 days. Some of the ladies had never shared the deep needs of their hearts with others--some struggling with family problems, some with singleness, some with God’s calling in their lives as pastors’ wives, along with other deep needs. Brokenness and love melded together to make it one of those special times where heart shares with heart.
We need each other! God never meant for us to live in a vacuum but to reach out to one another in times of joy and in times of sorrow. May God help us to be sensitive to the needs of those around us!