I am convinced that for most people, you can’t feel what a missionary feels unless you’re a missionary. It’s like the dream you might have when someone is coming to hurt you and you can’t scream. I used to have a dream where I tried to protect myself from an attacker but my arms wouldn’t move.
Being in this place, seeing the things we see and wanting to do so much, yet being unable to go forward, is like that dream.
On our way to one of our studies we saw crouching down next to a wall, two figures inhaling solvents. The one was a man about 40, the other a young boy about 10. What a horror to see such a thing. Was this a father and son practice to burn their minds out together?
How I wish I could describe this place so that all that will hear, will tear at their clothes and respond in a positive way. I feel it is up to me to do the very best job I can, presenting this place and it is God’s job to touch hearts. I know there are places like this all over the world and it is impossible for everyone to help everyone yet it hurts just the same.
Perhaps I just don’t have the faith that it takes to move these mountains. Yet, I still came here knowing how bad it was. I still go through the streets trying to deal with the people. I am still teaching the services and we are still seeing people come to know our Lord every time the word is given. We are still praying for land and a building. We are still praying for this place to be snatched from the devil. No, I don’t think it’s a lack of faith. I know in whom I believe. I think it is like any of the biblical preachers who cried for the situation at hand and desired more.
It has become routine to preach a salvation message before each service as there has been someone new every time. I thought it might be a hindrance for those that were already saved to hear the gospel preached service after service but it has been exciting for them to see person after person accept Jesus. On top of that, it is a wonderful way of instilling the way to present the gospel to the unsaved.
After each service we have something little to eat. What a joy to see these people eat! They eat their food like they eat the word of God, with gusto! We have had, Macaroni Sopas, Champurado (sticky rice soup w/cocoa) pancit (of course!) arrozcaldo (sticky rice soup w/meat) Biko (sticky rice cake) they are really trying to make a Filipino out of me. I keep waiting for hamburgers but I never see them. Last week we just had peanut butter and bread. I hate peanut butter, I thought no one would like it but there wasn’t a crumb left on a plate.
What a joy to see the smiles on our peoples faces as we greet each other. No one has much material goods here but they are certainly joyful in the Lord. On October 1st we are planning a baptismal service and so far we have had ten people come forward to sign up. Please pray as we are hoping for 30+ people to be baptized by then. Also, pray that we have the way to get to where we have to go. We will need to rent a bus or a few Jeepney’s to get to the water.
I am so glad to be part of this work. Please pray for us that we are able to be in the midst of a great work that God will do here. Pray that the door will continue to be open so the people will gladly receive the word of God.
We have looked at one piece of property that is at the foot of the Payatas garbage dump. They want $600,000 U.S. I can’t imagine anything costing that much in Payatas. Please pray that the owner gets saved as we witness to her. God can do anything.
Payatas Baptist Church
Pastor Jack Wilson