Rainy season is slowly approaching. Here and there it has rained a bit. It is not much yet, but it is a good start. The creeks are still low, and the gardens are not totally wet yet; but some of the greens are starting to grow again, and it is so good to see how the Dinangat people are helping each other out. Some have more sweet potatoes and others have more greens, and so they are able to exchange food, which is so encouraging to see. They don’t have lots, but they still thank God for everything they do have!
As the Dinangat church, we are currently studying the book of Galatians together. The Bible teachers are learning to write their own sermons, and last Sunday Lukas did a wonderful job as he taught from Galatians chapter 3. We are saved not because of our own doing or because we are some kind of special people doing something right. No, we are saved by His grace alone because of His great love; pure grace, when we accept it by faith. So it is not about us really, it is about His great name. His name is to be glorified, Jesus Christ! Lukas helped us all to adore the one true Savior we have!
Very soon now we will get to celebrate Christ’s birth with this church.There is much we can learn from them. For here it is not about the food (since there isn’t much of it here these days!), and it is not about how we dress (since that is not important here anyways!), and it is not about gifts (since that is not tradition here!). Here in Dinangat Christmas is about HIM, our Savior, our Lord who delivered us from the debt of sin. We can learn much from them and are looking forward to celebrating this Christmas with them this year.
Unfortunately, the believers are also going through some hard times. Due to some bad choices they are going through a learning and growing phase right now. Bad rumors were spread about a young father, who then got angry about it and blamed certain people for it in front of everybody right after church Sunday. Then a young widower got together with a married woman whom he now wants to marry while her husband is away in town. Also a friend of mine told me that her bananas were stolen right out of her garden. Problems in marriage, children who don’t listen to their parents, negative talk about other people… all that unfortunately also is part of the Dinangat church. But Christ came for sinners, not for the good. And so we want to celebrate Him all the more this Christmas! For He came to us; for He knew how much we needed Him!
We are getting very excited to get to see Naomi and Rebekka again next week. They are coming here for Christmas break. We have been counting the days for a long time, and now it is getting very close! We get to spend 3 weeks with them! We are super excited!!!