The Sweetness Of the Holy Spirit! — The Philippines!

I wasn’t sure what to call this entry! On Wednesday I went to church with Owen. I have no idea where it was, but I rode in a tricycle for the first time. Talk about being in prayer and feeling vulnerable as you travel! You sit in a side car about 8 inches from the ground! It’s open-sided, with no seatbelt. Regular vehicles- cars vans and buses – all shine their lights in at you as they wiz by! Vehicles go within inches of each other and scurry seemingly aimlessly around you! We traveled that way for maybe ten blocks! Once we got there, we rode the elevator up to an oasis of peace and order! The music was peaceful songs I’d never heard! The message and the spirit was the same as if we were back in America! In America, we have no claim to the message! The Gospel and His Holy Spirit are for people in the “all the ends of the earth” Jesus commanded us to take the message to everyone! His Gospel is universal- it touches the human heart no matter what nationality we are!
After the sermon at Owen’s church we broke into prayer partners- mine was Anna. She was a statistics professor of the University of the Philippines. She came to faith in God and the Lord as a result of the break-up of her marriage. What a sweet Spirit! I am so humbled by people who pray out loud powerfully and confidently! She did both with such a sweetness that I was so touched! I have faith, but am so unsure of myself when asked to pray out loud! With Anna the words poured out as she covered the requests mentioned earlier! The Holy Spirit was alive as she allowed it to flow out of her mouth! I am honored to have had a wonderful visit with her! Afterward she drove Owen and me home. She had no idea what a sweetness she had exhibited to us! God is so good to us! He provides us with what we need – in the bustle of 12 million people one can find examples of peace! He provides it freely and openly to all who seek it!
Later, on Sunday, we went to a church in Quezon City. We had done a trial run on Saturday night, while Owen went back to his home. I had gone with him as far as to Ever Gotestco Mall, and then back to my condo! Sunday I made the trip by myself! I got off at the mall, crossed over the bridge and went to the Jollibee and waited for Owen! We got into a tricycle ( I was more at ease this time.) and headed towards church! The part of town had a small town feel! Gone were the many towers and congestion of the rest of Manila! Buildings were more quaint and cleaner! Businesses seemed like ma and pa establishments! Trees were fuller and the whole feel was “country”.
A thin cat greeted us at the foot of the stairs and we heard the sound of roosters outdoors as we headed up! There we were met by the pastor, who was Korean, and several church members! There in that church was the same quiet, sweetness of spirit, I had seen at the last church! The pastor spoke about spiritual warfare, and showed graphic videos to illustrate the demonic activity faced today! In America and industrialized countries, we often dismiss the reality of demonic activity, but here it is accepted! ( At the other church, they had prayed against witchcraft’s influence on someone’s life!) Despite the reality of demonic activity, the Philippine people have a strong dependence on the Holy Spirit. They believe in it’s reality and the spiritual dimension of their lives! This faith is demonstrated in a life of graciousness and generosity! I felt it at the church Wednesday and here in this one which was located near Holy Spirit Drive. I have felt this Spirit often with the people I meet here in the streets of Manila! As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, God is an openly accepted force in the Filipino Life!
(P.S. In our country, we would not be allowed to call a street the name Holy Spirit Drive! People I know have talked about how using Agape Road and Mercy Lane as street names have caused outcries by neighbors! And we have called our country Christian! We have lost touch with the expression of freedom we once had!)

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