Final Day in Cagayan de Oro
Our last day in CDO allowed us to reconnect with a long-time ministry partner who we had just worked with last month. Our friends in the Christian Businessman’s Fellowship had scheduled us through Thursday, but our flight left on Saturday morning so we called Pastor Noel to help us connect with some Pastors and Churches to evangelize in their area on our last day.
Our first 2 games were at a small court in Barangay Bugo. Our first game was played against some kids from a local Christian orphanage. To keep it as fair as possible we only fielded the 6 smallest players on our team, but it was still a blow out. We played a set score, and the final was 30-16. After the game, we just had a sit down with the 6 orphans and did our best to try to encourage them in their Christian walk. All of them are professed Christians, so we gave them New Testaments and prayed with them. They seemed encouraged that we took the time to talk to them and we were happy to meet some of our Christian brothers.
The next game was at the same court against some of the adults from the community. The game was no match on the basketball side of things, but with the heat and sun it was fairly difficult to get people to come out. We did our best to put on a good show and try to make as much noise as possible to spark the interest of anyone who could hear us. In the end, we may have had 75 people there. We did our normal presentation and Micah F shared his testimony. We made sure everyone got a tract, even people watching from close to 100 yards away from across a field. We won the game 40 – 28.
One of the more interesting things about our 2 morning games was an older gentleman that we met. When we first arrived he was very excited to see some Americans in his little village. He ended up being the ref of our game, and while his calls were suspect, his friendliness and hospitality were not. After our two games, it was about 11 am, which in US time would have been 10 pm CST Thursday night. Those NBA fans out there will remember that this was about mid way through the second half of game 7 of the NBA finals between the Lakers and the Celtics. We ended up inside the man’s house and watched the last 45 minutes of the game huddled around a TV in his tiny living room area. It was pretty exciting and we were all going back and forth about which team we wanted to win.
Following the game was over we headed out to the van we rode in, while we were leaving I saw Pastor Noel talking to the man. Noel shared with me later that this man had accepted Christ many years ago, but had not been serving Christ for many years. He told Pastor Noel that he felt like Zacchaeus, and was so encouraged that we had spent time in his home he vowed to return to serving God then and there. We connected him with the local pastor who we had partnered with for that game and we are confident that this pastor will help get him back on the right path. What a blessing that God allowed us to be a part of this story. I don’t remember the man’s name, but please pray for the Bugo Zacchaeus, as well as the many other people who heard the Gospel on Friday morning.
After the game we headed to the local church and had lunch: The Pinoy equivalent to rotisserie chicken… so good! We had a chance to pray with the local pastor and gave him a good size love offering to help with his family and his ministry in Bugo.
We had a chance to rest at the hotel before our last game of the trip, then we headed back out to the Barangay Hall in Bugo. It started out with a small crowd, but by the time we got to half time, the place was pretty full. I would say that over 400 people were there and we handed out at least that many tracts. Micah G shared his testimony and Pastor Noel gave a Gospel presentation in the local dialect. The other team was very physical and played very hard, but in the end, we managed a 77-62 victory. Please keep all the people in Bugo in your prayers. Those who heard our Gospel presentation as well as those who did not but might come into contact with one of the pastors there.
The final game of this trip went great and we know that God is going to use it to enlarge His kingdom. It was however, a bittersweet ending to what I guess could be called a bit of an era. One of the people who have been instrumental in starting Buhay Sports and bringing it to where it is today, played his final game as a full time missionary in the Philippines. Daniel was on our very first trip over 4 years ago, and while we wish Daniel the best as he follows God’s leading back to the states (June 30), we hope God will bless his plan to continue coming back for short term trips in the future. Thanks Daniel for all the work you have put into making this ministry what it is, we are blessed that God allowed us to benefit from the talents and abilities He blessed you with.
We have another trip starting July 14! Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for another great opportunity to share the Gospel with many who have not heard, and many who need to hear again!