With joy and solemnity, amid the sounds of singing and rolling waves, the baptismal candidates entered the sparking ocean. As they rose to new life, their hugs for their loved ones and their tears of joy testified that God was at work in the lives of these hardy mountain Palawano people. Nineteen precious souls were baptized on camp-meeting Sabbath! Perhaps the greatest joy for me was seeing the baptism of one of my first patients, an elderly Palawano man named Tigap.
Camp meeting was a huge blessing! Never had I seen so many Palawanos gathered together in one place. The theme was “Receiving the Righteousness of Christ.” Palawano church elders and lay pastors preached, and Sonya enjoyed helping to teach in the cradle-roll division. At the final meeting, the speaker made an appeal for the attendees to leave their sins and return to their homes with new life in Jesus. Everyone received a piece of paper on which they wrote the sin they wanted to leave behind. Outside stood a barrel with a fire kindled inside, and each person dropped their piece of paper into the flames, claiming freedom through the sacrifice of Jesus.
God was at work in numerous ways. On the Friday before the baptism, I treated a two-year-old boy from the mountains who was stricken with malaria. His white hands and feet showed that his hemoglobin was very low. A test revealed that it was only 25 percent of what it should be! We prayed for him, and he promptly received a life-saving blood transfusion and eventually made a full recovery. Praise God!
I am so thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice of His own blood that allows us to make a full recovery from sin. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:10, 14). Thank you for your prayers and support. God is using you to make a difference here in Palawan!