Friends,
My brother (Steve), his oldest son (Kael), another teenage boy, and two young men (not the same two who went in 2015) took a trip to the Philippines last month to visit the Agta –the people with whom I and my siblings grew up and for whom my parents translated the New Testament.

It appears that the Agta are doing much better than they were several years ago. There is a thriving church there and most of the Agta throughout the penisula seem to love Jesus. The children are eager to go to school and to learn and the adults want this for them –very different than when we lived there, for it was so hard to get anyone interested in learning to read then. However, there is a need for a school to be built in another Agta village so that those children don’t have to board away from home. There is a need for funds for this project, as Steve is trying to arrange plans for the building. Here is something I posted after their trip in 2015 and it includes the information on how to donate:

“New houses, a church, and a school have been made in one Agta village from money being donated from various people wanting to help the Agta. The Agtas’ needs have received more attention since APECO’s efforts to take their land have become known internationally. (The Rom. 8:28 promise at work, I’d say.) May the Lord bless all who are helping them! If you would like to be one of those helpers, there is an opportunity to become a sponsor for the many six-graders wanting to go on to high school (there is no middle school), which costs, including room and board, approximately $340 a year. Here is the link you can click on to donate and receive a tax deduction:http://partnersacrosscultures.org/donate Please specify that you are donating to “the Casiguran Agta” in the blank space that says, “Person or trip”. If you are wanting to sponsor a student, their names will be available after you fill out the application. Thank you so much for prayerfully considering this.”

Please also support the Agta through prayer. Pray for their health, for their provision regarding food, medicine, surgeries, and education, for them to grow in spiritual knowledge, maturity, and holiness, for them and their land to be safe from land-grabbers, for their safety from disease and accidents and hurricanes, and for their total well-being.

I thank the Lord for all He has so wonderfully done for the Agta since my parents went there to live out their lives with them two years before I was born. God loves the Agta so very much. He cares for them and wants to use others to extend His care and love through. Thank you for your consideration, dear Reader, in helping.

Below are some photos, with captions underneath each, of this year’s trip.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

My brother with “uncle” Saysay (pronounced Sysy) who, as a child, became blind from having measles.

My brother and a Filipino man who is a pastor in the area.

Kael and the other teenage boy enjoying one of the peninsula’s exquisite beaches.

This man’s life was saved by my mom about 25 years ago when he was dying. My mom hiked to his home one night to pray over him and he miraculously recovered by the next morning. This is his wife and kids this year.

This photo is of two of our elderly “aunties” trying out the reading glasses my parents sent.

Two of our friends have this small ferry business because the river, near its mouth, rises at high tide.

Two children amazed at a young hornbill bird.

Agta grandma ready to play ball too!

American group involving themselves in village life.

Kael with new friends.

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Complacency

June 7, 2017

Friends,
“Woe to the complacent… to those who walk in pride.” (See Amos 6:1,8) God hates this attitude and He opposes those who harbor it.

Most of us condemn pride and know that Scripture teaches the importance of humility. 1 Pe. 5:5 is acknowledged as true, even if not adhered to. This verse teaches, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble.'” And verse 6, which comes with a promise, is usually believed also, which states, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” James 4:6-10 teaches the same and includes the necessity of weeping submission and of choosing and putting forth the effort, ourselves, of washing out our hearts and minds and lives.

Pride is not a pretty thing and most people do recognize this. They do seem to expect that God would detest pride and punish those who conduct themselves with it.

But what about simple complacency and being satisfied with one’s efforts? Do most people see how abhorrent this attitude is in God’s sight? I don’t think so. Even if the world and Christians alike boast about their busyness and what they are doing every day, who actually condemns complacency, especially in themselves? Who falls prostrate before God and asks to be cleansed of their tendency to see themselves as “fine” in God’s sight, as “acceptable” in their walk with Christ? How many “Christians” are striving hard “to live a life worthy of the calling” (Eph. 4:1) by being “humble, gentle, patient, and loving”? (See v. 2) Being found worthy by Christ when He comes is not automatic but is for those who persevere in faith and in obedient fellowship with the Lord. (2 Thes. 1:3-12) Complacency is the enemy of realizing one’s spiritual need. And this is a warning to “Christians”!

Complacency makes a person think they are okay before God even while they are not. Complacency says, “I possess the Truth,” yet the person is walking blind and naked! (Rev. 3:17,18) “Your deeds reveal your staleness,” Jesus says (in essence) in verses 14-16, “and thus I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!” Yes, those lives that do not produce good fruit in accordance with a repentant, purified heart and mind and spirit, will be thrown into the unquenchable fire. (Mt. 3:7-12)

Really? –it’s just about belief and a bit of faith? It’s not. (Ja. 2:14-26) It’s about walking in faith. Progressing in faith. Exhibiting one’s faith by putting Christ’s commands into practice 24/7!

It is deception that tells Christians, “You can sow to please your sinful nature because you are already eternally saved. Nothing you do now will cause you to be rejected from entering Heaven. You are fine.” Wow! Adherents to this philosophy are in for a huge and horrifying shock! For God’s Word tells us, repeatedly, the exact opposite. Like in Gal. 6:7 which warns us of being deceived, of mocking God, and of thinking a man does not reap what he sows. Reaping consequences in this life only? Should we believe “Christians” who insist that this is all it means? No, we can read the very next verse: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (v. 8 ) The contrast is destruction versus eternal life. One cannot reap destruction and then afterward reap eternal life. Truly, it is immensely prideful to think one can do as he pleases and still inherit Salvation.

Jesus warns in Luke 13:3, and again in verse 5, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Absolutely, good fruit must be produced in accordance with repentance exhibited in one’s life (3:7-14), or that branch will be cut off from one’s position in Christ (John 15:2) / one’s position in His love (v. 10), and be thrown to the fire. (v. 6) Do we view the warnings of Jesus with disdain, with complacency, with carefreeness?! How wicked! Jesus tells all those who have sat under His teachings, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down…” (Luke 21:34) and you will be caught unprepared! (Same verse) Pray, Jesus says, that you will be found worthy of the Escape. (v. 36) Be dressed, lamps burning, and walking the narrow road, Jesus tells us (12:35 // Mt. 7:14,21), for disobedient servants, He warns, will be cut to pieces and condemned with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:46)

Complacency has no place in our hearts and lives. We must take action to root it out. If we do not, it will send us to damnation.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel