Monday, April 9, 2012

Home again

Julie and I made it back from the Philippines on Saturday. It's a stretch to leave Manila at 8 am and arrive in Minneapolis at 1 pm on the same day. April 7th lasted about 36 hours for us. We floundered around and enjoyed seeing our daughters -- one live and one via Skype, as she's still in Guatemala -- and collapsed into bed about 8 pm. Sunday was Easter, and for whatever reason I was wide awake all through the morning, enjoying five worship services at Central. Due to the back-to-back scheduling of my trip to teach at CLBI in Canada and our Philippines mission trip, I hadn't been at Central for a worship service since March 4th. It was such a joy to be back there again!

As far as our time in the Philippines goes, I have a lot of mental debriefing to do, as well as talking with the team to figure a few things out. We have already started the conversation about what should be done different and how to build on the foundation that has been laid for Alpha in the Philippines, but that conversation is by no means over. The biggest factor, of course, is that what we've done there now belongs to the Holy Spirit and to the Filipino churches. It doesn't belong to us any more. But there may be a role for us to play there.

One possibility that came up during our Iloilo seminar was a conversation with a couple leaders from the Foursquare churches who talked about other areas in the Philippines that struggle to train pastors. Particularly these men identified Antique, (pronounced an-TEEK-ay) a part of the island of Panay north and west of Iloilo, and Masbate (mos-BOT-ay), an island northeast of Panay, as two areas that could use both Alpha and some kind of leadership training for pastors and church leaders. So our team talked about the possibility of coming back in a couple years and dividing our group into a couple training teams -- one that might revisit Alpha churches in Bacolod and Iloilo and Guimaras, where we were this time, and one that might provide leadership training and Alpha training for churches in Antique and Masbate.

Lots of intriguing possibilities.

For the moment I need to wrap my head around getting ready for work at Central Lutheran Church in Elk River, MN. Hopefully in a day or two I won't need to keep reminding myself where (and when) I am.

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