I was a little uncomfortable with accepting the plaque because all I had done was share the need with some friends at home. They had done the work and shouldered the expense of gathering and sending the gear. (What a blessing when people generously respond to God's promptings!) I was glad when the presenter credited the donation to my friends at the nuclear plant.
Best of all, was afterward. The available officers of the fire department joined me for a snack at the diner across the road. We had a good conversation about some of the differences between fire fighting in our community in Michigan and here in Bontoc. (They are the only fire service for all of the Bontoc barangays - some are an hour away.) We talked a little about how communities are divided: provinces, municipalities, barangays, etc. We also talked about Jesus. I was able to share that the resurrection of Jesus changes everything. That the forgiveness of sins comes through faith in Him, not by the good things we do. One officer seemed a little surprised when I said that Ghandi was a good man - but his righteousness could not save him.
Once again, I want to say thank you to those who have partnered with us in this ministry. Because of support from people at home (through prayers, finances, and special gifts like the fire gear and diabetes testing supplies) we are given the opportunity to make connections with people here in the mountains of the Philippines. We rejoice over the relationships that are growing and the opportunities to bear witness of the Good News of freedom, hope, and salvation.