Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter in the Philippines

It is on holidays that we miss home the most. Being unable to gather with family, they can easily seem like any other day on the calendar. But last night we mixed up Easter Story Cookies (Resurrection Cookies) to help focus our thoughts on Easter. Throughout the process the different steps go along with the Scriptures read. The cookies are placed in a warm oven that we "seal" shut just like the tomb. The oven is then turned off and the cookies are left until Easter morning. We have made these in the past but this morning we learned they are not so successful using a gas oven. No hollow cookie "tombs" were found when the door was opened but cookies much the same state as we left them.

The girls and I talked about how at home we all wanted to wear spring dresses but the weather was often so cold we shivered throughout the morning. Today it was warm and sunny as we walked to church but no Easter-type dresses made it to our suitcases for the move. Rather than Easter dresses, the girls and I donned our new tapis. We received a great amount of attention as we walked to church and back in our traditional woven skirts. A bit more attention than preferred but that is another story for a different time and place.
No Easter bunny makes appearances here. No baskets, colored eggs, or jellybeans either. But that doesn't mean there is not confusion regarding Easter. The Philippines is famous for the crucifixions and floggings many voluntarily undergo as an expression of their faith and devotion. (See and yahoo news for in-depth articles.) Although not done in the area we are living, we find it sad to hear the stories of how the participants are hoping for the forgiveness of sins and special favor from God because of these actions. It seems that they have missed that what Jesus did on the cross has already paid for our sins. We become the children of God not by mutilating ourselves, but by accepting what He has already done.

Although we miss home, we are reminded of the reason we came...


  1. You all look so nice in your Easter clothes! I do hope to enjoy the festives when we get there. Where are te clowns? mom

  2. You have 4 girls! Amazing. They all looked pretty in their Igorot skirts. Our family has 3 boys. They don't even have a photo in Igorot attire. Someday I hope.

    I was having a discussion on the Philippine flogging rites with a fellow brother in Christ as we went to attend Easter worship service this morning. The good news of Jesus isn't clearly communicated to majority of the Filipino people, although we claim to be the only Christian nation in Asia. People still attempt to reach God through their works, not on accepting and believing what the Lord Jesus has done for them.

    I salute American missionary families in leaving the comfort of their homes and responding to Jesus' commission of preaching the gospel across the world. May GOD continue to bless, strengthen, encourage and equip you do HIS work.

  3. Mom,

    Obviously, the clown is the one behind the camera!


  4. To my new Igorot friend,

    Thank you for your salute, but we really believe that our calling is no greater than anyone else's. For 17 years, I was called to work at a "normal" job. It was not what I desired, but I know it was where He called me. The address or hemisphere is not what is important. The question is, "Are you doing what He has called you to?" We may have left many things behind that are important in the US. But we have gained many things that are often overlooked.

    Thank you for your encouragement, though. It is good to know people are standing with us in purpose and prayer.