Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Harvest Feast

Sunday morning we went to Maligcong to attend the Thanksgiving Harvest Feast at Maligcong Christian Fellowship. I was invited as the guest speaker.
Maligcong is famous for the terraced mountains that surround its three sitios. You can see more pictures of this beautiful area at our post, Stairways to Heaven.)
At the beginning of the service, they have a Sunday School for all of the children. Alexie read a story from Read-Aloud Bible Stories. It was not something we had planned on, but we brought the book with us in case an opportunity arose. Lisa and I were proud of her willingness to do this in front of the whole church.
During the service, the children moved about. Yet it did not seem a distraction - most of the time. When a little boy crawled onto the stage, one of the guitar players kept an eye on him. When the child got too near the edge, he picked the boy up and took him to his mother. Nobody seemed to be bothered. But when these boys leaned through the window with their frog, some of the girls nearby became a little uncomfortable. I chuckled to myself and Lisa took a couple pictures.

I once had a pastor who put up a large sign. As you were leaving the church, you were reminded that the mission field was all around you - not just on the other side of the world. This idea fit well with my message about an eternal harvest, so I had a similar sign made which we gave to the church.
In so many ways, I have had visual examples of different stories from the Bible since we moved here. Yesterday it was the idea of bringing your first fruits into the house of God. Before we arrived, there were some bananas and palay (sheaves of rice) on the stage. As more people came, the stage became filled with rice, bananas, oranges, peanuts, etc. This was an actual harvest being given to God.

I can only imagine how large it would have been if all could have come. The largest sitio was closed for observation of some of the cultural traditions. Nobody was allowed to enter or leave that part of the village. So they could not attend the service or bring their offerings.
Pastor Agustine and his mother

After a lunch of pancit, chicken, and rice, the offerings were divided. Much of it was loaded into Pastor Agustine's jeepney. As he drove us back to Bontoc, we stopped at several homes. Young men jumped out and dropped off bags of palay, bananas, and oranges before we continued on our way.
When we stopped at our place, I paused to say good-bye and to thank Pastor Agustine for the hospitality we had received. I was so surprised when I walked around the back of the jeepney and saw three young men carrying bundles of goods to our apartment. Their generosity of the people of Maligcong Christian Fellowship was humbling.
After we took these pictures, we divided the gift and took portions of it to our landlords, neighbors, staff families, and those living at the ministry base.

We went to Maligcong hoping to encourage the people there. We left being abundantly blessed.



  1. Your post is heartwarming and wonderful. I am blessed by it, too! God be glorified in all these. May He continue to bless the people of Maligcong.

  2. So, i guess you can't sing "Yes! We have no bananas...we have no bananas today!"

  3. looks like a great trip. continuing to pray for you as you press on in the work there.

  4. The little boys and the frog are precious! What a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing!

    Looking forward to meeting your family!

    love and prayers,
    Holly for the Wallaces

  5. Great posts and photos! Glad to see that apparently nothing stops you guys from reaching out to the folks there . . .
    Our love,
    Shirley & Nat