Saturday, December 17, 2011

Can-eo Anniversary

Alayna, Jil, and Annalise bumping along to Can-eo
Sunday we traveled with the other YWAM Mountain Province staff and the SSM students to Can-eo to join the 7th anniversary celebration of Can-eo Station Church's building.

A light rain was falling intermittently as we traveled the rocky mountain road that ends in Can-eo.  At one point we needed to stop and clear rocks that had fallen onto the road since the jeepney had last passed that way.
Clearing fallen rocks from the path so the jeepney could pass.
The night before, Bridget sent us a text telling us about a mudslide. The mud was about a foot deep and very squishy. Rocks and branches were put into the shallowest part along the edge of the mountain so that there was a path, albeit a tricky one requiring good balance.
Hiking past a recent mudslide as we transferred to a second jeepney.
If you missed a step or slid from one the rocks or branches, there was no way to avoid the slop.
Missing the stones placed in the mud could get you a little bit dirty.
Lisa managed to keep most of her nail polish clean.
We had to hike about 500 meters from the mudslide to the washout where a second jeepney could pick us up and take us the rest of the way to the village. Because only a meter remains of the road, no vehicles can pass. So until the road gets fixed, this jeepney will need to stay on that side of the washout.
This washout was the main reason we needed to transfer.  
As our group approached the church, a group of tapis-clad girls sang a song of greeting.

On the other side of the church, the lunch meal was already being prepared. Several pigs had been butchered in anticipation of the whole village attending the festivities. Bridget, Pastor Rudy's wife, said she had not gotten to bed until 2 am and got up at 4 am to resume preparations for the day.

Adriana and Bridget
The church building was packed and at every window and the doorway people were outside looking in.
The church building overflowed.
Several groups sang songs or danced at the beginning of the service.

Harry Smith, YWAM staff during our CDTS and a long-time servant in the Philippines, stood in for the guest speakers as they could not make it due to the road conditions.  After his sermon, he officiated the ordination ceremony of  Pastor Rudy.

As offering was being collected several women brought baskets of rice palay (sheaves) to the altar. Others brought flowers and even bananas. Everybody laughed when a toddler gave into temptation and went up and grabbed a banana.
Bringing in their first fruits, literally.

After the service was over everyone was welcome to stay and enjoy lunch together. This transition gave my girls the opportunity to love on little ones - something they love to do.

As much as I would love to include photos of all the beautiful children from Can-eo, there just isn't room here. So I put together this collage to share a sampling.
Language is not a barrier to people who want to be friends. When we first visited Can-eo in 2007 during our CDTS, Lisa made friends with Susan (pronounced Oosan). Since that time, whenever the two ladies see each other, it is clear they are friends even though they don't share enough language to talk to each other.
Susan and Lisa
Lunch was served on sections of banana tree trunk - an Igorot paper plate. Fingers replace silverware.

Annalise was not sure she could eat all that was served to her: pancit, rice, and pork.
While some had begun eating outside, inside the church an assembly line was busily serving up "plates" of food and sending them out to those waiting. As each was filled, it was passed outside and down the stairs in a bucket brigade style line.

These are going to take some serious scrubbing
More plates ready for use during the evening meal
After lunch was over, Lisa and I went to visit Ochawan. Our newest staff member, Harry, accompanied us and served as translator and guide. She wept with joy as she told us how much she appreciated us coming. We were blessed to feel so welcomed. We gave her copies of the photos taken two months ago when she accepted Jesus as her Savior.  She smiled as she remembered how when she prayed she was filled with joy.  When she asked me to share something from the Bible, I read the passages from 1 John 4 about love that had been used as the text during the sermon.

As we talked, she shared that back pain has kept her from sleeping well.  She longs to be strong enough to join the other believers at church services.  After praying for her, she opened up to struggling with great fear.  So much that she insists her niece leave the light on at night.  I shared with her Psalm 139, reassuring her that God is always with her even amidst the darkest night. Lisa told her perfect love casts out fear and that the spirit of fear does not come from the Lord.  Ochawan happily replied, "I believe it.  I claim it.  Fear must go away!"
Harry, Ochawan, and Lisa
Ochawan's great smile
Modeling the hats Harry Smith gave out
No Igorot party is complete without gongs and dancing
As much as we would have loved to stay longer, we needed to leave so we could catch the jeepney back to Bontoc.
Some crazy Americano who would prefer to hang off the back or ride on top of a jeepney than be inside of it


  1. Almighty God,Thank u s much 4 u r the provider of all our needs..thanks to the people that u have sent to help each and,strength,wisdom,money,workers and church was provided..happy anniversary Can-eo Station Church..Be faithful to the Lord..

  2. So cool to see your update from my favorite village and to hear how Ochawan is doing! I will keep praying for her health and for all fear to be gone in the name of Jesus!