Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eating Sea Shells in Cebu, Paquiao fight.

Imagine the hype and it's Superbowl Sunday, or you are in Louisiana and LSU is playing for the national championship... that is what it was like for the Filipino this Sunday. Manny Paquiao is the pride of Philippine athletics and might be the best, pound for pound, fighter of all time. When the "Pac Man" fights there is no crime on the streets even though you can't find a policeman anywhere, because everyone is watching the fight.

They said that even up in the mountains, where the communist rebels are fighting a bloody war with government troops, there is a truce while the fight is going on.

I wondered how the crowd would be at church since the fight was to be going on at the exact same time as Sunday Morning Service. It was happening while I was preaching. Yet, the place was packed out. They had Jesus on their minds, the altar service was great with people on their faces and I laid hands on many... as if this was the only thing going on today.

However, when the service was over, and the food was served and eaten, they found a place to watch the fight by tape delay. Though they already knew the outcome, they cheered with pride when the Pac Man knocked out his challenger's lights.

A few interesting things about the feast.
There was a whole roasted pig, slipper lobster, sweet and sour fish, noodle dishes, fried chicken and all kinds of deserts. The coconut macaroons were incredible! It was all so good.

In fact, there was sea food of all kinds. Cebu is located near some of the most plentiful fishing locations in the world and the church has some members who own fishing vessels, and one member is actually one of the main suppliers of the Cebu fish market. So there were things most people never see.

There was one thing that Brenda and I didn't try... we probably should have, but I am not big on fishy tasting stuff and... did these things ever look fishy. Not only that, they just didn't look like food.

Sea shells of all kinds. Beautiful shells of all color, shape and size. It was like a crawfish boil, only the bucket was full of boiled sea shells.

The animals came out easy once you grabbed hold of them.


This Saturday, Brenda and I boarded a plane in Manila headed for the beautiful city of Cebu, about 300 miles to the south. We had been invited to preach the 5th anniversary service of the church founded by the Henry Pestano family. What a great experience it was.

Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines and is rich in history, beauty and resources. In fact, Asia Week Magazine ranked all the cities in Asia and gave Cebu the title as "8th Most Desirable City in Asia to Live in." It is also the place where Ferdinand Magellan was killed. (You know him, he is the guy who was given credit for the first man to go all the way around the earth. Only, he gained that notoriety with an asterisks, his ship made it, but he stayed in the Philippines with a chieftain's spear in his spleen.)

Pastor Henry responded to God's calling and left the church he had pioneered and pastored for the last 12 years near Manila, and came south to Cebu.

Thankfully God has given him a very talented family and the church has grown and matured much faster than should have been possible in 5 years. Thank God, their place was packed out, and they desperately need a larger auditorium.

All three of Henry and Filda Pestano's children are standouts musically. Their eldest daughter has a very special singing voice, the 13 year old son very well could be a prodigy on the keyboards, and the 9 year old daughter plays the drums flawlessly while appearing to be a little girl daydreaming in church. She fixed her pony tail, adjusted her head band, kept up with what her friends were doing at the back of the church, and never missed a beat.

Here are a few clips so you can see for yourself how amazingly talented these young people are.