We started Monday visiting City Hall.
The mayor was welcoming and interested in the solutions we had to present, but in the Philippines, the mayor and the city council are separate branches. He loved the hat, and Matt asked him if he knew Jesus. The mayor was receptive, and his wife is a Christian. She must've overheard that because she wanders out into the room after that. They were at her church yesterday, so we are praying that she is successful in leading him to the Lord.
We were waiting in the vice mayor's office for a visit and suddenly the plan changed. The vice mayor presides over the city council and that is where he was. They asked us to join the city council.
Matt gave his testimony to the city council, and presented the Most Excellent Way as a solution to drug addiction. We met 2 councilors that are now spearheading the legislative process to creating an ordinance to put The Most Excellent Way as the official program for Calmaba Sipag, "Start of Hope" programs.
Thank you Councilor Alcasid for commiting to take the hope of Jesus based addiction recovery to a national level and Councilor Hernandez "team Champion" for championing BBSM in Calamba.
The next person we met was the Chief of Police for the City of Calmba. We were thankful for Jim and his military experience to connect with this man. During this meeting, a man under the chief brought him a list and he discovered that of the 54 barngay, only 3 had ongoing faith based programs. All three of them were run by pastor Mariano. These are the three programs that we have and are planning on visiting this trip. He asked how many we can do. The officials here are desparate for help. He asked, "Can you bring the entire United States here?"
He took us to the jail where Matt and Josh gave testimony to 76 men and 18 women. They gave their lives to Jesus Christ.
By mid-day we realized there is a plan put into motion much bigger than BBSM or RCGGM. Jesus just moved in the city of Clamba. Over the next year it will be amazing to see how Jesus is reaching addicts, with support of the city and the local barangay.
We visited the Barangay Mayapa for the Sipag.
Matt gave a moving testimony to God's redemption and Keith clearly explained the Gospel. After Andrew gave his testimony highlighting God's power to restore, he led to Christ 20 people, including one Barangay Councilor. This was the first time Andrew was used in this way.
In the afternoon we walked out from the church to the streets. The first house we went in was Edzel's family. We discovered his grandmother on a chair writhing in pain. She fell 2 months earlier down the path next to their house. She couldn't weigh more than 60 pounds. We bought an ambulance ride to get help. In this house 4 boys were led to the Lord. Meanwhile, we split off and brought the hope of Jesus to two other teenagers, and one prayed for Jesus to enter his heart.
Tomorrow we go to prison and jail.