SULADS president and high school principle with Dwayne and visitor at an agricultural livelihood project
INTO ALL THE WORLD
By Dwayne Harris
New Missionaries to Mindanao Project
These last few months have been busy but rewarding. A new missionary family from Romania joined our team last month to help with the Mindanao project. They have two young daughters aged one and three. Adrian is a builder and will be working on and overseeing the building of the hanger and airbase. This is a long awaited answer to prayer since we are still not able to stay there full time to oversee the building project, and having them there allows us to get things going without worrying about what will happen every time we leave. God provided a place for us all to stay on campus, through the generosity of Mountain View College, while the hangar/housing complex is being built, which we estimate to take up to a year to complete (due to the usual “unexpected” delays that always come in the mission field 😉
Church Leaders Fly to SULADS Schools
Three days after the Pantelimon family’s arrival on October 10 we all flew from Banuar (our airbase in Northern Luzon) down to Mountain View College in Mindanao in the Twin Comanche. Daniel Lui met us there with the helicopter, which he flew over from Palawan (a 5 hour flight with one refueling stop). Daniel and I spent the next week and a half flying everyday assisting the SULADS with their mid-year evaluations of their remote mission schools. One or two church leaders rode on most flights so they could see first hand what is going on in this special ministry. We hope it will increase the church’s support for the work of the SULADS. Around 25 schools and 2 future school sites were visited with the helicopter. There is a great need for a full time helicopter to be based in this area.
Mid-year evaluations of SULADS schools made possible with the helicopter
Relations Growing In Muslim Island
As soon as we were finished with the helicopter flights I flew (in the Twin Comanche) some of the church leaders from the Zamboanga Mission over to the Muslim island of Mapun where they stayed for 5 days. Although this island is in the Zamboanga Mission’s territory and has a self supporting SDA school on it, the mission leaders had never had the opportunity to visit there before, due to it’s remoteness. Their reports were encouraging and the trip gave them a new vision of helping develop the work there. They have plans of putting up an FM radio station there (there are no radio stations on the island), and also assigning a full time pastor to the area. We make a lot of medevac flights to this island from our base in Palawan and have had full time medical missionaries there as well, so we have a good relationship with the people there.
Medical Mission and Muslim Dialogue
The following Sunday I flew the SULADS president and several doctors down to Tawi Tawi (southern Mindanao) for a medical mission and SULADS missionary reunion. Because of some of the insecurities with extremists and kidnappings in that area we were escorted around all weekend by armed police and marines who even traveled out to the small islands with us by boat. When we arrived on the island where the medical mission was being held, we first met with the barangy captain (village or island leader). He was very young and as he greeted me it was obvious we had met before, but I could not remember where. He finally reminded me that I had flown him and his dad from Zamboanga to Cotabato for medical treatment a few years ago. His dad had since died and he inherited his dad’s leadership on the island even though he is only in his 20’s. His dad was a big supporter and advocate of the SULADS schools and was personally affected by their work. I had some good conversations with the young leader that day and had opportunities to share with him about health and leadership. Although the leadership at every level in the Philippines is supposed to be by election, whether by honesty or fraud most of the time the family in power keeps that position. We hope this young man will follow in his father’s footsteps in supporting the SULADS work.
At the same time we were conducting the medical mission on the islands, the SULADS area supervisor was speaking by invitation to a group of Muslims from the Muslim State University branch in Tawi Tawi. There was very favorable response as he preached Jesus’ soon return from the Qur’an and Bible. We praise God for the doors He is opening to reach into all the world and to all peoples.
Dwayne and Wendy Harris
Helicopter Update: We’ve been praying earnestly for God to direct us to the right helicopter. We are considering buying one (in Manila or the U.S.) that’s timed out with the money we have ($100K) and then we’d need to buy the overhaul kit for about $250K, and then we would do the overhaul ourselves. The helicopter would then be just like new and would be good for another 12 years or 2200 hours.
If you haven’t seen our new PAMAS video yet (“Reaching Lives, Delivering Hope”), here is the link where you can watch it: