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Filtering by Category: Missions in other places

Brothers and Sisters


A few years back, I worked with a small people group that lived in the Himalayan Mountains.  There were only about 300,000 of them, and they were scattered across several valleys.  As I studied their language, I started to notice  that things they would say crept into my everyday vocabulary.  I would catch myself saying things like, “Oh, that’s very convenient,” which in America we will say occasionally, but when I lived there I said it ALL the time. Another piece of language that I’ve picked up is the way that I refer to people.  When I lived there, if people were close friends they always addressed each other as family.  If you were about the same age, you called each other Brother or Sister.  If the person you were talking to was older, it was Aunt or Uncle.  And if the person was much older than you, it was Grandma or Grandpa.  (Side note: don’t mix up the words for aunt and grandma.  They will notice.)

Because the people group is so small, you can travel out to villages where you’ve never been before, refer to someone as Uncle and be like family almost instantly.  Most likely you would be accepted into their home, given a place to sleep and given a bowl of whatever strange thing they were having for dinner.  It was the greatest hospitality I’ve ever seen.

Even now that I’m on the other side of the world from those people, I still catch myself referring to friends as family.  I’m always telling my two-month old “Here’s Aunt Molly” or “Smile for Uncle Ross,” even though we aren’t kin.  My poor kid will grow up so confused because he already has about two-dozen aunts and uncles.

I was thinking about this the other day and was reminded of the early Christians, who seemed to have this same kind of relationship with each other.  Everyone was a brother or a sister, an aunt or an uncle, or if they were much older, a grandma or grandpa.  This closeness actually caused persecution by the Romans, who saw “brothers and sisters” getting married and levied incestuous claims against them.

What I loved about those small Himalayan villages is the way they understood the concept of brothers and sisters, a concept that I often forget, even as a Christian.  My prayer for you today is that you remember our brothers and sisters in those Himalayan villages, the persecutions they face, and the opportunities that we have to help.

Luv-Luv's Story


We’ve talked about Luv-Luv a lot over the past several months.  I emailed him a couple of weeks ago and asked if he wouldn’t mind writing out his story so that we could share it with all of you.  Here is his story: I grew up in a small village in the southern part of the Philippines.  I grew up in a broken family with my grandmother and grandfather.  When I was young, I worked hard to feed all our chickens and pigs and worked in the pasture with the water buffalo.  I had to work hard on the hilly farm.  Because the farm is far away from the community, I had to use my water buffalo as my transportation to buy food and groceries.  When I was 17, I did things my own way and tried to find out on my own where my life was going.  I had already stopped high school because I didn’t like it, I was bad in my classes and my grandmother was very poor.

At the time, I was living with my Uncle and working in his rice field when there was a seventeen-year-old guy from Florida that came to our house.  He shared the Good News about Jesus, but I was not paying attention at that time.  The reason why I didn’t pay attention was that was my first time to ever see a white person!  The next day, another white guy showed up and he followed up by asking if he could start a Bible study with my uncle.  He also said he wanted me to join.  Because of these missionaries, I became a Christian when I was eighteen-years-old.  From that time on, I’ve offered my life to missions.  I don’t know where, I just know that I am willing to die to share with other people what was shared with me.

The advice the missionaries gave me was that I needed to finish my college in order to have more of an open door for missions.  I didn’t want to go back to school, but God gave me direction to do my college, so I followed him.  God also provided a sponsor for my college, so while I was in college I was able to have a part time job and on the weekend where I would work with missionary teams going out to reach unreached peoples.  Every summer I would lead Filipino short-term mission trips, American short-term mission trips and also volunteer with medical teams.

I finished my college on March 30, 2007 with an agricultural degree.  In April of that year, I got a job with the Philippines government.  I enjoyed my time at that job, had a good salary, and was comfortable with my life, but I never forgot my commitment that I made to missions when I was 18.  A missions organization asked me to work with them in Laos on a coffee plantation as a platform to share with Lao minority peoples.  I quit my job and moved to Laos.  My time in Laos was tough.  It was my first time away from my family and it was hard to adjust to the food and weather.  We lived on a plateau in the jungle and the weather there is really cold for Filipinos!

After my year in Laos, God called me to go to an island in ‘East Asia’.  I stayed there for a few months, but things changed with my team and I moved further west to the Himalayan Mountains.  I try to stay away from the cold, but most of my assignments are in cold places.  I don’t know why.  Maybe God has a message for me about the cold.  Maybe He wants me to get used to it because maybe it is cold in heaven too.  While I was in the Himalayas I did research with Arabica coffee in very high elevations.  I also spent a year studying language.  When I finished my year term there, I went back home to the Philippines to rest.  While I was back home, God opened a door for me with Underground Coffee International.  When I was in the Himalayas, my roommate there and I had a vision to use coffee as a way to share with unreached people.

This past November, God opened a door for me to visit the U.S.  I didn’t expect to be able to visit the U.S. since I am an Asian from a poor family.  Some of my friends told me that only rich people can come visit the U.S., but God showed me how rich He is and how He provides.  My time in Texas was really good!  I met a lot of good folks.  While I was there, we spoke at some churches to promote Underground Coffee and the vision for reaching unreached peoples.  I really enjoyed my time in the U.S. but I feel like I didn’t belong there.  I feel like God has called me to the uncomfortable places where people have never heard about Jesus.  One thing I love about Texas, people are very nice and they love God.

Now I am back here in my country.  I am ready to go back to ‘East Asia’ for missions.  Being a single guy, I don’t know what is ahead for me, but I am sure God has something in my future.  I trust Him and that He will take care of me.  I am comfortable here in my country and sometimes I get big job offers that are tempting to me, but I still hold on to the promise of God.  I know He knows the needs of His children.  The work in ‘East Asia’ is all pioneer work.  For sure it is tough, but I believe that with God nothing is impossible.  I am ready and willing.

Please go with me by your prayers.



So what does Haiti have to do with growing coffee in East Asia?  Absolutely nothing, except that I just returned from a mission trip to there.  It was a great opportunity to meet some small needs there, see the church in a different culture, and see another part of the world.  Even years after the earthquake, there are still so many needs to meet there.  One of the things that stood out to me the most was the similarity between impoverished people, even on opposite sides of the world.  The architecture, language, and faces may change, but village poor in one part of the world looks very similar to village poor in another.  It was also heartbreaking to see that, in such an evangelized nation, there are still so many who did not grasp the basic message of the gospel.  More than anything for me though, Haiti reminded me of the calling to reach the unreached peoples of East Asia through working with our partners here at Underground Coffee International.