Well, here starts the real blog of this trip. Bev took me to Cincinnati airport from where I'll be flying to Chicago to meet Earl Roemer. Then we will continue on to San Francisco, Tokyo and Manila....our first landfall of the Philippines.
I'm really excited about this trip that Earl and I have talked about for some time
What I'm most interested in is the people we'll be meeting. That goes from the lay members to leaders to ministers and pastors. I'm always interested in the relationships that are working together as a Church to fulfill our Mission. And, this is the first time for me in the Philippines.
I have heard a lot about the Philippines from others who have traveled and worked there. With LifeNets in the past we helped out with the summer camps, scholarships, eye glasses and other humanitarian projects. However, since about 2003 we have not done much. I'm very curious to see what the church environment is. I have had considerable contact with Filipino ministers such as Ed Macaraeg and his wife Lorna over the years on their attendance at conferences in the United States, but had never been to see them where they live.
The Philippines was overseen previously by management that included other Asian areas. Since the fallout with the previous managers, we have placed the Philippines under a senior pastor in the United States to oversee management of the congregations, finances and humanitarian needs. The Philippines receives considerable subsidy for operations from the United Church of God in the United States and we want to make certain that our part is managed as we budget it.
We selected Earl Roemer to be the senior pastor for the Philippines. I was very happy to have him in the role for a number of reasons.
First, he had already functioned for a brief period of time from about 1996 to 1998 as overseer. But, just like in my case, we were no longer "in the loop" of Philippines matters, but here we are back again and looking forward to the opportunity to serve along with others from the United States and perhaps other parts of the world.
Secondly, Earl has a great capacity to serve selflessly and generously. He has a great capacity to relate to the disadvantaged and vulnerable. He loves to travel. He has a clear grasp of down to earth needs.
Finally, I have known Earl for almost 40 years. I was associate pastor under him in Paducah, Kentucky in 1974 to 1975 and had gotten to know him and his wonderful wife Carol. Carol died last year and this has been a shock to all our lives. But, Earl is committed to serve even more. I'm honored to be part of that equation.
My flight to Chicago had a tight 45 minute connection. We took off about ten minutes late from Cincinnati and I arrived at the furthest possible point from one United gate to the one to San Fransisco. It was about a 15 minute between concourse K and concourse C. But, I got there in time. Earl was waiting for me and I was the second to last boarded. Whew!
We're off! Earl and I have a lot to talk about. I brought along the statistics and some records about matters regarding our churches. I'm really enjoying this as we fly from Chicago to San Fransisco.
More to come....
On Our Way!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
San Francisco, California, United States