Revelation Classes. Ron and I have completed our classes on the Book of Revelation at Angeles City. Students were very attentive, and we enjoyed good interaction, especially during the question and answer session. Filipinos demonstrate fortitude, being willing to sit for hours on straight-backed wooden benches, utilitarian but unergonomic, and at least in my case, prone to producing pain. Yet, the audience, which numbered 75, composed of men and women, teenagers and children, listened attentively from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with only occasional breaks. Participants were given copies of relevant materials, including Dan King’s newly published workbook on Revelation. Covering the Apocalypse in two days is a challenge. We tried to provide a proper framework for understanding the book, recognizing that the Patmos message was primarily to encourage first-century saints who were suffering persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. Ron and I attempted to speak clearly and simply, stressing relevant lessons, correcting misconceptions, and striving for personal application.
Accommodations. Over the last few days, we stayed in the Holiday Inn, located on what was formerly Clark Air Base, a U.S. Air Force Base located in central Luzon, about 3 miles west of Angeles City, and about 40 miles NW of Metro Manila. Clark was an American military installation from 1903 to 1991. American forces departed after changing circumstances in the relationship between the U.S. and the Republic of the Philippines, hastened by the destruction wrought by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
Exercise. Over the last several days, I have enjoyed being able to exercise outdoors, completing my regular 10 km morning run at Stotsenberg Park, formerly a military parade grounds, now a public park, with soccer fields, running/walking track, benches, etc. This expansive open area is surrounded by towering mimosa trees, raining yellow blossoms from massive, outstretched branches. Despite the early hour (6 a.m.), this park was filled with 100s of people, young and old, individuals and small groups, even entire families, who were walking, running, kick-boxing, practicing yoga, or otherwise enjoying the pleasantness of an early morning, and the dawning of a new day.
Tomorrow is Sunday. Ron and I will preach at different congregations, and then travel to Manila, where we are scheduled to fly to Cebu, planning to begin another series of classes on Monday. Hopefully the typhoon, which is bearing down on the northern part of Luzon, will weaken before making landfall, sparing those who are in its path, causing minimal distruction and disruption.
Well, its 9:30 p.m., and I’m exhausted from the day’s activities. Time for some shut-eye. Love, Mark