Series Code: AFM
Program Code: AFM000004
00:43 Hi, I'm Jay Wintermeyer with Adventist Frontier Missions.
00:46 You know, we live in a world where we can communicate
00:49 with people anywhere instantly. Science and medicine have
00:51 advanced to the point where even the birth of a child
00:54 is being broken down into mollecular action.
00:56 What people once considered miraculous, many take for
01:00 granted. If scientists can explain it, people say God
01:03 isn't even involved.
01:04 I invite you to spend the next few minutes with me on a
01:06 journey to the Philippines.
01:18 On the Philippine island of Mindoro, lives a people known
01:22 as the Alangan.
01:24 This mountain tribe has worshipped evil spirits
01:26 for centuries.
01:30 In 1994, Adventist Frontier Missions began a project
01:34 reaching the Alangan with the gospel, training them to
01:37 share Jesus Christ with their own people.
01:39 Come with me to Mindoro and see for yourself if God
01:42 still works through miracles.
02:00 The Alangan village of Pandurukan is situated in a
02:04 small mountain valley on the edge of Makatikong river.
02:08 Each morning, cooking fires send up a blanket of smoke
02:11 that covers the primitive huts with a pale translucent haze.
02:20 My name is Bistacio and I live in Pandurukan.
02:25 One morning I woke up and began to build a cooking fire
02:29 for breakfast when I noticed that my house was
02:32 shaking. Our homes are built on platforms about the ground
02:37 and termites often eat the main supports, so we frequently
02:41 have to rebuild.
02:43 I decided that I would climb further up into the mountains
02:47 to find some good wood to replace the weakened
02:50 timbers. After breakfast, I made my way up the river valley
02:55 searching for the right-sized hardwoood trees.
02:58 I climbed higher and higher.
03:01 Earlier that same morning, something else awoke and began
03:05 to search for food. Slowly it slid out from behind a large
03:09 rock. The inky black scales rippled along the thick
03:13 eight-foot-long body. It was a Dupong viper.
03:16 This viper's venom is extremely poisonous.
03:20 Noiselessly, it glided along the ground searching
03:24 for food.
03:26 About the middle of the day, the stream bed I was hiking in
03:30 narrowed almost to a point.
03:33 As I made my way toward the
03:36 end, I noticed a stand of trees further up the mountain.
03:40 They looked just the right size.
03:45 The viper began to its way down the mountain searching
03:49 among the rocks and gravel for food.
03:53 Suddenly, the snake detected movement.
03:56 It crawled behind a large rock and waited.
04:00 I came to the end of the canyon and started to
04:03 climb the rock wall.
04:05 I climbed up to a ledge almost 50 feet above the
04:09 canyon floor. It was about five feet wide.
04:14 Beady black eyes followed Bastacio's every move.
04:18 Suddenly, the snake began to move forward rapidly.
04:22 I had just stopped at the ledge to catch my breath.
04:26 I looked up at the wall to plan my route to the top
04:30 when all of a sudden an enormous black snake
04:32 hurtled down directly towards me.
04:35 I screamed, "Jesus, save me!"
04:41 When I didn't feel anything hit me, I opened my eyes.
04:45 The snake was gone. I looked around the ledge
04:49 but there was no snake.
04:51 I searched the rocks below and further up the rock wall
04:56 but I didn't find it.
04:58 The snake had vanished.
05:01 I went home praising God for saving me
05:05 from certain death.
05:25 Ramon grew up high in the mountains of Mindoro.
05:28 One day a friend from his village came home with a Bible.
05:35 I could hardly believe it - a real book that talked to you?
05:41 I begged Lunito to make it talk for me.
05:44 He proudly opened the Bible and slowly traced the words
05:48 with his fingers. "In the beginning, God
05:52 created the heavens and the earth.
05:57 In the weeks and months that followed, Ramon watched
05:59 Lunito read the Bible. Lunito read about the powerful
06:03 God who answered prayers. Ramon decided to see if God
06:06 would answer his prayer.
06:09 "God," I prayed, "I want to learn to read as fast
06:12 as I can and to be able to write fast and neat. "
06:17 Amazingly, he soon began to pick out letters and words
06:20 Before long he was reading and writing on his own.
06:24 God had answered his prayer and taught him to
06:26 read and write.
06:28 God did care about him.
06:31 One day Ramon heard there were missionaries living in
06:34 Pandurukan. It only took one visit to the little village
06:37 at the foot of the mountains to light a burning desire in
06:40 his heart to know more about God and the Bible.
06:43 He longed to move to Pandurukan, but the elders
06:46 in his village refused.
06:48 One night Ramon had a dream.
06:52 Jesus stood before me. He was clothed in brilliant
06:55 white light. "Why have you called me?" Jesus asked.
06:59 "Oh, Jesus!" I cried. "I want to live in Pandurukan
07:03 so I can go to church and learn the answers
07:06 to my questions. "
07:07 "Don't worry, Ramon," Jesus said. "Soon you will
07:12 move there. " And He pointed over His shoulder in the
07:15 direction of Pandurukan.
07:17 Slowly the dream faded, and I woke up.
07:21 Ramon's desire to move to Pandurukan grew but the
07:25 elders still refused to let him move.
07:28 Then one day his wife, Dulian, fell to the floor of their hut,
07:31 unconscious. When she awoke, she had lost all feeling and
07:35 strength in the left side of her body. She had a hard
07:38 time breathing. Ramon was terrified and immediately
07:41 began praying for her healing. However, as the days slipped
07:44 into weeks and the village elders performed spirit
07:47 ceremonies, Dulian did not get better.
07:50 Finally, the village elders met to discuss the situation.
07:53 They decided Dulian wasn't getting better because Ramon
07:56 was reading the Bible.
08:00 I was devastated. How could I stop reading the Bible?
08:05 At last, I reluctantly promised to stop. However, late at night
08:10 after everyone was asleep, I would pull my blanket up
08:14 over my head and use my flashlight to read.
08:18 Weeks turned into months, but still there was no change
08:21 in Dulian's condition. One night, the village elders
08:24 caught Ramon reading. "Ramon, you will have to
08:27 stop reading the Bible! Don't you want you wife
08:29 to get well?"
08:31 Reluctantly, Ramon put the Bible away and didn't pray
08:34 or read the Bible for three months.
08:37 The elders continued Dulian's treatments with no results.
08:42 I became very discouraged. Why hadn't Jesus heard me
08:48 and healed my wife? Perhaps the old men are
08:51 right and there is nothing to this Jesus.
08:54 That night I had another dream that gave me the
08:58 desire to read the Bible and pray again.
09:00 One evening as Ramon was reading from the Old Testament,
09:03 the thought came to him that the patriarchs build altars
09:06 before they prayed. Why shouldn't he try it?
09:09 The next morning I hiked to a remote, secluded place
09:13 and began to construct an altar. When I was finished,
09:17 I dropped to my knees, clasped my hands together,
09:20 and poured out my request for healing for Dulian.
09:28 When I walked in the door, Dulian was sitting upright.
09:32 The hair on the back of my neck stood up. "Dulian!"
09:35 "You're well! How did this happen?"
09:38 "A little while ago," Dulian said, "I just felt like
09:41 sitting up. I can breathe fine now, see?"
09:45 And she took a deep breath.
09:49 Dulian's strength gradually returned until she was
09:51 working and walking as if she had never been ill.
09:55 Ramon's wish to move to Pandurukan grew even stronger.
09:58 But, the elders still refused to let them leave.
10:02 Then one day, after Ramon helped save the lives of many
10:05 sick children in the village, the elders allowed his family
10:08 to move to Pandurukan.
10:09 Within two weeks, he along with six other young men,
10:12 was baptized in a stream near the Amnay River.
10:17 Ramon has a heart for the Alangan people, and it seems
10:20 that God, through dreams and life experiences, has been
10:23 preparing Ramon to be a leader among the Alangan.
10:26 After Ramon moved to Pandurukan and was baptized,
10:29 he continued praying for the people of his village.
10:32 Time after time he visited with them and invited them to move
10:35 to Pandurukan so they could learn about God and the Bible.
10:38 Eventually, Ramon was able to see his entire village move
10:42 to Pandurukan, and all of the elders who once opposed
10:44 his reading the Bible and his move to Pandurukan,
10:47 were baptized. Today Ramon plays a key role
10:50 in the Alangan Seventh-day Adventist church.
11:00 I went to use the jeep and I started it up
11:03 and it had no oil pressure.
11:04 Sometimes things look the darkest before dawn.
11:14 One Sabbath we had a fellowship in Sablayan.
11:17 Usually the lowlander fellowships would try to
11:21 run a shuttle service with our jeep so that all the
11:24 church members in all the different Mangyan villages
11:27 could also attend. And so, this particular
11:29 Sabbath, Curtis was driving the jeep. During the dry
11:33 season, we like to use the shortcut through the Patrick
11:36 River. The problem is there are some deep canals that you have
11:40 to go in. And it had rained the night before, I believe,
11:43 so there was lots of water there.
11:45 Curtis had a jeep full of about 60-70 people,
11:49 so it was really loaded down.
11:50 And I think what happened is when it went down into the
11:53 water, it sucked up some of the water into the air
11:56 filter. And when it did that, it tried to burn the water
12:00 which raised the crankcase pressure and it blew the oil
12:04 cap off. Then when that happened, the increased
12:08 pressure as he drove along... the oil was just coming out
12:11 of the engine. He kept on driving, went to Sablayan,
12:14 people got off, we had a real good fellowship. We had some
12:18 baptisms. At about four-o'clock in the afternoon, they all
12:22 piled back on the jeep, and the jeep went back
12:25 through all those river crossings.
12:27 Well, Sunday morning I went to use the jeep and I
12:30 started it up and it had no oil pressure and it
12:34 sounded pretty bad. So I looked and pulled the
12:37 dipstick off and there was no oil on the dipstick.
12:40 And I thought, "Oh, no. The jeep engine is fried. "
12:46 I have worked in the automotive industry for
12:50 a good many years, and I have seen a lot of
12:53 vehicles that have gone through deep water and
12:56 sucked up water in the air intake systems.
12:59 I have never actually seen an engine run once
13:02 it got water in its cylinders. It usually destroys
13:06 the engine. So I got my oil pan and crawled under
13:09 the jeep and I drained pan after pan of nothing but
13:13 water and milk, which is like oil mixed with water.
13:16 At least two or two and a half of thoses were almost
13:20 clear - just like straight water.
13:21 After all of the water was out of the engine, there
13:25 was just like a drop, drop, drop... and that was all the oil
13:29 that was in the engine.
13:30 I thought, "Oh, no. Here we've just fried this vehicle. "
13:35 Sunday morning Tim kept coming up with bulletins
13:37 about how bad it was and how there was really no
13:40 oil and how there was water in everything. And there was
13:44 water every time he changed the oil. And he kept
13:46 going down to the nearest place to buy oil, and he would
13:48 buy more oil and he would come back and say, "I gotta
13:51 do it again. " That first little light was after the first water
13:54 was taken out. And he put the oil back in and he tried
13:57 to start the jeep. I think I probably went running down
14:00 there and said, "Is it really running?" Because we just
14:03 couldn't believe it would run again. So that was
14:04 exciting. We were so thrilled!
14:08 At the end of the day we pulled the jeep out of
14:11 the garage, out of the shed, and we called all the village
14:14 "Anybody who wants a ride?" And we all went to Palipappa,
14:17 the little market two kilometers away, just to see if it would
14:20 run. And sure - it ran the whole way, and we were
14:22 praising God.
14:25 You know, when I started the jeep up, the final time
14:28 with all the oil in it... smooth as silk, no knock,
14:31 no, no, any... I can't detect any difference in the engine
14:36 or in its power. It's not burning any oil. It's a
14:40 total miracle that it could have gone 50-60 kilometers
14:44 with no oil in the engine. It was wonderful.
15:10 I have worshiped the spirits all my life. When I got sick,
15:15 I would go to the witch doctor for healing.
15:18 Usually, he would kill a chicken and brush its wings
15:22 back and forth across my body as he prayed
15:25 to his favorite spirit.
15:30 It always seemed to work.
15:32 Well, there was a dry spell where we didn't have any
15:35 rain for quite a few months. And so all the Mangyan
15:39 mountain farms dried up and so they were very, very hungry.
15:43 Many people died of starvation.
15:48 We were so hungry, I decided it would be better
15:52 to kill one of the lowlander carabao than starve
15:56 to death. I took a few men with me and we went
16:00 down to where the carabao were grazing.
16:02 I knew it was wrong, but we killed some carabao anyway.
16:06 I don't know exactly whether they killed all three
16:09 in one night or whether they killed one one night
16:11 and one the next week and another the next week.
16:14 But, anyway, a total of three carabao were killed.
16:18 Of course, when the owners learned that their carabao
16:22 were dead, they were furious!
16:25 Groups of lowlanders made midnight raids on our villages.
16:29 They stole our goats and other livestock. They even
16:33 threatened to kill us. Finally, the mayor of the
16:37 biggest lowlander city near our village called a meeting.
16:41 So what happened is the mayor said those people
16:44 will pay for those carabao. They found out who actually did
16:47 the killing, and then they fined them either in a carabao
16:51 or the money to buy the equivalent carabao.
16:53 They took up a collection from all the villages and
16:56 payed off the fine and payed off the carabao.
16:58 Then those responsible had to work off their debt to
17:04 these other villages. Well, Mintu was assigned
17:08 to Pandurukan.
17:10 Rosita and I moved to Pandurukan to work off my debt.
17:15 One morning, I heard singing. It wasn't like most Alangan
17:20 songs, so I got up to invesigate. It was coming
17:24 from a building on the edge of the village.
17:28 Peeping around the door of the building, I saw men, women and
17:32 children with clean, shining faces. I slipped into the back
17:36 row and listened. I watched as a missionary told
17:40 wonderful stories. I enjoyed it so much;
17:44 I decided to come again.
17:49 Rosita never came with me, but at night I would share
17:53 what I had learned with her.
17:56 Not long after our arrival in Pandurukan, Rosita
18:00 and I had a little baby boy. We named him Simon.
18:04 When he was four months old, Simon got a cold.
18:07 He sniffled and shook his little head trying to breathe
18:12 easier. Nothing we did seemed to help.
18:16 In fact, it wasn't long before Simon had Pneumonia.
18:21 Rosita and I considered asking a witch doctor to
18:25 perform a spirit ceremony to fight the spirits,
18:28 but something inside me made me hesitate.
18:32 I knew from listening in church, that God was more
18:37 powerful than all the spirits. The next Sabbath
18:41 I asked the church members to pray for Simon.
18:44 Dawn Holbrook began giving him medicine and
18:48 steam treatments.
18:50 Sabbath afternoon we were in our AY afternoon program.
18:53 Suddenly, someone came running over to the AY and said,
18:56 "Ma'am, hurry up! Come quick! Simon is really sick. "
18:59 So I went with them. I could not believe how
19:02 he looked. It was not the same fat little healthy boy
19:04 I had started on an antibiotic yesterday.
19:06 He was sick. He was struggling to breathe. He was too weak
19:10 to even cough. He was laying flat in the hammock and that's
19:13 just really hard when you're having difficulty breathing.
19:16 So I had his mother sit him up, sit in the hammock, and
19:18 hold him upright in her lap. And I listened and there
19:21 was hardly any air moving in his lungs.
19:24 He was so sick his lips were turning blue and
19:26 his fingernails were blue. I prayed with Rosita that
19:29 he would be given life until the time that the
19:32 medicine would work. He was getting worse,
19:34 and getting worse and worse.
19:38 Simon was dying. His little face was pinched
19:43 and blue. Gradually, he became weaker.
19:47 His pulse flickered and faded. The end was very near.
19:53 Mintu said, "Pray for him!" So we prayed together and
19:57 I looked up and his head was drooping down and
19:59 his eyes were glazed over like they often do just before
20:02 they die. And he was just really struggling to move
20:06 any air. Just then, his head dropped onto his chest
20:10 and he wasn't breathing. Mintu said afterwards that
20:14 his pulse stopped.
20:15 Tim and Dawn and Libritu, one of the church elders,
20:19 knelt around Simon. We all bowed our heads
20:23 and prayed for Simon's healing.
20:27 When we finished praying, I could feel Simon's pulse again!
20:31 For hours we sat there and as he got better and
20:34 better, pretty soon they said, "You know, it's getting dark. "
20:37 It was sundown by now. "Why don't you go home?"
20:39 He's doing okay. " And the mother started
20:41 cooking supper and the villagers started dispersing.
20:44 So I went home and we praised God that Simon
20:47 was alive. Then I went back at eight o'clock and the
20:50 picture had totally changed. Simon was laying on a bamboo
20:53 mat on the floor. He was lying flat on his back.
20:56 His breathing was normal. There were no retractions
21:00 of his neck muscles or his chest. His eyes were bright
21:03 clear and brown. His skin was just the normal soft,
21:07 baby soft brown and he looked at me and smiled
21:10 as if he knew what had happened.
21:12 The following Sabbath, Rosita and a smiling,
21:17 healthy Simon came with me to church.
21:20 I shared how God had healed Simon and how
21:23 Rosita was now coming to church.
21:25 God allowed me to commit a serious crime,
21:29 used that crime to bring me to live in a place
21:32 where I could hear the gospel, and then allowed
21:35 my only boy to nearly die, all to show His
21:39 mighty power and cause my faith to grow.
21:42 That is the greatest miracle.
22:05 One night Lunito came up to our door and
22:09 gave us a bunch of bananas. And we started
22:14 talking, and he told us that we had a fire and
22:18 "God saved me. "
22:19 And we said, "You had a fire and God saved you?"
22:23 "Tell us about it. "
22:24 He was out building a rice paddy in the delta
22:29 area of the Amnay River.
22:31 One day he was working there and Atorney
22:35 one of the young people was helping him and
22:38 also an old man who has TB that Lunito
22:43 has been treating... They built a little doghouse like -
22:47 I call them dog houses - they are little... just a piece of
22:50 thatching maybe four feet high, and that's where
22:54 they stay at night.
22:55 Well, the old man and Atorney were sitting
22:57 in there cooking their noon meal. But all of a sudden
23:00 Atorney and the old man smelled smoke, and so
23:03 they look out behind their house, and here's
23:06 this wall of flame coming down towards them.
23:09 This fire was like a mile long and about, you know,
23:15 30-40 feet high.
23:16 And the wind was blowing it directly towards them.
23:22 And they call, "Lunito! Lunito!" But he doesn't hear
23:26 them because he is so far away and he is busy
23:29 working and clearing. They keep hollering
23:32 at him, and Lunito never looks up until he smells
23:35 the smoke. And then he looks up and he sees this
23:38 wall of fire. And he just runs toward the hut.
23:42 He grabs his knife and tells Atorney to start
23:45 clearing a space around the huts so that maybe
23:48 the fire will jump over. Well, after a few minutes
23:51 they realize there is no way they are going
23:53 to do that with this wall of flame coming
23:56 towards them. So what they did is he sent
23:58 Atorney back to the hut and he stood
24:01 between the hut and the wall of flame.
24:04 The fire came within a foot of my huts.
24:08 There was nothing I could do, so I prayed,
24:11 "God, if You want us to live, please save us. "
24:16 Immediately after I prayed, a wind came from behind
24:20 me and blew straight into the fire.
24:24 When he prayed, the fire had come up within
24:26 a foot of his hut.
24:30 The fire split in two and went over and around the huts.
24:36 The winds were so forceful that you could see
24:39 smoke and stuff swirling on the edges, and he could hear
24:42 the howling of the wind as the two winds hit.
24:47 So when I heard that, I was sick with Malaria
24:49 and I was really hardly moving. But I said,
24:52 "This I got to see!"
24:56 So the next day we took Lunito and Dawn and
24:59 myself and John and got in the jeep and drove out as far as we
25:02 could and then hiked in quite a way.
25:04 We walked through some rice paddies and just kept
25:08 walking and walking and pretty soon it just
25:11 got into a dry river bed. He said, "Now here is
25:14 where I plow. " And we walked across
25:15 and where the plowing stopped, There was just the saw
25:19 grass standing - a little bit of it - but it was just black.
25:22 All the canes were just black all up and down.
25:24 He said, "This is where the fire was. "
25:26 There was his little hut, and the clearing was
25:29 maybe 20 feet across, and we walked until we came
25:33 to the hut. We were walking through black that had been
25:35 charred and burned. We came to the first
25:37 hut and we walked out onto new sand.
25:39 And we looked at the spot and sure enough. The hut was
25:43 right here - six inches away from the back of the hut
25:49 there was a line of black grass, just charred ground.
25:53 And then you could see on the sides where the fire
25:58 continued on down.
25:59 This brown dry grass had no ashes on it.
26:02 None of the grass had been touched. Cinders
26:05 hadn't blown over, the ashes hadn't blown in.
26:08 And Lunito was showing me there's - it was maybe this far
26:11 between a tree and his house. And I walked all the way around
26:14 them, and you can see the grass coming up to behind
26:17 their house is black. And right at the house,
26:20 almost where the grass is going going off into the ground
26:24 almost to that very thatching, it's black.
26:27 We didn't see how that could happen other than
26:30 it was a total miracle.
26:31 It just gave me goosebumps to be there.
26:35 I'm thankful that God sent the cold wind to spare our
26:39 lives, so I can continue to serve Him.
26:54 These stories and countless others like them are ample
26:57 evidence that God is working mightily among the Alangan.
27:00 Miracles? If you ask Lunito,
27:03 he will tell you he has witnessed with his own eyes
27:05 God's hand at work.
27:07 Ask Mintu or Ramon, and they will tell you the
27:11 same thing.
27:12 God works through miracles today.
27:20 Adventist Frontier Missions trains and equips ordinary
27:23 people for the extraordinary task of reaching into
27:26 unreached people groups, raising up new believers
27:29 and planting growing churches. Just like Tim and Dawn
27:32 Holbrook, AFM has dozens of other missionaries
27:34 around the world, raising up new believers in unreached
27:37 people groups.
27:39 Would you like to make a significant impact on
27:41 the world for Christ through missions?
27:42 There are three ways you can do that.
27:44 First of all, you can pray. Jesus asked us to pray.
27:48 He said, "Pray for the harvest, for the harvest is great, but
27:50 the laborers are few. "
27:52 The second thing you can do is answer Christ's call in
27:54 Matthew 28. And that's to reach the unreached.
27:57 Go and be a missionary. There are thousands of
28:00 people groups around the world. Approximately 10,000
28:03 unreached people groups - and you can make a difference.
28:06 Finally, you could be a missionary sender.
28:09 AFM and all of our missionaries are entirely supported by
28:13 generous gifts from people just like you.
28:15 If you would like some more information,
28:20 our phone numbers is 1-800-YES-4AFM.
28:23 You can also visit our website at
28:27 www. afmonline. org