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Palawan: The Inagawan Experience

by Pastor Leng Lubang

Currently, according to Pastor Jerry, the surveillance activity has mellowed down but never did it deter his passion to serve church communities in the spirit also of self-reliance.  This is his advocacy work among the churches he is serving.  Thus, it was so heartwarming to see church members rendering bayanihan work to put up the Inagawan Outreach church building made from bamboo, lumber and GI sheets from the P10,00.00 0assistance from the LCSMC.  Inagawan was the church where Pastor Leng went together with 13 others including the CM of both conferences and the DCM of PAC.  The kindred there are hardworking and committed to cultivate the land while building up the church.  Since the settlement is fairly new, the ground is quite rocky and barren.  Water is fetched from the river as their artesian well in the community has broken down.  There is no electricity and so it would not be surprising to hear families of eight, ten children.  One mother in her 40s nursing her 4-month old child with whom Pastor Leng had a conversation related so casually that the baby is her 8th and her eldest child got married at 16 and now has a child.  She gives birth at home with his husband as “midwife” and she “assists” by massaging her abdomen during contractions.  It was an easy process according to her until her last delivery when she almost died because the baby came out in a not normal position.  If not for her husband’s challenge to stay strong and pray hard she said she would have been gone.  What a story!  This woman was so thankful for the church building under construction as it would mean having a church nearby.  Their “mother church” is several kilometers away and they don’t have the means to take the public transportation every now and then.  She is a daughter-in-law of the “founder”, Manong Boning Fernando, who stands as the Council chairperson.

Inagawan Outreach has 23 families equivalent to about 100 worshippers including children.  When they started gathering in the village Multi-Purpose Hall middle of 2009, their other neighbors who were members of other denominations decided to join the fold just so they could worship on Sundays.  This Outreach is about 4 kilometers away from the National Highway which could take about an hour’s walk.  Pastor Leng and company went there by “karo” (a carabao-drawn cart) relieving them from walking.  As perceived, setting up a partnership with this Outreach could uplift the morale of church members and be an effective witness in this budding farm village.