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March 3, 2007 *February 26, 2007 * February 25, 2007 * February 20, 2007

March 3, 2007

The weather here is extremely warm.  Typically traffic is terrible compared to either Atlanta or Los Angeles,  but we are blessed in having an experienced and capable driver in Brother Gene Gonzales.  We returned just this morning from Isabela, having visited brethren in that province which is located some twelve hours north of Olongapo, the city from which we most often operate on the main island of Luzon.  The Macuram church in Isabela appears to progress, but the church at Victoria is in need of assistance.  We have arranged for two brethren from Macuram to alternate going there every other Sunday in hope that this will render necessary assistance.

If the Lord will, Brother Wayne is scheduled to speak tomorrow at Masinloc, about two hours north of Olongapo, while I am to speak at Kalaklan (Olongapo) in the evening. In answer to several inquiries I will likely speak on Revelation 20 and possibly Daniel 9.

Lack of employment is an extremely serious problem in these islands. It is not at all unusual for Filipinos to contract for work in such places as Arabia, Singapore, and China and be away from home for two to sometimes six years.  

We hope to leave Olongapo Monday, spend the night at Manila, and depart very early Tuesday morning for the States.  

Thanks so much for your assistance, concern, and prayers.

Harry Cobb

February 26, 2007

Harry has requested that I submit something regarding the trip up to this point, so I will attempt to share with you our journey.  Two weeks ago leaving from Atlanta we arrived in Detroit with a two hour layover 25 degrees and snowing and then the long dreaded trip for 15 hours arriving in Nagoya, Japan with a 2 hour lay over, reboarding and flying for another 5 hours finally reaching Manila around midnight.  After locating our luggage, clearing customs, catching a cab, we finally arrived at our hotel.  We were able to rest in a bed after leaving Atlanta 30 hours earlier.  The bed felt great if only for 5 hours.  Our flight would be leaving for the first island at 8:20am for the beginning of a journey!  I have been to Korea as well as Japan but somehow time has remained frozen here in the Philippines.  Hard to think frozen when the temp hovers in the 90's during the day.  I believe progress is further along in Africa than here.  Terrible roads which require hours to travel short distances, people living in thatched huts with no water or electricity and the sanitary conditions cannot be described.  Fortunately we have been able to find accommodations each night for as little as $12.00 to $18.00 with a few places being a little more, but the good thing is when we paid more we were able to receive lukewarm water for a shower as well as an egg with coffee for breakfast ( quite a contrast from cold water out of the tap).  If you love rice then you would be in rice heaven!  Rice is available breakfast lunch and dinner.  We have eaten twice at a McDonald's and twice at a Shakey's Pizza parlor, but food is expensive----$8.50 for us to eat a plate of spaghetti with a salad, no drink.  The interest rates to borrow money for a motorcycle or car is 57.42%, and I was afraid to inquire about home mortgages.  But through all of the pollution, dirt, and anything other descriptive words you would like to add I have found some of the most exciting Christian people that you will find anywhere in the world.  Yes we have encountered many who have asked for money---the requests have been for as little as $2.00 to take a small child to the doctor---yes a $2.00 office visit and maybe another $1.00 for medicine, the requests have probably not been anymore than a total of $300.00 but to see the ones the money has been requested for, you would probably have written a blank check!  It will humble you.  I'm so thankful to call America my home.  On the other side of it all, I have learned that a lot of the churches date back to the early 1920's and even a lot of the newer ones date back to 1980.  That says a lot since Harry and Bill first came over about 12 years ago.  Many of the members are like walking concordances, you name something and they will tell you the scripture.  They are well studied, yet desiring to learn more.!   Most studies were on the one cup, class system, and divorce/remarriage.  They are standing for the truth but just like everyone else they are in need of encouragement.  Liberalism is not isolated to America it is pushing over here.  There are liberal churches in America sending money and men over here which are working hard to break the brethren down but they are determined to stand for the truth.   In the Philippines we have only a few men who are receiving support (some as little as $25.00 a month) for travel expenses to teach.  Yes these people are doing a lot with what they have but they still need that extra encouragement to continue and hopefully that has been and will remain our mission and goal for coming to the Philippines.  Yes, we will continually be asked for medical assistance and maybe even 7 to 10 peso's ( 48.25 peso's equal $1.00) for a bus ride back to their village.  So I guess the ! peso's that we have handed out thus far for transportation and to hopefully help make a difference in a few sick children's lives, I guess that has been the price I've paid for getting my batteries recharged on this trip. We have another week to travel until we return home, both Harry and I appreciate your prayers and your thoughts while being away from our families.  I only wished others could experience the love and kindness of these people.

Wayne Moore 
Fayetteville Road Church of Christ
Fairburn Georgia 

February 25, 2007 


We departed from Iloilo on Saturday morning, flew the 35 minutes to Cebu, changed planes and then flew the 55 minutes to Puerto Pricesa.  Five brethren from this island of Palawan were at the airport to greet us.  After settling in our room at the Legend Hotel we all went for lunch at the Warf Restaurant, where Wayne had heard there was good seafood.  Wayne and I enjoyed grilled tuna - plus salt water muscle and ginger soup, seaweed (as a vegetable), and other mixed vegetables and a large shrimp.

During and after lunch we engaged in some serious discussions, to a great extent our inquiring as to conditions here.  Fred Abisit, one of the long-time influential leaders, does not appear well to Wayne and me.  He speaks very softly and appears to have little energy.  He clearly maintains, however, strong convictions regarding classes and women teachers and divorce and remarriage.  The congregation with which we labor here at Puerto Princesses is faithful in following the Bible pattern, but here there also exists two digressive congregations. We assembled here this morning (Sunday) with a most responsive group which almost filled the room they rent for P500 ($10.00) each week at a local restaurant.  Excellent singing!

In the afternoon we proceeded south some 90 km (about an hour and a half over rough roads) to meet with the congregation at Narra, the first congregation established on the island of Palawan (1960's).  The regular morning service was conducted as usual, but since our visit had not been scheduled, another assembly was arranged  for 2:00 PM. The meetinghouse was literally filled at this unexpected meeting.  This served to emphasize the interest and dedication of those who compose this congregation. 

Palawan is a long, narrow island situated in the most southwestern part of the Philippines.  There are sandy beaches and fishing huts all along the shoreline and abundance of banana and tall coconut palm trees.  A mountainous ridge splits the island and there are congregations also on the western shore beyond the ridge.  There has in recent years been discovered a tribe of people living in a remote area along this western side of Palawan.  These are evidently not such as were the Tassaday people supposedly discovered a number of years ago, reported by THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, and which proved to be a hoax, but these appear to be genuine. Some items found in their caves have been dated to about nine hundred years ago. 

Brother Efren Garcellano has baptized one man on the island of Cuyo, a mission point in which he has been working for fifteen months. The three who compose the congregation there assemble in the new brother's house.  Efren desires to continue his work in hope that his labors will be rewarded in time.  He informs us of much opposition.  The Catholic priest has even acknowledged Efren's work publicly from the pulpit, stating that his teaching is in error and should be rejected.  Even the family of Brother Efren's wife has opposed him.  Brother Efren continues, however,  to engage all who will in private studies.  We have agreed to continued support of his work there for the next year. 

If the Lord will, we depart from Palawan tomorrow and make our way by air and bus to Olongapo on the largest island of Luzon.  There are a number of congregations on Luzon with which we hope to visit and encourage.

We were deeply saddened by the e-mail news of the passing of both Brother Homer Holland of Selma and Sister Williams of the Valley congregation in Alabama.  I had spoken just recently with Brother Holland by telephone and with Doris, his wife, just a few hours before we departed on this journey.  I am pleased to have had the opportunity a few weeks ago to see Sister Williams when attending a meeting at Valley.  Both were dedicated and very faithful disciples of our Lord.  Their presence will surely be missed, but thankfully their influence will continue to encourage the righteous.

In event you might wish to know, Brother Wayne just yesterday purchased a cell phone which can be reached here in the Philippines by dialing from America 011-63-9-212-856-522.  May the Lord's blessings be with you all.

Harry Cobb

February 20, 2007

The Philippines are surrounded by the warm seas of Southeast Asia,  almost half-way around the world from Atlanta.  On this journey far from home, it is indeed a joy to have as my valued co-worker from Atlanta, Brother Wayne Moore.  Wayne has several times journeyed to work among the brethren in Africa.  His experience, wisdom, and dedication is a definite asset to this present mission. 

We are presently on the island of Panay where a number of congregations exist.  The largest and most influential is at Clingnog, the home also of Chris and Premie Amihay and their five children.  This family has been most instrumental in spreading the gospel message and encouraging disciples at many places to stand firm in  following the Bible pattern.  Meetings for the past three days have been well attended, with the beautiful little building filled.  Singing here is in English, but prayer and teaching is in their native Cebuano or Ilongo.  My teaching, of course, is with an interpreter.  Brother Wayne was scheduled to speak on Sunday, but his translator apparently felt inadequate and instead taught in his own language. 

For some time we have realized the need for a vehicle in the work here at Panay.  After considering several vehicles at various places  on the island, a clean Mishubishi was located and Brother Wayne purchased it on Saturday.  This sedan was owned by the dean of a near-by college who, with his children now on their own, no longer needed this third vehicle.  This professor requested Wayne to come and speak to his students, an appointment which will likely be filled next Friday! .  He also requested for the college library a copy of my bo ok, THE ETERNAL PURPOSE, which is being used among the brethren here in the Philippines.

Several years ago Brother Bill Yarbrough and I visited in the rugged mountains north of Clingnog.  This is beautiful country where are located several congregations of the Lord's church.  Here is also found lush forests, coffee, bananas, and streams from which one may enjoy without concern cool, fresh water from the numerous streams which flow from the mountainsides.  But conditions have drastically changed!  Where there was peace and tranquility there is now danger and fear.  The communist New Peoples' Army, a Filipino rebel group, has infiltrated this once friendly area.   Our brethren come and go freely because they are local and offer no threat - but Wayne and I are prime targets and are strongly warned not to enter that territory.  Brethren have instead come down to visit with us.  Moslem terrorists continue to bring havoc to the southernmost island. 

Poverty is evident here at every turn.  A twenty year old female student at a local college both cooks and serves at a local hamburger stand.  She earns 21 cents per hour.  Jobs are extremely difficult to find and many succumb to leaving the Philippines to obtain work in China, Singapore, or Arab countries.  Many of our brethren suffer from lack of employment and, consequently, have difficulty in providing food, transportation, and medical needs for their families.  Just yesterday we aided five brethren with funds for medical expenses and today two families for food.   Gasoline cost $3.07 per gallon.

We intend, if the Lord will, to depart tomorrow by ferry for the island of Negros and visit among the disciples there.

Harry Cobb