Following a chance contact via my blog Mike Gowens wrote to me asking if it was possible for him and some people from his church First Baptist of Middleburg in Florida http://www.fbcmiddleburg.com/ to visit Bethany.
I immediately put him in direct contact with our Chairperson, Atty Chemene Nacua to arrange a possible visit. To cut a long story short a visit was soon set up and Mike along with the church pastor Dr Alan Floyd and senior associate pastor Todd Jones arrived in Talakag on the 23rd September.
A special welcome was arranged for our guests in the form of a cultural history of the Philippines depicting the origin of the Filipino people and there association with the Spanish as well as the Americans over the years. Our guests were a bit taken a back by the show and I might add pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of the children. Mrs Heidi Cansancio, School Principal, provided the welcome address explaining the work of the school within the complex that is Bethany.
Since the visit for pastors Floyd and Jones was brief they immediately went on a fact finding tour of the Bethany facilities culminating with a meeting the following morning with the members of the Board of Trustees as they were returning to Manila that afternoon. Mike Gowens however remained until the 5th October to carry out an indepth study of the Bethany Organisation in order to determine where his church maybe able to assist most.
At this stage I don’t want to go into too much detail as talks are at a preliminary stage but I’m confident that both the First Baptist of Middleburg and Bethany will go on to work together in the not too distant future. What I can say is Mike Gowens had an instant rapport with children as well as the Bethany staff and his enthusiasm just radiated from him.
I will keep my readers updated on future activities between the two organisations.