One day, food became scarce in the community. Even the missionaries had no food. Gathering all the believers in the prayer meeting, the people and the missionaries prayed to God to send them food. They claimed the miracle of manna in the Old Testament, when God sent manna to the Israelites every morning on their journey to the Promised Land. The believers claimed, “ Higit pa dito ang ibibigay sa amin ng Panginoon.”
The next morning, to the amazement of the community, each household found a pack of pandesal under their houses. “Who could have brought this bread?” the missionaries asked. There is no bakery in the tribe. The Badjaos don’t eat pandesal because they can’t afford it. Every household got food that day and every one rejoiced as to how the Lord blessed them with “manna” from heaven — the pandesals.
The Badjaos are afraid of the dark, children and adults alike. They are afraid of the dark because of the pangoa which appear only at night. The “pangoa” are night creatures that suck blood from humans. The tagalogs and visayans call it “aswang”. They claimed they saw such creatures lurking at night. It is the reason why the Badjaos make their stairs in the house, detachable and their houses have only one window. At night, they close their window and remove their stairs, believing that the pangoa will not be able to come up to their houses without the stairs.
When the revival broke out in the tribe, the children stay in the prayer meetings every night till midnight. It is amazing that the children were no longer afraid to walk their way home at midnight. The next day, the children testified that the reason why they were not afraid anymore is that on their way home every night, they see angels along side the way telling them, “ Continue in your faith. Do not give up.”. The angels seem to protect them, the children said. Since then the fear of the Lord began to scatter among the badjaos…. That the Lord is more powerful than the pangoa. The Lord can save them from the fear of darkness.
One afternoon, while everyone in the community was busy with their lives, a twister arose from the sea and was heading to the direction of the community. The Badjaos panicked. It was a big twister, it can destroy all the houses in the island. The missionaries went to the shore and started praying to the Lord. The children who attend the prayer meeting joined the missionaries in praying, extending their hands toward the twister….. the Lord answered their prayers…… the twister changed its direction! The community was saved! The people rejoiced.
Kelizani is a Badjao. His left eye was blind since birth. He attended the prayer meeting held daily by the Badjao children. He wanted to see so he will not be teased by other Badjaos. One night, when he attended the prayer meeting, the missionaries and the children prayed for Kelizani’s eyes to see. Alas! To their amazement, he began to see light, and his left eye was healed of blindness.
If Jesus healed blind eyes during His time in Jerusalem, He does in the tribe also.
Aiza was then two years old child. Her mother’s name is Malou. One day Aiza got sick of an unknown illness. It got so bad, Aiza became delirious. She wasn’t moving anymore, her lips pale and her skin bluish. She was almost dead when her mother brought her to the missionaries’ home. Pastor Albert and sis Ellen brought the child in the house. Pastor Albert asked God what to do with Aiza… and God told him.. “Blow on the child’s face two times and say, “live in the name of Jesus!” “.
Pastor Albert obeyed the voice of the Lord, but blew only once on the girl’s face. The girl moved her eyelids. Then Pastor Albert heard the Lord saying, “Blow two times!”. Pastor Albert abruptly blew on the face of the girl twice……. The girl Aiza opened her eyes and smiled at the pastor. The bluish black color of her skin slowly faded away as she began to breath.
Aiza’s mother was happy and everyone thanked Jesus for bringing her to life. Now Aiza is a young lady, continuing her faith on the Lord.
Aiza is the girl with a necklace. One of the recipients of our educational program for the Badjao tribe. She is not a Badjao, her parents are Tagalogs but she and her family attend the worship service in the tribe’s Christian church.
It was four in the afternoon of August 24, 2000, the missionary Pastor Albert was teaching a badjao how to properly plant cassava, which is Badjao’s staple food, a war within the tribe broke out between the three (3) clans living in the community. Everyone were holding kris, bolos and weapons, ready to kill each other. Seeing what is happening for the first time, Pastor Albert didn’t know what to do – will he go in the middle of the fight and speak to the warring clans? Or just pray?
Pastor Albert chose to pray and asked God what to do. The Lord spoke to his heart that he must stand in the midst of the warring clans and speak out loud—“ Stop in the name of Jesus!”
The warring clans stopped and silence broke out…… then Pastor Albert said, “ Your problems will be settled. Don’t worry.”
Two clan leaders approached Pastor Albert…. Kissed his hands and left silently.
(Kiss on the hand is a sign of respect and acceptance to the Badjaos. )
The next day, a tribal meeting occur, the missionaries were called to sit in the meeting. This is the first miracle the missionaries were waiting from God — that they will be able to talk with the tribe.
The missionaries were given the opportunity to talk to the tribe’s people and the tribal leaders. They were able to talk about their purpose in coming to the tribe. They didn’t talk about bringing the gospel readily, but talk about their concern about the community’s health and sanitation, feeding and education. The tribe accepted the missionaries Pastor Albert and Sis. Ellen Santiago to the community. They also expressed their cooperation to the goals and purpose of the missionaries. This is the beginning the missionaries were waiting for. But daily, every morning and night, the missionaries never stopped praying , declaring spiritual revival in the seven (7) strategic places of the island, and saying to God, “ Oh Lord, we are not asking for money or fame but only the souls of these people.”
So the Lord made His first demonstration of His power in the Badjao tribe.