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This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply - Thou Shalt Not Steal

Chapters: [Prologue] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]  [19]  [20]  [21]  [22]  [23]  [24]  [25]  [26]

Chapter 7 - Loaves of Bread, Fish!

   News of the conversion of prostitutes, whores, and even the local vendors who made their money off of the spending of thousands of profligate sons, had spread quickly throughout Cagayan de Oro. The local Christian radio stations had picked up on it as well and announced the good news to their listeners. They in turn passed the news on with the result that dozens of buses were kept busy shuttling in an endless procession of people anxious to find out what was happening. A nearby park was set up to accommodate all the people and loud speakers were wired so that they could know what was going on inside the courtyard. All the while, the baptisms continued.
   We now had an audience of thousands of new believers and thousands more onlookers so Pastor Sam suggested I deliver a sermon instead of a Bible study.
    "You've been anointed by the Lord, Ish.[1] I've never seen anything like this in all my years living here in Cagayan de Oro. There's an outpouring of God's spirit in this place today. We're going to have to follow God's lead as well as the leader He's put in charge of this event. And that's you, Ish. Now get out there and say whatever He puts on your lips."[2]
   "But, it was Cherry's testimony that began all of this." I protested.
   "Ish, this isn't over, believe me. You can't see it but we do. The anointing is on you."
    Sam's wife Sarisa nodded as he spoke.
    "But I don't have any idea where to start." I objected.
    Sam and Sarisa were just silent. They motioned me forward.
   A calm took over my mind and body as I readied myself to speak. I stepped to the front of the stage and looked out at the thousands of people, aware that there were tens of thousands more at the park that lay beyond the walls of the apartment complex. Then, out of my mouth, came the words;
    "Loaves of bread! Fish!"[3]
    I stepped back from the microphone. I didn't know what I was talking about. I hadn't planned those words. They just spilled out of my mouth. The words were not mine! I didn't know what the Lord wanted me to say, but I stepped up to the microphone again. This time the words flew from my lips.
   "Loaves of bread! Fish!"
   I still couldn't understand why the Lord wanted me to shout those words. I looked at Sam, bewildered, he looked back at me and shrugged. Then suddenly, God's message burst into my mind. I was speaking to loaves of bread and fish! They were, or would shortly be, the loaves of bread and fish!
    "Yes, I'm speaking to you. I'm speaking to you. You are loaves of bread and fish!"
    The audience was murmuring because they didn't get what I was saying. How could they, the Lord had only now placed this message on my lips and only through His Spirit speaking to me had I known the meaning. I took out my bible and read.
    "It is written in Matthew 14:20
   'And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained; twelve baskets full.' And again it is written in Matthew 15:37 'And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left; seven baskets full.'"
    I explained,
   "Did the people use knives and forks to eat that bread? Were they eating that bread on table cloths of fine linen? No! They were eating it with their hands. Kamayan![4] What do you suppose the pieces they gathered looked like? Why weren't the disciples concerned about gathering that bread and fish up into baskets to eat later? It had been touched by so many unclean people. Can you imagine how filthy that bread and fish must have been after being handled by thousands in a grassy field? Notice how Matthew writes, 'fragments that remained, broken meat', I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to take a chance eating such food. I would be afraid that because it was handled by so many unclean people that it would also be unclean. So why did the disciples gather those filthy fragments and broken pieces?"
    At that moment the shout of one of the whores being baptized prophetically interjected itself,
    "I've been touched by Jesus," she cried, "by Jesus. Praise God, I am washed!"[5]
   "Amen!" I shouted to the audience lifting my hand in the direction of the baptismal, "She said it! Who touched that bread and fish, who broke it, who blessed it? JESUS! Listen again to to what Matthew wrote."
    "And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and broke the bread, and who broke it? and He broke it, Jesus, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude."
    "Now to you, I say, you who have come to the Lord today, the Lord has blessed you in that He has broken your proud spirit and He has given you to us and to this crowd that we shall gather you for the Lord just like the Lord's disciples gathered those filthy fragments of bread and fish so that you may be spiritual nourishment to those who will hear your testimony! Yes, today, all you who have turned from your sinful ways and to Jesus have been made clean by the Lord Jesus Himself. You were filthy but now the Lord has made you clean. You were dirty, so dirty, handled like old bread and broken pieces of fish by many hands but now you are clean, washed," I cried, "by the Almighty Himself through the blood of Jesus.
   Now to my fellow servants in Christ I say, go now and gather up the pieces of bread and fish. Bring them here so that they may be baptized, giving evidence through this, their first act of obedience, that they belong to the Lord."[6]
    As the members of Sam's church and the volunteers from other churches went among the crowd, the newly saved were crying out with sobs of repentance and praises to Jesus for His Free Gift of Salvation. Every time one of them would rise out of the baptismal pool they would shout praises to the Lord, "Alleluia," "Thank you Jesus!"  How wonderful to see the mouths of new converts overflow with praises to God.[7]
    Those who had come simply to see what all the noise was about were each having their own face to face with God's Spirit as the Lord's Presence continued to move powerfully through the crowd.[8]
    "Unclean, I'm unclean!" A nun screamed as she ran to the front of the stage.
    "I'm full of pride! Help me. I hate born agains! I'm in bondage to rules but have never known the Lord. Pray for me father."
    I stepped down for a moment to speak with her, microphone attached.
    "I'm not your father."
   I put my hand on her shoulder and felt a jolt like electricity leave my fingertips. Her hard exterior seemed to melt. I thought for a moment she would faint. I grasped her arm to keep her from falling while I steadied myself with the other hand on the stage. I explained to her.
   "Other than the man who caused your mother to conceive you have just one Father and He is in heaven."
    "Blasphemy! Blasphemy! I'm a blasphemer!" She shouted. "I have called the pope Holy Father." Now louder than before she shouted, "The pope is a blasphemer!"[9]
   The crowd was so hushed that you could hear the wind rustling through the trees and the slight buzz of the amplification system.
    A little girl's voice was easily heard:
    "Pray for the pope. Pray that he might be saved!"
    The nun squeezed my arm and whispered.
    "May I pray for the pope?"
    Dare I let a nun who'd just now realized her own sins speak officially before this crowd? She took me by the arm and asked for one of the prayer shawls that she saw sitting on a table to the side of the stage. I handed it to her. She removed her habit to reveal the sweater and blue jeans that she wore underneath it then covered her head with the prayer shawl and prayed.
    "Lord, this is my first prayer directly to you. Just me to you. How lonely I've been. Can you forgive me? Thank you. Thank you Jesus that you love me so much that now you're speaking to my heart and for the first time my heart is not hard. I can feel your words."
   For a moment she lost her balance as she seemed overcome with grief and joy all at the same time. She continued.
   "The pope sins by letting the world call him Holy Father, yes, he blasphemes by letting others call him by Your Name. I pray that his heart would be softened and that he too could hear Your voice."
    As she spoke these words, lightening struck one of the poles that held the loud speakers. A clap of thunder followed that left a humming in our ears. I was about to head for cover from the certain downpour but saw that the sky was clear. A young woman ran out of the crowd to the nun, shouting.
    "You've spoken with God and God answered you! Teach me to speak to God."
    "Yes, teach me to speak to God." Others in the crowd shouted.
    "I'm not the one to talk to you concerning prayers or holy things." The nun scolded. "I've only just met the Lord. Speak with Cherry. She has God's anointing."
    "Puta!"[10] A few who'd approached the nun shouted at Cherry and spat.
   Another sneered,
   "This nun must have been sleeping with the pastor. I've heard about those Born Agains."
    "Born to hell, that's what they are!" Someone from the crowd shouted.
    A few more voices could be heard repeating,
   "Born to hell, that's what they are!"
    I was surprised that after this brief disorder it was only a few dozen who left. The rest of the mostly Roman Catholic audience stood motionless, in awe of what had just happened and what was continuing to happen.
    The prostitutes were emerging from the curtain behind the baptismal having changed into the modest clothing that the single ladies of the church had brought for them.
    "I've been healed!" Shouted one.
    "I'm clean!" Shouted another.
    They no longer looked like prostitutes. This was not simply because of their change in clothing. Their faces looked rested. The haughtiness and naughtiness, for lack of a better word, was gone, vanished. They were indeed new creatures. I looked forward to seeing what great task God had set before them for "to whom much is forgiven, much is expected" and "she who is forgiven much will love much."[11] They took their places in the choir and joined in with those who had already begun singing Redeeming Love.[12]

   'Ye, alas! who long have been
   Willing slaves to death and sin,
   Now from bliss no longer rove,
   Stop and taste redeeming love.'

    Now that portion of the crowd that had been silent came forward. Thousands of them. They were crying. Not all converts shout. Some were whispering,
   "Thank you Jesus."
   Others seemed to try to speak but could only bring forth tears. Over the next few hours, every unbeliever, both in and outside the courtyard, that had heard the message came forward to confess Jesus as Lord and be baptized. They were walking away from the church whose highest official called himself by God's Own Name, Holy Father. They were walking away so that they could live by faith as revealed to them through God's Holy Word.[13] They knew there was no turning back. Cardinal 'what's his name' would not take lightly what had happened today.
    I was now very sleepy. In fact, I could barely keep my eyes open. I invited Sam to the stage. He would be better able to lead these new converts in what had become an outpouring of praise through song. These blessed converts had escaped out of the clutches of the Great Whore of Babylon[14] and for the first time felt free from the burden of sin. I slipped away across the square to my apartment. I fell asleep with not so much as enough energy to remove my socks. In the few seconds before losing consciousness, I remembered the words that had come from the Lord, "Loaves of bread, fish!" What were the Lord's plans for the tens of thousands of new believers he'd just laid at our doorstep? I hummed,

"Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!"[15]

Falling back on my bed I pushed my other shoe off my foot with my toe. Thud, I was out.

Click Here to Go to Chapter 8 - The Market

[1] Hebrews 1:9
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
[2] Psalms 40:9
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
Psalms 141:3
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
[3] Mat 14:15-21
And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to [his] disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
[4] Kamayan - The Cebuano word for eating food with your hands.
[5] Mark 1:40-45
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth [his] hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish [it] much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
May we be as this leper in our gratefulness to Jesus for the gift of salvation that he has given to us!
[6] Mark 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
[7] Psalms 107:31
Oh that [men] would praise the LORD [for] his goodness, and [for] his wonderful works to the children of men!
Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, thou [art] my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful [things; thy] counsels of old [are] faithfulness [and] truth.
[8] Judges 13:25
And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
[9] John 17:11
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are].
Matthew 23:9
And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
[10] Puta means prostitute in Tagalog.
[11] Luke 7:47
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little.
[12] Redeeming Love - Written by Martin Madan during his ministry at the the London Lock Hospital; a hospital in London that cared for women who were suffering the effects of venereal disease. It was Martin Madan's hymnal on which the later Methodist Hymnals were based.
[13] 2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
[14] Rev 17:1-5
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Rev 18:2-4
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
[15] "Grace Greater than Our Sin"
Words by Julia Harriette Johnston.
Music by Daniel B. Towner


This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.Copyright 1998 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.All Copyright Laws Apply - Thou Shalt Not Steal

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