After leaving Hong Kong, Ryan Mudge and I headed to the Philippines. Like Hong Kong, everyone we met in the Philippines—both locals and those originally from other countries—were friendly and gracious; but the cultures are very different.

Our ride from the airport to our initial lodgings was only about 28 km, but it took three hours to get there! I had great admiration for our driver as it definitely took an entirely different skillset than anything I’ve ever had to do when driving back home. While in the Philippines, we also got to experience the preferred local mode of public transportation: a jeepney. That, too, was quite a unique way to travel.

Philippines - jeepney

Above: a jeepney is a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines.

While in the Philippines, we had meetings in three locations. The first took place at the Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary. We stayed onsite in APNTS guest accommodations, and our host Dr. Mitch Modine showed us around the local area of Taytay, which is on the outskirts of Manila, and even drove us up to Antipolo City for some local flavor. We held an all-day Accordance training conference there where students, pastors, professors, and other interested parties came to learn about Accordance. Although some were already Accordance users, like many of our meetings in Asia, some just come to check out what Accordance can do. And unsurprisingly, these interested individuals usually left the meeting as new Accordance users.

Philippines - APNTS

Our all-day training seminar at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in Taytay, Philippines

Mitch turned us over to Dr. Tim Undheim, who drove us to Quezon City where we stayed in the Conservative Baptist Guest House. Tim was also a very helpful guide, showing us around the local area, and even taking us to a Filipino church he attends to experience local worship. While in Quezon City, we held a three-hour evening seminar at the Alliance Graduate School. We had dinner before the session, and so many showed up to see Accordance that we had to open up a partition to another room for overflow seating! Again, we saw many people new to Accordance leave our meeting, thrilled to have an entire portable Bible research library that they could use on their computers and mobile devices.

Philippines - AGS

Overflow seating at the Alliance Graduate School in Quezon City, Philippines!

We made another move as Tim took us to a mall called “Market Market” where Dr. Eike Mueller and Dr. Michael Campbell met us. Our journey with Eike and Michael took us away from the urban experience of the Philippines to the rural setting of Silang and the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies. The AIIAS campus seemed to me like a little Garden of Eden. Residents there can simply walk into their backyards and pick avocados, mangos, jackfruit, and something I had never experienced before: dragonfruit!

Philippines - mangos and dragonfruit

Fresh mango and dragon fruit (sliced in the middle; whole on the right), picked on site at the Adventist International Institute for Advanced Studies in Silang, Philippines.

We held four separate sessions at AIIAS, meeting with students, professors, missionaries, local pastors and others from the area who were invited. AIIAS is an international school, so only about 30% or so of its students are from the Philippines. We were able to introduce Accordance to individuals who would work in areas where it’s not easy to transport physical books. One new Accordance user from Africa wrote us later and said this:

I feel so good about owning Accordance Bible Software.  I got the Advanced Collection […] You need to come from a place where chances of owning such software are highly improbable to understand the feeling.

Philippines - AIIAS

One of four seminars at the Adventist International Institute for Advanced Studies

And, of course, I’ve known numerous missionaries over the years whose greatest expense was shipping books, and some even found it impossible to have a very large print library. at all because of their context. Accordance allows any user to build a professional biblical research library that can be carried anywhere on computers or mobile devices. This is convenient for anyone, but especially those who live, teach, study, and minister in remote places.

Philippines - Starbucks

Ryan (right) and me (left) on one of our rare breaks in the Philippines. Here we are at a Starbucks that overlooks Taal Lake and Taal Volcano in Tagatay.

We had a wonderful time in the Philippines, but eventually it was time to move on to Seoul, South Korea, where I am writing this. Next week, I will tell you about the exciting things we’ve been experiencing here!