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Heavenly Ovation

December 2, 2009

   After starting a recent training in a province called “Sarangani” in Mindanao island of the Philippines, I was looking forward to a good report.  75 pastors from the B’laan tribe were getting a chance to receive training through Antioch Institute that they never would have had because of their remote location.  One of the young pastors to get a chance to be trained was Winnie Fokal. 

   Upon completing his second course at Antioch Institute, he was excited about trying to evangelize a new area.  He had to travel to a new place where he was going to share the gospel.  Winnie is very poor, so he had to take a public transport (Jeep ride) to get to the other town.  The jeep ride takes many hours and was owned by a Muslim.  Winnie got on expecting to have a normal ride.  Along the way another bunch of guys got on as they pulled away from the tribal area.  The other riders were drunk and started making a ruckus on the Jeep.  At first he just ignored them, until they got to the town where Winnie was going to get off.  He got off, but so did the drunk guys.  They were from the same tribe as Winnie (B’laan) and because they were drunk started arguing about not paying the jeep driver. 

   Winnie decided it would be good for him to try and intervene as the situation was getting very bad fast between the drunk tribal guys and the Muslim driver.  Winnie tried to calm the drunk guys down, but didn’t have much success.  The Muslim driver pulled out a 45 cal handgun and started threatening the drunk guys, who seemed unfazed.  A shot was fired and Winnie dropped. 

   Winnie was hit in the head and died instantly.  He was looking for a chance to share the gospel and bring peace to a very violent area of the Philippines, yet he was killed trying to bring peace.  Winnie is survived by his wife and a young son.  Winnie was only 25 years old and passionate about serving Jesus.  He died trying to find opportunities to show the love of Christ. 

  While not many people on earth knew Winnie Fokal, when he arrived in heaven, he received a standing ovation reserved only for martyrs of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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