P99M or $5.5M
P99M, this is the Bureau of Customs’s audit and assessment for “various” penalties for 2014-2015 business transactions… as of this morning. This happens year after year and the amount would be haggled and reduced to a smaller, but still two digit number in millions of pesos. What’s important is they reach their “quotas” set by their supervisors – as if operating like a pyramid scam. They’d even issue a receipt for it – which means that the “penalty” is “legal”. The fact that the penalty can be haggled means that they manipulate financial reports to come up with an amount that the company is comfortable with.
P99M is the amount of our payroll for 3 years to feed 130 families. What if we are not able to pay the penalty and have to shut down? Will the government feed our 130 employees and their families?
Do government officials deserve to be prayed for?
Deserve, no. No one deserves anything. It is all by God’s grace. But need, yes.
Scriptures: 1 Timothy 2:1-8, Matthew 5:13-16, Ezekiel 22:30, 2 Chronicles 7:14
Paul instructs us to pray for all authorities so that we may live peaceful lives, in all holiness and godliness. When 1 Timothy was written, the psychotic Emperor Nero was impaling Christians and burning them as human torches. The P99M is nothing compared to the torture that they faced. Yet Paul asked them to pray for kings and all authorities – for this is good and pleasing to Jesus.
Will I stand in the gap?
But if I want to see a change in how the government works, then I must apply God’s commands. Ezekiel and 2 Chronicles talk about God showing mercy and restoring our land if we “stand in the gap” or intercede for our country. Matthew talks about being a salt and light in a perverse world.
God is sovereign, and His plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2), but we are invited to intercede, pray and hope for God to show mercy. How miracles, free choice, sovereignty work together – I don’t know. But it’s as if God is saying, “I don’t want to destroy this city. If only someone stand in the gap before Me, I would not destroy it.” Notice that God said, “So I sought a man” – it was God taking the initial steps, but no one volunteered.
How can I pray-care-share to our government leaders?
- I will write notes with words of encouragement to local government officials, through the messenger
- I will pray for the BIR staff who are harassing us from today, until it gets resolved
- I will continue to pray for wisdom for who to vote for the presidential election
Turning complaints into praises
Thank you Lord that despite of the corrupt system, and living in a third world country, I am not stateless. There is a judiciary system. There is a constitution. We are not on war. There are no missiles dropping randomly. I am not a refugee. I have freedom of speech. There is a government. Women are not randomly raped like in India. Women are not treated lower than men. I have a source of income. I can freely share the gospel without persecution. I am not a human torch. I have a home.
Prayer works, even in hardened government officials – my mom swears by it!
It’s day 4 of prayer and fasting! I am not always physically weak, so I’m sure I am not reaping the complete benefits of being physically weak and completely dependent on God.
On mornings, I eat oatmeal, fruits or vegetables and the usual high calcium milk, which my mom said is so important because you reach the peak of your bone density until age 30, and start losing it when you hit 40! Higher bone mass at an earlier age equals lesser chance of osteoporosis.
For lunch, I eat veggies and fruits, again.
For dinner, random concoction of fruit and yoghurt smoothies, or as in the case tonight, delicious carrot, cauliflower and curry soup. To give it a kick, I mixed siracha and cheese. Weird but yum!
Everyday, I look forward and fight the temptation to cheat my fasting. I’ve been watching recipe videos from lettuce wraps, slow cooked beef, risotto. I have different cravings throughout the day from kare-kare, laksa noodles, ramen, chocolates.
But so far, this has helped in devoting myself to writing and reflecting.