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Moroland: The Story of Betty and Jay Abrams by Betty Abrams
Two missionaries and their family spend 36 years in the Philippines with a Muslim tribe.

Comments from the author

The greatest honor we could want in life is to get to heaven and find how out whom of our Muslim friends who heard God’s truth from us have truly accepted Christ as their redeemer. Yet on Earth sometimes God honors us with earthly rewards that encourage us to labor on for Him.

Several honors were given to Jay that brought joy to our hearts because it showed that the Maguindanao tribe had accepted us as friends and acknowledged that we had become part of their community. From 1954 to 1963 we lived in the town of Dulawan up the Rio Grande River. It was later named Datu Piang after an early founder of the town.

Many years later, in 1978, we were invited back for a very special Founder’s Day celebration. There, in the town plaza, people gathered to listen to a program of speeches by various dignitaries and leaders of the tribe. Then, to our surprise, Jay’s name was called out and a certificate was given proclaiming him to be a “son of Dulawan.” It thrilled our hearts to realize that after all these years these dear people felt that we “belonged to them.”

During the 1970s, days were spent counseling students at a local college in Cotabato City, the coastal city where we later made our home. In 1979 we were invited to a university graduation at Davao City, on the opposite side of the island of Mindanao. There, Jay spoke to the graduating class of several hundred students. At the conclusion, with much fanfare, Jay was given an honorary doctor’s degree in humanities. Rev. Ben DeJesus, then president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines, was with us to share our joy. In the Philippines, when a university wants to bestow a doctorate degree on anyone, that person's credentials have to be accepted by the Department of Education in Manila before permission is given. Jay’s previously written thesis on Islam as practiced by the Maguindanaos had already been written and a copy of it was in the National Library in Manila. We were told that a copy had been given to then President Marcos to help him understand the thinking of the Maguindanaos during the years of rebel wars.

During the 1980s we had a harelip ministry. This gained the attention of local government officials of the Department of Welfare. In 1986 another award was given in a local ceremony in Cotabato City. This was in the form of a wood plaque with a pair of hands holding a heart and was in honor of the work we had done in helping over 200 people to have new appearances.

All the work we did was done to glorify God and to bring honor to His name.

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