Manila, Luzon Island – Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo
More annoyance again in Bilibid prison. Last Sunday Provost-Sergeant Houser was conspicuously absent from the prison when I appeared to hold my usual service. Nobody seemed to know where he could be found. My efforts to find him proved fertile. This Sabbath the gentleman was absent again. I tried to get some information from Sergeant Williams but failed again. Hunted Lieut-Wolf up and stated the case. After talking the matter over a plan of action was settled for each Sunday. I am to be there 10 o’clock a.m. His tour of inspection will be finished by that time, and a “non-con” will go the rounds with me to each ward, in which I can have a brief service or talk with the prisoners. This talk occurred at the office. The Lieutenant accompanied me back to the Sergeant’s quarters. Serg’t Williams calling him up, the Lieut, gave him orders. Excused himself on plea of lack of time, but the Lieut’s wishes were mandatory & he was commanded to take me around. I thanked the officer & commenced my rounds.
First place a single cell back near the wall. One prisoner hardly more than a boy, in solitary confinement, sat on a bunk with a large ball and heavy chain attached to his legs. Williams left me alone with him. Said he is a Catholic & would like to confess to a priest. Explained the way of salvation to him, that if he repented of sin, he could kneel down by his bunk & find salvation thro’ Christ this very day. Gave the prisoner a New Testament to read.
The long wood-ward containing many rooms was my next. Five or 6 men were ordered to come forward. They came, and a short salvation talk was made to them in the corridor near the front door. Thanking the men for their attention passed out into the central plaza. Provost-sergeant Houser showed up, worthy because he had so much work to do. Williams explained and he cooled down. Next the long brick ward alongside the entrance from the iron gate was unlocked for me. I spoke to the men, after singing part of a hymn & praying – about 20 prisoners. Some appeared to listen earnestly to the old but ever new recital of eternal life for sinners thro’ the Lord Jesus Christ. My last effort was in the yard of the brick ward adjoining the office. The kitchen and tables are under a rough awning. About 40 prisoners were just taking dinner. While they busied themselves stowing away “chow”, I took the theme that they should not give all their thought to seeking the bread which perisheth with the using, but to seek also the Bread which came down from heaven – Christ Jesus.
At the close of my exhortation I kneeled down on the damp stone pavement and prayed God to bless the effort put forth for their salvation. At the close the men asked me to take dinner. Refused. “Take a cup of coffee then”. Refused coffee also. Williams was waiting outside the gate.
Walked back Paseo Azcarraga house.
Ate breakfast with Rev. & Mrs. Owens & the 4 sailors who slept last night in the room provided for them.
This morning read Numbers and a Psalm, prayed before & after breakfast. Afternoon read an article or 2 in “North American Review” & studied a map.
Private (Bro.) Heron of the Nebraska Vol. Inf. called this p.m. Personal talk re his spiritual state. Prayed with him. Two sailors of the 4. Victor Peterson & Aug Hagerlund came in after dark. Urged them to be true Christians. I cooked supper this evening
Rev. Rodgers, Presbyterian missionary held a Filipino service today – his first. Present 18 natives. Mrs. Owens attended to play the organ.