Mario's First Born
An Email to the Family from Drew-Michael in June 2004
I have been a born-again Christian since I was 8, but was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues when I was 18. My Christian walk with God radically changed when that occurred. My life has never been the same since. It was my freshman year at UNO when it happened, which later prompted me to go to Bible college as well. (I was a Fine Arts &Theater major.) I immediately began working in ministry at my then church, Believer's Life Family Church in Harvey, La., on the Westbank, where I grew up. About a year later is when I began working as a short term missionary, which I have continued to do and now into my 15th year. Through my late teens and early twenties, I was also involved in Christian drama, as the head of the Drama &Arts Dept. for 10 years, a Home cell group leader for 3, Director of the church's weekly television ministry show, Youth &Singles leader, and also worked in Children's and specialty ministries as well.
Yes, Jesus was and is a big part of my life... then and now.
Currently, at my church here in Los Angeles, I work with the Christian drama ministry & I am part of the Prayer Team. I love this church because the pastor was a former actor & singer and his wife was a former stunt woman. They both have a strong emphasis on people in the entertainment industry like myself. A large
majority of the members work in entertainment or use to be a part of the industry.
Needless to say, many actors, models, dancers, directors, producers and the like, attend church with me. It is a real blessing.
Back home from the Philippines
I hope this email finds you & the family well. (Thank you Jerlyn & Eve for relaying my email messages.)
Wow! What an amazing trip to Southeast Asia. Harrowing & difficult, yes, but alas, the mission trip was hugely successful.
Thank you for your continued prayers, thoughts, & concerns. I firmly believe the success was greatly in part to the prayers of others back in the States.
Well, honestly, the trip was not without incident. As mentioned previously, our medical supplies were confiscated and never recovered, but we were still able to make an enormous impact without them. As well, the heat & 100% humidity was seemly unbearable at times ... even at 6 a.m. in the shade you would begin to sweat. I also had an unknown allergic reaction and developed an unusual rash that caused me to seek medical attention at a local hospital. Thankfully it began to clear up in a few days with prescribed medicines. I also encountered a pulled hamstring during drama rehearsals that grew worse with walking & full daily schedules. Almost all of the team suffered with water/and or food contamination. The water is physically pumped out of a well & treated before being used. Parasites can almost be seen in the water with the naked eye. Bathing, brushing of teeth, and the like can cause ill affects in not careful due to the water supply. Cold showers was a luxury when it was available or the local river was a second choice for bathing. And everywhere we would travel, even a few steps, we were accompanied by plain clothed military guards. This was necessary for the ever present threat of "American kidnappings."
All in all, the country side and rain forest type jungles were beautiful. We visited a local waterfall & river where we spent a day. I baptized many new converts, climbed the falls, swam, & enjoyed a picnic of sorts with local cuisine consisting of: sticky rice, baked fish (unfileted with the fish head intact), roasted squid, swine entrails, balute (aborted duck embryos) and very fresh mango & newly picked pineapples with coconut water to drink. Yummy, huh? Not this trip, but last, I ate "Aso" for the first time ... which is roasted dog.
And yes, I knew it was dog when I ate it & it did NOT taste like chicken.
As ministry went: we had 10 different venues for preaching, teaching, ministry, and prayer. The night time crusades were filled with people needing God & needing His supernatural miracles and touch. Countless people were ministered to, healed of infirmities, filled with the Holy Spirit and received Jesus into their hearts. It was wonderful to see the Lord move so mightily and unbelievable upon this country. I emceed 8 out of the 10 venues and spoke at each one. I had a concentrated teaching at two youth crusades and our finale night in Jaminda Square, an outdoor crusade that boasted our largest crowds. I performed 6 drama presentations with the help of my team along with special music, dance, sharing & testimonies.
On our last day, we traveled to Roxas City and spent time at the coast along the beach. This day was dedicated to baptizing yet again, new Christian converts ... over 50 on this particular day. More salvations would follow along with more local food and culture.
Needless to say, I am delighted to be back home ... especially since on our last day, we traveled for a continued 34 hours including vehicles, planes from one island to the next, layovers, etc., and then home. I am a bit jet lagged and feeling a little under the weather, but I am so delighted that I was a part of what the Lord was doing in Southeast Asia and seeing first hand multitudes of people accepting Jesus as their Lord & Savior.
Drew Michael and his dad, Mario Calderini -- July 2004
Attending Drew Michael's Reunion with the family
George Werner, Haydee, Dan Ellis, Duke Buniff
George, Eddie, Dan, Jerlyn, Augie, Mario
Duke, Haydee, and Miguel Fuentes (Lili's Widower)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 16:53:39 EDT
Subject: Pagosa Lakes
I wanted to show you the property I just bought this weekend in a lovely town,
in a beautiful area of Southwest Colorado called Pagosa Lakes.
My lot has Mountain & Lake views. God is good!
O.K., D-M, it's time for you to give a Lake Party!
A caribu for two
Click below for Drew-Michael's Book Site '