PHI 12: 31 Oct – 5 Nov 2016
More than 200 volunteers had been involved in the Bless Santiago couriers program which took place on 31 Oct to 5 Nov in the city of Santiago, Philippines.
Themed City 2 City, the inaugural Bless Santiago project sought to bring God’s love and minister to the local community through a diverse and extensive series of outreach efforts. This included medical and dental missions, live stage shows at the local mall, children’s programs and prison outreach. The key highlight was the Kingdom Invasion conference which happened during the last 2 nights. We saw speakers like Pastor Nikki and our very own Pastor Yang deliver compelling and empowering messages of hope and salvation to the audience.
Our team comprised of 8 team members: Meida Chooi, Abigail Lew, Genevieve Lim, Samuel Tan, Aunty Lay, Christina Cheng, Sean Teh and I. We were involved in planning the children’s programs which ran alongside the medical and dental missions daily in partnership with the local Santiago and Philippine churches.
Having been brought to Cornerstone by a Filipino ex-colleague, I was deeply touched by the warmth and generosity of spirit of the Filipino community. Bless Santiago was my second couriers trip to the Philippines, the first being to Marikina 2 years ago.
I witnessed first-hand how God moved, with people encountering God in such real and personal ways during the entire week of the trip; it was particularly moving. One of the most poignant and memorable aspects of the trip for me was that people from all walks of life shared incredible testimonies of healing and restoration and surrendered their lives to God.
In the children’s ministry, through a series of games, arts and crafts, praise & worship and bible storytelling sessions, kids as young as 4 years old readily responded when the salvation call was given. We had a total of 109 children receive Christ throughout the entire 4 days.
I also experienced God’s goodness and faithfulness as our prayers were answered! Despite the rain and poor weather conditions in the initial few days, we had a steady stream of children passing through our doors and we had several returning in the subsequent days!
It was also very encouraging seeing how God broke down divisions, barriers and united the local Filipino and Singapore churches, including volunteers, for His Kingdom’s purpose. The unity of spirit was unhindered despite the language and communication challenges!
All in all, the Bless Santiago project has stirred and renewed a deeper hunger and passion for our Lord. I have been inspired to press on and continue the good works started here in Santiago for His kingdom’s glory!
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Peggy Phor, Bless Santiago 2016
A brief photo collage of the trip.
Team PHI 12!
INA 02: 16 – 26 Sept 16
Going on a mission trip is a life changing experience. This is not a cliche or a tag-line of Cornerstone Couriers, but it is indeed a truth. I managed to experience this by myself and looking back, I can classify my time in India into three primary areas.
My idea of a mission trip is to always be giving but I was definitely blessed on the trip. First, I would like to share about being blessed by the locals. I would be lying if I said I felt homesick on the trip. Not that I’m not close to my family, but it was really just the locals in Andhra Pradesh being so hospitable. I was exposed to probably one of the best foods in the world while I was in India (not even kidding) and being immersed in the local culture was such a joy. Moreover, the locals taught me many lessons on life through their actions such as travelling 3 hours just to go to church and looking out for one another constantly.
Apart from being blessed in the natural, I was blessed spiritually too. It was like an open heaven experience in India, where I received many revelations and visions. The hosting pastor, Pastor Silas, was also very insightful by constantly speaking life into me throughout the trip. My eyes were really open to many supernatural signs and wonders throughout the trip. Being a person who has never healed even the common cold in Singapore, my experience in India (which I will talk about in a bit) was definitely a defining moment in my Christian life.
Although being blessed was a major part of the trip, it would not be called a missions trip if the team were not a blessing to the locals. The team was involved in a lot of ministry time throughout the nine days in India, primarily in Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. We went to a total of 13 meetings in the trip and I can proclaim that it was a good time at every meeting. One might think that the language barrier would be a huge problem in ministry but I would say it was just a stumbling block. The team overcame it by communicating through universal sign languages and more importantly, the love of God proved to be an effective mode of ministry. Salvations and healings were a huge encouragement to the local ministers and I would say that it was a great time of ministry!
Personally, it was an especially amazing time that I had in India, primarily due to the many doubts and fears I had in my heart prior to the trip. I feared that God would not show up. I doubted that I was able to speak life to the locals. I was afraid that we may not have enough resources for the locals. However, God being ever so true, He replied every single one of my negative thoughts with an emphatic response.He multiplied the money we had saved as the team fund. He gave me many words of knowledge and prophecies for the locals. He used me to share messages that even I wondered when did such revelations on simple truths get implanted into my head. I still fondly remember the scene at the Bible college, where there was a room full of men and women spiritually hungry and everyone was crying out to God desperately in unison. All I can say is, to God be the glory. Until next time Vizeg!
Lee Yong Jian, India
The first church we preached at in Rajahmundry, India
Dinner after the church service held in the local pastor’s house.
The team with Ps Silas at a famous lagoon in Vizag!
Preaching at the Children’s Home run by Ps Silas’s ministry
Playing games with the college students in the Children’s Home after an ice cream party we held for them! It was such an amazing time!
At Araku Valley & Borra Caves with a pastor from the Bible College
Before the trip, we asked the Lord what He wanted us to do inn this trip. We received words from God and planned around them. This mission trip offered a variety of different places and ministries. We had the opportunity to join the Pastors’ Fellowship to hear their testimonies and of what God is doing in each of their churches. We visited churches, children’s homes, the HIV centre and slums. We also visited the cells, joined the SOM students in street evangelism, attended the SOM Presbytery service and graduation ceremony. Our team also prayed and ministered at the Sunday services.
Overall, despite the diversity of gifts in our team, we were united in one heart. I was deeply impacted by the passionate worship and intercession of the Burmese Christians. One can sense the move and presence of God in their gatherings. In the middle of our trip, there was an earthquake in central Myanmar; we thank God for the minimal casualties. Prophetically speaking, we felt that the Lord is doing renewal of the Holy Spirit in Myanmar. I have learnt to hear God and to be led by Him as to what He wants us to do before & during the trip.
What I liked best about the trip was the worship of our Burmese sisters and brothers. I appreciated the opportunity to perform a team flag dance and I really enjoyed the messages shared by Ps San Min and Ps Tim Chong. This trip also provided me with my first visit to the slums and I was able to lead an Indian lady to Christ. During the trip, we also witnessed the move of the Holy Spirit and the Father’s love touching our brothers and sisters when praying and ministering to them.
Before the trip, we had asked for donations of clothes, bags, stationaries and toys from our cell groups and friends. Though our luggage was overweight, we were not charged for the extra 9 kg; praise the Lord! God also granted us a favourable rates when we exchanged money at the money changer in the Myanmar airport.
I had requested for 3 of my cell members to cover me and the team in intercession while we were on this trip. They were faithful in interceding; many words and visions were shared, enabling us to be more effective in our work in Myanmar.
I am humbled by the fact that though imperfect and inadequate, God chose to use our team. All glory to God – He showed up! I summed up this trip with these words from Ps Tim’s message “No reserves, no retreats and no regrets”!
Lee Lin, Myanmar
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
We visited the orphanage managed by Pastor S and his family. We are proud of Cornerstone Barn for collecting around 7kg worth of clothes for the team to donate to the orphanage! 20+ kids welcomed us by happily holding our hands and hugging us. Then, half the team taught the children Fruits of the Spirit with placards while the remainder baked brownie cups. The kids enjoyed the games and sang praise and worship in English. Afterwards, the staff and all were treated to a delicious meal of fish three ways, coconut juice and rice.
And I will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
We proceeded to do home visits at church members’ houses. We prayed for a family whose head of the house suffered a stroke believing in the healing power of Jehovah Rapha! The sweet presence of Jesus was so strong in that home as we lifted our worship. Before leaving the home, we made a small donation to that family for everyday necessities and gave toward the daughter’s last year of university fees. We also visited a roadside vendor and her brother, who at first had asked for healing and later accepted Christ; Jesus saves! At the third and final home visit, a woman shared her problems that she had towards her neighbors and we prayed for her and her family.
We took a jeep down the winding trails of Mount Merapi. The Thursday youth service was charged with energy and our team were touched by the youth’s passion for God! The worship band played the drums, guitar and keyboards, leading the congregation in singing Bahasa and modern Hillsong songs. A member of our team shared the story of Joseph- how God changes our failures into successes and how by giving our lives to God, we receive redeeming grace.
Ephesians 1-17-18 (NIV)
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
The host’s daughter brought us to a breath taking pine tree plantation where we had a lovely organic meal. During a testimony sharing on Friday’s night church service and Aunty E shared the gospel message. There was an altar call where we prayed for a rededication of lives to the Son of the living God and there were 4 salvations! All glory to God! Jesus moves beyond cultures! We believe that men from every nation, from all tribes and people and languages, can come to the throne of grace confidently.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
We visited the baptism of 6 people who had received salvation. It was a joyous occasion as the church sang, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back!” Before the night ended, we conducted the children’s service. They enjoyed playing musical chairs and making Polaroid photo frames for arts and crafts. We shared the story of how God, Creator of the universe, loves us as his children and gave each of us talents to glorify Him.
A miracle happened when a member of our team decided to hold a birthday celebration in that theme but it turned out to be Pastor S’s 55th birthday on Saturday! God works in miraculous ways! We are sure God has big plans for Rumah Buah Hati Orphanage and were very thankful to participate and have been very blessed by their events.
James 1: 12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him
We visited the Sunday service which had the highest attendance of all other services. People looked upbeat and it was a happy end to the week. Aunty M shared on how God uses our circumstances for training and testing. Afterwards, we had an alter call, praying for unsaved family members, unity and speedy recovery. Before we departed, we had a sumptuous meal of Ikan (fish), cooked Manado style, with Pastor S and family. God has been faithful throughout our trip and these were the memories from it!
Taking the children and pastors to lunch.
Livingstone Church in Jogjakarta
CAM 02: 9 – 13 Aug 2016
If walking with Jesus is an adventure, then I liken a Cornerstone Courier trip to a roller coaster ride – it’s exhilarating with twists and turns, expect the unexpected, rush of adrenaline as all your senses are heightened and such joy and satisfaction thereafter. The minute I’m off the ride, I tell myself I will do it all over again.
After a couple months of prayer, planning and running errands to purchase items and materials we need for a youth camp in Cambodia, we departed sunny Singapore for rainy Cambodia. We were excited to meet 75 young people from 2 churches, Poipet city and Kampong Speu province, and the location of the camp was in a church, along the gorgeous beaches of Sihanoukville. Most of the young people have never seen the sea because Cambodia is largely landlocked so it was a real treat for them!
Watching the hand of God through the unfolding of events, His divine protection and His great love through answered prayers was the greatest experience for our team. Just a couple days before the trip, one of our members was ill and her fever would not go down. Her colleague frightened us by telling her it could be HFMD (hand foot mouth disease). We immediately stood with her in prayer and asked for divine health and protection, speaking against all lies and intimidation. After a quick visit to the doctor, it turned out to be just a common cold. Through this, we learned to stand and believe in the mission God has for us.
Upon arriving at Sihanoukville via a public bus from Phnom Penh, we found that a box of supplies we packed was nott on the bus. A call made to the Phnom Penh office yielded nothing so we had to purchase everything all over again, but God gave us peace and a spirit to adapt and make the most of what we have. We determined that a run to the supermarket would not spoil our mood.
On the first day of camp, we saw showers and thunderstorm which did not let up until the afternoon. We were prepared to change our plans but we prayed in faith, believing the weather would change. It would be a huge disappointment for the youth if we were to cancel going to the beach. However, exactly at the appointed time on both days, the rain stopped! When we came back to church in the evening, the rain came back. It was a revelation of how God loves His children and wants to be glorified in meeting our wants and desires. We also experienced power cuts for a couple hours every day (possibly due to the rain) but we worshipped with the drums and danced in sweat. Nothing was going to stop our praise and worship!
The highlights of our trip were the 15 salvations and the many young people who were set free. Cambodia is notorious for being steeped in idolatry but through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in worship and in unwavering faith, we witnessed many healings and deliverances! It was a time of unspeakable joy for them!
Youth camp has always been times of fun and games, building relationships, have leaders rise up, corporate prayer for the nation and a time of refreshment in God’s presence. So it was, even for us from Singapore. We are two countries but the same sons and daughters of Father God. Cambodia is ripe for the harvest, with many people yearning for a hope and saviour. They are ready to turn their hearts back to the Father, accept His unconditional love and walk humbly in His ways. We caught a glimpse of that through the eyes of these excited young people. We can only imagine what God can do through their lives and we are completely grateful that He trusts us and allowed us to play a small role in making that happen.
Melissa Seet, Cambodia
Phnom Penh: In a tuk tuk buying supplies with 2 church volunteers
Camp group photo
By the Mekong River in Phnom Penh, pretending we are on a river cruise