words of encouragement,
first-hand from the field of what we do
words of encouragement,
first-hand from the field of what we do
7-12 Dec 2016: PHI 15
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.”
As we gathered at the airport to pray before our departure to Marikina, Isaiah 60:1 was given from the Lord to us. Upon hearing that, we could see that the Lord’s hand was upon us as we headed out into the mission fields. This verse spoke to many of us, especially for me as it builds up our confidence and strength to reach out to the lost souls in Philippines even more.
Day 1 — After landing in Philippines, we met up with Pastor Kathy (PK) and her team who showed us to our accommodations. That evening, we got to minister to the “surrenderees” (drug addicts who turned themselves in to the government). Being led by the Lord to prepare on a topic just a day before we departed, I stood out in faith and shared my testimony as I felt it was for them. It was also my first time sharing and I did not know what to expect. However I could feel the peace of the Lord within me and the message was delivered smoothly! The Lord also led Ann to share a message on true repentance, and we saw around 20 decisions for Christ that night. Even the police officers responded! We also got to pray for everyone individually.
Day 2 — The team started off the day heading to the provincial prison, where we held a Christmas celebration service for the detainees. We organised a concert for them and played charades with them. They had so much enthusiasm that they literally ran to the stage even before we described the game! Darren and Joshua also shared their testimonies with them.
Later in the afternoon, we went to a village for “Porridge Patrol”, where we gave out food to young children. As we drove into the village, it started to rain heavily, but we proceeded to set up for our outreach. Miraculously, as we started to worship, the rain stopped! After worship, we also taught them a song about the Holy Spirit and performed a skit on Jesus saving us from the devil and sin! Thereafter, Shawn and Hannah shared her testimonies with the kids and we ended with prayer and food! This was an eye opener for me because I was amazed by how a service could be held in the open with just two shelters, a speaker, a microphone and a guitar. It took me a while to soak in the environment and how blessed we are on every weekend services.
Day 3 — The team headed out to the old folks home for a Christmas program, but before the program, we were allowed to walk around the compound and talk to some of the elderly, even praying for them. During the Christmas program, it was a joy to see some of the elderly putting up a dance for us, and later on, Beth shared a message about being fruitful in old age and Angeline shared her testimony. We distributed a mid-morning meal for the elderly and had a clothes giveaway. Later in the afternoon we came back to minister to the staff where we played some games, and performed a skit for them. Stanley also shared a message about being joyful in circumstances.
Day 4 — While praying in the morning, we got words from the Lord regarding “new grounds” and salvations. We headed out to the Boys’ Home, where we sang a Tagalog worship song (Mahal na Mahal Kita Panginoon) and Counting on God, with the chorus translated to Tagalog. We included actions for the boys, as they loved to dance. We then put on a skit about being special in God’s eyes, and Darren shared his testimony and gave a salvation call. We saw around 40 kids who raised their hands for salvation and we got to pray for all of them individually.
Later, we found out from Tontie (our host) that he had not met most of the boys before as they were relatively “newer” and so may have not had the chance to know Jesus yet. While we initially thought that the word about “new ground” was referring to a new home where PK and her team were just given permission to minister to that week; later we found out that we would not be able to visit the new home on our trip. It turned out that the prayer for “new ground” and salvations was linked and was pointing to these boys! Indeed God never fails!
Day 5 — On Sunday, we attended the Cornerstone service and had a great time of worshipping God as one body, followed by a sermon by PK. After the main service, we had a youth fellowship with the youths (Geners). We played some games, had lunch together, and then we had a time of worship. Shawn shared about the dreams and burdens that the Lord has placed in each of us and led us in an activity in which the Geners took post-its and wrote down their dreams and prayer requests and then pasted them on the floor. We all corporately prayed over the dreams and then challenged the youths to take home someone else’s post-it to keep praying over it. While praying, we received the word “run fast” and “acceleration” and prayed it into the group. Tontie then mentioned that acceleration is actually the group’s theme for the season. We also got to pray for each Gener individually.
Day 6 — As we left with a heavy heart, we bid goodbye and prayed for each of the staff at Marikina. It was indeed a memorable mission trip and even more so for me, given that it was my first mission trip. During the trip, there were many times that the team did not know if our sharing was appropriate. However, outreach after outreach, we have been hearing stories of how our sharing spoke to them in the midst of everything that they were facing. It is indeed encouraging and we could see that the Lord’s anointing is upon us!
The team had such big hearts that I believe we should all yearn for each and every day. Their personal testimonies will definitely be always remembered and will be eagerly waiting to see them when they visit Singapore!
Jia Jie, Marikina, Philippines
2 – 7 Dec 2016: INDO 06
Our mission team, consisting of 12 people, went to Yogyakarta, Indonesia from the 2nd to 7th of December. We ministered in LivingStone Church and Buah Hati Orphanage Pastoral Home. Many of us were going to the mission field for the first time; we were nervous yet excited and went with expectancy of what God was going to do in our time there.
On 2 Dec evening (Day 1), we went to Buah Hati Orphanage Pastoral Home, where the meetings, with the exception of the main service, were held. Our team leader, Angel, shared on prayer during their prayer meeting.
On 3 Dec morning (Day 2), we visited a bakso shop that was opened by a couple serving in the church, Wahyu and Anya, and Pastor Sister-in-Law, Elly. Our visit was a divine appointment because the owners were experiencing a spiritual attack on them and the shop as they felt worry, headaches and laziness despite the shop opening a month ago. The business had suddenly worsened and they have been having strange things happening in the shop house. There were suspicions that it was the work of black magic, a common occurrence in Jogjakarta. As we worshipped and declared His Lordship over the shop, joy came over Aunty Elly first. After doing a prophetic act, we declared words of multiplication, a hedge of protection, evangelism, peace and prosperity. The shop owners joined hands in prayer as our team leader narrated an open dream of multiplication to them and Matthew anointed them with oil, after which, Jasper presented them a seed offering from the team. Everyone was flowing with the Spirit; be it in worship, prayers or releasing prophetic visions.
The miracle happened right after we left; a lady had walked into their shop. The owners had just seen us off and had not cleared the tables, so they told the lady they were not open for business yet. However, the lady insisted that she wanted to order food and she was ok to take the food that was leftover but was still fresh; this is the first order. In the evening when both owners left the shop to attend our children party in the night, it was reported that there are 3 cars of guests coming to their shop. 1 car had parked far away and walked to their shop in order to have a meal. This had never happened before since their shop opening! On the same day after we prayed for the shop, even though it was opened for 4 hours, they made an income of 218 thousand rupiah; the highest they had since the spiritual attack! It’s a testimony that the spiritual heaviness in the shop was lifted. The next day during Sunday service, they gave testimony of the good report and the team, together with the owners, sealed the testimony by the blood of Jesus. On Monday, which is a full day of operations for the shop, the owners reported that even though they wanted to close shop at 10pm, there were still queues forming so they could only close the shop at 12am, earning 320 thousand rupiah that day! To Jesus, be the glory!
On the same night, we had a children’s party. Our mission team did a skit on the Prodigal Son. Aloysius, who acted as the prodigal son, came forward and shared about our identity in Christ. We went around praying for the kids and ministering the Father’s love to them by hugging them.
On Sunday morning (Day 3), we attended their main service. One of our team members, Matthew, shared a sermon on Hope. During the altar call, Aloysius was praying for a man and felt that he was not a believer yet. He led him in the sinner’s prayer and was saved that very day. Praise God! The next day, the man contacted the church and asked to be water baptised!
On 5/12 (Day 4), we did our first home visit near Mount Merapi. Weny’s husband had left her and refused to support her, leaving her to raise her two children singlehandedly. We prayed for financial provision and for her to thank God for the little things He has given. We shared visions and dreams regarding the sovereignty of God and the need to trust in His goodness. While ministering to her, Weny felt hope and joy rising within her, and we did a prophetic act by bringing her 2 children back to her again and affirmed to her that Christ in us, the hope of glory, and she should have hope as her 2 children are her hope for the future .
During our 2nd house visit, we met a family who was in debt. The mother, pressed for money, borrowed from their local money lender who charged exorbitant interest rates (similar to our loan sharks in Singapore). The family is on the run and her husband had rejected all his emceeing gigs due to fear and shame. Our team leader, prompted by the Holy Spirit, discerned that the lady’s act was not in submission to her husband and confronted her. Eventually, she was convicted and repented; the spirit of fear of lack and self-reliance was broken. She humbled herself and sought forgiveness from God and her husband. They reconciled and we prayed for wisdom to manage their finances to clear their debt. During our fellowship, we learned about their talent in music and their desire to serve in worship in church. A member in our team, Jie Hui, confirmed it through a vision she had. After encouraging the husband through a prophetic act, we left the family knowing that the family had received hope and joy!
On 6/12 our 5th day of ministry, we made an impromptu trip to our driver’s home. We only found out the day before that his daughter was diagnosed with brain tumour. His family were not believers and we saw this as an opportunity to share Christ with them.
We found out that his daughter’s head hit the ceiling when she was 5 years old and felt it was due to stress and anxiety that a tumour eventually developed in her head. A team member, Rystine, shared her testimony. She had a fall when she was younger and had epilepsy later on in her teens. She was healed after attending church. The daughter had pain at the back of her neck, where the impact was at 5 years old, hence confirming our hypothesis.
We declared victory over the sickness and His Name over the house. We found out that they have consulted the witch doctor thrice and hence, our team leader did healing and deliverance with the daughter. Shortly after, the black patch on the back of her neck began to fade. Even though she was still dizzy, she recounted feeling joy bubbling inside of her!
On our final night on 6/12 (Day 5), Jasper preached on the power of praise and worship as a spiritual warfare weapon. In the midst of the religious unrest against the Christians in Indonesia, we declared God’s plan for this nation. The Holy Spirit led us all to kneel down and cried out for the salvation of their nation because we believe repentance precedes revival in the nation. What a glorious night when the youths cried out in repentance for the sins of the land and the heavens were ‘shaken’, the word that Pastor daughter Sis Raissa received on 7/12 early morning when we were departing to airport for home .
This trip has been an eye opener for me despite it being my 2nd time to Indonesia. God has certainly moved powerfully in our short time here. There has been much unrest and shakings in this nation against the Christians, especially in the capital. No matter how bleak the news seem to report regarding Indonesia, we strongly believe in its destiny and calling in God.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Indeed, whatever that was meant for evil, God can turn for good in the land of Indonesia. God is not done with Indonesia, until the day she reaches the fullness of her calling.
Low Hui Juan, Jogja, Indonesia
CHI 03: 1-13 Aug 2016
In the months leading up to the trip, the team felt that God wanted to break through in the lives of the people of Guangxi. Thus, we decided on the theme “超越”, or “transcend”, for the youth camp that would be held from 4th to 6th August. We believed that God is going to bring greater breakthroughs in the lives of His people in Guangxi and set them free, transcending above their circumstances, their limits and to step into the destiny and calling that God has prepared for them.
Right from the start, God dared us to believe for more; to dare to dream of bigger things even as God brought about a miraculous increase in attendees, bringing the total number of campers to approximately 70, almost double that of the previous year’s. This was an outcome none of the team members had thought possible, but God is truly a God of the impossible. The youth camp was held over a period of two and half days, consisting of 5 sessions and various other activities. The 5 sessions were anchored by both members of the team as well as two local leaders.
Throughout the 5 sessions, the Word given by God impacted the youths as they learned to be secure in their identities as beloved children of God. They contemplated their motivations even as they grabbed hold of dreams which were once broken, but now restored by God. The last day of camp had a particularly powerful time of worship, as God’s thick presence fell upon the room and many had a personal and intimate encounter with God. Moreover, testimonies poured forth every night, especially on the last day of camp, greatly encouraging both the local body and the team.
The camp was largely headed and organized by the local team of leaders, a first for them. We had the privilege of seeing how God had raised them up and brought them into greater areas of ministry and responsibilities; we are anticipating for more!
*images have to be blurred for the safety of the congregation
In our time of preparation for the trip, God also impressed upon our hearts to reinforce the lessons of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that were taught to the kids in Sunday School. Hence, we decided to use the “Fruits of the Holy Spirit” as the theme of the children’s camp which was held during the second week of our trip.
The children’s camp was held over 3 days, with praise and worship, lessons and worship art as well. The lessons were taught by different members from both the Singapore team and the local church. It was accompanied by either a game or craftwork to reinforce their learning. We also had a live skit at the start of each day to exemplify the fruits of the Spirit in practical daily situations that the kids would be able to understand.
On the second day, we had a few kids coming up to share their testimonies followed by a salvation call. What an amazing joy it was to see many kids coming forward to give/rededicate their lives to Jesus! Among the 41 children attending the camp, 11 were newcomers of which 10 accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior for the very first time!
Another memorable segment was worship art, where we would play some soaking music in the background at the end of the day while we encouraged the children to draw on a piece of paper what God is speaking to them. Throughout the 3 days, we witnessed how God spoke to the children. By the third day, even some of the newcomers who did not know what to write/draw initially now had so much to write/draw.
Throughout the camp, the children displayed such hunger for the Word of God. Even as we taught on the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we ourselves were inspired by the earnest desires for the things of God. Members of the team who had been to Guangxi previously were also particularly encouraged by the growth that they see in some of the older children and how they’ve come to a greater level of intimacy in their walk with God.
Andrew Chong, Guang Xi, China
Phi 06: 31 Oct – 5 Nov 2016
The God of Small Things (Dental Missions)
By Joanne Hioe
You wouldn’t have guessed the person looking at your teeth, dressed in scrubs, would be half of a modern-day Priscilla and Aquilla – until you’ve met Jeremy and Ker Shin. This couple with the beautiful smiles love God, love missions, and best of all, they aren’t afraid to deal with life’s realities of head-on – such as pulling teeth.
Both dentists, who met at university (though they were not seeing each other at the time), regularly commit their time to serving God in the mission field through their professional skill – dentistry. Their willing hearts have brought them from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and most recently, to Santiago, in the Philippines.
“What impact can a short-term mission trip make?” ask many medical professionals, especially as one-time treatment for chronic diseases may do more harm than good. But for Jeremy and Ker Shin counter one question with another: “If I can help one person, why not?” Dental missions can still make a positive difference, the couple affirms, because what you see as a small investment may be of great help in the long term.
“There are people we serve in Cambodia who tell us that the last time they had a dental checkup was when we went one year ago,” said Ker Shin (possibly more often than many Singaporeans…).
Ministering as part of the larger body of Christ
For the duo, the experience of Bless Santiago was unlike any other. First of all, this massive team of 80 meant a greater capacity to reach out together. Unlike previous trips, where teams were sent out specifically for dental missions, Bless Santiago put the dental team in close contact with other ministries in the church. “The hands and legs team was amazing,” enthused Jeremy. “We only needed to explain what had to be done in the sterilization room in the morning, and by evening it was automatic.”
Each of the “body” complemented the other. With cross-ministry teams, the Singapore team could love the Filipino community in a holistic manner – body, soul and spirit. “Even while waiting for the doctor, the freedom ministry was on standby to pray for the patients,” Jeremy said. It helped to have the cheerful, irresistibly warm volunteers of the freedom ministry break the ice when a person in dental scrubs could appear intimidating.
In between moments of extracting teeth, there still were rewarding opportunities for dentists to minister Christ. “When we pray with them, we can share the gospel,” Jeremy said. Such spiritual deposits last longer than the effect of a checkup, because the person you share the gospel with will remember the work you have done later on, he added.
Going on mission trips helps Ker Shin rediscover her God-given passion for the profession – helping others, and education. “Going on mission trips helps me to remember the root of why I do what we do,” smiled the mother of two. Wanting to inculcate her passion for missions in her children, she is looking forward to bringing her elder six-year old daughter on a mission trip soon.
God is in the details – of teeth, children, and little seeds we sow for His kingdom. Nothing is too small for Him to use.
“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”
– 1st Cor 3:6
What can I do?
Are you a dentist? Go! Given the technical expertise needed for dental missions, your willing hearts are most welcome.
You’re not a dentist? Don’t fret – there’s still much that you can do.
1. Public health.
With training, you can teach others the importance of oral hygiene and tooth-brushing techniques.
Oral hygiene is not highly valued in developing countries because of the urgent need for money to satisfy one’s day-to-day needs. On one particular trip, Ker Shin found that tiny toothpaste tubes they bought were out for sale in the market the next day. With your help, we can put a stop to this, and make oral hygiene a priority.
Dentists need far more equipment than doctors, including their chairs and tools. Thus far, Cornerstone has been supportive of the purchase of dental equipment. With your giving, it could go even further.
CAM 03: 3-11 Sept 2016
My team of five other members and myself landed in Cambodia on the 3rd of September 2016, which marked the beginning of a series of events that would leave an indelible mark on many of our hearts. Upon arrival, my team and I quickly took in the sights and smells of this new land before meeting the core leaders of a local church that Cornerstone is connected to for a prayer meeting. The prayer meeting saw a team of Cambodians eager to see God rain down upon their land. This got me excited about what would happen over the next few days; I was certainly not disappointed!
Our team of six people broke into two groups and went to different areas over the next few days; half of the team went to Solomon Independent School, and the other half went to visit Daughters of Cambodia.
Stella Kwan, a teacher on the Singapore team, was part of the group that went to Solomon Independent School. For three days, the team taught the students and trained the teachers. They also introduced Physical Education (PE) to them, which brought great delight to the little children. Being a seasoned school teacher herself, Stella was able to bring valuable insight as to how the school could be better structured so as to provide greater quality education to the children. While her contributions to the school were evident, Stella insisted that she was at the receiving end of the blessing. She recounts that “Phnom Penh has been a place of blessing; from having a cup of coffee while looking out into the green field, to hearing the sound of children strolling into class with their energized smiles. The children in Solomon Independent School are so naive and innocent, and are a grateful lot. They exuded a sense of contentment that was unfortunately uncommon in many Singaporean kids. I really enjoyed my time there with God in the midst of nature and also with the people of Cambodia, especially the children.”
While basking in the wonderful time shared with the children, the seasoned teacher was also able to quickly recognise the needs of the school and how Cornerstone Singapore could better assist them in the coming days. Stella noted that “while the Solomon International School has lots to offer, there seem to be many apparent and great needs too. For instance, while the teachers are doing their best to educate the students, they received little training, lacking the required expertise and knowledge as to how best to nurture the children using the existing resources. The brief time that I had with them made me aware of the need for a trainer to be on site during their school term for an extended period of time so as to better assist and support them in their teaching.” The work done in the past few days had undoubtedly improved the standard of teaching but we believe that more can be done and are excited to see how God will use this school in the coming days to touch the community.
Meanwhile, the other team visited Daughters of Cambodia, a ministry devoted to supporting those trapped in the sex industry of Cambodia, empowering them to walk free and start a new life. Those who were saved from the sex industry were given employment opportunities in their non profit businesses. Some of which included working in a factory that designed bags and handcrafts, and a café. I had the privilege of being a part of this team and to say the very least, it was one of the absolute highlights of the trip. For about four hours at a time, we would sit around and have the staff and volunteers come in one after another to share their prayer needs and praying with them. During the brief 10-15 minutes we had with each of them, Holy Spirit led the prayer, allowing us to minister to their hearts.
I was so excited when I heard what we were going to do because I have always wanted to release the heart of God to people accurately and see God move in the lives of the people around me on a consistent basis. However, when we finally got down to doing so, I had many fears about how it will turn out. And for as long as I felt the pressure to hear accurately from God, I simply could not do so, and it really frustrated me. Thankfully, I was soon reminded that the whole purpose of this ministry time is not about me releasing accurate words of prophecy, but about the people being ministered to and touched by the love of God. I have learned that at the end of the day, the goal is love and not performance.
That reminder radically changed my entire approach to the ministry time. Instead of focusing on receiving a word, my focus shifted to loving and caring for each person the same way I thought Jesus would. I began giving my fullest attention to each person I was talking to, and prayed for each of them by name. I realized that as when I chose to love and fully care for the person in front of me, the words naturally flowed. It seemed as though the temperature of love that I set in my heart was an ideal condition for God to put a small piece His heart in mine. Soon, I witnessed God touching the hearts of the people we were ministering to and healing their bodies.
One lady was healed from pain that she experienced in her ears for two weeks! Before prayer, she said that her ears would hurt whenever the wind brushed against her and that she would feel light headed and weak. After the prayer, she joyfully remarked that the pain had completely left her, no longer feeling light headed but she felt strength come into her! Seeing her face light up with such joy when she realized what God had done for her made me so happy! Another staff excitedly exclaimed that he got healed of a pain in his back that had been there for a long time. Many of the girls we ministered to shared with tears in their eyes about how the words that the team released spoke so much to them as it was the very thing their hearts were worried and concerned about. This experience taught me that love is really the foundation of the prophetic ministry; when we love, we will be able to move in sync with the God who loves, releasing the heart and power of God to the people around.
Jasmin Zhan, who was also part of the team who went to the Daughters of Cambodia ministry, felt that the time spent there was the most significant part of the trip for her. She recounted that “we prophesied, released inner healing, deliverance and the beauty of Jesus into their hearts. I was impacted by the hunger of the people who desired to hear from God with such simple hearts. It was an open heaven experience for me where impressions and visions from God just came one after another for His beloved children. I could not hold back the tears from rolling down my cheeks as I released God’s heart. I am thankful to God for being able to be His vessel that channels His love to my fellow brothers and sisters. This trip has taught me to put my confidence in God and not be afraid to walk in the supernatural.”
I am glad to share that through this trip, Jasmin was not the only one who had overcome the fear of walking in the supernatural. In fact, over 40 missionaries were trained and equipped to walk in the prophetic and to release the supernatural in their various spheres of life. My team and I spent the rest of our time in Cambodia with a group of missionaries from various ministries as we sat under the teaching of Pastor Dian who gave an in depth lesson about the prophetic and spiritual warfare. Through several sessions, many learnt about hearing God consistently and releasing the heart and power of God to the people around. The missionaries in attendance shared how grateful they were to have attended the training, and one of the attendees remarked that it was a wonderful, powerful and helpful session. During one of the sessions, all the participants were randomly grouped with people that they did not know and were asked to prophesy over each other. Many, including myself, received words of encouragement and were touched by God’s love. So many of us left the few days of training not just encouraged, but further equipped to do the work of the ministry.
We ended the trip back where we started – with the local church where Pastor Dian preached at the main service, where once again, many were encouraged and strengthened by the word.
Those few days in Cambodia seemed to have done so much in our hearts; learning more about the prophetic, breaking fear and other limitations that previously held many of us back from stepping out. There is so much that could be shared but suffice to say, I am so thankful to have gone for the trip and am tremendously blessed to have experienced and learnt what I did in my brief time there. Once again, what started as a desire bless the land of Cambodia turned out to have blessed me tremendously instead. God is just so good!
Compiled & written by
Cheryl Lek, Cambodia
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
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
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!
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