9-14 Aug 2017
For most of us in the team, this missions trip to Philippines was our first missions trip. As such, the team was really excited yet, nervous, as to what this trip held in store for us. We set forth with expectant and open hearts to what God could do through this trip. Moreover, we also partnered with another team from Emmanuel Assembly of God (EAOG) for the entire duration of the trip which was indeed a blessing.
Our team photo at the airport before we embarked on our journey to Philippines!
The first place we visited was the women’s prison. Most of us held a preconceived idea that a prison will be a rather cold, unfriendly and dark place. However, the place was drastically different from what we imagined. The women were able to freely move around within the compound, and in actuality, these women were so full of joy that it did not dawn on us that they were in a prison. Our team prepared a special song item, titled “Good Good Father”, for the women. After the song was sung, Pastor Kathy said that she felt the presence of an angel singing alongside our team member who presented the song. This greatly encouraged us and set the tone for the rest of the session. A representative from each team took turns to give a message; amazingly, both teams have prepared a message from the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. The message touched the hearts of the women and that they were thoroughly engaged, some were even shedding tears during the message itself. Indeed, the presence of God was evidently felt during the session.
Boys’ Home, Girls’ Home and Orphanage
The following places we went to were the boys’ home, girls’ homes, and the orphanage. Initially, we were a bit hesitant to take the initiative to approach the children. However, we soon felt at ease with them and we just realized that happiness can be so simple; just taking a photo with them, playing simple games, or even carrying them on our backs could plaster such huge smiles on their faces. It was then that Matthew 25:40 resonated so strongly in me. Whatever we are doing for these children, who were supposedly cast aside by society – a hug or just loving them – we were doing it unto our Lord Himself. Also, many of us told the children that they were beautiful, which reminded me of Psalms 139:14, that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, each of them precious in God’s sight.
Our theme for the children’s ministry was dreams – how God has destined for them to dream big dreams that will glorify Him. Coincidentally, the team from EAOG was doing their ministry revolving around the theme of “Restoration”. When we pieced together our individual themes, we slowly began to see God’s overarching plan of how He wants to restore the children and then, dream big dreams for Him. We saw many children being touched by the Father’s heart and had an avenue to share the dreams that God has birthed in them.
The boys at the boys’ home posing with their handmade crafts!
One of our team members posing with the girls at the girls’ home (with the trademark Korean heart sign!)
Interacting with the children at the orphanage.
Old Folks’ Home
The last place we visited was the old folks’ home. It was a place that really left a huge impact in our hearts. Hundreds of elderly were housed within a small compound and some of the living conditions left a few of us in tears as we just felt so much empathy from within. However, during the later part of our session where we interacted with the elderly, we could feel that our companionship and conversations made them so joyful; that was enough to bring immense warmth to our hearts.
The elderly joining us for songs & dance!
On our last day of the mission trip, our team went to Cornerstone Community Church, Marikina. We first attended the main service with Ps Kathy preaching. When we reached the venue, instantaneously, it felt like our own service back at home! After a short lunch, we sat in for the Generations (youth) service. The atmosphere was lively after a series of games and forfeits. One of our team members shared regarding the season of rain to encourage the youths to press on for their school outreaches. Because of the typhoon that happened recently, some Geners went back to school for make-up lessons. However, thank God that many of the outreach leaders were present. When our team prayed for the youths, we were greatly impacted and felt that their hearts were so hungry and on fire for God.
One of our team members preaching with a translator.
Though we started the trip with another team from EAOG, we ended as one huge team – a body of Christ. It was so fascinating to see how our messages and activities were in sync. Even though we may be teams from different churches, we still serve the one and only true God. As what Ps Yang said, it takes a citywide church to bring in a citywide revival. We had the absolute privilege to see a glimpse of that in our time in Marikina. Overall, I can proudly say that it has been an extremely blessed mission trip.
Our last photo with Ps Kathy before we bid our goodbyes.
28 Aug – 3 Sept 2017
A team of 6 members comprising 4 sisters and 2 brothers embarked on our journey to Yangon with mostly first timers; except for myself, who was there last year for the children’s prayer retreat. We visited 3 sister & partner churches, two children homes, several homes and slum areas. On the first night, we were in awe of the worship by the students from the ministry school which opened heavenly portals. The abiding presence of God remained strongly felt as we continue the rest of our journey.
We visited two children’s home (Pastor Caleb’s and Pastor Nandar’s) and were overwhelmed by the children’s warm reception. We were also very impressed with how well-behaved the children were! They helped out with everything in the house such as cleaning the common areas, cooking, and the older children took care of the younger ones. The team put up a puppet show about the life of Daniel and played games with them. Everyone had a tremendous time together!
Prior to visiting Pastor Nandar’s children home, we felt that it was important to bless the children and to reaffirm their importance to God. As we spoke the words of blessing, we believe that there will be a change in their mindsets, not only catching a glimpse of who they are in Christ but also as mighty warriors, remaining as a lasting impression for them.
Our hosts brought us by train to the slum area to share the gospel. After splitting into 3 groups, we separated into the various alleys. The houses in the slum area were small. Most only had a room in which the occupants ate, rested and slept. Thank God for His grace as the entire experience was mostly easy for us. All we had to do was to share the gospel or testimonies and quite a number of the residents readily accepted Christ into their lives! It seemed as if the seeds had been sown and all we had to do was to reap.
We have recorded a total of 19 salvations and will keep them in prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to lead and guide them. For the rest of the families who have yet to receive Christ, we are grateful for this opportunity to sow seeds in them, and believe it is only a matter of time before they are saved.
Ps Nandar’s Ministry
Wednesday morning, after devotion, we went to Ps Nandar’s home where she occasionally holds her ministry for HIV patients and other invited guests. The people were from the vicinity of the village. The team shared their wonderful testimonies.
Lawrence preached a sermon on having the joy of the Lord. One of the villagers shared a testimony of how the Lord healed her. She was coughing blood and had to be admitted to hospital. They prayed the whole night for her and the next day, the doctor diagnosed that there was nothing wrong with her. All glory to God! A man brought his family for the meeting and his whole family of 4 received salvation. As the team ministered to the people, the Holy Spirit descended and the presence of God was very strong. It was truly a memorable morning.
Nga Su Taung Cornerstone Church
We taught them the power of the name of Jesus Christ and His blood, with a focus on how to deal with and be delivered from negative emotions. This was followed by practical training and declarations. During ministry, the Holy Spirit moved powerfully and the majority fell under His power and were touched. God is so awesome and we witnessed God’s love, power and glory that morning!!!
MYN 01 (collectively), 2017
29 June – 3 July 2017
Syaloom! Our team pioneered the first ever courier trip to Gereja Bethel Rohulkudus (GBR) church in Batam.
Some #funfacts for you, readers:
- The distance from Harbourfront to Batam is actually closer than Pasir Ris to Jurong!
- I took about the same time to get from Batam to Harbourfront, compared to Harbourfront to my home in the northeast
GBR church is situated within the village area south of Batam. It serves the local community with the focus of running children ministry programs in the surrounding neighbourhoods. The meetings are often held in the various houses of the villagers. GBR also has about 20 Bible students, aged 16-30 years old, who reside within the church with the responsibility of running the programmes.
On our first children’s ministry session, I teamed up with Jeannie, Wei Kian, and 3 students. We headed to a nearby village about a 15-minute drive away. As we got off the vehicle and walked towards the house where the gathering was held (only accessible by foot), Daniel Aritonang – a son of GBR, started calling out the names of the children as we walked by their houses. One by one, we would see them excitedly run out of their houses and follow Daniel as we marched towards the gathering place.
Almost instantly, we were reminded of the gospels where Jesus called out His disciples to follow Him. From a young age of 2-10, these children gather at the house every week to worship, pray and learn about God. It was amazing to see the energy and passion that the Bible students had for God and the children. This same passion was reflected in the children during times of worship and prayer. Clearly, this is a picture of discipleship.
Daniel Aritonang (left), as he enters the house where the children gather
Children praising and worshipping God
The church runs such gatherings around the surrounding villages everyday, up to twice daily. It may also be done concurrently at different venues as the students are allocated to different places. As for our contribution to the ministry, we prepared crafts and games, which we would then use to illustrate a teaching.
Drawing and colouring on a paper plate crown to signify us being children of God I
Drawing and colouring on a paper plate crown to signify us being children of God II
Apart from children’s ministry, the team was often put on a spot when we were asked to share a word, a testimony or even sing a song. Thankfully, we had this covered as preparing a message was part of our pre-trip preparations. Over the next few days, we each took turns to share in the bible students’ devotional time, two youth services and two main services on Sunday. At times, we were led to pray for the students as well as various individuals among the community.
Praying for the daughter-in-law of Pastor Pantas and her son, Miguel who lived in the same house as us during our stay.
GBR is a church that spans way beyond its four walls. While they may not have much as compared to the churches in Singapore, Pastor Pantas Aritonang, founder of GBR, shared that 10 years ago, a missionary prophesied that there would never be lack in GBR; that God would provide for every necessity. From providing food for over 30 people residing in GBR daily, running children ministries all over, bills and many more – all these were evidence of His providence. God is doing a great work through GBR in Batam and we were indeed blessed to be a part of the GBR family for the 5 days.
Group shot with the GBR family at Barelang bridge
For most of us, Batam was our first mission experience. Despite Batam being so close to Singapore, we saw for ourselves how the two cities are worlds apart. Our hearts are enlarged as each of us return home with the question, ‘What about my community and how may God use me?’
P.S. I strongly recommend this trip for students and youth who may be tight on budget but wish to experience the mission field. Remember my #funfacts? Now go! And be a blessing to the nations.
Luke Tan Ming Li
INDO 01, 2017