PHI 04: Marikina, Philippines (PART 2)

13 – 17 Sept 2017

Day 3 – Orphanage / Girl’s Home

At the orphanage. We took Polaroids of every child, made photo frames and asked them to write what they loved most about themselves, to affirm that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in Christ.

 

Generosity was the recurring theme of the day: a 13 year old asked to take a polaroid with Donna, then told her that it was for her to keep. Also, we made friendship bands at the girls’ home, but they actually outdid us by teaching us even more intricate knots. We ended up learning much more from them instead. At the end, a young girl called Angel even approached Christiane and gave her the beautiful friendship band that she had made.

 

This really moved us, as to these children, we were mere strangers. But they put themselves aside sharing what they had, just like the poor widow in Mark 12; her two cents were declared by Jesus as the largest offering of all, because it came from the heart. Their Christ-like hearts in that moment humbled and inspired us.

 

Day 4 – Cornerstone Marikina Sermon on Adoption

 

At Cornerstone Marikina’s Sunday church service, Gerald Clark, Founder of The Home for Good Foundation, shared his powerful testimony of adoption and his orphan-care ministry. Led by the spirit, Pastor Kathy closed with her story of her own two adopted babies and its accompanying struggles. This resonated with many of our teammates who’ve either been healed of orphan spirits in the past, or have a heart to adopt.

 

Pastor Kathy encouraged us that she has never seen the Spirit flow as strongly and freely as with our team – “You can tell that this team has prepared and prayed for their trip”. God had honoured our willingness to go beyond what was required! Let this be an encouragement for all who have yet to go out – intercession is crucial! The mission begins the minute you sign up.

 

 

Throughout the trip, it never ceased to amaze us how God has clearly given Filipinos such strong, innate musical giftings and a love for music as a nation. Through these, we can already see God moving and touching lost sheep in Marikina. It is a promise of much more in the future, where Philippines as a country will use music to save nations and bring countless people back to Christ.

 

We left Marikina with a deep burden to pray for more provision as well as labourers to continue sowing seeds in the hearts of Marikina’s children, elderly and homeless. With such little time spent there, we knew that more missionaries still need to come and help them foster a deeper heart change towards Jesus. Our earnest hope is for them to be surrounded by the unceasing embrace of our Father’s loving presence, and to know in their hearts that they are special, they have a purpose, and that they will never, ever be abandoned.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

 

Written by
Christiane and Donna on behalf of the Marikina Phil 04 Team

Photography by Kate and Matthias

PHI 04: Marikina, Philippines (Part 1)

13 – 17 Sept 2017

 

Day 0 – Arrival

 

Top to bottom, left to right:
Joel, Terry, Pastor Monroe (Marikina),
Victoria (Marikina), Rachel, Kate, Pastor Kathy (Marikina), Christiane, Donna, Li Min, Joshua, David, Matthias, Gabriela, Madeline and Spencer

 

The Great Commission resonated strongly in our hearts months before our flight. From the beginning, we made a commitment as a team to go beyond what was required: meeting weekly to intercede for Marikina, worship, bond and prepare thoroughly with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Because of the intentional seeds we invested in the hope of seeing God’s glory and power break through, we left for Marikina that day as a family on fire: 6 brothers and 7 sisters coming together to serve our Lord.

 

Together with Pastor Kathy and her team, we shared God’s Word, our testimonies, words of knowledge, home-cooked meals, and led the Filipinos in worship, dance, stories and activities. Many of us stepped out in faith to pray fervently for the people. We saw how our Father moved among His children; proving that He is a God of kept promises. He performed the same signs and wonders in the Bible that we were trusting Him for; the deaf heard, the lame walked, pain ceased, hearts opened, and people were healed physically, emotionally and spiritually!

 

Day 1 – Kamada Home (Street Families)

 

On makeshift benches in what looked like a run-down classroom, we dove right into ministry with 80 adults and children from Kamada’s street families; all living together in crowded quarters upstairs. Some young mothers carried their infants and sat amidst the crowd as Cornerstone Marikina’s team led worship, followed by Christiane’s beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” (pictured above).

 

After acting out the Sin-Chair skit, Gabriela taught about God’s promise to save those stuck in sin, and Donna shared about how God transformed her life. Despite it being their first time, it was humbling to witness how the Spirit flowed and tied everyone’s parts together seamlessly.

 

Some highlights from ministry time include an old lady who was mute and almost completely deaf since childhood, whose hearing was instantly restored after prayer. There was also a 10 year-old girl (below) paralyzed from her hips down since infancy, due to meningitis. After the laying of hands and intercession, she regained sensation in her legs and could stand and walk with aid for the first time in her life!

 

Boys’ Home

The boys were bursting with excitement when we began praise and worship, especially during our music performance. They mimicked all of our dance moves and we played Tug-Of-War (below). During Matthias’ sharing about identity, we noticed a change in the spiritual atmosphere.

 

Factory Workers

Meanwhile at the factory, David preached about how God desires to deliver His children from their sin and struggles, sharing a powerful testimony of his uncle whose debts were completely cleared overnight when he trusted God for breakthrough. According to the full-time staff, that night was the first time he saw so many workers responding to an altar call (above: 60% of those attending), compared to the usual 1 in 10 people.

 

 

 

Day 2 – Old Folks’ Home

After a hilariously heartwarming dance medley by the Lolas, we broke into three groups led by Christiane, Joel and Spencer; each sharing their personal testimonies in different parts of the compound.

When Spencer ended his teaching in the main hall with the bold statement, “Jesus come and explode in healing”, throngs of old folks were moved by the Lord to respond to the altar call (below).

 

 

 

In the ward for well-behaved Lolas, there was an old lady who was previously wheelchair-bound and now in a walker due to severe leg pain. After praying once, she could stand for the first time in months, but still could not walk due to curled toes. So we prayed again – her toes uncurled and she was completely healed, walking around the room without any help or pain! From this, God taught us the power of persistence and prayer on the mission field.

 

Afterwards, we related a vision that God wanted to give her a special present. We encouraged her to ask God what was inside, and with tears in her eyes, she told us that He had given her a new pair of sandals. What boundless love and good gifts our Heavenly Father has for each of His children!

 

Looking back, divine healings followed wherever we trusted in the Lord and called upon his Spirit: swollen joints, stomach pain, neck stiffness, impaired vision and even paralysis from stroke were healed in Jesus’ name. Many arms and legs that could not move were now fully functional, swinging and kicking for all to see. God truly exploded in healing miracles that day!

 

Written by,
Christiane & Donna on behalf of Marikina, PHI 04
Photography by Kate & Matthias

Part 2 will be published soon, stay tuned!

PHI 03: Marikina, Philippines

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!

Women’s Prison

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.

 

INDO 01: Batam, Indonesia

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:

  1. The distance from Harbourfront to Batam is actually closer than Pasir Ris to Jurong!
  2. 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.

 

Written by

Luke Tan Ming Li
INDO 01, 2017
Batam, Indonesia

 

MSIA 01: Miri, Malaysia

28 Nov – 05 Dec 2016

Before the trip, I questioned why I was signing up for mission trip. I felt in my heart that was time for me to go for missions. Miri was not my first choice, however, as I was praying, God brought that to mind. He reminded me that if I do not go then who will; for the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. I am really glad that I obeyed God and I have no regrets going. It changed my perception and I learned how to see from the heart of the Father and learning to see from His perspective.

The trip was held at a village called Rumah Ampik where helpers come from Cornerstone Singapore, Cornerstone Miri and BEM Cornerstone (Borneo Evangelical Missions). Most of us from Singapore did not know Bahasa Melayu so the other two churches helped as translators for us, and the youth camp coordination. I felt the Lord telling me that He loves this place and He wants pour His Love on this people here in the village during one of our trips to visit the campsite before the youth camp began.

 

 

Throughout the camp, when Pastor Sabrina preached about vision and action, I was so happy that almost all of the children have dreams of what they want to be in the future. Pastor Sabrina asked them to write down their vision and action plan in the paper to remember what they dreamed to do. Truthfully speaking, I was really blessed to be part of this mission trip because not only did we give, but we also received much from the trip itself. During the last night of the camp, kids were testifying of their dreams. One of the children name “Jane” wanted to become an evangelist when she grows up and another wanted to become a worship leader. There were many more testimonies of the dreams of children wanting to go into ministry!

 

 

As I looked back, I believe God has a lot more in store for us and He wants to see us walking in deeper intimacy with Him, stretching our faith. He wants to do a work of acceleration in our lives and bring us to a place where we desire to come to a place of full maturity in Him!

 

 

Written by,

Philbert Tan, Miri, Malaysia

PHI 15: Marikina & Montalban, Philippines

7-12 Dec 2016: PHI 15

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
Isaiah 60:1

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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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Team PHI 15 and the staff from Marikina (Tontie and Ate Avic)

 

Written by
Jia Jie, Marikina, Philippines