What an eclectic bunch we must have looked at the airport! With an age range stretching from a 15 year old school girl through to a 74 year old granny, plus a mixture of cultures, it wasn’t your standard travelling group. But it was a great reflection of the composition of our congregation from our sending church at Manukau City Baptist Church.
The team had four very different experiences:
OMF Manila was our base, and our recovery spot! This is where one of our church missionaries, Ruth Page, is based. Ruth has served for over 20 years with OMF.
Across multi cultures:
We worked with a German couple who minister to four different villages on the island of Marabut with some newly established Christian fellowships. The team got to run children’s programs, attend church and prayer walk through the villages. Praying was a highlight as we were invited into homes and schools, or even just out on the village pathways.
WAY out of our comfort zone:
Living for four days in a remote village of 26 families who spoke very little English was challenging, but exciting! We saw God communicating in amazing ways. A highlight was singing in the tiny church building in both English and the local dialect.
We spent several days sleeping in an urban church/school an hour north of Manila. This was where two more of our church missionaries are based. We preached and led worship in the church and ran a children’s program. The highlight was fellowshipping with other believers and seeing their excitement in their faith.
The team quickly learned three things: be ready for anything, be ready to adapt and be ready to close the chapter on one experience to get ready for the next one God had in store. They also learned to love rice, love jeepneys and love the locals!
To sum the experience up in six words, we only had to look to the abridged memory verse that we had taught children in the Philippines: God helps us. Never stop praying!
We returned home with a fresh desire to tell others about Jesus, a new appreciation of the challenges our missionaries face and excitement with what God can do through us when we follow Him.