My World Conference Highlights Part 2

Our heart is so full and our spirit filled with every great adventure and surprises God has lovingly prepared for all of us at the Every Nation World Conference so here’s part 2 of my highlights for this trip: Check out part 1 here

The faith stretching supernatural provisions

I have countless stories of our campus missionaries testimonies on how God has provided for them for this trip, from a family who has completely blessed one of our campus missionary airfare and free accommodation to a luxurious hotel, to last minute special gifts to a money being saved up 3 years before this event took place. We are so blessed to take part in this event, we thank God for provision, we thank God for sowing a vision in our heart, we thank God for everything has been deposited in our lives.

We are super proud of our campus missionaries (specially the younger ones) who took that step of faith to register super early to the conference and believed until the last end and saw God’s faithfulness.

The Global Friendships Built

Though I wont remember all the names of people I have met, the joy of having this so much friends from all over the globe was amazing. Everyone just keeps on building, connecting, eating out, inspiring one another, challenging each other’s faith to honor God and make disciples.

I’m so privileged to meet a LOT of students and campus missionaries from our family here in South Africa, and though externally we look super different coming from 2 continents-im glad to have heard the same passion and faith, some of the same challenges and struggles we all go thru as well as we pursue to advance His Kingdom. But the best part of it is the willingness to try and hear one another’s story, going the extra mile to connect and built even if we are continents apart and the desire to lock arms in building a stronger team to change the campus change the world!!

The Unceasing Passion to Reach the World

During the International Staff Meeting, our Regional Leaders were inspiring us on what God is doing in different continent- I saw so many heroes of faith, people who has laid down their lives in sharing the gospel no matter what the cost, pastors, missionaries, young professionals and even students are now on different parts of the globe sharing the love of Jesus to a world starving from the true Saviour and and real love.

But this scene touched my heart the most: our spiritual family in Europe consistently plowing thru hard soil, planting on the seeds on the gospel no matter how long it would take to bear fruit. This continent who has long been missionaries to the world has now become a ripe mission field and our leaders has called us the continents of Africa and Asia who has been recipients of the gospel from Europe to lock arms and GO and sow that same seed of the gospel back to this continent.

europe-1

Watch the video of the prayer here!

Let’s all set our alarm 9:38am every morning and pray for workers to be sent into this mission field, for partners to rise up and send more missionaries and for prayer warriors to intercede for Europe.

For everything the Lord has shown this week, everything He has made known, the people I have the privilege to meet, the places too beautiful for words, His presence that is so real and His love made tangible in every language and expression possible. Thank you Lord,You are the author of impossible dreams come true, our faithful Provider, our loving Father who bring us to the best adventure ever! The World Conference gave us a vivid picture of what you are calling us to do, the people from every nation gave us a glimpse of Your image in different colors, shapes, sizes, culture and age. And all together we say “Here we are! We will GO!!”

My World Conference 2016 Highlights

I can’t imagine where to begin writing about this experience- it’s supernatural, its awesome, a God-sized dream come, a history marker and a personal encounter all wrapped up in one only its so so so much more than that! But here goes some bits, pieces and nuggets of the grandest event this year in our Every Nation family:

A Picture of Consistent Committed Leadership

This week I got to see Ptr. Steve, Ptr Rice and Ptr Phil all in one event- the founders of our movement. I’ve known them since I was a student and in my almost 2 decades of being part of this family (I started in Kid’s church btw-hahaha joke!) –their consistency, commitment and character is a shining beacon of great leadership for me, more than their giftings, more than their vision, more than their accomplishments. I’m sure they are not perfect, but I love how their radical passion from the moment they stepped into our nation as fresh graduates is still as the same if not greater for sharing the gospel to the next generation.

founders
Salute to our founders and spiritual fathers, also took the chance                to photo-op with Ptr. Phil Bonasso 🙂

A Growing Multigenerational Movement

We are a multi-generational movement and as much as we put emphasis on raising up the next generation of leaders , the steady presence of our heroes of faith who has paved the way and remains to build also continues to inspires us to be pioneers and history makers, both is vital and important for our family. I have a glimpse of this attending the different workshops in the conference

From this young boy being trained by his mom to encourage and prophesy to our senior leaders at the Prophetic Workshop

boy

To this lovely couple in their golden years who just decided to be a cross cultural missionary in our Cross-Cultural Mixer:

what a great example of faith

Its never too late or too early to serve God!

This is Ethan sharing to me what he learned at the Kid’s church conference:

ethan

To these amazing people working behind the scenes:

bts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God has indeed called us ALL to GO and make disciples, no one is exempted!

The presence of loving spiritual fathers

One of my most favorite part of this conference is observing the dynamics of our leaders-in front, alongside and even behind the scenes. And while much is to be told of a lot of people’s humility and servant leadership, the evidence of having spiritual fathers is what Im most grateful about.

From making sure that our Jesus is the centre of the whole event more than the vision, to ensuring our core values is at the forefront, to emphasizing on raising up the next generation, to that gentle nudge that we have to be healthy and take time to rest, to a push to preach the gospel no matter what the cost is-this is fathering at it finest, God giving us spiritual fathers, God fathering us all throughout the process.

 

fathers
Our spiritual fathers praying for our regional leaders

 

More highlights on the next blog…

Cooking and Cross-cultural Campus Ministry

If there are two things I’m currently learning and re-learning right now- its cooking and campus ministry. I’ve always thought that because my mom has taught me to cook at the early age of 5 that I would never miss Filipino food because I know how to cook them, but going to another continent left me clueless as all the familiar things and ingredients I was used to being available is not easily found.

The same thing is to be said about doing cross-cultural campus ministry, you think you’ve trained and harnessed yourself in ministering to the youth of your nation and then all of a sudden God calls you to another continent, another culture, a totally different environment and now its step 1 all over again.Here’s some lesson’s I’ve learned 6 weeks in the beautiful nation of Kenya. May it be an encouragement to all cross-cultural campus missionary newbies:

Observe and enjoy the local food.                                                                Before I left the Philippines, I was talking with 2 veteran cross-cultural missionaries from Tibet and Nepal and I was asking them how do you learn the do’s and don’ts of nation as of course I don’t want to do anything offensive to the nation. They only have one answer: OBSERVE!!I found it so simplistic and yet one of the best advise I got.                                   So 6 weeks in here right now I’ve learned that as much as we love a daily dose of rice, Kenyans also has a regular pattern of eating and its generally meat and a variety of carbohydrates to go with it-ugali, chapatti, noodles, mash potato/unripe banana and yes occasionally rice.

On the other end, Kenya as I’ve observed is quite a religious nation (much like the Philippines), families value attending church together on a Sunday, most of the students I’ve met recalls being in kid’s church wether its Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian or Moslem. A lot of the students are often part of the church where their parents are in and they are not ashamed to say it. Taking note of this value and culture really helped us to focus the discipleship on asking questions on the depth of their relationship with God (vs teaching per se) and probing on their perspective on church and discipleship.

Stick to the basic food you’ve cooked hundred of times.                                So I found out I can only eat Kenyan food so many times, but my Asian palette would still come out. So I’ve tried cooking adobo- it was fine but the soy sauce here was different. The sopas really went well -its perfect for the weather here! Bistek also was well loved as beef here is super cheap and their staple meat. The not so successful ones are chopsuey-I guess its too oriental for their palate and beef caldereta- I couldn’t find the right tomato sauce here as I found out their catchup=tomato sauce.

Likewise going to the campus consistently, prayer walks, doing 121 and small groups is smoothly effective. There are a little bit of difference in how you approach it but applying the principles of discipleship truly works- no need to invent a new one just customize a bit so that it will be received better by the culture you are in. An example of this is how we package our small groups, in the Philippines we call it Victory groups, for here we are calling it “Discovery groups”, I thinks its quite a novel idea coming into a culture that is very much saturated with great bible scholars and teachers, it encourages our students to really encounter God personally thru His word, it gives them an avenue to speak up and say their thoughts about the passage and not just listen to an expert teacher.

Share recipes and learn the local cuisine.                                                        So far I really loved their nama-choma which is basically grilling of meats, (south Africans calls it braai)I enjoy it with kachumbari (salsa). I also enjoy chapatti (much like a burrito wrapper) with beef stew, as well as samosa (like empanada) with milk tea.

I have yet to attend a local church here but I would seriously love to, I hear some of the church around the neighborhood and them praying and worshipping for hours is really something I would love to be imparted on. One of the student is inviting me to attend a keziah- an overnight worship and prayer meeting-Im super curious, I’ll share with you once I got a chance to do it.

Some of the challenges they faced here as shared (which is much the same globally as well) to me by the locals are “missional” thinking- the urgency of evangelism and even the vision to disciple other nations; the heart of discipleship and Lordship- the knowledge of do’s and don’ts is very strong and evident, but the challenge of finding someone to walk you through the journey is much more real; a church that focuses on young people is also not common. I think any disciple of an Every Nation church would seriously see all these challenges as perfect opportunities and reason to plant churches here.

Barely short of 2 months and this nation has been such a great teacher to me, but the grace to learn and unlearn, the joy to persevere and trust, the commitment to grow and mature that I can only attribute to the best Teacher of all- Jesus!

Hello Kenya!

Today Im in a coffee shop in TRM Mall at Nairobi Kenya eating a hearty brunch celebrating my 3 weeks in Kenya. I can’t imagine how these 3 weeks have passed by so quickly -it seriously feels just being in a super long dream and yet Im wide awake.

20160611_115737Kenya weather has really been a dream coming from my country with almost 42 degrees heat index. It’s like having a fully air-conditioned city. The Kenyans are often well dress with their coats, lovely jackets, colorful dresses and boots-things we would love to wear in the Philippines but we would look odd in our tropical weather. I find that cooking here takes longer that what Im used to and hot pots are a must otherwise food will be cold in an instant. Hot milk tea is almost part of every meal and you’ll never find any ice around as there isn’t need of much. Kenyans love their juice, sodas warm and a hot tea, Cadbury cocoa and coffee is always a much better choice.

Kenyan food is very tasty and is always serve sumptuous by that I mean always a minimum of 3 cups of rice or a huge lump of its counterpart like mash potatoes, mash unripe banana, ugali (flour & maize) or noodles. They would always think im not eating well as they look at my plate, so for those who loves carbs- Kenya is seriously a good place for you, you would never be frown on asking for more rice.

20160611_151544
3 cups of rice minimum serving wow!! 🙂

So while chicken and fish are the most common protein we eat on the Philippines-i find that people here really really love their meats beef mostly, goat on a barbecue day, chicken are just serve when there is an occassion as its quite expensive and there are barely any seafood at all huhuhu, praise God there’s tilapia but its quite expensive really.

I find the people here are very warm and super friendly (seriously friendlier than Filipinos if there’s such a thing haha ). People on the road often greets you with “Sasa” slang for how are you? And you are more often than not really oblige to stop and just say: Im good or Im fine and greet them with a smile. When our students would arrive at our Sunday gathering, they would more often than not literally go around and say hi to everyone with a handshake. Hugging people here are quite a norm as I find the culture really very expressive in so many ways. conversations here are quite seriously very polite or it might just be as we are both using our non-local language.

20160529_094605
Maybe i should try this instead?? 🙂

Commuting is one thing I have yet to bravely do by myself-so far I only have the courage to take an uber. In the community I think Im the only Asian around and might be the only Musongo (foreigner) or I have yet to see another one. Being white or for any foreigner for that matter, as what the locals told me I will be often than not associated with being rich and having lots of money. They told me so many stories of how people steals phone-its crazy but Im just reminded of how it is for a foreigner to be as well in Metro Manila, it gave me more compassion for the Internationals in my nation as well. Keeping safe is thus a great priority in certain areas and Im glad that God has been keen on doing that for me.

Surprisingly amidst the poverty, there are few people begging on the streets compared to the Philippines. I find Kenyans are very industrious and would take whatever job is necessary for their upkeep- there are a lot of guys who sells a bunch of bananas on the road, they also sell a lot of ukay-ukay (which is really good for me), there’s a lot of older men shining shoes, fruit stands are everywhere and still so many vendors walking just selling shoes, mugs, fruits whatever they can carry i guess. Surprisingly as well I find very manly guys being in the saloons-cutting hairs and sometimes even doing manicures which is quite interesting as its not something I would normally see in my nation.

So many more interesting facts and trivias to share about this nation but this one is enough for today. I thank God everyday for giving me the opportunity to know another culture and good and bad I welcome everything Kenya has to offer. Cheers to all the missionaries trying to cope in a new nation, I salute you for your bravery to embark on the unknown.

Traveling and faith building part 2

A few days ago my flight has gone and I was left behind as my visa for this dream gift trip has yet to arrive. We live near the airport and the constant sound of airplane passing by is cutting thru my heart. I don’t  know what God’s plan is but Im still believing that another way will be provided amidst all odds. Today Im going to look back again at God’s faithfulness to remind myself that though i might not get to understand all of His ways, His will is always good, pleasing and perfect. May you get encouragements as well as you journey in this faith building called traveling.
There’s a part 1 to this blog by the way and you can find it here:
I was looking for a very simple video to explain how our muscles grow and i found this one:
I find it very unique that before our muscles actually grow, they are first torn and we have to experience pain, before the proteins take action and repair happens.
How apt is it in real life that its almost parallel to how we build our faith muscles, so many seemingly random circumstances turning upside down before turning right side up, so many things will come up, so many questions to be answered before we see God’s actual purpose slowly unfold. No matter how much we try to wish the process is not such, God’s give us grace to endure, hope to keep on moving and faith to keep on looking forward.

Traveling to another continent: The Kenya Missions Trip

There’s a long but beautiful back story to this but for now Im focusing on the journey itself.

I’ve always dream of going to Africa-aside from being really fascinated with their culture, all the people i’ve met from there has easily become my friends and of course the safari!!

One day i just found myself being given an opportunity to join our first ever church-planting in Nairobi Kenya, I have mixed emotions about it. The thought of going to another continent, learning a new culture and planting a church happening all at the same time was quite (understatement) overwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless, by God’s grace, my leader’s affirmation and my friend’s and family’s support, I finally have the courage to go.

First there was the visa needed, I have 3 failed visa attempts going to the US before so this was the first challenge. I tried applying online but after a week long of trying to submit it nothing’s happening, please bear in mind that this was 2 weeks before i have to fly out. I tried doing the manual way but then they are asking new requirements not on the list. Just when i thought of giving up, i tried one last time and then it went thru. Three days later, it was approved miraculously.

Then it was time for the flight to be booked. As all my trips has been historically beating the deadline against all odds, this was no different. Im supposed to fly out Monday and I have set that Friday the week before, provisions by-faith should come otherwise i have to resign that Im not supposed to go. Friday came- I was full of faith!! yeah cmon!
But instead I wasn’t I was in fact too tired of convincing myself to believe
I was crying, praying and wondering why am I going thru this all over again. Then a message came and then a call and with it come’s the miracle of God’s provision. I cried lots because again God proved Himself to be faithful and on time. Kenya here I come!!

You would think that the storm had passed and there’s no more test but wait there’s more.
Hours before my supposed to be flight,there was a problem with my ticket
All my bags are literally packed and yes Im ready to go
After 2 hours of never ending phone calls and follow ups.
Yes I almost barely made it to my flight
But I did and I would never trade any of all these crazy experience for a smoother one

God gave me a crazy opportunity
He approved my visa in 3 days
Provided for my airfare in a week
Rerouted me to a better airlines in 2 hours
I have no contribution to this except my
fears,
tears,
doubts
complaints

Looking back i should have:
a. been more grateful than fearful of every God-given opportunity
b. looked for supernatural provisions than what my feeble sight could see
c. celebrated amidst the last minute mishap knowing that victory was already won

Next time I’ll do better, even as the faith muscles has been torn to pave way for a bigger one 🙂
Cheers to you who’s believing for an impossible miracle
To you who’s situation seems to be hopeless
To you holding on amidst all circumstances

Traveling and Faith Building part 1

As I’m writing this today I,m literally in faith for a trip I’ve been praying for quite some time. Supposedly I should be on the airport right now boarding on the plane going to a birthday trip given by my best friend but it seems other plans are in order. I should not be surprised! The truth of the matter is that all trips I’ve been outside the country were never normal,never worry free and never lacking in both adventures and excitement. You see traveling is one of my faith muscle builders!

My first trip
I had my first trip about 11 years ago, it was our school (School of World Missions) assignment to go on a 10 days Mission Trip and I couldn’t be more excited to travel outside the country for the first time. But the odds are against me, studying for 10 months is difficult as it is and we added in other subjects from ATS (Asian Theological Institute). That time my  financial partnership has dipped in to 50% less and raising partnership for the missions trip was excruciating doing in between reading 1 book a day, homework and not even having money to buy decent food. I did my best and as the song goes it wasn’t good enough to get me what I needed to raise up for the trip. Needless to say I was heartbroken, I have given up and settled things in my heart that I can no longer go.

But God has other plans, a day before my team is about to leave, my team leader called me and told me to go, I have 100 questions to which his reply was only “Bahala na si Lord, He will provide”
I have to wash and packed my clothes until 1am, I woke up late and crazy frantic as I need to travel from Los Baños to Clark for the first time, I packed my literally wet clothes as my friend drove me until Cubao, somehow I arrived in Clark, I was literally running and like in the movies I shouted as I saw my team getting ready for boarding. I made it, it was crazy but God pulled me through.

 

Here’s some nuggets from the faith building exercises God put me in this trip:
Our lack of hope and faith will never be a hindrance for God to move on our behalf. He remains faithful amidst our faithlessness.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], 
for He cannot deny Himself.  2 Timothy 2:13Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

Delays does not necessarily means no, it can sometimes just mean “Wait on God’s way!”

Hopeless situations are God’s specialty, don’t give up too soon.

I know given a choice I would have opted for an easy first time missions trip, but I’m glad that God’s faithfulness ensures I got to exercise my faith muscles every step of the way.

How are your faith muscles being “torn” or stretched recently?
How are you responding to it?
My prayer for you is that you’ll have the tenacity to endure the faith building exercises life throws in at you.

P.S.
Miracles of this trip:
Someone generously paid for my airfare
A family in Singapore hosted our team
Too many people feed us 🙂
I got to go home buying souvenirs for my family
So many miracles indeed
One faithful God to give glory to

Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 3

So this part took time as I’m preparing again for a new missions trip YAY!!
To read about the first 2 check out these links!
Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 1
Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 2

Today I will be blogging on our actual experiences on the mission field:

The Dreaded Immigration (insert horror background music here)
Philippines: After lots of prayer and speaking in tongues (quietly), I breeze a super early morning flight from PAL (Philippine Airlines) . This is only my second time flying out through PAL internationally, but I do find it easier going thru the immigration here than Cebu Pacific who grills you as if you don’t deserve having a vacation outside the country (Sorry Cebu Pac, too many bad experiences with you)
Vietnam: This was quick and easy thank you Lord!
Cambodia: The immigration was quick and easy as well but crossing the border was too confusing. The driver gave an instruction only in Vietnamese, (my gift of interpretation of tounges is not yet that fluent sir 🙁 ) we went down from the bus and just waited among a throng of people-all foreigners being clueless of what’s happening.
I realised i just need to stay calm, let them work out their system or the lack of it and just wait for your name to be called.

Welcome to the nations!
While Vietnam welcome us with warm sunshine, Cambodia literally soaked us with heavy rains, flooding level. We are soaked and jampacked in the tuktuk along with all our luggages. We found out historically that our first missionaries who stepped here in Cambodia 10 years ago were actually soaked with rain as well, but the supernatural part of it was that they are the only ones who were rained on while the whole place was dry- WHOAH! So Im thinking this might be the welcome or warning from the gods of the land. (insert walang makakapigil sa amin video)

Not our actual picture when we arrived, but this is how you packed a tuk tuk with your luggage.

Meet the Church

Greeted by so many happy faces in Cambodia!
I’ve always known Filipinos are super warm and friendly but I never fully appreciate it until I went on missions trip. Blame it on discernment I guess, but sometimes  I feel atrocities from people, a sense of cold stares as if they don’t want you on their nation, or maybe Im just not used to being unwelcomed :). 
Seeing our church mates for the very first time was really good- all of a sudden you feel at home (away from home) and you can just feel the life oozing out of them-they are so vibrant and alive, compared to the locals of their nation (who has yet to know Jesus). I super appreciate how warm and hospitable our churches are at different parts of the globe.
About Hospitality
Hospitality may seem to be too minor to be expounded, it can be easily ignored by some but clearly the Bible has a lot to say about it exhorting us to extend it even to strangers. So don’t underestimate the power of a cheerful face, those hands that helps carry luggages, the times you spent waiting and picking a guest from the airport, the money you invest in taking out people for lunch, dinners and coffee, and the home you lovingly prepared for someone to stay into. Kudos to you for showing Christ-like love even to the tiniest details.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV
Great company and great food, Vietnam is a mecca for all the foodies out there!

Lessons of a missionary newbie part 2

Our 11 days trip to Vietnam and Cambodia might be one of the top 5 things that happened to me this year for so many reasons but on top of the list will be that its a God- fulfilled promise. I’ve always have 3 nations in my heart Mongolia, Vietnam and Africa and Im glad that finally after many years of waiting i got to visit one of them.

I’ve learned so much from this trip and one of them is to celebrate diversity!! 
Sometimes in our head its our common default to lean along choosing people who are most likely like us-how we work at the phase we wanted and how we wanted it. But thank God we are too unique to find so many people like us, I think its God’s grace and mercy upon us that despite of how alike all our DNAs our (99.9% according to Science), we are made super different in so many ways.

I cannot even describe how unique we all are on our mini team of three. One loves to wake up really early while another stays up late to keep abreast with Eat Bulaga’s kalye serye. Two of us are adventurous foodie while the other would want to stick to a diet of unli rice and meat- true-blooded Pinay indeed! I love observing how different we all are and yet it never becomes an issue.
In terms of ministry one of us is a worship leader while the other one is a frustrated singer haha.
It doesn’t matter really because she’s the evangelist in our group, just leave her for a few minutes in any corner and minutes later you’ll find her having a new friend-she has a way of making people really feel comfortable when she’s around its a gift really. As for me, Im the organised teacher who takes super long time studying and organising everything.

In terms of preparation, i love how one of us is really good in the computer, she prepares all keynotes-no complaints, no questions ask just pure servant leadership! Initially I was supposed to go to this trip alone but I thank God’s providence and sovereignty He gave me a team. And what a team we made, while one is teaching, the other would be leading worship while the other one will be the host. On another end, while one is doing the workshop, another one will be the game master and the last one will take of the technicals. I love how we all take turns in doing what we love to do, what we don’t normally do, what we need to learn to do, excelling in how God wired us to be and yet in the same breath doing and learning what the circumstances called us to be. I do believe that we don’t need superstars in this line of work, rather team players who will do whatever it takes to win and shoot the ball as a team!

As we start our day every morning i love how one of us is just consistently sincerely grateful to everything God has done the day before, she prays from the heart every breakfast and im blessed just really watching her do it. And as we end our day, the other person just remains to be that perky, jolly person amidst our exhaustion, its always like her day is just starting no matter what time it is.

So here’s some encouragements to all team leaders of future missions trip:
a. no one is an accident in your trip, God has placed them in you team for a purpose
b. learn to spot and mine all the hidden gems every team member carries
allow them to shine in their element and be stretched learning a new skill
c. keep the healthy tension of being teachers and perpetual learners at the same time
d. be a constant encourager and set up your people for success
e. keep on modelling and learning, re-learning and un-learning even.

To Lynn and Melfer, my mission trip buddies, thank you for making me a better person in this trip!
Cheers to more front-row seat and God-sized adventures together!

Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 1

I’ve always wanted to go on a cross-cultural missions trip, but for some weird reasons i keep on getting denied. From a supposed to be long-term missions trip on Afghanistan the very reason i left my last job, all my 3 friends got to go except for me. And the saga continues, another trip to Mongolia that got postponed because of a super cold weather, and still another one in Mongolia where I was not chosen to be the staff to go. Even a study and a conference trip to US where my visa got turned down thrice.
But last September 17-28 turned out to be different. After 10 years I was out for my officially second missions trip with two other campus missionary-Lynn and Melfer. An odd group of three women but certainly not an accidental combination as I would relate later on. This blog is meant to chronicle some of the lessons I’ve learned as a newbie and hopefully you can glean something from it as well.

Lesson 1: Love for the nations begins with lots of preparation

Confession time- we barely had 2 months to prepare for this as we are doing this on top of all our everyday task at work.

Prepare yourself physically
Yeah of course you know this, but some people refuse to heed it so im writing it here hehe.
Aside from the fact that you don’t want to be hospitalised in another nation and be detained,
you also don’t want to be quarantined when you get back on your own nation-remember the yellow paper you have to fill up honestly.
Melfer was really smart in asking her nurse friend to give her a list of medicine must haves so that whatever slight sickness we have she got it covered-yay! So i suggest go have a list like that.


Lesson 2: Don’t underestimate the power of a healthy body in the mission field

Prepare yourself emotionally
I will keep it short and simply say- leave your personal baggages in your own nation (better yet deal with it) and carry only loads of peace, joy, and love.

Prepare yourself spiritually
On top of the very basic thing of not cramming your personal week long devotions a day before you go to the missions ( i know the struggle is real but so is God’s grace), dont forget to keep your prayer team informed. There’s so many ways to prepare yourself spiritually but i’ll just zoom into prayer team just for today.

Lesson 3: We can never have an overdose of prayers while in the mission field

Aside from our family and close friends, our prayer teams are the most informed people in our lives during the whole trip. Audaciously ask prayers from them, your family, friends, team even your FB friends. Even if just !% of my FB friends will be praying about what I posted that will still be 42 additional people interceding for us. Speak in tongues daily, pray unceasingly!

Prepare your team
 To keep things short and simple, lets put an acronym for this: VIP, nothing original just
Vision, Instruction and Prayer

Vision: Honor God, make disciples and be a blessing to the nations.
         Obey all of God’s instructions and seize every divine appointment

Instruction: Get and prepare as many materials as we can.

I was so blessed to have a team that will do whatever it takes to get the job done. We got so many materials you would think we are doing a month-long seminar 🙂 Melfer even brought books and manuals no matter how heavy they are. As for me Im privileged to have well-travelled bosses so i hijacked them for all the materials they used whenever they speak outside, I got notes on Leadership, Discipleship, Evangelism and Teams.

By faith we are nations-ready!

We prepared ourselves for whatever they will asks us to do. We got a lot of training materials and were just constantly studying and learning: Worship Service, Events Management, Discipleship Database,Power Evangelism, Five Dysfunctions of a Team and the list continues. What a blessing that we are all so diverse thus its easy to complement and amplify each other’s strength.

Lesson 4: For training materials focus on the value we have and the principles why we do what we do, teach them methods only as examples and not patterns to follow

Prayer: We prayed on the plane, prayed on the taxi, prayed on the bus even in the tuk-tuk, we prayed every breakfast, prayed even when the event is already ongoing. Im glad no one among us was an expert missionary that it really drove us everyday to really depend on God’s strength, grace and wisdom.

Prepare for the unexpected

On top of all the crazy preparations, one thing we cant prepare is teaching all the trainings with a translator :), this is a skill we have to learn on the spot! We navigated when to pause, what words to use to make it clear and simple, when to cut our sentences and when can we do paragraphs, what illustrations are best and what examples can they relate to. This whole experience is completely a Holy Spirit moment as we allow Him to teach us words to use, discern right timing and relevant stories to share, otherwise we would not have survived this exercise 🙂

Lesson 5: Good communication skill is a must to missions keep on mastering it!

So this is just a tip of the iceberg of this exciting journey called Missions.
I hope to continue writing everything we have learned though i know as early as today that there will be no words enough to capture every God-sized adventure we undertake. Cheers to more front row seat to what God is doing to the nations!

When random students becomes world changers!



I found a random Throwback picture of me and my friends way back when I was still a skinny student in college, it was a picture taken at one of the graduation in UPLB, as a church and as a spiritual family, we have this tradition of yelling our hearts out during graduation as the speaker would call out the names of our churchmates one by one. This is how the picture looks like:





Before this blog ends, I’ll show you exactly these random students but with the twist of God’s fingerprint on the story. (Please read the whole thing, don’t scroll down right away for the ending J)
I came to chance upon this picture as I have been privileged to preach the last topic of our series entitled Throwback. The goal of the series was to look back at some famous quotes from our church and reinforce the core values we have as a movement. My quote: A bible and a passport!

“From the very beginning we told new believers that they would need a “Bible and a passport” if they were serious about being Matthew 28 disciples. They would need the Bible in order to know God, and they would need the passport in order to go into all the world and make disciples”.-as the our founder of our church Ptr.Steve Murrell would say.

A bible and a passport! Living in the province, barely getting by in life, not experiencing the luxuries of traveling as some rich kids would have- this was indeed a tall order, an impossible one dare I might say as most of us hearing this in church during that time were students struggling with our grades, just privilege enough to be studying in a school subsidized by the government.
What were our leaders thinking instituting Missions in our core value? Why is our church, consisting of only 30 people (back in the 1990s) hearing about all these philosophies of going out into all the nations, isn’t it absurd and audacious to ask these people to bless other nations at the state they are in?

Let’s travel back in time 2000 years ago, when a bunch of random fishermen heard almost the same pitch but this time in a loud and clanging cymbal:
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Stated in this very famous verse are the words:

GO!

MAKE DISCIPLES

OF ALL NATIONS!

It couldn’t be more clearer than the way it was said and the order it was written, Jesus commissioned the untrained, unschooled  seemingly random bunch of fishermen to make an impact to the nations and change the world! That calls remains today for everyone out there reading the very last words Jesus uttered before He went back to heaven-no exclusion, no exemptions!

For every student who has been dragged in to the youth service, whether you are in High School or College, even if today you are just beginning your journey of being discipled, this call is for you to fulfill now as you can invest in :  
a.  praying for the nations- go watch the news or read online 
b. giving into missions- the amount does not matter, the heart behind it does 
c. giving to the building pledge that are soon to train pastors, missionaries and campus workers to the nations-get the coin bank and you are just literally coins away from taking part

or for the future as you
a.become a blessing to the nations by mastering your skills and course-that requires studying well today, practice integrity now
b. supporting missionaries as a single professional
c. go into short-term missions trip
d.   go be a missionary to the nations

And lest you think its going to be scary, dangerous, or you might feel too ill equipped to go, remember Jesus’ promises on the very same verses, before He commissioned them to go He reminded them:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Every battle we will face as we go has been won already, in the cross on the Mt. of Calvary Jesus claimed our very victory as well as everyone from any parts of the world who would put their faith in Him.

because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation…’ — Revelation 5:9
And if you are still doubtful or hesitant He amplified it saying:

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

He who called also promised to empower us and be with us as we choose to pray, give or go.

Going back to the bunch of random, raggedy students who doesn’t seem like they would make it anywhere least of all going to the nations. I look back and track God’s faithfulness and saw the impossible coming to pass:

Green circles are those who are now being a blessing to the nation and/or  supporting missionaries and campus workers
Blue circles are those that are in our nation serving as full time pastors and campus missionaries
Yellow circles are for those who radically stepped out to go to the mission field and disciple the nations

And one woman outshines us all as she had undertaken the greatest adventure in her life volunteering as one of our 1st batch of campus missionaries, raising up so many leaders in the campus , being send out to 35 nation as an IT Expert and United Nations Development Program and this year taking the grandest trip of all as she went to be with the Lord living the most fruitful life ever.


Today these same stories remains to happen as leaders are audacious enough to challenge young people to take part in advancing His kingdom, as preachers remains to share the vision of the great commission, as parents are supportive and believes in the calling of this generation and as students steps up and obeys the great commission:



In the hands of God, random fishermen becomes apostles, pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelist and so much more!

In the hands of God, random students can become world changers!

To every student out there reading this blog, I sent this out with a prayer that you will never deem yourself too young to have the vision for World Missions

God has purposed you to be a World Changer!

He will empower you to be a disciple-maker!

The only question that remains is will you answer His call?
Do you have a bible and a passport?