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!

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