A brief history of the Philippines Mission
By Bro. Emmanuel Gumapon
(This was written as part of the church Stewardship Report under Missions. Please read and pray for the Philippines Mission.)
It all started when a group of individual church members decided to go with Bro. Emmanuel Gumapon to the Philippines to explore possibilities in September 2006, and then the following year, several youths from New Life BP Church (NLBPC) went again with Emmanuel and members of their families for a missions exposure in Manila Dec 1-12, 2007.
These were all individual interests. Then an opportunity came up to help Ps. Gener Averilla, who was pioneering a church in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro. Several individual New Lifers joined Emmanuel and Arlyn on 28-30 April 2009 at a youth day camp organized by the Grace Community Outreach headed by Ps Gener.
In November 2009, another group of brethren from NLBPC once again went to Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro this time to assist the Pastor in a church retreat and visited the Mangyan Tribes.
In June 23-July 2, 2010, we began helping Pastor Gener with his outreach program at a primary school, Ibaba Elementary school, located at one of the really depressed areas in Calapan City. It was primarily a medical mission trip in which we had Philippine doctors and nurses from the Medical Ambassadors of the Philippines (MAP) to conduct the medical sessions together with Elder (Dr) Sim Chee Seng.
In 2011, the principal requested Pastor Gener to conduct a three-day one hour session in all levels a Value Formation Programme – actually this programme is part of the school curriculum in the Philippines, but on these three days, lessons based on the Bible are allowed to be conducted. So another team once again went on Sept 5-13.
In 2012 we included medical and dental services and the 3-day Value Formation classes as part of our outreach program at Ibaba Elementary School. Eld. Sim and Dn. Ivan Lim joined the team from the Philippines in conducting the medical health screening/dental services which were held from morning until around 3pm. Following this, the Value Formation classes began at 4 pm with the rest of the team teaching these classes.
In 2013, we had a new outreach at another school, San Antonio. On 8-15 August, the Adult Fellowship of NLBPC helped raised funds for this project. It was also this year that we began a scholarship program for the really poor children in the form of support for their snacks in school and their school uniforms, bags, shoes and school supplies at the beginning of the school term. There are 15 children from San Antonio and 15 from Ibaba Elementary Schools who were chosen to be our first scholars. The schools came up with a scheme whereby the children will be given their snacks daily instead of giving them the money. We also had another trip later in the year Dec 2-11, 2013 with the Youth Fellowship members joining the team. This was the largest group of people coming from NLBPC and the church supported us financially for the Mission trip as it did the previous year.
The Lord has been good in touching the hearts of people who wanted to go and be a part of the mission trips that have been organized on a personal basis, where most of the expenses were from personal sources which we pooled together each year apart from personal giving from those who felt that the Lord wanted them to give for these trips.
Praises & Thanksgiving
- The youth camp in 2009 – a few have now become members of Pastor Gener’s Church – (Praise God that Ps Gener’s church became independent in October 2012).
- Some of those who attended the value formation programme are being followed through even after primary school.
- Many of the thirty scholars and parents/guardians have been attending worship services regularly.
- The parents/guardians of the scholars attended a healthcare training session conducted in December last year.
- Bible Study with the teachers has started at San Antonio.
This year the plan is to have a mission trip on Dec 1-10 2014once again in Mindoro. This time the outreach will be to both schools. Plans are being worked out so please pray for those who are planning, for those who plan to join the mission trip, for available doctors and nurses here as well as in the Philippines.
Each year, we always encounter new experiences and unexpected challenges, but always we have the certainty of an Unchanging, Immovable God who is Sovereign and full of Grace and a Great Provider; hence we look forward with much anticipation at what the LORD has in store for us this year.