Philippines Team Testimonies (29 Nov – 9 Dec 2015)
Introduction By Dn. Emmanuel Gumapon:
Every year since 2009, we embark by faith to Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines to conduct Medical, Dental and Value Formation Programmes. Over the years we have been blessed at how the Lord has enlarged the mission field, from serving one school in 2009 to two schools since 2013. Of all our Philippines Mission trips, the one in 2015 was special as we were asked to extend our Medical and Dental services to all the Teachers and Staff of the Oriental Mindoro National High School, where Sister Lina (the wife of Pastor Gener) is teaching. The school is the largest both in area and school population with more than 200 teachers and staff and about 10,000 students. In appreciation of our outreach, the school presented a Certificate of Appreciation to our church.
The team was made up of twenty individuals from NLBPC: Elder Sim, Deacon Emmanuel, Arlyn, Justin, Jamie, Yue Xin, Lilli, Linda, Jinni, Edmund, Timothy and Julia; two families – Min Ling, Hui En, Hui Jie, Theophilus, and Vincent, Angela, Christianne, Faith. There were also in the team sixteen Filipinos: the doctors are Joel, Honey, Lisa, Shane, Perla, Ana dental assistant Anna; and the nurses are Reniel, Mae, Doreen, Alex, Jared – these formed the medical and dental teams and volunteers: Riza, Jacky, Nhitz and Lorah.
Testimony By Sis. Julia Ong
“God has a perfect timing; never early, never late.
It takes a little patience and a lot of faith but it is worth the wait.”
Someone sent me this message when I returned from the Philippines trip. As I pondered over these words, I was amazed at how God worked in gathering twenty of us for this trip. The church prayed for the twentieth person and at the right and perfect timing, I was “selected” at the eleventh hour. From the trip, marvelous testimonies of God’s leading and His faithfulness were shared. Truly, God will never leave us alone but with His lovingkindness, He will surely provide our needs and oversee in every bit of our life. The teachers at the elementary schools were more receptive to the gospel sharing by Deacon Emmanuel. The students received us warmly. They enjoyed listening to the bible stories and singing David’s song.
Throughout the days while we were in the Philippines, the weather was good. However, a powerful typhoon called Nona crossed the central Philippines bringing damaging winds and torrential rain a few days later after we left the Philippines. Thank God that He is always in control of everything!
In this trip, there were two families from our church and lots of first timers from Singapore and the Philippines. On the second day in Calapan, we had a day of team-bonding session; it was good as it helped us get acquainted. Since we are part of God’s family and in a short time, we got on very well with each other regardless of race and age.
Our day usually started with a morning devotion after our breakfast and ended with an evening debrief and a night devotion after our dinner.
Altogether, the team was divided into three groups and we served in 1)Ibaba Elementary School, 2)San Antonio Elementary School and 3)the Mangyan tribe. The medical and dental team provided medical and dental treatment to the students. The rest of us helped in various support work like registration, hospitality, delousing/hair washing, weight and height measurement, teaching, as well as coordinating work. After the work at the elementary schools and Mangyan, we went to help at the Oriental Mindoro National High School by providing the staff with medical and dental consultation.
On the 6th day before we left Calapan, there was a youth evangelistic outing which involved the younger people from the team. The senior ones helped out in the kitchen. Aunty Jini who was our chef led us to cook sumptuous meals for everybody in the team as well as the youths. The following day which was a Sunday, we worshipped at Calapan Grace Community Church. We had good fellowship and a good lunch before setting off for our rest and relax at Tagaytay.
A walk with God in the Philippines – Testimony by Bro. Timothy Ho
A step of faith: I have always liked the idea of going for a mission trip in God’s name, but I have never been bold or courageous enough to go for one. Uncle Manny (Dn. Emmanuel) and Aunty Linda (Lim) approached me two weeks before the scheduled departure date, and an opportunity presented itself. I spent that very afternoon praying and searching my heart for an answer. I came to the conclusion that this time I would take that step of faith. And I have never looked back since.
United in Christ: It was eleven fulfilling days spent with God and His people. It was encouraging to see everyone coming together to serve God zealously. Regardless of our ages, background and other differences, we were united in Christ and bonded by God’s love for us. In our respective fields of mission, be it in the schools or in the tribal area, we encouraged and motivated one another. In both our strengths and weaknesses, we kept our faith and believed that God would empower us as we went around doing His work.
God is love: I learned many precious lessons during this trip. But it all had a recurring theme, and that theme was ‘love’. Throughout the eleven days, I was constantly reminded of God’s great love for us. And that prompted me to think of the importance of loving God, and loving others as well.
Loving God: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…” It was lovely meeting and getting to know fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, both from Singapore and the Philippines. However major or minor, it was comforting to hear their stories and to know about their experiences with God. While they may all be different, they share one thing in common; they love God sincerely.
It was also a pleasure meeting the children and teenagers from rural poor Mindoro. It was both heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time. These kids have very little in their lives. As I reflected on my own life, I realized my struggles are nothing compared to theirs. In all their hardship, they continue loving God wholeheartedly with immense joy. In absolutely nothing, they found everything in Christ.
Loving Others: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” For these people, their love for God has been translated to love for others as well. During the trip, unlike anything I have experienced before, it was especially comforting to be loved and to love fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It was something plain and simple. At the end of the day, we love simply because God first loved us.
My reflection: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another…” God wants His family to be known for its love more than anything else. I have learnt a great deal about loving God and loving others through this trip. It has dawned on me that when God evaluates my life, it would not be about the awards I received, the degrees I have, the work I do or the money I make. It will be about how I have loved Him, His family, and others whom He has planted in my life.
A closure: No words can adequately describe this experience. The eleven days spent with God and His people were simply amazing. Such a privilege it is to serve God, what great joy it brings. The challenge now remains, to begin loving God, loving others, today, and everyday. The church is not a bad place to start!
Testimony by Sis. Jini
All praise goes to God in whom we put our trust, and faith which results in victory. The Almighty blessed the team with good health and weather. The Lord was always there. In our team there were two families who brought their children with them and it’s so good to see them serving God together as a family and teaching them to love one another as they serve. Not to forget the youths and the older ones – everyone did their part wholeheartedly. There was truly a nice bonding with the church family. The Mission trip was awesome for me. The Lord is mighty and he will choose his people and establish his Kingdom! Wherever he sends us, we will go. Amen.
Testimony by Sis. Sim Min Ling:
There were 2 aims I had in mind when I decided to go for the Philippines Mission Trip last year. One was to see what it is all about, and the other was to keep an eye on my youngest one – as my children and I set out together on this mission trip.
For the mission section, I was in Team B which was assigned to Ibaba Elementary School. The first day morning I was assigned to do delousing with Sis Jini. It was our first time doing it. There were some hiccups but God was good to see us through. On the second day we were better at it. I felt sorry for the kids who needed delousing. To add, it was my first time seeing fully grown lice and I felt sorry for the children who were experiencing the itch and pain. Some of them were even bleeding due to too much scratching. In the afternoon, we had Bible school. I shared the Bible story in English but the kids stared at me blankly. Thank God my class had some kids who helped to translate into Tagalog. God is really good to provide translators.
The elementary school was very run down – just like my school when I was in primary school. The interesting thing is that teachers were also wearing uniforms. The kids were very warm & helpful. You can’t help but love them. It’s my prayer that they will personally experience God.
The rest of the trip was recreation. I thank God for His beautiful creation. The places we went were great and the scenery at Tagaytay was breath-taking. The activities were interesting too. It was my first time going up a steep slope on a horse! Thank God for keeping us safe while we had fun.
I really thank God for the opportunity to go for the Philippines trip. Through this trip, I got to know some church members better. I was encouraged by their love for God and His people. May God bless them all.
To those who plan to go for this year’s mission trip, I would suggest picking up a bit of Tagalog. May our good Lord prepare the hearts of those planning to go for Philippines Mission trip that it will be a fruitful and edifying one! To God be the Glory!
Testimony by Sis. Chew Hui Jie:
I thank God that I could join the Philippines mission team last December. It was my first mission trip and it was truly a great experience. I was assigned to Team C—the team responsible to minister to the Mangyan tribe. As such, I didn’t manage to experience first-hand what it was like at the elementary schools. Our trip up to the Mangyan tribe was a very good time of team bonding. Team C was a very lively team who laughed a lot! The R&R time we had as an entire mission team was great as we enjoyed the greenery around us that we don’t get much in Singapore. Thank God for His work in the Philippines and may future mission teams enjoy their time spent doing His work there as well.
Testimony by Bro. Vincent Lim
It was through God’s grace and providence that I was able to join the mission trip with my wife and two daughters. That’s something I never thought possible. Indeed nothing is impossible with our Almighty God!
This mission trip has been a very good learning and humbling experience for me. As this is my first mission trip, I was anxious as to what I could do. I was even more anxious when given my task! When we arrived at San Antonio Elementary School, I found out that some of the children are so poor that they can’t even afford to buy shampoo to wash their hair. As a result, many of the children have lice in their hair and I was assigned to wash their hair and kill the lice. That was something which I have never done before. I asked those who have done it before and when we arrived at the school, I did as told. I actually enjoyed the work for two mornings despite having to work under the hot sun. Seeing the smiles on the children`s face was reward enough for me. Even though the children are poor, they are happy and courteous.
The team also provided medical and dental care for the children. In the afternoon, the team told Bible stories to the children and taught them Christian songs.
I encourage everyone who is able to join the mission trip regardless of your age and circumstances.
Testimony by Sis. Angela Eng (Mrs Vincent Lim)
Our Philippines mission trip has taught me to have complete faith and trust in God and believe in the power of prayers.
The experience there was not only memorable but also very uplifting for me spiritually. It will be an experience that will remain with me for a long time. I thank God for the wonderful opportunity to serve Him and stand firm in one spirit, striving together as one faith of the gospel for God’s glory.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
Testimony by Sisters Christianne and Faith Lim
As first timers going for a mission trip, it has been a great eye-opener for us. We were really glad to be able to work with the Philippines mission team, especially with the doctors and nurses. The Medical Mission at the respective schools left us with many thoughts and feelings.
The children, although having much lesser than us, were far more content and cheerful. Moreover, despite the language barrier, we were overwhelmed by the warmth and welcome they gave us.
Most importantly, this mission trip gave us a lot of opportunity to have fellowship and bond together with the church members, bringing us closer to one another, as most of us see each other only on Sundays.
Throughout the 10 days of mission trip, we really gained a lot from the experience. We are glad to have played a part in the mission work and being able to serve God as we served the children.
It was an unforgettable experience and we really look forward to our next mission trip!
Testimony by Bro. Edmund Tan
Thank God for His providence for me to join in the mission trip. This is my first mission trip as a Christian since I accepted Christ in 2013. As a Christian, I want to preach the Gospel to the unsaved. The chance to go overseas to do His work for the church is one area I want to try.
He has cleared the way for us so that we can do His work. The mission work that Dn. Emmanuel and the team put together is hard work. My team went to the tribe in the hill. The work there in that trip was to plant trees, build a toilet, and provide handwashing education.
I was apprehensive but Dn. Emmanuel reminded me to just trust in the Lord. I enjoyed the work there. I met also Dr. Shane, a very friendly dentist and many other Filipinos. I also visited and helped at the schools. I encourage all New Lifers to go on at least one mission trip.