Recently, some members of First Baptist Church, Poplar, took a mission trip to the Philippines. This is an account of the trip as told by Robin, a member of the mission team. Yesterday (Saturday) was the last day of the seminar. It was such a blessed day, a very blessed few days. Our new brothers and sisters in Christ said that we were the first missionaries to come and help to train and encourage and equip them. They were very grateful. Pastor Henry said that no one else ever came to their small churches in the remote areas for training/teaching, and to do it for free. All training/seminars have been in the larger cities which is hard for them to get to due to transportation and great distance. My heart has been affected by everything that I took in, from the beauty, to the poverty...housing for families that ranged from one roomed, thatched roofs with no window for several people to live in..to huge, fancy painted homes that looked like mansions interspersed here and there. It seems as though every family has at least one dog, possibly two or more, just like our reservation. The dogs lay on the side of the road. The thing that really moved my heart was the families in the streets selling wares to earn a living, with the children involved in the selling and dealing. If you don’t check your emotions you will be broke and will be fasting for the duration of your trip😢 The landscape is just beautiful...the hills, the mountains and the rivers, but for me, especially the ocean. The Filipinos call it the West Philippine sea...I believe I may have shared that before. The Chinese call it the South China Sea. It is beautiful, green and teeming with life. The sound of the waves in the ocean has always been calming to me. The only thing I haven’t seen are seagulls here, but perhaps that is only because we have been tucked amongst the banana and mango and papaya and palm trees. If you are a country girl or boy, the night sounds are rhythmic and soothing...lulling you to sleep. If you don’t wake up to the first rooster alarm, it’s like an alarm clock with its own natural snooze button. It will sound an hour or two later to wake you for sure!! I am sure I gave our hosts a few good chuckles swatting and dodging black bees or hornets the size of humming birds...(maybe a teeeeeeny bit of exaggeration, but they were ginormous!!!!). The deepest impact came from the shared stories of church splitting because some Christians in the villages don’t believe in hearing the voice of God. Many have learned about it just through studying the Word of God and Holy Spirit gave them a revelation, but others did not receive revelation. Just like so many Christians around the world, including America, there are many here who aren’t living victorious and productive lives. Our hosts long to see the people of their churches living in that freedom and victory, believing the whole counsel of God, not just the basics. You could feel their hearts so that they can reach their people in the surrounding villages❤️❤️ There are still practicing witch doctors here, and as one of the YWAM sisters shared there is evidence of satanism increasing, so it is imperative that the believers here learn who they are in Christ and the authority they have through Christ...the authority He conferred upon those who trust Him as Lord and Savior. Without that understanding pastors will get worn out, feel defeated and want to give up. So we all agreed that this was a divine connection, and that He is going to do a new thing, a powerful work in the Philippines, and many, many more if their precious people will be counted in among the many people from every tongue, Tribe and nation in heaven. The two precious children in the photo were playing a little game. They were each holding a yellow flower in one hand and they were saying rock, paper, scissors, shoot in their language and the winner would flick a petal off their flower. The person with one petal left was the winner. Today is Sunday. We are off to Pastor Henry’s church this morning in Taytay (the next town) here on Palawan. We will be sharing our testimonies and teaching Sunday school . And then tomorrow we are doing Island hopping (via boat), if weather permits.
We hosted Seeds Family Worship on their "Trust Jesus Tour" at the end of July which was a lot easier on the finances than to book them outside of their tour schedule ($2k vs. $4k). The cost was still prohibitive for us but our partnering church from Mississippi had a Sunday school class that took a love offering for the event. Their gracious gift covered the entire tour cost plus allowed us to purchase resources to aid our children's ministry with dvd's from Seeds. The Seeds Family Worship Team was also overwhelmingly generous toward us. We had hoped to provide each of the kids involved in our Wednesday night children's ministry (many of whom are otherwise unchurched) with a free cd. We estimated a cost of $250 ($10/cd). Seeds worked with us to not only provide for this need but to buy most of the dvd catalog (with a church license!) to be used to supplement the children's worship time on Wednesday nights for under $300.
Greg Payton also came from Laurel with the MTSBC sound equipment to ensure that all of our sound needs were met. The event was wonderful and has opened a few more doors for us in the community since!