FCBC Serves Philippines (June, 2018)

God performed mighty miracles for us:

Miracle #1: He sent the rains on precise occasions when we needed them
“I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.” (Leviticus 26:4)

Metro Manila is inundated by rains every June to September. Several barangays (villages) were already flooded. The rain stopped on the day we arrived. We reached the city in two hours, a record time. Typhoon Signal 1 was issued the day of our arrival – public elementary schools were shut down. The following day this signal was lifted; we were able to minister in two elementary schools, as scheduled. During our trip, He sent light rain. This brought down the daily temperature and gave the team some relief from the heat. The rains poured while we were in the vehicle, but subsided when we were outside the vehicle. In one barangay, it poured before we started the service, but subsided long enough for us to finish the service and distribute the gifts to the families before it started to pour again. The day after we left Manila, the typhoon signal went back up again. God’s timing is impeccable!

Miracle #2: His provision
“So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:14)

The cash collected for the purchase of provisions for the barangay residents was way above our initial target. We decided to pack six pieces of used clothing for each family. After packing, we were short of one bag. We found a bag of used clothing tucked in a corner. That bag had exactly six pieces of clothing – just the number we needed for the extra bag! Praise Him! God knows exactly how much we need. His provision is always more than enough.

Items for gift packs for each family

Sorting of clothes

Team with the packed groceries and clothes

Miracle #3: God is with us as our protector
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 1:1)

The night before our scheduled ministry in church, there was a landslide red alert signal. When morning broke, the families started to trickle into the service. There was no landslide! Throughout the trip, the Lord’s protection was with the team. No one fell ill, safe for one child with fever and tummy ache for one night. He promptly recovered the next day. We also ventured into town on two evenings without incident. God’s presence was with us everywhere we went.

Miracle #4: One Family. One Vision. One Heartbeat.
“All the believers were one in heart and mind.” (Acts 4:32)

The team worked as one throughout. Everyone worked seamlessly together, leveraging on each other’s strengths to anchor different aspects of the trip. Particularly gratifying was the rising up of the teens in the team; they assisted in preparing the games for the public schools and prayed for the barangay families. They were our trip chroniclers. One played the role of the protagonist, David, in the skit. All the children were compliant and cooperative, much to the gratification and relief of the adults in the trip! God is good!

The team also bonded easily with the Filipino pastors and church workers. We worked as one team, united by our common love for the Lord and a desire to be used by Him.

FCBC Mission Team with Hosting Pastor and her 12

Filipino and FCBC youth leaders of tomorrow

Outreach Activities & Response of Locals

Ministry to Public Schools

We started the programme with “Ito Ang Araw” (This Is the Day), accompanied by the melodious strains of the ukulele strummed by one of the Singaporean teens. This was followed by a skit of the story of David and Goliath. Volunteers from VOICE who conduct weekly values-based lessons in the schools were present to assist us. The energy level in the classrooms showed that the children enjoyed the skit and games. One of the VOICE coaches translated and dramatised the skit in Tagalog for us, and helped in managing the boisterous children. The school outreach would not be a success without her! When the altar call was given, many hands shot up into the air.

Leading the children in games

Battle scene in David and Goliath skit

Giving the altar call

Quezon City Police Values Enhancement Seminar
Three team members facilitated this seminar titled “The Heart of the Matter is the Matter of the Heart”. 48 officers attended the seminar, despite the pouring rain. Some came straight after a full day shift whilst others had to rush off to start their night shift immediately after the seminar. We were told by the Pastor-in-charge that the officers were given an order to attend the seminar by the General. The seminar started with an ice breaker to get the participants to sing and dance to the campfire favourite “Mapoleh”. It was no mean feat to get the officers to put aside for the afternoon their no-nonsense demeanour. The officers were touched by the testimony of one of the Singaporean facilitators, who spoke about the six conditions of the heart: Anger, Bitterness, Unforgiveness, Hardening, Temptation and Pride. The team then brought the seminar participants through a session on resilience. Despite their reticence initially, the officers slowly opened up. We were surprised by their candid sharing: one officer shared how he overcame poverty as a student by playing sports to earn pocket money; another shared his fears as his father is seriously ill; whilst another lady officer shared how she faced rejection from someone she loved. There was a hushed silence. It was a sacred moment as everyone quietly communicated their empathy and respect for their colleagues’ resilience. When the Pastor-in-charge gave his closing comments and altar call in a mixture of English and Tagalog, we could sense the presence of God and His anointing. Seven young men walked to the front of the room to surrender their lives to Jesus. There was no hesitation when they stepped forward. Their decision was firm and resolute. What an amazing sight!

Sharing of testimony

Checking the student’s work

Workshop session on resilience

Praying for the seven who received Christ

Barangay Visits: Escopa III (Quezon City) & Barangay Tumana (Marikina City)
The team made their way to the barangays on a rainy Saturday in a jeepney, the iconic mode of transport of Manila. At the first barangay, each team member was paired with a church volunteer to visit the homes so that we could cover more ground. In one home, a single mother of six led us down a cramped alleyway into her lodging, a space 6 by 6 feet, which was both a living space and kitchen for her large family. God orchestrated our meeting – one of the volunteers was also a single mom. She offered this lady a job on the spot. The look of gratitude and relief on her face was palpable. Praise God for His goodness! He is Jehovah Jireh. As she was open to the gospel, the team lingered and encouraged her to put her trust in God alone. She nodded and promised to go to church the following day. She was one of those who stepped forward for prayers during Sunday service! Nothing happened by coincidence. God had orchestrated the meetings in the barangay and again on Sunday. God is love. He seeks us out no matter how far away we are from Him.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16)

FCBC teen ministering

Team photo at barangay

People receiving Christ at barangay

Condition and Relationships of Team Members

The team bonding sessions facilitated by Pastor Evelyn and Hat Eng before the start of the trip were very helpful. The team met together three times to plan and pray for the trip; twice with the children and teens. The parents also met up with Pastor Evelyn and Hat Eng separately to share the needs of every child and draw up contingencies to ensure the safety and morale of the team. The early exposure of the children to the team enabled them to interact well with the team. The bonding and teamwork throughout the trip was excellent. Expectations for every child and teen to pray and serve during the trip was made explicit early on. Care was taken to pair each teen and child with a different member of the team so that the adults could provide the necessary support. This paid off and our teens rose to the occasion many times, stepping forward to interact with the Filipino brethren. They grew in confidence and began to minister to the people independently. For the parents, it was extremely gratifying to see our youth rise up to serve the nations. May the Lord continue to guide them and grow in them a spiritual hunger to serve the lost and disadvantaged in society. We also pray that the seed planted in each and every member of the team will take root. Our prayer is that we will continue to be everyday missionaries, serving whenever God has placed us. As we are reminded in Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Team Reflections

“One family in the barangay only had a small bag of rice to feed three families. They had so little. I can now better appreciate what we have at home.” - Faith, 15 years old

“This trip made me want to reach out more actively to my friends in school.” - Grace, 13 years old

“The visits to the barangay made me appreciate what we have. I enjoyed the ministry time with the youth and adults in the barangay. This trip has helped me to go outside of my comfort zone.” - Samuel, 15 years old

“Seeing how poor the people are, I feel very fortunate and appreciative of what I have. The 150 bags of gifts are just a small amount compared to all the poor families in the Philippines. I had to cooperate so that the team could touch the lives of others, spreading the gospel to those who want to be a believer. We touched several lives. This trip has made me a fisher of men and a man for others.” - Zachary, 12 years old

“The barangay visit made me appreciate what I have. Never had I seen such dilapidated houses before. They don’t enjoy simple pleasures like having their personal space. I hope that God will help them raise their children properly and reach out to them with his mighty and gracious hand.” - John, 11 years old                                                                                                               

“I am amazed at the many miracles of God: The typhoon subsided just before we arrived and it came back immediately after we departed. What we prepared to bless the students in the public schools and the families in the barangays all turned out to be just enough. I am reminded that as we make the effort to honour God and commit to Him, God will honour us and cause everything to fall in place.” - Karn Nee

“Seeing the youths ministering to the people at the barangays is a great encouragement. Everyone in the team served together wholeheartedly and joyfully in their respective roles. Every aspect – the weather, the team’s unity and participation (especially the youths and children), the food, safety, traffic, and salvation of souls – reminded us of the abundant grace of God.” - Hat Eng

“The Lord’s mercies are evident throughout: He cleared the way for us to reach the guest house from the airport in record time, the heavens poured only before and after the barangay visit in the afternoon, the hospitality showered by our Filipino hosts as well as the showers of blessings that made the evenings cool and pleasant. The Lord placed in our hearts a common theme for the ministry: overcoming the challenges and giants in life like how David overcame Goliath through faith in God. I am very encouraged by the seven salvations at the Police Seminar despite our initial communication challenges. I am very proud of our youths who stepped out of their comfort zone to serve. This trip has also helped me to consider future mission trips with my family.” - Edmund                                                                                                                                                                                                        

I treasure the relationships built with the Filipinos. They made us feel like we are one family. I realised that together, we can do so much. I am glad I made many new friends in JCSGO, some of whom have become my Facebook friends!” - Chew Phing

“This is my first mission trip after seven years as a Christian. I could literally feel the Holy Spirit strengthening me throughout the sharing of my personal testimony. God is sovereign in all things, working through all the minute details of even the most mundane tasks, such as the packing of rice and used clothing. We can all be useful vessels for God’s work if we avail ourselves to Him.” - Ken

I am so blessed to witness how our Abba Father used a simple bible story to meet the hearts of the children at public schools, willing hearts to bring blessings and words of life to the barangays, submissive spirits to share heart to heart with the Filipinos, and the wonderful acts of our Heavenly Father.” - Peng Siong

“I see that God’s plan is higher than ours and His plan is to prosper us. The barangays were very grateful of our visit. They had faith that the Lord would bring them out of poverty and heal them when we prayed for them. God also gave us the same theme to share with the police force and public school even though we did not discuss it.” - June

“God has been our Provider, Protector and Help. Our tribe members contributed generously to the gifts for the barangay families and prayed faithfully for us. The team was united – we all cooperated to take on various roles according to our strengths, including the children. We were blessed by the hospitality of our Filipino hosts. Staying in the guesthouse was a strategic decision – delicious, home-cooked food daily; reduced travelling time (a plus for some of us prone to motion sickness); we spent less but got what one would get in a hotel – attached bath and toilet facilities, a fridge, a TV, air conditioning in each room – and more – exclusive use of the lounge, the venue for our morning devotions, meals and ministry preparations.” - Ps Evelyn Cheok

Report Prepared by: Wong Chew Phing Rachel

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