Philippines 2018_Day 4_Wednesday
Let me tell you how it is. The fourth day can sometimes be known as a hump day – a day when the energy debt of the first day catches up. As the adrenaline fades, fatigue can set in and the heaviness trapped within muscles are suddenly realised.
If there was any of this, it was quickly forgotten. For he upholds and lifts up all who are bowed down.
We awake today to a stillness. Perhaps tiredness has blocked out the now routine cries of the cockerel but this is not merely the case. There is a real shift within the walls of the orphanage – for we have beheld his glory, full of grace and truth. The previous days’ events have changed our core as we have recognised his glory, because of his grace and by his truth. We are not the same yesterday as we are today.
We rest in His presence as Clarie leads worship and Jess reminds us that it is God who holds all things together and that we can trust Him for our days and our future – trusting our lives to be in the Creators hands.
It All Depends on Whose Hands It’s In (An exert)
A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal.
A rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea.
It depends on whose hands it’s in…
A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy.
A sling shot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon.
It depends on whose hands it’s in…
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousands.
It depends on whose hands they’re in…
Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
Nails in Christ Jesus’ hands will produce salvation for the entire world.
It depends on whose hands they’re in…
As you see now it depends whose hands it’s in.
So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God’s Hands.
Because, it depends on whose hands they’re in.
— Paul Ciniraj (a missionary in India)
Question – What do you do with your hands that is important? To eat? To drive? To work? How do you serve with them?
It All Depends on Whose Hands It’s In - Paul Ciniraj (a missionary in India)
In the context of the mission trip and everyday life, there is only so much we can do with our hands and there is also only much we can do as mere humans. Let us be encouraged to use more than our hands to serve God and serve others. What can we do to show others God’s love? Think about our words and action in our everyday lives. How we glorify God. Let us also be encouraged to trust that God is in control.
"Cast all your worries upon Him because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7
Leaders training session
The leaders of ROLM do an amazing work, a small group of leaders, who lead a very large ministry that continues to grow rapidly. They carry such a vitally important role in carrying the vision of ROLM, passing this on to the next generation, and shepherding the people of the church. Our prayer for the leaders has been for unity in the team & in the families, from a place of knowing the compassion and love of God, and for the strength and wisdom to continue to lead from a place of resting in God.
For this session, I shared some scriptures about the love of God, our Shepherd who loves us unconditionally who guides us every step of the way, who gives us a new identity in Christ. A message was shared from John 13 of how Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, of how he served and forgave the disciples in laying down his very life because of his love towards us; and how we ought to also love and forgive one another. A time of ministry followed, with most of the leaders crying out to God in travailing prayer, and God moving in a leader to seek & receive forgiveness from another.
Hui King then facilitated a time of sharing from each leader, building on the unity in the team & support for one another. He shared from the book of Ephesians, about various practical aspects of living out the Christian life including sharing life and serving together; starting from a place of knowing our identity in Christ. A further time of ministry followed, all leaders receiving prayer from the team and very touched by God. As the team prayed for Ps Fely, she fell under God’s power. She later testified that as Ai Seok prayed, she saw the vision of a light coming towards her, and felt greatly strengthened from the prayers.
Hui King then asked us all to hold hands signifying unity, and pray together for the unity in the team – this was really special, witnessing and being a part of this team, whom will surely continue to carry forth the vision of ROLM as a united family, passed on from generation to generation.
Dental & Medical Clinic at San Isidro
Jung Yin Tsang
It was great to have an opportunity to serve the community of San Isidro once again and provide them medical and dental services. Most of the patients we saw this year was different than the last, and perhaps this was a positive sign of healing already. However one thing that remained the same was their courage and faith. In particular, we encountered one little 5 year old boy with who had fallen in the playground and cut open his forehead requiring a few stitches. He hardly flinched with the local anaesthetic and did not even leave a groan as I was suturing him. What certainly helped was a team of local translators and fellow BLi members, who sang joyful songs of praise and worship at every critical interval including the first and last stitches. The boy laid very still and was even smiling due to the worship that was ongoing throughout the procedure. A great patient in a great work environment. Praise God!
Soon after breakfast, we were setting up for the dental clinic. Children came buzzing in once the doors were open. The dental clinic was ready to go with a prevention booth on the side. With balloons at the gate welcoming children and adults, the atmosphere was light and joyful. The patients were swiftly in and out as Rick, Jason and I cracked on to extract broken, carious teeth. Patients were relieved and as the translators proceeded to take on the role of a dental nurse to calm the patients down and to encourage them with songs of worship, it was eye-opening to see how the spirit of God can make such a difference in a dental clinic which was minimally adequate. The helpers as usual, whole-heartedly did what they were doing and they were the reason we managed to extract around 40 teeth that morning!
Wednesday was spent more locally, with clinics set up in the orphanage at San Isidro in the morning and Aroganga in the afternoon, a village that was located a few minutes up river from San Isidro. The morning clinic allowed us to focus on treating our hosts at the orphanage, as well as the children themselves and local villagers. Although it was a busy morning, I was very happy to see that the children at the orphanage required only a small amount of treatment! In 2017 we extracted at least one tooth from every child who lived at God’s Children Home, but this year we only had to treat a handful of children. This was fantastic to see as it means the children and their carers are performing good oral hygiene, using their toothbrushes and eating well. Medical and dental mission trips are truly successful when the long term health of those visited are improved, and not just the short term health.
Hui Yun Teoh
We moved to Aroganga where the second session on the second day took place. By now we were more comfortable working as a team in each role given.
After arriving by boat, we walked a short distance from the port to the church building. We passed through some of the villagers who seemed to be curious and anticipating our visitation. Though it was already afternoon and we had been busy since morning, yet, in spirit, I sense there was a 'newness' and 'hope' as we stepping into this land.
The villagers started to flock the church hall and more people kept coming after we arrived. The medical and dental clinics happened concurrently at the back of the church while the worship and sharing session was at the main church hall.
For this session, I was in charge of prayers for people after medical consultations and so I spent some time in worship. I was then reminded that the church hall was where a photo of blue electricity light floating in the air was captured by one of the ROLM volunteers while Pastora Fely was on the stage for the opening of this church. The photo was sent to us about a week ago before the mission trip. The 'blue-light' was so vividly captured and it could not be a mistake. As later on Ai Seok recalled, the similarly described 'blue-light' was seen by one of the pastor who was being prayed for during the 'River of Life' pastors training session. I have no idea that Aroganga was the newly planted church by 'River of Life', now it has come in connection with the spirit of newness that I was sensing earlier on and I believe God was going to do great things in this place later.
After a short while, people who needed prayers came in continuously. Rochelle who was my interpreter, prayed together with me. There were women with arthritis on the knee, children with coughing and flu, woman with shoulder disk pain, family issues and so on. Many were healed when asked to check the condition, I can only give glory to God because the prayers were simple with compassion and faith.
Then there was an old man with hearing problem asking for prayer. We prayed three times asking the Lord to heal him but the man still could not hear normally. So we had to let him go and move on to pray for others.
Ai Seok Lau
Today God has humbled us with His grace.
We spent an afternoon in the riverside village of Aroganga. There, we ran medical and dental clinics, and led a sharing and worship service in the Aroganga River of Life Mission Church. My specific role was as part of the prayer ministry team, where we pray for patients after they have seen the doctors and/or the dentists.
Jung Yin Tsang
We saw an elderly gentleman and his wife at the medical clinic, he fumbled around the place and could not find his seat, having to be guided by his wife everywhere he went. He had no eye contact and was very hard of hearing, and we had to resort to shouting in his left ear but there was hardly any response. He had some bilateral cataracts, and likely also some age-related degeneration to both his eyes and ears, not even able to see fingers on examination.
Ai Seok Lau
During a particularly busy period, Jason, one of our dentists, guided an 87-year-old man named Trenquino to me after having his teeth extracted. It was explained to me that he was blind in both eyes and was almost completely deaf – he had to be almost carried up and down the stairs to and from the dental clinic for fear of him falling over, and the Filipino translators had to practically shout in his ears in order to be heard.
Jason asked me to pray for the man, and admittedly my heart sank – suddenly, I felt responsible for this man’s health, and I felt quite helpless under the pressure of the situation. However, as I prepared myself to pray for the man, I saw Pastora Fely in the corner of my eye. I quickly grabbed her to pray together for this gentleman. We learnt that the man was not a Christian and so, with some difficulty due to the man’s poor hearing, Pastora Fely shared with him the gospel. In that moment he gave his life to Jesus with tears rolling down his cheeks. We started praying for his healing, laying our hands on his eyes and ears. After some time, Trenquino started speaking excitedly In Tagalog, and we soon realised that he has received sight and hearing. He was smiling from cheek to cheek, showing his only 2 remaining teeth and still weeping. He was suddenly able to converse without difficulty, could follow movement with his eyes and direct them to certain objects in the room when asked to, and as this realisation set in, Trenquino began to dance with joy. The room was full of other ministry workers and patients waiting to see the dentists, and when they too realised what they had witnessed the room erupted with joy and thanksgiving to God.
Ai Seok Lau
Jason returned upstairs to the dental clinic and told the team upstairs what he had seen. Soon, members of the dental team who had seen Trenquino previously came down to see for themselves the result of this divine intervention. Rick (a dentist) and Alfie (a medical student and acting dental assistant), who had both seen the man previously, talked with Trenquino and were astounded by the difference in the man. As two of the more cynical and previously unconvinced members of the team (as regards miracles and divine healing), even they could not deny the nature of what had happened there in Aroganga.
Trenquino's wife, Marcellina, who had brought him to the clinic, was clapping and dancing to see him healed. She testified to his blindness of two years and his deafness of one, and of how she had previously needed to lead him everywhere by the hand and manually feed him. With tears streaming down her face, she also gave her life to Jesus. We visited the couple's home which was just a short walk from the church where we held the clinics. The villagers were amazed to see Trenquino, now walking without any assistance, and asked many questions about what had happened. Here is the interview with Trenquino and his wife after he got healed.
This was surely a modern supernatural miracle, and was witnessed by many. Aside from myself and Pastora Fely, Trenquino was seen before and after this act of God by our triage team, a doctor, two dentists, a medical student, and multiple others including the Filipino translators who were assisting with running the clinic. Most importantly, however, today two more lives were given to Jesus Christ. Glory to God.
Aroganga was much busier in the afternoon, with everyone working very hard to see every patient before sunset (there was very little electricity available for lighting, so we had to work efficiently with our time to treat everyone!). This urgency to our work required all of the BLI team to work very hard to make the clinic a success and as a result we were beginning to develop a strong team spirit that would continue throughout the mission. This clinic was particularly special as the prayer team saw miraculous healing in several of the patients, giving an incredible climax to a day where God’s love and faith was evident in the lives of the people we encountered.
Hui Yun Teoh
After the great miracles, I thought of the deaf man whom we prayed for three times earlier. What if Pastora Fely was there to pray for him and he can be healed too! As I was moved by his wife's faith that she told us that she believe Jesus could heal him. I thought to myself, they must have gone home for quite some time.
God is so good, He knows what is in our heart! After what felt like an hour passing, suddenly I saw his wife coming down the stairs from seeing the dentist. I thought this must be God's given chance, so I quickly grabbed her and told her to bring her husband back for Pastora Fely to pray for him.
The old man came back again, and we prayed for him at the front of the church with him sitting down on the chair. This time Pastora Fely, was talking to him in Tagolag, and found out that he is not a believer yet. He then accepted the Lord and said he believed now, though his ear was not fully healed. Pastora Fely invited him to come back again this Sunday to be prayed for again.
That was the missing ingredient! I forgot to ask whether he was saved and was just focusing on praying for healing. Though we asked for healing, but God knows what is the bigger issue and it is salvation!
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" - Luke 15:4
The heaven rejoice when one man is saved and his name is written in the book of life. I know that God pursued him. When he came back again with faith for prayer, he was ready to accept the Lord as his Saviour that gives freedom to his eternal soul.
There was great excitement during the Aroganga service and clinic, with many accepting Christ during the service, and many miraculous healings taking place. I saw a young girl sitting on her own away from the excitement, waiting to be seen by a doctor/dentist, & approached her with Grace (youth leader/interpreter). In chatting to her she relayed she had pain in her right ear, so we prayed for healing. After the prayer with tears in her eyes she said the pain was gone.
Sensing a deep compassion for her we asked her if she knew Jesus – she did not, so we shared about how much God loves her, and of Jesus who died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins so we could have eternal life knowing the Father God. She gladly accepted Christ into her life, with tears of joy. We shared from Psalm 139 about how God fearfully and wonderfully made her, and encouraged her to continue to come to the church. Just earlier in the service I had witnessed a whole crowd accepting Christ into their lives – yet I reflected that even if it was just this one young girl who came to know Christ it still caused great rejoicing in heaven. God is the God who left the 99 sheep to seek after the one lost sheep – and each individual life is indeed so precious to Him.
When our strength is spent, is where God builds our faith. We finished our Hump-day with the midweek service, a combination of adults, youth and children all together. It was wonderful to celebrate and worship together as one family of many generations.
God led the service where brother Rick boldly shared his testimony and Jason and Jo Fo shared about running the race, finishing well in the company of family. We all are on the same journey, despite our different starting times we all press on towards the same goal. We were truly blessed to see God weaving his word and truth throughout. It was a time of communion and prayer for each other and for allowing the holy spirit to rejuvenate the tired, distracted and fatigued. What a glorious day. We continued to press on towards the prize. We will not be the same tomorrow as we are today.