Philippines 2017_Day 4
"The Upper Room"
Annddd another day has started! It's the third day of the mission trip (minus the travelling days) and we started the day at 6 am for the morning devotion after 4 hours of sleep. It's so wonderful to start a day with the team and our brothers and sisters from ROLM. Jung Yin shared God's word that morning and we worship before we had our breakfast.
After the breakfast, we had some time before the session started so Benson and Elliot went to set up the water filters and take some videos while we set up space for the medical and dental clinics in the San Isidro orphanage. People had already started lingering in front of the doors before the session started. I was assigned to the dental clinic to help Rick and Jason. The dental clinic was quite busy but most things went smoothly.
Personally, I had some spiritual downtime before the trip so I was hesitant to pray for people. In fact, just the day before, there was this man in Dolores whom we suspected to have a more serious condition which needed a check-up in a hospital. I knew I should pray for him and I actually asked if he wanted prayer, but when he said yes, I pointed him to the prayer team and said: “Go there!”.
I had been thinking about that the whole morning and when I was helping out at the clinic I was encouraged when I heard Yang clapping his hands praising God after he and Naomi prayed for someone. I knew God's doing something amazing.
Then there was this lady named Rosielda who came to the dental clinic to have her tooth pulled out. Her tooth was so difficult to pull out that Rick had to go find Jason to talk about the options they have. While Rick went upstairs to look for Jason, I thought I should stand somewhere where she could see me so she wouldn't feel as upset when she thought she's left alone there. So I did, and she started staring at me to the point where I felt awkward. Without any other option, I talked to her and I asked her if she wanted me to pray for her. She said yes, and the whole thing went like this:
Rosielda: *stares at me*
Rosielda: *still staring at me*
Me: Don't worry, he (Rick) will come down soon. I guess you have healthy bones.
Rosielda: (probably didn't understand what I said) *smiles*
Me: Are you a Christian?
Me: Do you go to church?
Me: Are you coming to the service later this evening?
Rosielda: There's a service?
Me: Yes, you coming?
Me: (waiting for Rick but doesn’t look like he's coming down yet)
Rosielda: *stares at me again*
Me: Do you want me to pray for you?
*and we prayed*
Rosielda: Thank you
Me: Your tooth is going to come out just like that *snapping my fingers*
Then Jason came down to have a go at pulling her tooth out and BOOM! Her tooth came out JUST LIKE THAT. To be honest, it looked like Jason was picking out the tooth than pulling it out, and I looked at Rosielda and smiled (sorry Jason, it was God) and when Rosielda when to thank me later, before she could, I replied “No, thank God” (one of the best things I learnt from people from ROLM). The rest of the session ran smoothly and we had a late lunch.
We had a huge lobster for lunch caught by a pastor from Santa Monica and delivered to San Isidro for us. Couldn’t be grateful enough as the lobster this size would probably be sold at a good price but instead, he delivered it all the way to us and it normally takes more than two hours from Santa Monica to San Isidro with two boat rides.
We then visited the ROLM plantation which was around five minutes away from the orphanage by boat. We did try to help out with getting the soil prepared for the seeds but our brothers and sisters from ROLM were just being the great host and wouldn’t let us do the labour.
They pluck some coconuts from the trees there and we had a coconut feast. We did get one row of soil done as we targeted, not a very good job but done, and it was good to understand how their lives there are. Had a good time doing some manual work and talking with each other and then we left the plantation to get ourselves prepared for the mid-week service in the church later in the evening. The sunset was beyond beautiful when we were on our way back to ROLM on the boat.
(On a side note, the work is really labour intensive and we heard a lot of people there complaining about back pain so please do keep them in prayers)
The mid-week service in ROLM San Isidro started with worship led by Yin and we tried to introduce a new song “Our Father” to the church, which will lead to Jung Yin’s preaching later. The kids presented the song “Jesus Lover of my Soul” with a help of a youth, and that was one of the cutest thing I had ever seen. I was so touched to see their simple faith and it was just so encouraging. I had the pleasure to share my testimony with the help of our dear sister Gemima on the translation, then Alice and Rick performed a skit about the Lord’s prayer and brought out the message of the meaning of our prayer. Jung Yin later preached about the importance of prayer. We then had more worship and invited those who wanted prayer to come forward. It was so blessed being able to pray for them and to really feel God’s presence there, to see how the Holy Spirit moved and quite a few of them were slain in the Spirit. We also prayed for the youth leader and it was really encouraging to see the youth to really have the desire to take up the position and be the leaders.
Overall it was an awesome day, to be in the presence of God’s love; to be able to pray and encourage each other; to be used for His glory; to know that He can and He will do way greater things than these.
Supporters of ROLM have been praying for a number of years for the leaders of ROLM. ROLM has been continuing to grow rapidly with numerous new church plants and many new believers, and it is vitally important that ROLM has a strong united leadership team to continue to carry on their vision to 'preach the gospel to the ends of the earth' into the future, and to disciple the many young believers in the church. A key area of prayer that God had impressed in my prayers in the lead up to the mission trip was for healing – physically, and also spiritually - for restored hope from disappointment, healing from hurts, renewed strength and fire in the hearts of the people.
As we had our debrief on Tuesday night, and discussed planning for the following day, various ideas were put forth about the content of the Leaders seminar that was planned for the following Wednesday morning. A group of us decided that we really needed to pray and hear from God before deciding further about what to plan for this important teaching session.
We prayed and then shared about what God impressed upon us for the leadership session following the debrief. Hui King gave wise counsel that this was the most important teaching seminar to be run during the trip and vital need for the leadership to be strengthened and encouraged. We realised we needed to change our original plans for the session, to give a message of new hope, renewed vision, and importance of discipleship. We continued to commit the leaders to God in prayer late in the night and asked God to move their hearts.
Wednesday morning started with the daily 6am devotion, with the presence of God so real in worship as always, and Jung Yin sharing the Word.
Before the leadership training & San Isidro medical/dental clinic started in the morning, Elliot and Benson set up some water filters made of large buckets and filtering components, and demonstrated how this works to key workers in the church. Brother Tony (one of the ROLM pastors) shared about how the people often get sicknesses from drinking impure water, and what a blessing it was to have these filters set up. The design of the water filters and donations were by dear friends of BLi, Russ Michaud and family from Texas – thank you.
The Upper Room
The leadership session then started with worship, and Elliot sharing a sharp message on seeing the Holiness of God in all circumstances. I then shared a message on Joseph about renewed hope, a call to the recommitment to the vision of ROLM, and an altar call was given. God moved, with all leaders responding, and many weeping as the team individually prayed and ministered to the leaders. One lady was on the floor undergoing deliverance as Ai Seok prayed for her. Later she testified that she felt she was 'floating ' as various spirits are cast out. She also had a vision of preaching to many in Santa Monica (consequently the team went there later in the week to hold a medical/dental clinic and teaching session there).
Hui King then shared a message on vision and importance of discipleship. Another altar call was given and all again responding. As Hui King laid hands on and prayed for the leaders, in the presence of God with worship in the background, one by one every person was slain in the spirit, on the floor. Available youth leaders were called in to also be prayed for with the manifest presence of God so strongly evident; one of them later testifying that she felt she was floating. Team members downstairs later testified that the presence of God could be sensed near the stairs coming down from the Upper room where the session took place.
While the leadership session was running upstairs in the San Isidro orphanage, the medical/ dental session was running downstairs, and continued on way into the afternoon. Much joy was seen in the children's faces as balloons were given out and love of God expressed as the sessions ran. People continued to be prayed for and healed in tangible ways. For example, Yang and I prayed for some people with a visual impairment. For one of the people, we asked him before praying what he could specifically see - he relayed he could not see some smaller letters further away, and some letters on a T shirt worn by one of the kids. After Yang prayed, the man checked the letters on the shirt which he could now see, as well as the smaller letters further away. Another person we prayed for had no vision in his right eye; afterwards could see light and shadows as fingers were waved in front of him after the prayer, which he did not see before. I learnt from Yang the power of faith and perseverance in prayer, as this person was prayed for 4-5 times until his eyesight improved!
We were very blessed to have some lobster for lunch, which the pastor at the Santa Monica church went way out of his way to catch in the deep waters, then delivered all the way to San Isidro (a couple of hours worth of travel by boat) to bless us - the people here have such hearts of gratitude and servanthood.
Later in the afternoon, the team went out to the plantations to help in preparing the soil and planting some seeds, to help us have some understanding of what is involved. Taking care of the plantations is the primary means of livelihood for most of the villages. However, many challenges are involved - it is hard manual labour, and often plants are destroyed by insects or floods. I wasn't able to physically do the work for more than 5 minutes at a time, though most of the rest of the team did better!
Midweek service - Power of Holy Spirit
We had the midweek service in the evening in the San Isidro church, starting with worship led by Yin and other members of the team. Alice and Rick presented an entertaining and insightful skit about prayer greatly enjoyed by the congregation, followed by Joan sharing her encouraging testimony, then a message from Jung Yin also on the importance of prayer. More worship followed with God's presence evident in the church, and Jung Yin gave an altar call for those wanting to accept Christ and others wanting prayer. Many responded and came forward for prayer, and the team came forward to pray. The Holy Spirit moved powerfully - I was surprised to see people slain in the spirit one after the other. As I laid hands and prayed for people, and as I looked around all the team praying for people, most people were being slain in the spirit. Henna was praying for a young girl at the front and without touching her, the girl was initially waving back and forward, and then fell down. I then saw one of the young girls I had prayed for on the floor was now moving around on the floor with a local leader praying over her, so went over to support in praying for deliverance. As the leader called out various spirits to be cast out, she was vomiting with each spirit cast out. Eventually she settled. I learnt afterwards she was a new believer and her local pastor was able to follow up in discipleship.
Meanwhile the team continued to work together, calling the youth leaders out for prayer. The presence of God continued to stay with Jason worshipping / playing guitar in the background as the Holy Spirit continued to move.
It was an amazing and significant day, working together as a team, seeing the reality of the power of God at work, leadership strengthened, and knowing that the work He does has nothing to do with us - we are just His vessels, and just very blessed to see God's power at work. Praise God!