Philippines 2017_Day 6
"Pills & Prayers"
On our last full day with RoLM, the team once again started the day with devotion with the children and set out in the morning for medical and dental clinics. This time, we were heading to Santa Monica, a secluded island about 1.5 hours boat journey away from Delores. Despite being a last minute change, the team all felt that there was a need to go to Santa Monica. The reason being... well, a picture speaks a thousand words.
All jokes aside, being secluded has its pros and cons. Although enjoying the natural beauty of this place, there are no medical or dental services on the island, and access to any of these means a long and costly journey out to one of the major cities.
Having seen God working wonders and miracles over the last few days, and with our medical supplies running low, it became a standard practice for the pharmacy to offer a comprehensive service of Pills & Prayers. Even the doctors and dentists say that what they prescribed will only last the patients no more than a week, but through prayer in the name of Jesus, there is an eternal source of pain relief and full restoration of any illness on offer. Prayer beats multivitamins and paracetamol hands down all day, every day!
There is a time for work and also a time for rest - Amen to that! We had a quick lunch as soon as we packed up our clinic and went for a hike across a dense jungle, heavily guarded by armies of mosquitoes, but, when we reached the end, it was worth it.
Typical beach day activities: the girls chilled by the pool and do girly things...!
The boys got their tops off and lined up in order of skin tone!
After we got back to God's Children Home (another 1.5 hour boat ride), the team freshened up, power napped, and got ourselves ready for the last leg of the day. What better way to finish our week than with a celebration party with the kids!
Balloons, gifts (thanks for the donations!), cake and games. Plus staying up way past normal bedtime. All the right ingredients for a good party!
Alice: When we first arrived in San Isidro we were told that Pastor Robin from the River of Life Mission church in Santa Monica had journeyed out into the deep sea on a boat with the intention that he might catch something delectable. Indeed, his many hours on the water provided him with significant dividends – hooking the largest rock lobster I have ever seen in my life. But what Pastor Robin chose to do with that one lobster truly moved my heart: he then travelled an hour by boat to the Dolores village, and then another 45 minutes down the Dolores river, to deliver this prized catch into the hands of the team from Bread and Life International. It was also at this time that he sincerely asked Pastora Fely if BLi were able to frequent his quaint fishing village of Santa Monica, but this request was met with a sombre response; the schedule was full and there was not anything else that could be done and unfortunately Santa Monica would not be visited. Unbeknown to us, although Pastor Robin had accepted this reply, he returned home with a new task at hand – he was to pray through his request and surrender it to God. You may recall on Day 3 the incredible events that unfolded in the upper room, where leaders of ROLM were visited by the Holy Spirit in an extra-ordinary way. It was during this encounter with the Holy Spirit, that the wife of the Pastor from Tanawan, was given a powerful vision. In this vision, Emie saw the sun, boats and water, and immediately knew that she was seeing Santa Monica. Upon receiving this vision, she pleaded with Pastora Fely and the BLi team to go to Santa Monica. This was a prompting that need not be asked twice, and it was with this vision and an answered prayer from a praying Pastor in Santa Monica that we set out to cancel our scheduled activities for our final day, and in obedience, said yes to travelling to this treasured land. As Yang and I pondered over the events that lead to the BLi team’s change-of-plans, I was struck with awe and amazement of the magnitude of our Lord. God was undoubtedly doing something wonderful in this place, and as we sought to hear from the Lord of the message he wanted to speak to His people, we revelled in anticipation and cried out for His will to be done.
As we arrived in Santa Monica, the beautiful crystal blue seas greeted us along with the friendly faces of the locals. God had given me a word about needing to break down the strongholds of unbelief in the land and as I met the eyes of the people standing inside the church building, my heart ached over the relationship God desperately wanted to have with His creation. As we worshipped together, God gave me a word from Genesis 2, that it was God’s intention for mankind to walk with Him, as in the garden of Eden, that may know the Lord and have a relationship with our Abba Father.
As I shared about God working through creation, it was evident that God was doing a work in the hearts of the men and women seated before me, and as the altar call was made to receive Jesus as Lord, the congregation stood to their feet in acknowledgement.
Indeed Romans 1:20 rings so true. “Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God ”.
After the altar call, the people settled down back into their seats while continuing to wait for their turn to see the medical team, who were working tirelessly outside the church. It was indeed a prayer answered for Pastor Robin, as the people of Santa Monica could now be seen by the doctors and dentists, and receive the medication needed for their needs.
Above that, it was our privilege to be able to share the word with the people of Santa Monica and to minister healing to them. On the boat trip to Santa Monica, I heard from God to speak on His healing power, that He is alive and mighty to save and heal - even the longest issues that one could be struggling with. After Alice’s message, I took over the microphone and met with the congregation with Ps Fely translating. I told them I was going to tell them 2 stories that day.
The first story was from Mark Chapter 5: the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years. She had spent all her fortune on seeking medication and yet was without cure. However, she did not give up hope and continued to have faith to believe that God will healed her. Indeed her faith has made her well, said Jesus when she had received healing upon touching Jesus’ garment.
The second story was about a man who was deaf for more than three decades. Not able to hear even if a gun shot was released behind him, that man lived in a village where everyone knew he was deaf. However even though he was deaf for 30 years, he still came to the church in his village late one night where healings were taking place. He allowed a team of Christians to prayed for both his ears, and even when it did not get better after the first prayer, he continued to allow them to pray. Indeed one ear after the other, he started hearing in both his ears! “That man was called Emiliano, and he is from Libertad; and he received his hearing yesterday,” I exclaimed through the microphone. I then encouraged the congregation that no matter how long they have suffered with an issue or a sickness, whether it has been years or tens of years, as long as they have faith in Jesus like the people in the two stories, they will receive God's healing!
An altar call was made to receive healing. People started coming up to the front as the BLi staff prayed for them. Heart pain, back pain, chest pain and dizziness all left in Jesus' name. God was so faithful and moved through the church as people of all ages received healing from their pain and sickness. There was one lady that had a large tumour on her neck for many years and she came up to be prayed for too. We held her in our arms and prayed for her abnormal growth. It did not change in anyway after our continuous prayer, but the lady told us that she felt as if the tumour was not there anymore. We continued to contend for her healing and believed that God has started his work and would surely bring it to completion.
During this time I also received a word of knowledge of a lady with "eyes looking outwards", and a name “Kassandra”. After the church service, I went to the medical team to ask if they had registered anyone with the name Kassandra. Surprisingly they said, "yes but the girl has left the clinic". We held hands and prayed for her nonetheless knowing that it is God who would bless and keep her. We did however see a lady with her eyes looking outward! I was amazed at God for being so real and went up to the lady. When asked if she wanted prayer, she conveyed that she did not want prayers for her eyes as she was content with them, but instead asked that we lift her children up in prayer. Clarie, who was the translator, and I held her hand and prayed a blessing over the lady’s children. She thanked us with the widest smile after the prayer. Indeed, God knows our needs even before we ask, and even though we thought it was obvious what her prayer request might be, God does not look at the outward appearance but knows the matters of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
Just when we were about to leave, Elliot brought a lady with involuntary facial twitches. She had a stroke several years ago and since then had experienced involuntary facial twitches, and burps uncontrollably when touched on her shoulder or arm. We prayed for a couple of times and there was no visible improvement. Alice then felt prompted to ask if she has any un-forgiveness towards anyone. Immediately she said yes, for it was her cousin that has caused much distress to her. Ps Fely comforted her and told her that God has forgiven her, and would want her to forgive others so as to be freed from bitterness. She agreed and prayed along as Alice led her in a prayer to forgive and release her cousin from her un-forgiveness. She teared through the prayer and, after that, her countenance was brightened up! Her twitches were not completely gone though it was slightly better. We praised God nonetheless as He has shown that He does not only desire for our physical bodies to be healed, but also desires for our soul to be well.
We ended our clinic extra early that day after seeing all the patients and were brought to a pristine private beach that had amazing clear blue waters and natural rock pools. The team had an amazing time at the beach and it really felt like God rewarding us with a beautiful treat after a week of hard work serving his people. Indeed, as mentioned by Jesus, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added to you.” With the unbelievable time at an amazing unspoiled beach as the finale to our mission trip, I felt a deeper revelation of this verse that day.