First of all, I thank bro. Ee for the opportunity to visit various churches of Christ in the Philippines. What moved me was during bro. Ee’s Preacher and His Work class, he mentioned that I should go with him and visit the brethren there. Both sis. Sharon and bro. Yong Yaw had warned me about the hot weather and to drink only bottled water. My idea of the Philippines met my expectations when I arrived in Manila.
Together with bro. Ee, sis. Sharon, Anna, Alison and myself, we visited Banaoang church of Christ, Poblacion West Umingan church of Christ and Fronda church of Christ. Our brethren there were very hospitable. They showed us around and prepared meals for us.
The lectureship was titled “In All Things Showing Yourself To Be A Pattern Of Good Works” (Titus 2:7). We met a number of Four Seas College alumni namely, Joann Medez, John-John Medez, Rachel Bianca and Arnel Miranda. Joann, John-John and Arnel are already proving themselves to be active gospel preachers. I guess the instructors of Four Seas College will be proud of them. We met up with bro. Tommy Nyau at the lectureship.
After the lectureship at Kabankalan, we visited Mansilingan church of Christ. I taught a youth Bible class on the subject of prayer. I guess that preparing material for a Bible class is one thing, but it is entirely a different ball game to present the material in front of a class. I struggled to make the lesson interesting and hoped the youth understand what I was saying. I guess my struggle was evident when I became down with sore throat too that very day! I need to thank bro. John-John for taking
me to the hospital.
Back in Singapore, I think that I have been taking far too many things for granted. For example, our air-conditioning, clinics, toilets with flushing system, bright lighting at night, clean water etc. We really need to sit down and count our blessings. Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every
perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Finally, I pray that Mansilingan will have a physical church building soon. As Paul also visited various churches to encourage the brethren there during the first century, this purpose of encouragement is still
– Zeng Jun Ming
These twelve days I have spent in the Philippines are not ones that will be easily forgotten. I have been told that our presence there was
encouraging, but I feel that I have been more encouraged than anyone else by the dedication and faithfulness of the Filipino brethren. (1Th 1:3) Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father
The language barrier posed quite a few difficulties for us. Some
brethren from the rural areas spoke little to no English, and even those who did had their local accents and pronunciations. For my ladies’ class at Kabankalan, a sister had to translate a summarised version of my lesson after I had finished so the audience could understand more fully. But smiles, hugs, kisses on the cheek and warm handshakes — these transcended language. What I remember most about the mission trip was the warmth, kindness and hospitality of the brethren there, that made the Philippines for me a home away from home and gave me a sense of the true universality of God’s family, that our Christian
fellowship and love could reach across geography and nationalities and cultures. Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
I had to teach an impromptu children’s class one afternoon at Fronda COC while the church leaders had their meeting. Even though I was flustered and unprepared for the lesson, and I had to ask the help of Sister Rowena to translate my English into the local dialect, the children were the most attentive and engaged I have ever had the pleasure to teach. Here is fertile soil ready for the planting of the seed of the Word of God. I hope that in addition to our focus on evangelism and
conversions, we might also channel some of our resources to the
children’s ministry in the Philippines, which is sorely lacking in teachers and teaching materials, especially those in their local dialect or
The bible lectureship at Kabankalan was very much of an inspiration and encouragement to me. Having only been to local Fourseas
lectureships and Chinese Asian Bible lectureships, it was new
experience for me to attend one in the Philippines. There was no
air-conditioning or cushioned seats or tables or catered buffet lunches, but the zeal and commitment of the brethren were obvious to the
observer. It was awe-inspiring to watch the Kabankalan ladies
personally prepare individual meals for more than 200 attendees of the lectureship. And I am so thankful to the brethren who approached us, greeted us and made conversation with us despite their doubts about their English-speaking ability.
It was also a joy for me to meet once more the Fourseas students I had known during their studies here in Singapore. Sister Rowena, Sister Rachelle, Brother Arnel and Brother Joann were excellent hosts. They took us to tourist spots and local attractions and from my conversations with them I learned much about the Filipino culture and the state of the church and its work there. It was also encouraging to meet many young brethren who confided in me their plans to attend Fourseas college in the future. It is not an easy choice for them to make: to sacrifice their studies and careers in order to come all the way to an unfamiliar foreign country to train themselves up in the word of God in order to become a better servant of His. I am deeply encouraged that they can set their priorities straight and make this difficult choice in their lives. Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I highly encourage all the brethren here to make time in their schedules to take part in such mission trips that Jurong organises in the future. Although it may seem like a daunting endeavour at first, it is truly a valuable life experience that broadens your perspective, strengthens your faith and changes you in ways that you cannot imagine.
– Alison Tee