Libertad Antique in the north west of Panay Island, middle of the Philippines
Date: June 02-13, 2022
We started an outreach in Antique together with a local pastor. So, I called my students from Ibajay (Read Ibahay – from Spanish pronunciation) of the Agape Christian College of Theology whosoever would like to help and 21 of 38 responded. 7 boys and 14 girls were coming just as a surprise.
Also, some volunteers from other churches join together in unity to get souls for Jesus. We divided the team into 2 groups to fit us all in our accommodations. Tin and me had the girls in our team and Pastor Lloyd cared for the boys.
Our Goals are:
We divided them into smaller teams 4 to 5 to do the evangelism and the kids bible school. In the mornings we started with the VBS, that is Vacation Bible School and were doing this for 6 days. We provided a kid’s feeding program and bible studies. We have a lot of programs prepared for them. The attendance of the children at the lowest was 47 and 15 of them are from believers’ family background.
Figure 1 4 Groups at the Vacation Bible School: Love, Patience, Gentleness and Peace
At the end Love won
At the first outreach day our car had a flat tire and the tire was damaged looking like beyond repair with two big open cuts. He drove over a metal stave in the ground while bringing the team to the beach. The tire needed be brought to the next city because at our location is no one that can fix a tubeless tire so, he had to go far by tricycle and so, he missed the first VBS day. Actually no one was able to fix it so, he bought a second-hand tire from Sael Aranas Vulcanizing shop. He gave him only two minutes for listening to the gospel but now he is open for more.
Our first evangelism is to distribute tracts from house to house, at the markets and to everywhere and more along this village Libertad. Our young people have a lot of fun enjoying the moment in the streets while walking together on food with their teams. In the afternoon we went together to evangelize and visit houses and do follow up work. Those who have been contacted and have accepted us already into their families will have the house-to-house bible studies. We also need to visit those who are missing in church for various reasons during this pandemic, we go to win them again and bring them back to church. We prayed for the ill visiting them as we could.
Our Food is very simple because our budget is limited. Some contributed also. For Harry I brought with us some canned goods, bread and his jam so, I don’t need to think what to feed. Sometimes he can also eat some of our menu if it is chicken or vegetables.
Driving the team of the elders to their work area. These Ladies had been pretty good in what they were doing and they were always exited to give a report.
The boys of our team stayed in the church. They had their accommodations together with the elders and one pastor from another church. They are helping there to build the church building and to fetch water from the well and to gather fire woods and building materials and bring them on top. The church is located further up and it’s a hundred meters small path away from the street. The spring where they fetch the water is even further away. It comes from the rocks a spring with non-stop flowing water out of the rocks. We go there for dinner to have a whole group fellowship and after dinner we go back to our barracks again. Some of them also go with us for evangelism and for the children bible school. And as we, also all the teams went out every afternoon for street, market and house to house evangelism.
The church is very small and the roof is already dripping everywhere. On Tuesday there was a strong rain here and it is not really good but I have prayed that in the night time there will be no rain so they will not be destructed in their sleep and so far, there was no rain at night just during the day time only. Also, here in our accommodation some parts of the house are dripping but its ok… we put buckets and wipe the water always… the owner of the house who is also a church member offered us their bed to sleep and only me and Harry sleep in a bed while the rest of the team sleeps in the floor…Good that I have collected second hand beddings and comforters (mattresses well they call the PVC floor carpet) so we brought them with us and offered them to the volunteers so that they can also have a good night rest because the floor is hard.
At night our team is going together in the devotion time and after that Harry does for them an improvement and counseling time asking them things just like “what is your hardest or most difficult moment of your life? Each one of them was asked and most of them pour out their tears and reveal their pains and discouragements they experienced in their life. They were all in tears. But the point of doing this is to let them know why they have such kind of experiences in life and learn to forgive completely. We ask the girls to give hugs to the one who delivers her testimony. After that we gave them also our own encouragement and comfort and we inspired them with our own life’s testimonies. It is so very touchy and surprising to hear each and everyone’s stories but its good to know it so, we know in what area we can also help them and uphold them.
On Sundays we have some invitations from churches to preach. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. Harry can deal with all situations even to take a bath outside with a cold water. He can take a nap on concrete wave braker wall just to take rest and to continue to drive again to the next location.
We brought our girls Abi, Erica and Joy as the worship team to be with us in the churches. The pastors in that churches were so amazed and happy to hear the gospel that was preached because somehow it is their first time to experience our kind of preaching. Most of the pastors here preach with text of the bible only while from us we preach with lots of biblical archeology in it so to say with evidence and with films together to show some artifacts confirming the truth of the bible we believed so gladly and they appreciate it most and they are so surprised. After Harry preached it was my turn so, I also take over the pulpit for we agree that he will not consume all the time that is for us. I will have 10 to 15 minutes to do my part. Somehow it is just a confirmation of what He had preached. I gave a short testimony to encourage them and inspire them and to give them some proof by means of my life’s testimony on how God did work in my life. It is to strengthen their faith and to stand firm no matter what they are facing in their lives. I can feel the flow of the holy spirit in me for I am always asking and praying to God to anoint me, anoint my tongue to speak what He wants me to speak, to bless the works of my hands so I can bless others so much.
Please let me tell you one example of our street evangelism. Once I met a woman along the street in a waiting shade. We gave her tracts and we were talking a while. I observed the things in her throat, she has a goiter. I ask permission if I can touch it but before she could answer me, I touched it already. The moment I pointed my finger on it she felts something from me and her head moved just like pulled. I can’t explain much of it. After that I asked her if she wants us to pray for her... at first, she was hesitant telling us a while ago that she cannot invite us inside her house because she has idols in her house. But suddenly she wants us to come in. While talking she is presuming, we are just the same because she believes also in God and she also prays, she was born in a catholic family and she said she will also close her eyes as a catholic. I told her there is only one real God and that is Jesus in Heaven. I ask her is your God when you pray answering? Do your idols have ears to listen or can they hear you? Can you feel them? At that moment of time she was very silent and cannot answer anymore… and then we find a chance to preach to her, and so she was listening without interrupting us in a bad way anymore. (Woman on the right)
Every day more good reports were told by the teams that were glad to see a good result. The Saturday followed a baptism of 7 young people with a short practical sermon.
In the Afternoon we had a meeting with the Bukidnon tribe
All the work continued with enthusiasm throughout all the time of the outreach and after all we gave them a treat in Malumpati the health water spring in Antique.
When we said good bye to the team tear came again and a long chat on Facebook followed asking for more.
Anyway we needed to stay for some time longer for the afterworks.
After all --- our Goals are somehow reached:
Still for prayer
Wishlist for coming time outreach to Natives and youth camp
Tents, camping material, good shoes, field kitchen ware, solar charger, spare tire, repair for frond drive shaft left. If possible small motocross bike like Honda XR 250 even just second hand because there are no ways for cars and the paths are long and we need to leave the car behind.
I am happy for the outcome of the outreach which is pretty positive even though it leaves me (Harry) with some wishes. Goals are reached and the pastor is instructed how to continue. Indeed, I am overwhelmed God has given us official contacts to have outreaches to native groups of Ati’s and Bukidnon’s that we definitely need. Local pastors have little success with them because it makes them feel like foreigners in their own land but I am a foreigner too like Abraham and I have a lot of good true stories.
A big thank you from Libertad to Norway and IBRA