In addition to operating an office which recruits, trains and supports missionaries, OM Philippines is actively involved in evangelistic campaigns and training throughout the nation.
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The OCZ team going to Cebu was a six-member team, composed of participants from Malaysia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia and France.
Soon upon arrival in the Philippines, the Cebu team crossed islands by a pump boat for the Gilutungan Island mission outreach. It was a rough ride across high waves common during this time of the year, due to the southwest monsoon.
The team first visited Gilutungan Elementary School and distributed school supplies in partnership with a local church. About 800 school children benefited from a gift pack containing notebooks, papers, pens, crayon and slippers.
Excitement and gratitude were written all over the faces of the school children as they received their gifts. Afterward they had a time of games and stories with the OCZ team. The school principal and teachers of Gilutungan Elementary School expressed gratefulness for the donations from the church and the presence of the OCZ team.
The following day, the team visited people’s homes and prayed for the elderly and sick.
"It was a very humbling experience to enter the houses of these simple people, to hear their stories and to pray for them,” Michael Walder, from Switzerland, recalled.
The visits were followed by a children’s fellowship among the kids in the community. The OCZ team presented dramas, Bible stories and games, along with a snack. Team member Fong Vin Kit, from Malaysia, summarised his reflections: “It cannot be clearer that we're called to shine for Jesus as I see the darkness around me."
After visiting Gilutungan Island, the team crossed to Kinatarcan Island, which was previously affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013. The team was taken beyond their comfort zone as they experienced island life with many deprivations, such as not having electricity, toilets or proper housing. There the team held an outreach at a school and showed a Gospel film.
Kelly Schneider, from Australia, describes her experience in Kinatarcan:
“During the evangelistic night and Gospel film show in the community, I was having a fever and was undecided whether to stay to rest. I came for the evangelistic night. When we got back to our camp, my fever spiked. I felt like I have to go to the small toilet outside of the makeshift house, so I rose up from my mat and went through the dark night to the toilet, for there was no electricity.
“I was really out of my comfort zone and wondered why God has brought me here and I'm sick. Then suddenly from somewhere in a house nearby, a worship song was played, which I could hear from inside the dark toilet. Hearing the song strengthened me in the moment.
“I am a witness that God cares and knows what I’m going through that time while I was out of my comfort zone. The next day, I was well and able to continue with more mission outreaches. I experienced the way of life by people living with so little. However, I saw God work in the most incredible ways. For me that is the most amazing and encouraging thing to witness.”
Praise God for the people impacted by the outreach, both those in the community and the outreach team. Pray that God continues to work in the local communities for His glory.
Published: Thursday, 27 August 2015
Credit: OM International