29 May 2011
Team: Richard Lee & Cornelius (Cheras), Ai Lin(Subang), Caroline & yours truly (Klang), Eddy & Sharon, (Jurong, S’pore)
Talugtug Church of Christ is a 3 ½ hours drive from the Clark airport. It is one of the outreach of the Jurong Church of Christ. We heard there were about 20 plus members. So going for mission work in a place none of us has ever step foot can be a real challenge. You don’t know what to expect or what you will be up against, but whatever it is, one needs to walk by faith and leave the rest to God. The idea to team up with bro. Eddy was born during one of bro. Eddy & Richard’s meet. It was supposed to be a Revival Meeting but ended as an Evangelistic workshop cum mission work.
I searched the website and found out a little more information on Talugtug. It is in the province of Nueva Ecija, which is politically subdivided into 28 barangays. It has only a population of 20,671 people in 4,168 households. But everywhere we went, we came across many prominent & elegant big church buildings of “IGLESIA NI KRISTO”. They belong either to the Catholic or Protestants, a sharp contrast to the Church of Christ building.
Thanks to Jurong church, we had a van to ferry us to and from the hotel, an hour’s drive away. We had our moments. We went through bumpy rides, and had our old bones rattled as we passed through acres and acres of golden brown rice fields that flanked both sides of the narrow roads. It reminded me of what Jesus said in John
4:35 “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white unto harvest …!” The idea that we can as the laborers for the harvest seemed to fit in nicely ha!ha! We drank water pumped from the well and had our meals under the blazing sun streaming through the trees. We experienced some sudden black out that plunged the small town & villages into darkness. God’s hand was certainly at work when the lights came on at the appropriate time for class to begin.
Most of the things we did there were how Richard coined the phrase, “play by the ear”, That meant seized every opportunity when it presented itself. And play hard we did! Personal studies, children and ladies’ classes were setup. We had two sessions with the ladies. We had 15 kids on the first day. Lessons were conducted in a class room of an Elementary school just across the road. On the second day, a large group of children were waiting eagerly for us by the roadside, and as soon as they saw us, they began singing the Sunday school songs they had learned a day earlier. By Sunday, we had a record of 25 children. Prayerfully, they will be future leaders of the church in Talugtug.
Prov. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old, he will not depart from it”.
Some of the activities carried out:
Class in session
Visitation was done on tractors and motorcycles. They insisted when they heard we were going on foot.
It was like a large entourage escorting the dignitaries to a wedding feast. Mothers and children squeezed themselves into the tractors; motorcycles riding threesome & foursome followed behind. We moved from hut to hut, from members’ home to fallen ones. We don’t have to worry about fancy gates or locked doors or rude owners. There were none. They welcomed us with open arms & icy cold water to quench our thirst despite their poor living conditions and ramshackle huts. We ate humble pie.
Some things that happened here were magical or short of miracles. I knew God’s hand was at play with the way things turned out.
One for the road…..
the Umingan church, a small congregation near San Jose town, where bro. Richard was invited to share a lesson on Saturday night.
Baby for adoption. Anyone?
Before we left for Philippines, Richard wrote and asked us, “What are your expectations and preparations?” I always believe when we set out to do God’s work, we will never come back empty-handed. No words can describe our rich experience and fellowship there. Instead of going to revive or encouraged them, the tables were turned. It is also heartening to know that there are in fact many more churches meeting in small groups all over the Philippine islands.
The Lord’s work is an unfinished business. There are still many people and even children out there willing to hear God’s word. More Christians need to get off their comfort zone and just go. Ask any of the team members, the experience and excitement still linger in their hearts and yes, the team is ready to go again.
To the brethren in Talugtug & those who came far and near to help, a big thank you for your love & warm fellowship. You are AWESOME. To Jurong church esp. bro Eddy & Sharon for allowing us to be part of the Philippines work; last but not the least, to the women who laboured unceasingly, feted us with such rich food and for all your sacrifices remember Heb.6:10.