Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nehemiah Teams Filipino 2013 Testimonies and stories from the field

 (Adopted from Samuel Mills)

In my entire life, this season of  staying for more than one month in  the mission field, God gave me strength to face anything (almost). Philippians 4:13 is one of my life verses. Im not really sure I can say how God used me in the lives of the people that we met, but I am sure that God is at work in their lives.
                In this second journey in Camotes Island is also a second battle against the world. God knows my heart for this people. But when we are already close to Camotes Island, fear crept inwondered if God can really my life during this second journey in this island, but I just trusted. I believed that God can and will use me.
After being in Camotes Island  for more than 5 days without seeing anything, I thought God is not working.But the day that we walked to have a house to house evangelism at the same time to invite children for VBS, we thought of going to the Brgy. Captains house to present him our letter for ministry, we got to a different route and was lead to a hut with an old man waiting.We asked if we can invite his grandchildren and if we were on the right road to Daan Paz. We left the old man, but my mind was still on him. I have a burden to share the gospel to him, but we need to present the letter first. I asked the Lord to grant us another opportunity to talk to this old man and He did. We were able to visit him again and he listened to us as we shared the Gospel to him.He received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.The whole time that we were talking to him he was very attentive and interested in God’s word. I also shared about baptism to him. God was really speaking to him and he really understood what baptism is for. He decided to follow Jesus through water baptism. Glory to God! That was our first baptism in the area.
GOD IS SO GREAT!Within almost am onth we baptized 32 people here in Camotes Island! (specifically in the town of Poro).
Look what God has done through us. God always reminds me to seek the battle and win the battle for HIM!!!

Eliseo Balogo
Member, NT S. Cotabato
Camotes Team

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nehemiah Teams 2013 Testimonies and stories from the field

(Adopted from Henry Blackaby)

                This is my second time to participate in Nehemiah Teams mission. Last time I was in Bohol (with Lizzie, Realyn and Rodelyn), but this time I was in Camotes Island. This is also my first time to be a team leader to a group of 3 young people. During the whole month to be with them are full of surprises and victories. During our stay in Camotes, we walked and ministered in 3 barangays. We walked 6-8 kilometers a day (back and forth). But to my surprise many young people responded to the Gospel, 28 young people and 4 elders. 32 souls all in all accepted the Lord Jesus and followed Him in water baptism.
                Also how God taught me to be sensitive and to be courteouswas a humbling experience. I’ve learned that a team is composed of different personalities and so adjustment is really necessary.  Also our little “age gap”, I being 31and the rest of my team being 25, 19, 17 would really result to some differences and challenges. God taught me to adjust a little bit more. That was the first time that  time that we all met and immediately had to work together. Even so, they respected me. For that, I really thank the Lord for them.

                Through them I was reminded of my youth. Life is also to be fun! Sometimes I’m too serious but through them a few laughs and jokes are not that bad. Young as they are I was blessed on how God works through them. It makes me smile when they share about making decisions because I’ve been there too! Thank you Lord for being faithful and I thank you for teaching and reminding me to wait and intrust you.

                GOD – you really did amazing things here in Camotes Island through Nehemiah Teams Mission 2013! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

Just M. Abadilla
Team Leader, Camotes Island
NT2013 Soth Cotabato Teams 
(in these PHotos, JUST wears a green bandana) 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

NT Filipino 2013 Testimonies and Stories from the field

(Adopted from William Carey)

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes”. Isaiah 54:2
Great things were done in my life since I committed my life in mission. This is my second time in Nehemiah Teams Mission at Camotes Island. I can’t explain how has worked in  my life especially while we are in the field. I learned that if you are willing to be used by God in His work, 100% He will use you. The only thing that God wants us to do is to obey His command. I am just one among the many who have decided to follow Him, not easy but I have b never regretted that decision that began by joining summer missions.
There is so much story to share about what God is doing and how he moves in people life, most almost impossible to believe (humanly thinking) but God perpetually proves that nothing is impossible to those whom believe Him.  There are more of surprises, encouragements and learning’s if you commit your life in this activity… try it!!!

                I remembered last year when we pray declaring Camotes Island for Jesus. God answered our prayer in a simple way, by using the lives of His people who are willing to sacrifice for His glory. Despite of discomfort, God did amazing things in the lives of the people there in Camotes. Many people responded to the Gospel, 28 young people and 4 elders accepted the Lord Jesus and followed through water baptism. WOW! God did amazing things if you trust Him. Our sacrifices are not anything compared to the sacrifices of God for us. Don’t doubt. God is willing to use you. God is faithful. God never fails. God is always on time. You want to make your own story in mission? Come, join us!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

Glenda (in yellow) baptizing a new believer
“O that you will bless me indeed and expand my territory let your hand be upon me and keep me from evil one”. I Chronicles 4:10

- Glenda ,   NT  South Cotabato

pray for Glenda and  3 others ( Gigi, Allen, and Amik ) as they partner with American Nehemiah Teams volunteers  this June  8- july 30 in eastern Samar.  Also pray for other leaders and  partners there Like Ptr. Silas and family, Kuya Carl and ate Suzie, Jael  , a Hands On volunteer and Luigie also following up and training the believers up-river

All the Glory , Honor and Praise belong to the Lord Jesus Christ forever!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

NT Filipino 2013 Testimonies and stories from the field

Nice, how was your summer?

My summer was great. Wow! God is so great and I am just oh so amazed with all that He did in Johnson Island, Palawan.

More than 100 people received Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. 26 people followed in baptism. By the grace of God, a house church was established. God is so awesome. Most of those who followed in baptism are married couples. About 15 families attend the house church, some wives attending without their husbands yet.

-          Nice  Flores 23, NT-Zanorte2013

Deployed to Johnson Island Palawan
this testimony shared via text

"Make our house your home. its just me and my   son who live here. we have plenty of room for  the team."

"your  message has awakened our relationship with the Lord that has been sleeping for a long time."

i had the chance to see  Nice  and   hear her stories from the  field.  even of God's faithfulness even before they got to johnson island. 
the welcome dinner in a home of Badjao believers
Nice and her friend Allen hitch-hiked to Davao city because they only have very limited money to get to the orientation site in CEBU to join NT .  both Nice and Allen are from Mt.carmel (a 2 hr ride on a van from Davao).  when they got to cebu, the team going to johnson island  is not coromplete yet and they have yet to buy their tickets. God made a way,    God added to their team  and all 5 of them were able  to go to fly to palawan at a very low price.   but they are also on a real tight budget. P2500 for their food for the entire month!  But   God is  faithful. He never fails to care  for his children. Even upon arriving , while still praying for a  place where the team could stay, a villager  (kuya Jonel) asked   the partner Pastor, "Pastor , where are you going?"    the Pastor replied,  "oh, i am here with some missionaries who will be serving here for several weeks."
God's provides!  (Glenn and Nice)
the villager replied, " Pastor, why not let them stay with us.  Make our house you home.. we have plenty of room here. "   That is God's provision!  He indeed has gone ahead of them to Johnson island!

following in baptism
"Jhonson Island," according to Nice , "is a really beautiful place   with beautiful people."  But water is real challenge. People have to  get on a boat to another island to fetch water. yay!  and that would be for drinking , washing clothes, cooking and all!  as the villagers  thirst for clean water,their thirst for the living water just as much.  There is a Catholic church in the area but they had any church gathering for almost 10 years! there are some believers  but have not joined any fellowship  for years and they so long for it. there is not an evangelical church going on is Johnson Island.  A believer they visited even said, "your  message has awakened our relationship with the Lord that has been sleeping for a long time."

Within the first few days, homes have  opened, people received Christ,  people following in baptism. the first sunday , the believers and those attending Bible studies in their homes came for their first house church .  the Bible studies and baptism continued. couples following in baptism. Equipping also started. Vision cast. by the 2nd sunday, more people have come to the house church.   They had their first Lords supper and giving of tithes and offering.   the team is preparing  and preparing the people  for the end of their one month there. songs were written on manila papers.   some were taught how to discuss Bible stories.  The  new believers and old believers in the area gathering for house church planned a lunch fellowship and farewell for the team.  that 3rd and their final sunday, about 15 families gathered.. some husbands and wives  came, some with their kids, a lot o kids! those who were baptized came. those who have not made a decision to follow Christ also came.they had their second offering  of 415 pesos that day. wow!!! 
Believers bringing food, they ate together and share their praises and thanks giving to the Lord. the day before the team left, the believers had gathered    to elect a set of officers  to  lead them to continue to gather and grow in the Lord. 
did the team survive despite that tight budget and other challenges? they did. came home full. not only with food and joys , but filled with awe and a heart change through what the Lord showed them and  how he worked through each of their lives and the people of Johnson island!

Prayer requests: 

continue to lift these believers to your prayers to the Lord. May they continue to seek Him and not give up meeting each other. may they be strengthened and really grow in their faith and knowledge of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

the work is not yet finished. pray for more workers to come and more to participate next year, not only from Mindanao areas, but from Palawan churches, to join NT next summer and reach bring the Gospel to other remote islands and hard to reach areas in mainland Palawan. 

They need Bibles. the inhabitants of the Island are Tagalogs, Cebunos, Ilonggos and Cuyunins.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NT Filipino 2013 - Testimonies and stories from the field

Joey (joie), share somethings that God taught you this summer, or how He spoke to you and what you learned.

I don’t know Jess Jennings. I never knew him and all I know about him is the short  ‘About the Author’ segment of the anthology “Look What God Can Do!” ­But whoever Ptr. Jess is, I owe him the knowledge I have now about more or less thirteen great missionaries who were totally surrendered to God. And I should be thankful to God because He let me be speared by Ptr. Jess’s challenge… to say, “The world is yet to see what God can do through me who is totally surrendered to Jesus.”
The lives of thirteen missionaries inspired me to be a ‘real’ World Christian. I realized that someday, I may face persecutions, I may get frustrated, I may get weak, I may have my heart broken because of what I may perceive but as Jeremiah 29:11 tells me, God has a plan for me—to live a a meaningful life, worthy to be written and talked about.
If ever God really is calling me to be a missionary in the field, reaching for the unreached. I know the road will never be easy and I cannot expect a comfort zone to wherever God will send me but I am willing to be sent. I am willing to fulfill the Great Commission handed over to me. I surrender myself to the will of God.
Thanks to the lives of those missionaries. They may be ‘short’ but they inspired me to be humble and valorous in serving God.

Quiet Times:
            Quiet Times. These are the moments I spend for me and God… alone. The first three weeks of my quiet times led me to believing more in the power of prayer. In the power of God.
            The QT guide, which is focused in the book of Acts, helped me to realize amazing things. Amazing things like: Being bold in my faith for Christ and in spreading the Gospel even in the most feared places of the world; persecutions, hardships, inevitable circumstances and losing one love are not reasons to be discouraged or frustrated, instead, they are reasons to rejoice for God always has a purpose; being a World Christian is being Christ-like; the Holy Spirit is the friend I can always lean on for It’s always a gift given to me; and being willing to die for Christ is not a lost, it’s always  a life gained. A life lived to the fullest.

World Christians
            I am called by Jesus not only to be a normal Christian but to be a Global Christian. I have to commit myself to what God has called me for—to bring souls (of all nations) to Him so that they may be saved.

            Among the 32 verses I had to memorize and recite for three weeks, only 1 John 1:9 and Rev. 20:15 were familiar to me. At first, I couldn’t understand why I had to recite those verses for food. But later, little by little, God taught how important those memory verses were (any of us six could not eat a meal without reciting the verses) and could be in the future, especially in bringing souls to Him.
            These verses may be my sword in times of trouble, in preaching, and in times of questioned discipleship (simply put as ‘persecution’).
            Of all the verses, though I know all of those verses are important for me, these three struck me most: Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”; Romans 10:14 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching?”; and Rev. 20:15 “If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”  I guess and believe these verses can speak with themselves.

            For a short period of time, my mind was opened to the reality that many people who already attend church are not yet saved. Every individual we asked with , “Kung mamamatay po kayo ngayon, sa tingin niyo po, saan po kaya kayo pupunta?” (If you will die now, where do you think will you go?) the answer is always, “Hindi ko alam.” (I don’t know.) or “Hindi ako sigurado.” (I’m not sure.) or “Hindi.” (No.) or there will be a long silence. A long silence that may be followed by a slow nod or of a gaze on the ground or of a shrug. Everyday, any of the scenarios happen, causing my heart to be broken…everyday. At this moment and continuously, I pray for the Lord to touch and continue to touch the lives of the people who don’t know the ‘real’ essence of salvation yet.
            Three weeks will always be a short time. Five families or so ‘souled out’ to Jesus is not enough. He needs more families, more churches. And I want to be a tool for Him to be known.
            In Malatgao, people are open for the notion of truth about salvation but in reality, it’s not always the case. Some may reject us because we are not welcome to them or because of conflicts regarding doctrines; some may be just afraid because of prior circumstances they experienced in the past.  Hence, I always have to be prepared. Apparently, I also need to be a prayer warrior.
            Three weeks ago, circumstantially, my decision to volunteer for Nemehiah Teams was so sudden. It was not something I thought about for a long time, but I’ll never regret that decision because it’s the decision that changed and will continue to change my whole life. I guess, my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11 may summarize the realizations I had for this three-week mission trip. J


Joie  is 22 years old. she heard  that NT in  Palawan needs  1-2 volunteers. before the end of the camp, she  made a commitment  to join the team for 3 weeks . and she did come and became a real blessing!
thank you for your life joey!

pray for Joey as she seeks  instruction from the Lord as to how to move forward from here. also pray for her as she leads  the youth  being the newly elected youth president of their association.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nehemiah Teams Philippines 2013: Let's move forward!

Those who know God well want God well known. - beth moore

Hello Nehemiah Teams Filipino and all with heart for the Philippines! it has been such an amazing summer! all the Glory and honor and thanks giving to the Lord for such an opportunity to join in his work and experiencing Him mightily. we had about 17-19 Filipino teams all over the country, more or less 80 people participated (not final and official number) including those who facilitated training, lead teams, supervised and did media, and YOU - if you did join, joined before, prayed, gave, mobilized have been and is a great part of this. Glory to the Lord for your life!

NOW we know and should not forget that the work is not done yet - both for the people in the field and those who participated (have participated, including us who lead them) and the entire work. Let us keep each other encouraged. Let’s keep our partners encouraged. Let’s utilize the internet and text to keep each other updated, encouraged, accountable and prayed for (this is also a challenge for me and an area where I need help).
Maybe these can help. These are not proven tested ways but ideas that may be of help.

Let’s keep connected.
With all the technology and text and call promos available, it is already almost impossible not to keep in touch with each other. Of course it is understood that some of us could be assigned or move back to our provinces and some of it may really be remote, but still, there would be some way to get connected or be in touch as long as we keep in touch.

Let’s keep in touch with our team mates, team members, team leaders. After being together for over a month, or at least 3 weeks, eating almost off the same plate, each team has become on its own, a family – a family adopted by families that welcomed our teams in the field. So you all would be the best people to keep in touch with the field, partners, and encourage one another. Though franchise leaders should be able to communicate with the team members some, but the best once to do it would be the team leaders or those who became their field supervisors. There are cases of course where the members of a team did not really get a long that well (member – member, member-team leader). Ideally the conflict should have been dealt with before or during debrief, but in case not because there was not enough time or space to talk, please still talk through it with one of your NT supervisors even on phone and let them help you see the conflict through a different perspective and with the light of the scriptures and what God may be purposing to accomplish through that conflict. Keep connected. Communicate. Go up with your problem, not out. do not sink and soak in bitterness or pain. Encourage, be encouraged. Remind and be  reminded. rebuke in hope and love.  

Proclaim his praises. Write your testimony or stories from the field. Help yourself prepare to share a story or 2 to mobilize others by writing them out now and posting some of them on Fb or sending it to us here so we can post them on the blog. These would also be a reminder-encouragement to you to press on, to fix your eyes on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. He is faithful. He was faithful in the field, He cannot be less than faithful now. (Heb12.1-3) these would also serve as an encouragement, a praise report, a blessing to those who helped us go, prayed for us, who held the other end of the rope for us. Share even off season stories. Updates of what the Lord is doing to and through you where He has placed you for that season.

Let us carry each other’s burden.  We are very prone to say “I’m ok” or just immediately talk about     ministry when we are asked how we are, or when asked to share a praise or prayer at accountability times at church or our small groups, we often feel like we have nothing to share because we are so burdened by sin, or problem and we can’t really share anything. James 5:16 tells us to keep each other accountable, carry each other’s burden, pray healing for one another. Don’t believe the lie of the enemy that “You are the only one going through it.”, that “You are alone.” and “It would be such a shame if others would know that you are struggling.” This is a time when you would need people to pray for you, encourage you and give you wise counsel all the more. Then, the joy and peace, or comfort that the LORD graced on you and through other believers would be another proclamation of praise and a testimony to others who may be or have yet to go through those trials. James 1:2-4

Be pro-active. Be actively involved.  Franchises, let’s get them involved! Participants, be involved. Let’s help them get to where the Lord wants them to be. Let’s tap former participants for mobilizations that maybe closer to their area, or even not, lets utilize their availability. Even better if we can help them start mobilizing the churches not far from them. If they are available, let them go with you in some survey trips so you are also training them as they go with you.

But involvement is not limited only to Nehemiah Teams or to missions, or ministry outside. The light that shines farthest should also be the light that shines brightest. Which means that if we are active and passionate about the lost in far places, we should have that same passion already going on for those that are just close to us. That is easier said than done even for me. But by obedience and grace it is possible. And many times, it is that time far away that helps us see the needs close by better.

So yes! Be proactive. Talk to your pastor, share to him what the Lord has laid on your heart. Let him help you with opportunities to speak and utilize, move forward and equip others with what you have learned through that summer. Be ready to serve. Be ready to teach Sunday school in case the one assigned is not available. Be proactive. Be ready to pray.

>> Meet with others from the team sometimes. Get connected with other NTs, read, keep reciting the verses and memorize some more. We can do so many. But this is what I would say for me is the best:

Always have that sweet personal time with the Lord in His word, In his presence, in prayer, through your journal, in just stillness before Him… Seek Him. Even when you do not feel like seeking him, seek to seek him. Talk to Him, , even when you do not feel like talking to Him, talk to Him. Don’t try to run a way. No masquerade. He knows you and loves you just as much. Zechariah 3.1-4

Philippians 1:20-21

-cecil, NT Luzon