Friday, March 27, 2015

GATE 5: Dung Gate - Confession

Do you want to be healed?

Before I wrote this, I was thinking that confessing your sins to someone is not really important. What I mean is you didn’t need someone because God is there. Personally, I’m not used to confess my sins to anybody, even in my family. What I’m trying to say is that confession is not needed for the healing process of sin.

                As I listen to the lecture throughout Gate 5, I truly understand the real importance of confession. It is not confession that heals us but it is GOD. We are commanded to confess and pray for each other, because this is God’s way. Confession also teaches us not to keep our own sins hidden. It is also humbleness that we are letting others pray for us. In 1Corinthians 12:14 says “the body is not made up of one part but of many,” this tells us that we are not alone; all Christians are in one body. This should encourage us to make confession an important part in our Christian life.

                The Bible doesn’t teach about running away from sin. We have to face and confess it, so that God will help us and give us strength to continue and face the other challenges in life.

the AOT4 guys
Ecoy (in blue), Gladwin, Eli and Nonoy (in the back from the left)
                When I decided to confess my sins to my friends, God taught me the importance of confession.  God has already cleansed us, but we must also do our part. The only thing that hinders us from believing that we are already forgiven is ourselves. It is God’s promise to forgive and cleanse us. He is faithful and just. Our part is to confess and have faith in His promise. God doesn’t want us to do nothing.                                                                
                   To be healed in our sins we must cooperate with GOD. That’s the principle of confession.

                It is hard to trust someone. God can lead us to the right person we can trust. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Do you want to be healed? 

-          -   Ecoy, 19

Ecoy Sharing the Gospel to a man in the village

*Pray with Ecoy as he joins the Zamboanga del Norte Nehemiah Teams. he will help facilitate orientation and Lead one of the teams. also pray with him as he seeks what the Lord wants for him after this summer. 
                He will be celebrating his 20th birthday on March 30. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ministry: Mobilization

Doors opened

It has been so many years since Nehemiah Teams started knocking on doors of churches, associations, seminaries for opportunities to mobilize for missions and eventually partner with them. Though doors did not open right away, fervent prayer made it possible. Look what God can do!
The AOT (Advance Operations Training) team wherever blessed to have this privilege to go to different places meeting other believers to talk with about missions. The team conducted a seminar in one of Davao’s seminary with over 50 participants and facilitated a mission conference in South Cotabato attended by over 150 young people from the said province. In both activities, participants were divided into four smaller groups for a simultaneous workshop prepared by the team. The facilitators briefly discussed all about Nehemiah Teams. They even told amazing stories on how God worked in and through them while on the mission field. Some shared what God has been telling them in their quiet time and through mission heroes’ biographies.
The participants actively shared their thoughts in identifying common excuses not to go. Fear and lack of finances were their most common excuses. The Bible was clear how God provided for those who obey them. He can even take away our fears. As the saying goes, “Courage follows when faith takes the lead.” This is a challenge to take a step of faith manifested by obedience and saying to the Lord. “I will go.” God wants us to put our full trust in Him, and then surely He will give us courage to move forward. Over 20 young people took a step of faith and expressed their commitment to join God in His work this summer.
One Sunday, the AOT team was divided into groups to mobilize in several churches within South Cotabato. It was a great opportunity to personally challenge the young people, as well as the Pastors, to pray, send, mobilize and go. More young people committed to join NT this summer with the vision of finishing the Great Commission in this generation.
Isn’t it amazing how God worked in and through lives of these young people who are willing to obey God’s call? God is really at work. He always is. It’s amazing how doors are being opened and more people and churches are committing to partner with us in spreading the Gospel. Continue to pray that God will send forth more workers in the field. Before looking around, look in. If not you and me, then who?  If not now, then when ? Now is the time! Watch and see how God can work in and through you.

-         Annie, 23

* be in prayer with Annie as she goes back to Bicol to lead orientation, training and debrief with Nonoy and Lee an. She will also be leading a team and after the summer lead preparations for the next summer teams. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gate 4: Valley Gate - Trials Growth and Humility

Tired In Obedience?

Are you tired? Do you find yourself wondering why you need to obey (even when things do not make sense)? And in the midst of obedience and searching, God seems distant and silent, not saying even a word to you?

               Let me tell you about a man who walked this same road ahead of us over two thousand years ago. This man is very familiar to you for sure.
             His name was John – the immerser (baptizer). All his life he knew that he had an important role to play. He had to be fully consecrated for the work that God had set for him even before he was born. He stayed in the wilderness (for long time) telling people to repent so their sins may be forgiven. Can you imagine eating locusts and honey every day or wearing camel’s skin for clothes and belt all your life? Sounds (and looks) crazy, right? But John endured all that. His obedience led the people to be baptized in the river – many of them. They recognized their sin and perhaps turned away from them. confident. He spoke the truth. He knew that he was chosen for this work.
               Then, that time at the Jordan River came. John proclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” The Messiah – Jesus Christ he had long prepared for has come and to John, he was not even worthy to take the shoes off the Christ’s feet. Yet Jesus humbled himself and insisted that He be baptized by John to fulfill the scripture. And then, as soon as Jesus came out of the water, a voice from above spoke saying, “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased.” He saw the Holy Spirit descend like a dove on Jesus. John realized something and he knows that there’s story still unfold, but he has yet to know how the scriptures about the Christ would be fulfilled.

                Later on John was imprisoned.  What awaits John? He was so certain of his call. He was certain of him – that is the Christ. But what has imprisonment got to do with this plan? What kind of story had he fallen into?  John sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask him one thing. He needs to know. Is he the Christ that is to come, or should they wait for another? And to this Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cure, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Was his question answered?
  Death came. John the Baptist’s life comes to its end. He was beheaded.  After that life-long preparation, is this all that there is to that? He had fallen into a story too great for him to fully understand yet he was obedient. His labor seems wasted in man’s eyes and maybe he himself had wondered if his life and what he did really counted for anything, for anything at all. But only after this life will he know. Only after this life will we know.

John was the one the prophet Isaiah was talking about, when he said,
“In the desert someone is shouting,
‘Get the road ready for the Lord! Make a straight path for Him.’”
-          Mat.3 :3

 John did what he ought to do….Are you tired?

 Blessed are you if you are not offended with me.
  - Lee ann , 23

*Pray with Lee ann as she goes back to Bicol to facilitate orientation with Annie and Nonoy, and lead a team this summer. :)

TESTIMONY: Biographies

Fight the silence!

Learning from the Father’s in faith really encourages young missionaries like me. I was a Christian who’s just content in playing instruments in church, leading young people and pastoring a church but not committed in mission’s work. I don’t have a heart for mission. Through Nehemiah Teams, God used the short biographies of mission heroes to open my blind eyes. The life and the challenge to Hudson Taylor really moved me.

Hudson Taylor is an English missionary born in 1832 and died 1905. He was a missionary in Inland China. One day while he was preaching there, a man was listening. After he preached this man approached him and said, “I have long searched for the truth, as my father had before me. I have traveled far, but I haven’t traveled far, but I haven’t found it. I have found no rest in Confucianism, Buddhism, or Daoism, but I do find rest in what I heard tonight. For now I believe in Jesus.” He later asked Taylor, “How long has the Gospel been known in England?” To which Taylor replied, “Several hundred years.”  And the guy said, “ What! And you have now only come to preach the Gospel to us? My father sought after the truth more than 20 years and died without finding it. Why didn’t you come sooner?”

How about for you and me? How long have we known the Gospel? How long have we had the truth? Yet we’re keeping it to ourselves. We have kept it from those who have been searching for it for a long time. Some, for all their lives! How much longer will they wait? How many more will die without hearing it?

 I am just as guilty and my eyes were just opened to the truth. It is true, as the Scriptures says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But it is also written, “How then can they call on the one they have not believed in, How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard, and how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

Get up! Stand up! Fight the silence!

  - - Gladwin, 21

* Pray with Gladwin as he goes and help with Nehemiah Teams Training in Palawan and participate in a team.  He may stay there a little while after the summer to help set up for the next summer and reach out to his friends in mainland Palawan where he grew up. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

TESTIMONY: Ministry in Community

Won’t you lead them to the cross?

There were 9 young leaders who joined AOT – Advance Operations Training to train and grow more in their faith, and in sharing the Word of God. Eight of them were sent to a village goin’ up and down the mountain, rocky and steep dirt road on a motorcycle for 45 minutes, each motorcycle with 5 people on it including the driver. (imagine that!).  it was very uncomfortable, very tiring and quite an unsafe ride . while they were travelling, they were praying in their hearts, enduring their uncomfortable position under the scorching heat of the sun just to reach that village. After that travel that seemed like forever, they reached the village where they will be ministering only for a few days.

 Right the next day, the team was divided into 2 groups to share the Gospel and to encourage those who seemed to have gone cold in their faith. One team, went to a community called Hope.  There were once many believers in Hope. 80 families used to gather with united hearts to worship and serve God. But differences and misunderstandings caused divisions that scattered them. Some no longer go to church while others just chose to join other groups heading to a wrong path.

While the team was hiking to Hope, they were asking the Lord to lead them to the homes of these “believers” so they could be encouraged won back to the Lord and let the love and forgiveness of God thrive once more in this once so warm and loving village of believers.

the team thanks the Lord so much because He lead them to 10 believer sin the village and got to share God’s Word to them encouraging them to forgive and to once again walk in faith in the Lord. The life of an old believer named Tatay (sir) Mariano really challenged and touched the teams’ heart. Tatay Mariano is 78 years old, with an amputated leg, with dull eyes and dull ears. But none of these infirmities stopped him from teaching Sunday School and still serving God. even though there were only 3, 7 or 5 people attending church, he still would enthusiastically and joyfully teach, trusting God. once in a bible study with him, he said, “ It should not only be you sharing the Good News, we also should do that.” it could be seen that his greatest desire is to do God’s will and that fuels him daily to continue to serve Him faithfully.

It seemed that he indeed has considered his life nothing to him if only he may finish the race and complete the task that the Lord Jesus has given him – the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24) this just proves that there is neither reason nor any situation that could be an enough excuse not to serve God  if you and I will be willing to surrender our lives to God and let Him do his will with us.

If a man like him with all this disabilities could continue to serve God with all his strength and such joy in his heart, then all the more that we should be able to do that because we do not have any physical disabilities. And even if we have, still it would not be enough reason nor would that be too hard for Christ to use to glorify himself through us.
What will you do for God?

Souls are crying, men are dying,
Won’t you lead them to the cross?
Won’t you go to reach the lost for the cross?
Won’t you give yourself to God as a living sacrifice to bring them to Christ?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.

-        -  Gigi, 24
South Cotabato

* Pray with Gigi as she goes back to Samar to facilitate training for Nehemiah Teams there, supervise teams, and continue to do follow up among the believers in the River areas and help with continued relief operations among the Waray and Leytenio people. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Gate 3: Old Gate - Learning from the past

A Mirror with 2 Faces?

I’ve watched and read a lot of stories about warriors who were crowned as kings because of how strong they were in battles. But when already sitting on the throne, fame and power swallowed them. But just a month ago, I met a young man, a crowned king who was very different from those I met in stories and movies.
                Like most heroes, he is strong and he loves to sing. His music style can even calm a tired-hearted king. But sadly, this sweet music also puts him at the edge of death in the hands of that jealous, furrowed-forehead king. This king who once was a good king was destroyed by his jealousy that led him to grab a spear and throw it to the young innocent man. To my surprise, the young man dodged and never threw a spear back despite the fact that he indeed could and many chances came for him to do that. He would not kill the king. He would not kill God’s anointed.
                How are you going to respond if the king you had served got jealous of you, ordered his men to hunt and kill you? Would you fight and kill him if you got the chance or you would run like what this young man did? For what he did, I admired him a lot.

                He ran and hid and with that he glorified the Lord more. He retreated to a cave alone to hide. Is he being coward? Would he allow injustice just like that? But has he not been anointed by Nathan to be the next king?  To our own measure, he maybe is a defeated, shattered man, the cave being his castle and darkness as his friend. But to the heavens, he is a broken man - the perfect condition for a mighty work. By running from the earthly king he ran toward the Heavenly King.
                The king continues to spear. The young man had another chance to throw spear back. But he did not. He would not. God has transformed him in the cave. He never used a sword but people around him loved and submitted to him as one with authority. He is not a weakling. He just didn’t want to be a mirror-image of the king trying to kill him. He is the true king. But he 
would not rebel to gain the kingdom. All he wants is to be the king that God made him to be.

                I looked at the mirror. I saw two different faces of kings – the growing tired proud, jealous king with his spear on his right hand,  and a young king trying to dodge and controlling himself not to hold the spear. I took a closer look of me.  The mirror showed the pride that is pulling me down and slowly destroying the crown of the present king residing in my heart. The growing proud king in me cannot stop himself from throwing a spear. The young innocent king in me tries to dodge, but his right hand got the spear and in an instant, he throws the spear back. Dismayed I closed my eyes. When I again took a glance, right there was the face of the proud king. He has successfully pulled me down and the young innocent king David is nowhere in sight.
                This fight is not how great one is in throwing spears nor in dodging them. This fight is about how we respond – what we do after we’ve dodged. In the mirror, I may have tried hard to dodge and control myself to still be good despite of every bad but though keeping low, I hold a spear in my hand.
                These two kings – King Saul and King David – are both in us. Yes. You and me both struggle with this. King Saul will always emerge and will try to kill the little David.  But it is up to us to let the King Saul in us corrupt our minds and hearts so that the little David would be a new Saul and throw the spear back.  Are we gonna dodge and will never throw the spear back despite of all the chances have and will have? When someone throws a spear straight to us, will we rebel and fight back? Or will we dodge and use the shield of love?
Mich in Grey, Annie in Blue
this 2 met here at camp and has since become Twins.
 Eli calls them "sepatu" which means a pair of shoes. :) 

Look at the mirror! Who is winning? And who will you allow to win? It’s up to you…
Will you be a Saul or will you be a David?

-          - Mich, 25

* Pray for Mich as she goes and serve in Zamboanga this summer, facilitating orientation and leading a team to an island... and then to do whatever the Lord has put in her heart starting with the challenging "first step". 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Gate 2: Fish Gate- Soul Winning

“Walking Towards Fish Gate”

As I entered the fish gate, I found myself overwhelmed with the Master Plan of God for the Nations. I already knew the Great Commission of God for all believers but this time I seem to have grasped it all. God is truly great, where he made everything in order for us to live our lives worth glorifying for Him. Jesus showed a good living example in the Scriptures on how we proclaim and preach the Gospel. The plan and main purpose why Jesus came down to earth to live is to live a perfect life, die on the cross for us so we could be saved from the penalty of sin.  After three days, he rose from the dead, appeared to his disciples and commissioned them before he went back to heaven. Having known this truth for a long time, I had been encouraged to go and share the Gospel to others who are still living in darkness.

The Master’s plan of the Lord for the world is very clear and needs to be done. Jesus selected only few to disciple, trained and taught them all that they need to know to be able to accomplish the task.  Those who follow Jesus are to be like Him – a servant, willing to adapt to culture and language. We are selected by God to bring His love and truth to all men. Jesus associated himself with his disciples. He spent time with them and share life with them. That He still do today through the Holy Spirit. God is very   personal and desires a deep and personal relationship with us. Jesus gave his disciples freedom to choose if they would trust and obey him and his teachings. He told and showed them the costs of obeying him and told them to consider them. Jesus expected obedience from them. This is consecration. God expects our obedience, and obedience is a decision that we will or will not make. will we choose to obey and commit our whole lives to him? It can be very costly but he has given us all we need to persevere and finish the race well. He, himself is our example to follow.

Jesus delegated tasks to his disciples. He gave them assignments that need to be done, and they did. But even then, He did not just leave his followers to themselves. He empowers, coaches, encourages and does not miss any teaching moment with them even when they can already do the task he has given them – supervision.  This also we should do as we train and equip others. We need to follow up, encourage and continue to teach life lessons to God’s people so they won’t lose heart and be side tracked. What Jesus did to his disciples, they also did to teachable men (and women) who are able to teach others. Through this, the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus reached us and this we ought to teach and do to others who will also teach and do to others. This is the process of reproduction where the people who knows the Gospel multiply and spread it to others. Then, He had ascended to heaven. God then sent His Holy Spirit  to give them power and authority to be his witnesses from Jerusalem to the ends of the Earth.

We cannot do anything without the working and leading of God the Holy Spirit. From the Holy Spirit comes the power and only through Him can we do what Jesus has commanded us to do.  The Holy Spirit fills us with love; grace and peace that helps us overcome and finish the task. This is where our hope and confidence and doing his work comes from. Let us finish the race with perseverance and determination to give God all the glory. Romans 10:14 says” 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 to them? This verse states a great challenge to me to have the passion of spreading the gospel to the unreached and hard to reach people. Take the step of faith now and don’t wait ‘till it becomes too late to them all. GO! PREACH! TEACH!

 Gwen, 22
South Cotabato

* be Gwen's partner in prayer as she partners with Amik in facilitating NT iloilo orientation and lead a team there. Gwen looks at serving long term in the mission field. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015



Hello! My name is Eliezer. I am a seminary student in Indonesia. I went to the seminary because I have a calling to become a Pastor.                                 

I want to know about God better. I did a lot of assignments, papers, reading books, etc., just to be a better person who does ministries of God. But I have a problem, my knowledge grows but my faith does not. To gain more knowledge is not leading my faith to grow. At one point I got frustrated and felt emptiness in my ministry.

And then I was sent to the Philippines. Nehemiah Teams gave invitation to send youth leaders to one of their training and I committed to go though I don’t really have any idea what kind of training that will be.

But because of this training, I found the answer to why my faith does not grow: I lack quality time with God alone in His Word. In this training, I learned to have my quality time with God. Every morning, we go off on our own to be alone in the presence of God in His Word. We are also encouraged to find some solitary place during our free time and off day to find some solitary place and be in His Word.

The days became weeks, the weeks became a month and over, and it really changes me. The training helped me to have e better personal relationship with God and that grows my faith. Through my Quality times with God, I found the purpose of my relationship with Him.  That is to know Him better.

I don’t know if any of you could relate or go through the similar problem which I have shared. What I know, though is God used this training grew my faith and lead me to know Him better.
So I challenge you all to not hold yourself back from attending this training. Maybe God can also use this training to answer your question or fill your emptiness. For me, I really believe he will use this training to also lead you like he did to me. God bless you!

-         --Eli, 25


*Pray with Eli as he participates in Nehemiah Teams this summer and help with training, and as he sees the possibility of making the NT opportunity where he is from. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gate 1: Sheep Gate - Salvation

 iT’s all aBout HIS Love

i praise and thank the Lord so much for what He has done, not just in my life but for everybody’s life for He has given us the greatest gift we could ever have. It is His unconditional and unfailing eternal love.
Gate 1: Sheep Gate – Salvation, helps me understand more about the life that I have now in Christ, what he has done on the cross in his grace.
I received Christ 2 years ago and my life has never been the same. I’ve heard a lot about God’s love before but I still used to doubt each time I failed or sinned. Honestly, I have had a hard time understanding His love.
This gate also teaches about the full package of his gift of salvation: Justification - deliverance from the penalty of sin, Sanctification – being saved from the power of sin, and Glorification - will be saved from the presence of sin(Philippians 1:6). When I learned the process of sanctification, I am also being set free from doubting the love of God when I sinned. But it doesn’t mean that I can now continue sin because of this process. He drew me closer to him. The Christ life: your life is one of the illustrations for sanctification. Repentance is also in this gate and its example was the Prodigal Son. Because of sin we often misjudge the love of our Father in heaven. Sin will take you farther than you are willing to go, keep you longer than you are willing to stay and cost me more than I am willing to pay. Repentance requires action. If the lost son did not choose to go back to his father, he will not know the love of his father and how the father have always waited on the road for his return.
He fist loved us and no one can separate us from the love of God. His unconditional and eternal love gives assurance. If there is a condition – even one, his love is no longer unconditional. Our salvation is as eternal as he is in his love. And since I received grace, I ought to give and show grace to others.
God loves us just like we are but He will not leave us just like we are.

-     Nonoy, 26

* Pray for Nonoy as he goes back to Bicol and leads a team this summer... and from there where the LORD would have him next. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

He is Love Displayed

Advance Operations Training Batch 4
Ptr. Harry, AOT 4 (in black) and me 

2015, a new year, a new season of Advance Operations Training participants. Young people, young leaders coming from different people groups and culture within the country, and this time one from Indonesia – Eli, Gigi, Mich, Ecoy, Gwen, Glad, Nonoy, Annie, Lee Ann. These 9 gave up 9 weeks of their life to be in this training to know God more and be prepared to take the Gospel to all nations.

As the training opens with a bible study on Joshua and the Angel with a drawn sword reminding the team that we are preparing for a Spiritual War and that more than the skills, God’s instruction and holiness are of utmost importance, the team was blown away by just such a clearer and solid understanding and experience of God’s love – CHRIST – the only place and person where both the grace and justice of God could meet. His justice demands that we suffer for our sin, His grace decides to pay for that sin and redeem us through the sacrifice of Christ’s life that we do not deserve. And He rose again for He is God. And this is meant to be the root of it all – the giving of one’s life for the sake of His name and the Gospel  - because He deserves it and even this life and a million lifetimes of serving him will not be enough to show the gratitude for what He chose to do for us and for all nations.

He is love displayed. And his love meant to be displayed for all the world to see and know and receive and love him back.

Each of these 9 leaders will share their hearts to us through some short articles, testimonies and journal entries. May you be blessed, inspired and ministered to by the sharing of their hearts. J

Philippians 1:20-21