I’m pretty tired having spent a day travelling to Manila, Philippines from Christchurch, New Zealand and then a full first day of outreach in Manila. But I’m going to try to write a short report to let you all know how things are going. In short, IT’S AMAZING!
As soon as I entered the arrival hall at the airport in Manila, I felt like I was ‘home’. Before Covid-19, I had been travelling to Yangon, Myanmar twice a year - and there are so many similarities between Yangon and Manila. If I was to highlight the 2 major differences I’ve noticed so far it would be: 1) Roman Catholicism vs Buddhism as the major religion (when you boil them both down, that’s not really a difference though) and 2) most people speak English.
I had 3 gospel tracts with me to give away during my travel day. The first went to the guy sitting next to me on my flight from Christchurch to Sydney - we had a short law and gospel chat. The next went to a guy that Mark witnessed to in Sydney airport (he is FIlipino and on the same flights as us). And the last tract was used on the taxi ride to our hotel after arriving in Manila - it was a special chat.
The taxi driver said he was considering cancelling our pick up, but he decided not to. As we swung the conversation to, “what happens after life?”, he said he would be going to hell and there was no hope for him. He thought this because he was part of a Christian cult (INC - Iglesia Ni Cristo) that had booted him out, and there was no hope of ‘salvation’ outside of this cult. Mark and I were able to gently labour with him that salvation was available to him, and that it was a gift. He said our conversation may be an answer to his prayers. My last tract went to him!
The daily schedule for this trip is going to be: 2 hours online, 2 hours on the street, lunch, then 3 hours on the street. Today’s outreach was very encouraging. It was great to join a big local group, from local churches, at a university campus.
I was really excited to be out witnessing, and I was glad for the adrenaline to get me through the day! My first chat was with someone with an Anglican background, next a Roman Catholic, next a Mormon, and then I started encountering people with subtle resistance to the idea of an after life. All heard the gospel. I had so many gospel chats today, and met many interesting people. Ploughing and sowing. Gay pride is visible on the campus, and a big mural on the road said “Defend Academic Freedom”, this became a conversation starter for many of my chats at the end of the day. I had a long conversation with a couple of Sociology students who had been studying world religions. By the end of the chat, they were subtly yet respectfully resisting what I was saying, because they loved their sin. I didn’t back down on the truth of the Bible, and that sin was sin. I warned them, and pleaded with them to accept the mercy of God - the one who logically get’s to set the rules.
My last chat was going really well, the guy seemed very convicted and concerned about his soul, and I had shared the gospel and was working through checks when a friend came and told him he needed to get to classes, killing the conversation. I then noticed he tried to pull a person away from a gospel chat with Paul and Chris. He was plucking away seeds! It was interesting that he was trying to get people to class, and yet he didn’t go to class himself! I had an opportunity to respectfully follow up with him on that - he didn’t want to talk, “I don’t know English well”, but he accepted tracts, 1 in English and 1 in Tagalog.
Please continue to keep the team in prayer! I will try to continue writing regular reports. :)
Philippines Mission Trips
For more information on why we do missions in the Philippines and how you can even come along on a future trip, click here.