The Philippines Trip is Complete!
I’m sitting in the international airport in Manila as I write this. Joshua, March and Chris left in the morning. The rest of the team then went to the University of the Philippines (UP) for the morning outreach and lunch. I then left for the airport while Ryan, Bekk, Paul, Mark and Tanush stayed for an afternoon outreach. They will have dinner and then head to the airport for their flights.
Wow, has this trip gone quick. I’ve probably already mentioned this in my reports, but when you put your head down and focus on the task at hand: sharing the gospel - time just flies by. And there has been so much opportunity. Even when the public transport strike interrupted our plans, there were still plenty of people around for us to talk to.
And I have to say it again, I just praise God for answering our prayers and giving us amazing connections with the church in Manila to serve alongside - esp. Rock of Refuge Church. Your dedication to the outward focus of the church: reaching the lost is so encouraging. We have learnt from you, as we hope you have learned from us. May connections and partnerships between churches like this continue to grow for the sake of proclaiming the gospel, for the glory of God alone.
So, I’ll give a summary of the last 2 days of outreach from my perspective.
Yesterday half the team were at UP in the morning, while the other half had an opportunity to share the gospel with a large group of High School students, and then we were all at QC Gardens in the afternoon.
At UP I was paired up with a young man called Mark (not the Mark from NZ). We focused on conversations rather than tract distribution, due to the lack of people due to classes being online. Mark had some great opportunities to share the gospel, as did I - but I faced resistance. The first young man just wanted to focus on this life, and didn’t want to think about the afterlife. I gently worked to show him the folly of this thinking, but he was insistent, and we parted ways.
The highlight chat of the morning was also with someone very resistant. He was a professor. He declared that he believed in reincarnation, but it became very clear early in the conversation that he simply wanted to believe whatever made him happy. He wanted to be his own god. The conversation became quite heated (from his side) - but I was up for it, as was he. He calmed himself as we continued to engage. I shared the law and the gospel, but it was quite an apologetics battle. After a while, I noticed a change in him, he all of a sudden wanted to express his deep respect for Jesus, and the religion of his roots: Roman Catholicism. We discussed / wrestled through many things. To end the conversation he expressed his interest in the way I was talking. He had always seen religion as illogical, and something you just (blindly) believe. But I was arguing that, without God you can’t have logic, and logic transcends religion and culture so that we have no excuse about knowing the truth of God. To end the conversation, I offered a tract, but he refused it. “I’ll only leave it on my desk, and it will gather dust”. I pleaded with him to take it. “I’ll be praying that God convicts you of your sin, and one day you pick up that tract and read it to remember the good news”. Sadly he still rejected it. I pray that God would continue to bring Christians into his life to continue sharing the law and the gospel with him. I pray that God would grant him repentance. The gospel is the power of God for salvation.
While I was at UP: Ryan, Bekk, Tanush and Mark were sharing the gospel with high school students, as per the pictures.
In the afternoon I was paired up with Michael. We had some wonderful chats. The 2 highlights were with 1) a group of 3 High School students. As I laboured with them on the gospel, one of them finally came to understand when he said, “but if that’s true, then someone can simply trust that Jesus died for them, and then do whatever they want!”. I was able to use the fireman analogy to explain why we don’t want to do that. 2) a young atheist. We laboured with him - he outwardly refused the gospel, but I could see he was challenged, esp. with the building builder analogy.
This morning at UP I was paired up with Nico, again, not many students, but we were still busy for the whole outreach. We had 2 main conversations for most of the 2 hours. The first was with a young couple: his name was Ed. It was a long chat, where I was able to spend time using the check questions to make sure they were really understanding. He took a gospel of John.
And my final chat of the trip was with Jed. A law student who is a staunch Catholic. He was very polite, but argued every point and wouldn’t back down. Yet, there was a deep interest there. He is studying the Bible weekly with someone on campus, and he connected with me on Insta (needgod.net7) so we can continue the chat.
Well, that’s enough from me! Can express how good this trip has been, ministering the gospel, with the church here in Manila. God willing, we will be able to return again soon!
View previous Philippines Short Term Missions report (7 March 2023)
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.