First Mission Collaboration Between Etab and BFEC
Rev. Toh Nee Lim | On 21, Nov 2015
Nov. 13 – 17, 2015
DAY 1 & 2
It was a first mission collaboration between Etab and BFEC.. The team from BFEC was headed by Elder Geok Chye and consisted of 2 guys and 4 gals. Prior to their mission trip, the team organized a fair in BFEC where they sold paintings, the famous Roland Restaurant’s Chilli and others goodies. All the funds collected were channelled into the purchasing of stationary supplies for the children in Barbaza Church, Libertad Church, the public Elementary school at Binangbang, Barbaza and the Day Care Center in Barangay Barubus, Libertad. It was truly a treat to all the children and pupils.
Pastor Carlos, Pastor Ephraim and I bonded very quickly in warm friendship with the whole team and it was truly a fun mission collaboration. After picking up the team at Kalibo International Airport, we immediately went shopping to purchase groceries (bread, canned food, noodles, juices etc) to present to families who were past beneficiaries of ‘Repair and Reconstruction Operation for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
In fact, it was actually the second anniversary of the devastating super Typhoon and yet it was a joy to see these families having their homes totally repaired and constructed with the help of BFEC.
DAY 3 & 4
Our first stop was Barbaza, and as it was a Sunday, the BFEC ministered to the Children’s Church with songs, games, and presentation of school supplies with a workshop. Also they ministered in songs, powerful testimonies, the sharing of the Word of God and Ministering to souls at the altar call at the Sunday Worship service.
The following day, at least 15 motorbikes were hired to take us all to Binangbang Elementary School. It was quite an adventure for these First World citizens to ride on the motorbikes on undulating terrains, crossing at least three streams before reaching a remote village where the Elementary School is located. One of the BFEC’s members while riding on the motorbikes, at one part of the journey, felt she was isolated, with no motorbikes and people around and suddenly, she was gripped with a certain apprehension, wondering whether the owner of the motorbike is leading her to the territory of the Abu Sayaf. Of course her apprehension was unfounded. Upon our arrival, we were warmly welcomed with all kinds of fresh produce and native food that were foreign to our BFEC friends. It was quite a delight for all the pupils with their parents as well as teachers to come and connect with these Singaporeans, wondering why they would want to travel to their remote school to see them. These Singaporeans were greeted with 2 special numbers from the Day Care Center in the school. Again song numbers, interesting games that delighted the students as well as parents, some teachings and sharing were the order of the day. We witnessed a lively interaction, filled with fun and laughter between the school and our BFEC friends.
The last stop was at Libertad, Antique, where they witnessed the passion and commitment of Rosemarie Roquina who skilfully handled 20 children, from 2 to 5 years old, at a Day care Center. Honestly, I felt tired and incompetent while I was these 20 children for only a short while and I marvelled at the ability of Rosemarie to run this day care daily with all these active children gracefully. She must be someone who has a heart for these children.
The next event was a tent meeting, where at least 50 children of Libertad Church and 30 adults gathered at the back of a member’s house, with a bamboo tent as their meeting place for the past one year. At the altar, we witnessed tears flowing freely; I, wondering whether it was the touch of the Holy Spirit, or because of their church situation where they don’t have a proper place for worship. But I know this church’s future is in God’s hand.
This Mission Collaboration lasted for 6 days and I came away feeling my heart strangely warmed and grateful that I’ve met friends where we can chat freely and honestly. This BFEC team really has spiritual depth and sincere love for God. We thank God for the common faith we have in Jesus Christ that makes this Mission Trip, so wonderful, fun, successful and above all- memorable. Glory to God for this connection with wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ from BFEC!
By Rev Lim Toh Nee