The third quarter of every year in the Philippines carries with it many public holidays. And what better way to capitalize on the public holidays than to utilize them for mission trips to many needy churches and communities scattered in the different towns of Panay Island.
And so, the enlisting by the different Discipleship Journey Cell Group (DJCG) leaders went on full steam this third quarter, with every leader actively encouraging their cell members to sign up for Essential Commission. Each DJCG planned and raised fund for their mission trip to the various respective churches in Nagpana, Calinog, Janiuay, Lanit, Tigbauan, Guimaras, Miagao and Oton.
Denomination is no barrier to these DJ Cell Group’s missional endeavor.
Their goal is simply to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). Their methods may vary but the message is the same – salvation and redemption in Christ’s finished work on the cross.
A total of 200 Etab members under the leadership of 34 DJ Cell leaders have gone out for this Essential Commission and they have all ministered the gospel and blessed the various churches with Community Penetration (CP) Blessings to about 1202 people, with 514 souls saved. This does not yet include the Youth Central who brought 40 youths (aged 15-20) to Estancia, Loguingot Island to minister to the 75 youth there on 1 September 2017. The Teen Zone also brought 57 youth (aged 14-15) to Tigbauan Christian Fellowship to reach out to the 69 young teens of that barangay. No one is too young to enlist for mission work.
What are the outcome?
The following testimonies by the different DJ cell leaders and members will attest to this simple biblical truth – It is more blessed to give than to receive. Indeed, our Heavenly Father loves to hear His people talk good about His Son, Jesus Christ and the outcome is JOY in our hearts.
“We came to bless the Aetas. Yet we went home more blessed by them. Our DJCG is planning to support this church (Lift Jesus Christian Church, Nagpana) monthly for a year as we see the intense need of the church and the self-supporting pastor.” – By DJ Cell Leader MJ Carado – Mission to Lift Jesus Christian Church, Nagpana.
“We were so much blessed by the two and the half hours of essential commission that we conducted with the community people from Oton. Twenty-four parents and almost 20 kids were present. There was also the attendance of the barangay officials who worked hand in hand with the pastor of this church.”- By DJ Cell Leader Susan Ledda – Mission to Oton Baptist Church.
“I was so blessed with my Rahabs (new members of the cell group) who gave sacrificially despite their low financial status. Going out on a mission to other churches in the Panay Island was a heavy pressure on me. Many “what if’s” flooded my mind …. What if we can’t minister to people? What if my “Rahabs” of my cell are not impacted by this mission trip? What if they get discouraged and don’t sign up for Essential Commission again next year?”
But God is so good. He moves in a mysterious way. As we started our different small group in the town, God used even my Rahabs to minister to people there that even led the community people to cry.
As we were travelling back to Iloilo City, my cell members (old and new) shared with me how blessed they were. They thought they have the worst situation in life until they went out of the four walls of Etab that they realized that other people out there have more dire needs than they. With teary eyes, they were speechless at the way God moved their hearts and changed their perspective of life. As a leader, I am so blessed to see them touched in such a special way.” – By DJ Cell Leader Diane Marie Improgo, Mission to Tabernacle of God, Calinog.
“All our cell members were so excited doing the CP Blessing at Btac Viejo. They were all touched, blessed and humbled. Leaders wanted to volunteer again and looking forward for another Essential Commission next year. It was a very fulfilling mission trip.” – BY DJ Cell Leader, Eden Montano- Mission to House of Prayer, Btac Viejo.
“Mission accomplished! We ended our Essential Commission with a happy heart because we were blessed with a good weather and our target of 40 people was met. Pastor Freddie Pedregosa and his team accommodated us so well. The people responded positively. They listened to the testimony of my life before I knew Jesus. One of the ladies came to me, teary eyed and told me she also wanted to have the Holy Spirit in her life and she asked us to pray for her. We saw how open the people were to the gospel. Glory be to God!” – By DJ Cell Leader, Nida Peralta – Mission to Jesus our Mighty Redeemer, Btac Viego.
“I thank and praise my Heavenly Father for His goodness during our Essential Commission. He led me to share and invite people to the church. While I was sharing Jesus to them, they focused on me and asked me some questions. I talked to them about the goodness of Jesus and I asked them if they wanted to receive Christ. They responded, “Yes!” So, I led to them in the sinner’s prayer. For me, Essential Commission is very good in that every year we can bring salvation to many people especially through house to house visitation, sharing the gospel.” By DJ Cell Member, Angela Guardian – Mission to Jesus our Mighty Redeemer, Janiuay.
“When we arrived at Full Life Church, we were so welcomed by the members of the community. They helped us with the worship. Then we had our small groups and we shared the word of God. Most of them were touched and blessed and even accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord. We really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit with us at that moment. There were some people who hugged and kissed us, especially the “lolas.” Some of them even asked to be prayed for and one old lady cried when we laid our hands on her.” By DJ Cell Leader, Marichelle Deslate – Mission to Full Life Church, Guimaras.
“The Aeta community and both Pastor Roger and Sylvia Ilosendo were very grateful that we went to their church. They helped us in the house visitation. The Aeta even did the doxology “Power of Your Love” before we started the program. We prayed for those who were sick. One of them testified of the goodness of God upon her life and was totally set free of her sickness. They were appreciative in every way especially when we gave medicines to them.” By DJ Cell Leader, Marchel Capilitan- Mission to Ati Tribe Believing Church, Lanit.
“When our DJ Cell group planned our E-Commission, we were still not ready to go because we didn’t have enough money to buy goods for the community. We are all students. We came to a point of aborting our E-Commission.
But I thank God that “with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Every one of us tried to raise the fund and then God sent some people to help us purchase rice, sardines, coffee and biscuits to give to the community in Tigbauan. In fact, our fund exceeded our set goal due to God’s overflowing blessings. This is my first time joining the E-Commission. When we were having our programs, the mothers were so attentive and cooperative with us in our activities and they all enjoyed our presentation. When we gave the community our CP blessings, they were so joyful and excited. It was a wonderful feeling to share our blessings to others and especially the Word of God. I am grateful to God and to Etab for this experience because it makes me realize that I should not just keep the blessing and the Word of God to myself. I should share them with others too and encourage them to have a close relationship with God. Hebrews 13:16- “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” It was a fulfilling moment to be able to bless others with the blessings of Christ.”- By DJ Cell member, Hannah Obligacion – Mission to Tigbauan Christian Fellowship, Tigbauan.
“We have experienced how to bless others and lead them to know God. We felt so happy when we were able to bless other kids like us (13-14 years old) and of course with God’s help and blessings, we would like to inspire more kids.” By Tzone kid, Alex Mellizo- Mission to Tigbauan Christian Fellowship.
I am “wowed” by the many testimonies of my leaders and members who participated in this Essential Commission. It is my desire as the pastor of Evangel Tabernacle to stir up the hearts of my people for the Great Commission. Whether it is Cambodia or the local towns in the Panay Island, I am happy and thankful to the Lord as long as my people take the first step to step out of the four walls of Etab and GO…..to all the world and share the gospel to all creation. When we dare to obey this Great Commission, God dares to provide, empower and go with us wherever we go with the gospel. Glory be to God for such a fruitful Essential Commission 2017.