ETAB’S First Official Mission Trip To Our Daughter Churches
At Cambodia From 18-24 September 2018

It was at one of the services last year at Cornerstone Church, Singapore that God activated my very first calling for foreign mission. I had totally forgotten the call God gave me in 1986 – “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I WILL GIVE YOU AS A LIGHT TO THE NATIONS, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” As a missionary from Singapore to the Philippines, I was too engrossed in my comfort zone – Iloilo City for 31 years. There was a tug in my spirit by the Holy Spirit, to step out of this comfort zone and to start fulfilling this commission to be a light to the nationS (note the plural) and not just concentrate singularly on one nation which is the Philippines.

That call that was reactivated and reminded again through the message of Pastor Yang of Cornerstone Church, spurred me to be proactive in positioning our Church, Evangel Tabernacle Iloilo City, to send our very own Filipino members out to Cambodia – our very first foreign mission work. God is very good to empower our Church in Iloilo City financially to start two daughter churches, without any foreign support from Singapore.

In October 10, 2017, Pastors Edgar and Rowena became our first missionary from Etab to be sent to Kampong Speu, Cambodia. In April 1, 2018, Michael Barcelona became the next missionary to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

As the sending Church, we wanted to support these two pioneering works and thus a mission team was formed through volunteers who felt the burden for foreign mission.

The team composed of Pastor Toh Nee, Pastor Carlos, Pastor Carlyn, Bro. Robert Parale, Sis. Janelle, Sis. Jenelene Lujan, Sis Juvy Cordova, Bro. Winston Yap, Sis. Genivie and myself.

Left: [front-back]: Sis. Genivie Yap, Bro. Winston Yap, Bro Robert Parale, Pastor Carlos, Pastor Carlyn
Right [front-back]: Sis. Janelene Lujan, Sis. Juvy Cordova, Sis. Janelle Dayaon, Pastor Toh Nee, Pastor Lily, Pastor Mike Barcelona.

On 18 September, 2018, the ten of us flew to Phnom Penh and there began a series of very tight itineraries, reaching out to the faculty Staffs of Glad Tiding International School, kampong Speu (GTIS), the orphans at Full Gospel Assembly, Kampong Speu (FGA), two consecutive evangelistic night services at Evangel Tabernacle, Kampong Speu and one evangelistic service at Evangel Tabernacle, Phnom Penh.

Dramas and skit were meticulously prepared and presented for each of the outreach by the team; teachings of the word of God and counselling were conducted at GTIS; encounter service was conducted at FGA; community penetration (CP) blessings were given to the community near to ETAB Kampong Speu, gospel were preached to the kids, teens and adults at Etab Kampong Speu; house to house visitation at a community near to the church of Mike; preaching of the gospel to a totally new group of pre-believers who attended our Phnom Penh church.

Whatever anointing and gifting each member of our team possesses, God maximized it during this seven-day mission trip. We see the activation of gift of teaching, the gift of healing, the gift of worship and music, the gift of prophetic download, the gift of the word of Knowledge, the gift of counselling among our team, so that the many who came in touch with the ministry of our team would all testify that God is real and God saves, heals and delivers and all glory redounding to the name of Jesus.

We all know without a shadow of doubt, that it was God who called Etab to start the two daughter churches in Cambodia. Though it isn’t easy for our missionaries to be in a foreign land with strange tongue, the grace of God is still there with them – to enable and gird them with His strength to fulfill His call and purpose there.

Cambodia is not an easy ground with so many of its people steeped in Buddhism and yet relatively speaking, it is the most open nation to the gospel among the Indo-China regions. The gospel which the Filipinos have taken for granted due to their Roman Catholic background, is a totally foreign concept and religion to Cambodia.

Our missionaries there have to painstakingly bond with the community people first in order to gain their trust before they can gradually invite them to the house of God and there embark on this arduous journey of teaching and discipling them. The present challenge now for all our missionaries now is to learn the khmer language within a year as many Cambodians really have no working knowledge of English.

I want to thank God as the Pastor of the sending Church for the dedication and endurance of Pastors Edgar, Rowena and Mike. Thank you for your willingness to pour out your lives to this nation. Thank you for your willingness to suffer the cultural shock and the loneliness. You all are always in our prayers. May the Lord bless all of you according to Matthew 19:29.

There were a lot of demonic attack and hindrance during our mission trip. But because it was God who called us to plant the two churches there, it was God who fought the battle for us. He ensured that NO “weapon that was fashioned against” our church there prospered. God orchestrated so many things for our churches there so that the ministry will never be snuffed out by any evil and wicked elements and the church of Christ will still stand strong because it is a church planted by God and not by men. Since it is God who called and planted this church, He was also the one who provided generously for us for this mission trip. Etab Iloilo gave liberally and generously beyond the pledge that was set. Glory be to God.

I want to thank Sis Poh Chin, the principal of GTIS for opening the door for us to minister there. It is such a small world to find out that Sis Poh Chin was from the same Junior College as me – SAJC and that formed such a good camaraderie between us.

All in all- I can only conclude that God was good to help us triumph over all the hindrances that surfaced during our trip. We were not defeated because Jehovah Nissi and Jehovah Shammah was with us. Nothing and no one can snuff out the light which God wants us to bring to Cambodia. As long as we dare to obey God and be that light to the nations, the gospel light still shines through…. regardless.

– End –