Posted by: sammerz | 08 April, 2013

Bataan Trip 2013

The destination: Mariveles, Bataan, The Philippines.

The time: 29th March – 5th April 2013

The purpose: to serve the local church through equipping and encouraging the youth, providing assistance in medical relief and food distribution for the community.

In the month leading to the missions trip, we read through the book of Acts and were encouraged by how the first church began and how its primary purpose was to serve the community.  Although we had a skeleton plan on what we had to do, we ended up doing so much more with what God has given us, even if it was just spending time with them, praying for them and teaching them some games.  In the end we were even more blessed and encouraged because of their unity.  The youth were so united and hungry for God’s word and their child-like faith brought them close together.  They have been through so much in their lives and if they keep chasing after God and supporting each other they will greatly impact their families and community.

Read on for the daily journal and photos…

Day 1: Friday 29th March

  • Waking up in the wee hours of the morning, we rendezvoused at HKIA at 7am and left Hong Kong at 9:45am.
  • We reached Clark Airport a couple hours later and soon we were on our way to the local church Lord Jesus Christ Universal Faith Gospel Ministry.
  • In the late afternoon we were greeted by the youth of the church and in one accord they enthusiastically chorused, “Good afternoon brothers and sisters! Welcome to the house of the Lord.”  Soon after we introduced ourselves and discussed our plans for the week.
  • Dinner, like other meals throughout the trip, consisted of fantastic traditional dishes.  Even the resident pastor, Pastor Art, cooked his masterpiece: stuffed fish.  Gecelle, the chef delighted us with her wonderful creations throughout our stay there – from soup to various seafood, pork and chicken dishes.  McDo (or “Daniel”) was a son of one of Noah’s cousins graced us with his amazing musical talent during our meals.
  • We stayed at Romalaine Hotel which was a 10 minute drive from the church.  It consisted of several rooms and a near-abandoned menagerie.  Some of the native residents included George the Ostrich, Ben the Lizard (gecko?) who enjoyed clickling loudly near the window and Carl the Rooster who didn’t know the time of day.  It even crowed at 11pm and 3am!

Day 2: Saturday 30th March

  • This was the first full day and we hit the ground running!  The church organised a Medical Missions day, inviting a pastor from a neighbouring church who gave the gospel message.  Noah’s Mum and a team of nurses provided check-up services and gave free medicine.  We saw about 200 people coming in.  After the pastor’s spiel, our team took turns giving our personal testimonies of how we came to know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.  Many heard the gospel for the first time and also accepted Jesus into their lives.

Day 3: Sunday 31st March

  • We attended the church’s Sunday Service on this day.  Their service runs for just over 2 and a half hours!
  • Our team performed “My Hope Is In You” – a 6-person variant to our Rock Special Performance at ICA last month.
  • Sam preached for the first time with a message entitled “Today & Tomorrow”.  Although the crowd remained silent (not used to a non-Western group), he was encouraged when many people approached him throughout the rest of the day saying how the message spoke to them and touched their lives.

Day 4: Monday 1st April

  • Today was another jam-packed day and we had a Food Missions where we distributed rice and other bare necessities to about 60 families.
  • The food was made available by the generosity of ICA.  The Rock Ministry organised a fundraiser selling cupcakes and approximately HKD12,000 was raised.
  • On an interesting note, we found out that the flags used on those cupcakes had the Filipino flag upside down with the red banner on top instead of the blue.  This actually meant that “The Philippines is at war”!  I guessed this could have been interpreted as a spiritual, not a physical war!
  • In the evening we had a youth service and some youths from two other churches were also invited to attend.  In all we had about 35 youths and Vanessa spoke a message on “Pleasing God, Not Men.”.
  • What was amazing was when the time came for prayer – all the youths were crying as we felt the Holy Spirit touching hearts.  They were just so hungry for God and to know Him more.  Many chose to let go of focusing on their hardships and letting God take control of their lives again.

Day 5: Tuesday 2nd April

  • We travelled to a sister church in a nearby town called Baseco.  We had a short service and performed our song again.  Alex gave a message entitled “5 Loaves and 2 Fishes” – a lesson on being grateful to God, to let go and to give Him all we’ve got.
  • Although we only had 20 packs of food reserved for the people of this community, there were 38 families present.  The pastors and church helpers decided we would bless all the families and following the service they repacked the food and delivered them to the people’s homes.
  • In the evening we held another youth service.  Just like the previous night, the Holy Spirit’s presence was so real and people broke down again, allowing God to touch and bring restoration to their hearts.  For some it was the first time they couldn’t sit and had to go down on their knees.  For others it was peace and comfort knowing God’s got their backs and is looking after their families.  Still others just wanted to simply feel God’s love.

Day 6: Wednesday 3rd April

  • This was the final full day with the youth and already many were in tears about our impending departure.
  • There were no formal activities in the morning and early afternoon so our team got busy choosing verses to bless each of the youth.  We printed out certificates as memorabilia of our time spent with them and emblazoned on those certificates were verses we prayed would bring encouragement and keep their zeal going.
  • In the evening we went to a nearby swimming pool for a party.  By the pool the youth organised a little skit where they summarised everything they have learnt.  Some donned masks with our faces and were hilarious even on the details.  Jackie did a good job impersonating Esther!
  • Pastors Art and Tess prayed over us, in gratefulness to God for allowing this trip to happen.  We were moved to tears as we were given some souvenirs to take home and the youth also wrote messages of thanks on a large poster paper.

Day 7: Thursday 4th April

  • With our luggages all packed and ready to go, we spent the morning with the youth re-playing some of the games we taught them previously.  It was amazing to see that all the youth needed was a guitar or ukulele and many will gather together to sing songs.
  • After lunch, it was time for us to say goodbye.  The pastors prayed for us again and after a massive hugging and crying session we were ready to depart.
  • For our final night, we stayed at a resort in Subic to wind down prior to our return to normal life in Hong Kong.

Day 8: Friday 5th April

  • We woke up at 2:30am and arrived at Clark Airport at 4:30am!  We were meant to fly out last night but prior to our trip we were told by Tiger Airways that our flight was cancelled due to “technical issues”.  In the end it was a blessing to have the extra night’s rest.
  • Touching down at 9:45am we were glad and sad to be back home.  Steph had to rush to the office for an 11am meeting, leaving Sam to retrieve the luggage and organise the laundry chords later!
  • The rest of the team gathered at McDonalds for brunch chatting about the memorable events that took place in the last 7 days.
  • In the aftermath of this exciting missions trip, we must remember that God used us in a mighty way in the short time we were in Bataan.  But now that we are back home we must continue to be faithful in our day-to-day life, knowing that God always has a purpose in our lives no matter we are.
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Responses

  1. […] day we can help out in the youth.  I know that’s where God’s called us, ever since we served the youth in Bataan, Philippines.  After all, I’m already serving the youth in my […]


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