Luzon Visitations Journal: A Journey of Eating and Anointing
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
The first visitation was in the slums area of the city; the family consisting of the great grandmother, the granddaughters and great granddaughters lived in a place that had seen two fires and multiple floods in the recent years. Shared some stories of life in Singapore for the grandmother. Recounted great interventions when God revived one of the young mothers in the operating theater after much prayer. They continue to commit to having Bible study in their small home. Mothers are active as instrumentalists and worship leaders. Though things were tough, the family placed all things to God in prayer, knowing that God will help this family of young mothers through this difficult time. Everyone in the family was anointed and prayed over as we ate some fried chicken together in their home.
Traveled south to visit the next family in Laguna. Spent some time talking about possible entrepreneurship in the nearby school. Listened to stories about various challenges faced by the family. Anointed the mother and the daughter as we ate some fried bananas. Was gifted with a lot of vegetables to go home with. In deep prayer for the follow through ministry in the nearby church in the coming months for this family.
Both visitations in day 1 were to houses which were in poor areas, where electricity, clean water, and proper ventilation were in limited or insufficient supply.
Lord, I pray that those of none of your children in your body may be in want or in need as you spur us to love each other as You have loved us.
Today was a good day to go to Bulacan as Danny (the driver who is with me in the mission trip) is from Bulacan!
The first visit of the day was to a family taking care of a special child. Because of her condition, she sleeps in short bursts of 2-3 hours at a time, which the primary caregiver had also accustomed herself to for the past 8 years. In a video conference with the family, we prayed for the child and anointed all the family members of the caregiver (including those in absentia via their pictures in photo frames in the house). We donated a new Bible to encourage the caregiver family to read and go to church with. We ate some Jolibee which was prepared for us as we moved to the next family in Bulacan.
The second family we visited was a family with a paralyzed father with the mother taking care of the family of one young son and one baby daughter. A year ago, I had done my first 'online anointing' to this same family, and we continue to see God's good grace work in them. Ate some Pancit Bulacan and spring rolls with the family! Prayerfully, will come back on Sunday to pray with this family again with the other Filipino pastors. (Update: due to an emergency and the typhoon, we didn't manage to come back to revisit the family on Sunday.)
The second day's visitations both had someone in deep need of God's healing, with conditions that the world often considers hopeless. Say to those who are fearful hearted, do not be afraid. The LORD your God is strong, and in His mighty arms, He will come and save you.
Saw this van on our way to Bulacan, it had this Tagalog phrase: "Tulong Muna Bago Balita" which means, "Help First Before News". Now, in the age of cameraphones and TikTok, we need to remember that helping someone in need always comes first before social media post.
Day 3 (Rest Day, own cost)
Started the day with fever. Though it was a rest day, the plan was to travel to Pangasinan first before the morning visitations on Saturday to save on the travel time. After checking my COVID test result being negative and having packed medicine for the journey (thanks Mom!), we started our journey to Monarch Hotel in Calasio, Pangasinan.
I didn't expect this hotel to be 5-star but thank God for the comfort and the service we received as it was a much-needed rest from the long travel we had from Quezon City! Both me and Danny hit the hotel beds to sleep almost instantly (mission fatigue).
Finalization of plans for Day 4 in Pangasinan and final preparations were made. Managed to join the online prayer meeting with the Singapore Filipino congregation. Thank you LORD for helping us find a good place to rest before the missions the following day!
Woke up early for breakfast and an early check out from the hotel to head out to Anda Island! It's my first time to reach this part of the Philippines. After two and a half hours of travel, finally reached the famous Anda bridge!
The typhoon was starting to reach us with strong winds and rain, but we were warmly welcomed by the family with lots of food!
It was nice to pray a blessing for each of the family members, and 1 new Bible was also given to the family. The mother who had worked in Singapore for over 20 years messaged me later on how it was nice to have travelled all the way to Anda Island to visit and bless the family. Somehow felt what God must have meant that He is the Good Shepherd who will leave the 99 to seek the one sheep.
We travelled back to pick up Sister Ophalyn (ex-chairman for Filipino Ministry in BRMC) and went to go to Pozorrubio Community Hospital to visit and pray for the child of one of the daughters of the church goers in Singapore. Anointed the parents and the recovering child with the oil.
After the hospital visit, we went to visit Sister Ophalyn's brother in Pangasinan, had lunch with the family and also took time to anoint his brother and the 'godmother' who took Ophalyn in.
Had great spiritual breakthrough with Ophalyn's brother who felt the Holy Spirit's touch in the visit. Felt inspired by how much God has already been overflowing the household with grace.
After the visit we headed down to San Antonio Nueva Ecija to meet Pastor Hannah.
San Antonio, Nueva Ecija
Met Pastor Hannah together with the youth volunteers of the church having their cell group meeting in Christ Centered United Methodist Church. After helping to bring one of the kids home (as the typhoon had gotten stronger in the area), went to have Lugaw Overload (Filipino porridge with lots of ingredients! Comfort food to the max!) with Pastor Hannah and her family.
One of the highlights was "GG", which is the name affectionately given to Pastor Hannah's car as it was "God's Gift". As it braved storms and floods, everyone was cheering GG on as it fetched members to and from church safely. The car was sponsored by two members from BRMC.
We were originally going to stay in one of the member's house for the night, but as the intended path to the house was partially submerged in water, Pastor Hannah arranged for us to sleep in another house which was above the water line. Still, we went to visit the original hosts for the night.
I learned that in future missions, I should pack slippers. After borrowing boots from the neighbors, we waded through a flooded puddle where the ducks 'showed the way' to the house. Anointed and prayed for the family members in the house as we did a pastoral visit.
Ended the day with some balut (it was really good, just as I remembered it!) Stayed in the home across the church. The typhoon took out the power that night, which was filled with prayer in the whistling of the wind in the dark night.
Thank you, LORD, for giving us an opportunity to be a blessing in a time of a storm. All things are indeed made beautiful in Your Time.
San Antonio, Nueva Ecija
We started with breakfast at the church, where I took time to also to take pictures of the church building.
Though the church generally was in good condition, the roof and some of the panels were in need of repair. The church was doing some fundraising for the building renovations.
We worshipped together with the congregation in CCUMC, where I was roped in to sing in the choir. It was a meaningful service, everyone knew each other and we had a good time of fellowship after the service.
After service, we had lunch and went to a few mission spots where Pastor Hannah had been reaching out in. The houses of the people in the mission had been badly affected by the typhoon. We anointed and prayed over the families.
One of the members from Singapore who had originally arranged to meet in Pastor Hannah's church that morning contacted us to say that on the way to San Antonio, she had left her luggage on the bus! She was due for an early morning flight the following day, so she apologized to say that she will be rushing down to Caloocan City where her luggage was held by the bus company. It was a 3 to 4-hour drive down to Caloocan, and possibly 6-8 hours back to San Antonio. The 'holiday rush' back to the provinces and the typhoon meant that she may miss her flight even with her attempt to take her luggage from the bus station.
After praying and consideration, we decided to pray to explore the possibility for me to pick up the luggage on her behalf and bring it to Singapore. Found out that the member had lived very near where I lived in Singapore (we were next door members!). After praying for her family, rushed down to get her luggage, and by God's grace, managed to claim the luggage and eventually bring it to Singapore!
As a side note, I normally will not encourage anyone to 'bring luggage' for other people, given the high incidences of contraband being muled to other countries. For this case, I was given the key to 'repack' her things before I flied over to Singapore. Yes, it will involve risk, but in this case, I'm glad that the risk was managed as it was a great blessing to let the member spend a day with her family at peace without being delayed on her flight back to Singapore. Thank you, LORD, for the opportunity, and for reminding me that obedience by faith isn't supposed to be risk-free!
9 families visited
1 Church and 2 Mission Sites prayed over
Around 100 people anointed
6 New Bibles distributed.
737 KM covered over 5 days
I want to thank the 3 sponsors who donated for this mission trip! 89% of the cash donated was given out to the families and 11% was used for the gas and logistics of the trip. May God bless your generosity and allow the grace you have given to multiply for His Kingdom!
I also want to thank Ophalyn and Danny for being the mission partners in the visitations for the families! It was wonderful to have your support in the long road trips and in being partners in prayer and in fellowship!
I want to thank Pastor Hannah also for hosting in San Antonio Nueva Ecija; your mission work with the community is inspiring! May the LORD bless the work of your hands! Your family is an absolute delight.
And most of all, thank you God, for this opportunity to witness the lives of the families of our congregation in Singapore. Through the fellowship of food and the anointing of hands and foreheads, I believe that Your Holy Spirit has united our hearts in love. May Your great Name be known amongst all people as You establish Your church in these humble abodes on earth. May the missions to the communities continue on in the coming years!