Our DTS team jetted out from Hong Kong to join up with the Mega-Outreach in the Philippines organised by YWAM King's Lodge, England. Our three families and two singles received a warm welcome as we landed in the small airport of Cagayan de Oro and after an hours ride in a famous Philippine Jeepney we arrived at our home for the week, the lovely Coconut Bay Hotel.
Our first venture would be to minister in a slum called Smokey Mountain, a huge rubbish dump where the lovely people there call home. We gathered in a small church of Pastora Ruth which originally began as the church under the tree but now is a cosy wooden church in the heart of the community. We divided into small teams and went out to meet the locals, they were very welcoming and open to share. We met an older guy who was crouched down in the mud street sorting out a big pile of rubbish. As we chatted to him he told he had been there making a living doing this for 30 years. Wow! Sorting out rubbish by hand for 30 years. That’s a long time. We chatted and prayed with him for which he was grateful. For one of our team members the visit was particularly special as he remembered when he was a small boy raising funds with his church choir for Smokey Mountain, Philippines so it was wonderful to visit there after so many years.
We had the pleasure of serving alongside our hosts Rudy and Nits at their home and YWAM base of Cagayan de Oro. They have been doing a tremendous work by investing in a settled tribe called the Cugman Community. The people live in small wooden houses next to the river in very poor conditions and due to this Rudy and Nits have a sponsorship programme for the children enabling them to a better life and education. In their home they run bible studies for the women, children and youth to which they invited our team to lead. Our team organised the whole program with games, worship and the word and it was a wonderful time filled with the presence of God as we spent time with these special people who love to laugh, dance and sing.
The team was also able to go to into the community to visit on various occasions. One time as we entered into the village crossing the river on a rickety bamboo bridge and up the winding path through the wooden houses until the basketball court we had a wonderful time of open air worship which gathered many children around us. The adults soon followed and we shared with them, played games with the children, did some dramas, sung more songs and prayed many prayers. It was a blast. We are so grateful for the opportunity to be able to reach out and encourage these people in their walk with Father.
On the Sunday we had the privilege of bringing the word and sharing testimonies in a lovely church in the countryside. Jan, from our team, gave a powerful word of ‘The Father Heart of God’ which brought Pastor Virgil to tears as he was translating such was the presence of God. Many others came forward as they received a fresh revelation of the Father’s love.
The YWAM King’s Lodge team welcomed us with open arms and served us joyfully for which we are extremely grateful. They have been investing in the Philippines for a number of years now through the Mega-Outreach and are doing a fantastic job.