Philippines

Home / World Updates / Asia / Philippines 2012

 January 2012

We just finished a good day of discussions with the core camp team here. It has been very profitable as they work through things that they need to address as they grow. It is amazing to be around their energy and excitement. They have a vision to spread the e-camp ministry all over the Philippines and then all over Asia. I have been so impacted by their faith, their desire to do something big for God, and  their dependence on Him to direct and give strength. They all expressed their deep joy in serving God and watching Him rescue young lives from sin.

On Wednesday our CA team will split up into three separate groups, paired with men and women from the e-camp team. Each team will then go to separate locations to run new e-camps. We will spend the day tomorrow meeting in the camp teams to make final preparations.

Report by Kelly Collier


 

After the teams had all departed for their various ministry locations, Kelly and I were able to spend some time with Ranie – the Philippine coordinator. What a wonderful time of envisioning and planning! They have come so far in three years. Now, we will continue to stay involved from a distance, coming alongside of them and helping establish camps in partnership with the camp team in places like Indonesia and China, Lord willing. We count it a privilege to serve alongside of such wonderful believers.

Kelly and I left for China shortly after our meeting. For obvious reasons, we were unable to report on our trip there. Let me just summarize by asking for continued prayer as we continue to explore potential opportunities there. I wish I could say that the way is clear, but even after several days, we are still uncertain about how to proceed. It was a highlight, though, to be able to give a talk to about 40 university students on the topic of dating and marriage. We were able to point them to God many times in our talk and even had some individual conversations afterwards with people who are empty and searching. One young man said, “I feel like there has to be more to life than just this.” The next day, we spent training a group of 12 believers in Christian camping. We are praying about next steps to take.

After a couple of days, Kelly and I flew out to Singapore and then on to Indonesia. It was our first time on the island of Sumatra. I’ll have to save that update for later but the Lord really protected and gave good success along the way. There is much to tell and much to pray about.

Report by Matt Collier


Isabel, Leyte

Where to begin? It was such a wonderful trip in many ways. To be able to present the Gospel and see young people saved is such a privilege and joy. Also to be able to see the Philippine team run camp so effectively to prepare young people to hear the Word of God was very exciting. They have the philosophy of why they are running camp and do a wonderful job. We had 33 campers and 21 counselors. The campers were the 4th year students of the school. (Which to us means they were about to finish secondary school) The counselors were their teachers and a few seminary students from the island. We had a few issues to work through: such as the camp was on the school grounds so there was a lot of familiarity. I was concerned that they would not serve their campers or that the campers would have a hard time opening up. Neither was the case. The other issue was that this was the weekend that their town celebrated the Santo Nino (Holy Child), A Roman Catholic holiday. Many of the campers wanted to be a part of the celebrations which included feasts, contests, and a big parade on Sunday. We had one camper who was a finalist in the town talent show which took place on Friday night and the whole class wanted to support him by watching. We were able to work out all the details of these issues but on Saturday when the counselors asked some of their campers if they wanted to leave to go to the festival they said, “no, we want to stay here. We are having so much fun.”

The school is a Christian school so many of them have heard the gospel, but the area is very Roman Catholic and so many of the campers had confusion over terms and what the Bible says. We had 8 campers trust Christ and several dealt with assurance of salvation as we really spent time challenging them to evaluate their heart and know if they are putting their faith in Jesus Christ alone. At the end of the camp after the campers left, we had a counselor testimony time. To hear how excited they were for this “new” way of camping and to share what God had done in their lives and in the lives of their campers was very neat. One counselor testified that she knew she needed to grow spiritually but from here on she was going to share the gospel “to her very last breath.”

Report by Tim Meals


Camp Negros

We took a 2 hour ferry ride to the Island of Negros. Then we traveled by way of a mall to have lunch and a toy store stop to get balls for two new games for e-camp teams. Next stop was the rented camp that was acquired by the host church in Bacolod. The facility was perfect for a camp of 100 or less. It is beautifully located on the ocean shore with a very small ball field but a beautiful covered basketball court. That building served as our game area, dining hall and chapel.

Training went well as Dex, Vince and Oscar divided up the majority of the counseling sessions. They did a fine job as they could teach in their native dialect. We had just under 20 that attended the training with the plan to use 8 girl counselors and 8 guy counselors. Campers started coming in around 11am and check in was not scheduled until 4. The counselors did a pretty good job of welcoming them and we had them join us for lunch. The rest of the campers slowly came in but by orientation we had 77 and the majority we boys.

As we counted the decision slips there were 37 professions of faith. Professions came mainly from the confrontation of the counselors. We had 4 professions Saturday evening at the service and 5 more on Sunday morning but the rest came from the individual contact of the counselors.  A young couple from the community came to our Sunday morning service as visitors of the Church that regularly meets at the camp property. They too raised their hands to get saved.

Because of responsibilities of the staff at their local churches we ended at 9 am Sunday morning.  Therefore all the staff and campers left right away so we did not get to hear any testimonies of the staff or campers. We then went to Pastor Shalom’s church and did 3 sessions on counseling. After that we were blessed by Goducate to a relaxing time at the resort that houses 7 beautiful waterfalls. It was a fun and relaxing time.

Report by Dan Brooks


Camp Sorsogon

Our team left Iloilo on Tuesday night and flew to Manila to spend the night. Wednesday morning we flew from Manila to the city of Legaspi on the island of Bicol. Legaspi is known for its almost perfectly coned shaped volcano – Mount Mayon. When we arrived in Legaspi, Pastor Alamer picked us up and we drove about an hour south to the city of Sorsogon. Sorsogon is known for spicy food, whale sharks and a devout Catholic community. I enjoyed the spicy food, never saw the whale sharks and the Catholic dominance was obvious.

Wednesday night I had the privilege of being a guest on pastor’s radio show on DZMS. We spent an hour talking about the camp and going after the Catholic teachings. It was obvious that Pastor Alamer has a real passion for reaching his community. He does this hour long radio program every night from 7:00 – 8:00.

Thursday was a day spent in training with Jet, Rodel and I each taking turns leading a session. The staff was very receptive and thankful for the training time. Camp went very well. We utilized a nearby school for the camp. There were approximately 60 campers in attendance. We didn’t have a ball court or a ball field for games, but the beach at low tide was just what we needed to get in a couple innings of three ball baseball. Funtime was fabulous and the teams for blue and red were as enthusiastic as they are back here at camp. Most of the campers were older at this camp which really allowed for some great interaction. I was able to preach the first night and then Sunday morning.

We had several saved during the weekend, but there were a few special situations that really stood out. I had the opportunity to speak with two girls regarding their salvation out of a very devoted Catholic family. They were shocked to learn that infant baptism and prayer to Mary is not found anywhere in the Bible. Both of these girls were 18 years old and ready to face the ridicule and persecution from their families. They were very excited about attending the Baptist church with their counselor. On Sunday morning two school teachers (who were attending as campers) got saved. They had been invited by a fellow teacher who was helping out with security during our camp. Matt (the teacher helping us out who had only himself been saved for a couple years) was so excited to see two of his colleagues receive Christ.

I could write so much more, but there really is no way to adequately express the joy it was to serve with these wonderful fellow believers in the Philippines. God is building His church all around the world and it is a special privilege to have a small part of that in the Philippines.

Report by Matt Herbster


Back to Top / Back to Updates

(864)761-4141