Philippines Beach Missions 2012

Let them give glory to the LORD and proclaim his praise in the islands. (Isaiah 42:12)

Every year, a group of college students and graduates come together to proclaim Jesus in one of the many beaches of the archipelago. For two years now, the Philippines Beach Missions team has been sharing Jesus in the shores of Zambales with the help of a local church partner from the area.

I've joined the BM Trip from year one in 2011 and with the coming of the summer heat, I once more cleared my schedule for the second year of the mission.Two groups make up the BM Team, each spending one week at a time in the chosen mission field. Previously, I was with group two; I chose to join group one this year.

The Beach Missions takes to heart Jesus' words to Peter and Andrew, "I will make you fishers of men." Throughout the trip, we manned the coastline talking to beach-goers and locals alike. We went to where the "fish" were and spoke to them about the gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

Like the first-century apostles, our schedule and program were very fluid and truly Spirit-led. Depending on the number of people, we would do either one-on-one Gospel-sharing, or hold simple beach games for a large group before grabbing the opportunity to talk about Jesus.

Armed with a rope for a game of tug-of-war and a colorful ball for a round of beach basketball, we would gather the people swimming around and build rapport with them. Until now, I thank God for making Filipinos inquisitive and fun-loving. Who would have thought that these simple games would allow us to connect with the people in a very non-threatening way?

The games lasted around 10 to 15 minutes, after which we would call the children and teens to the shore to help us bury several of the team members in the sand. Kuya Dave gets this role often because he's larger than any of us and  burying him gives the precious minutes needed to share the Gospel.

We accomplished this using the soccer ball which was painted by Jeremy with the colors of the Wordless Book -- gold or yellow, black, red, white and green. While the children and teens buried Kuya Dave in the sand, one team member explained the colors, climaxing with the death of Jesus with the color red.

This year, Kuya Raf, one of the InterVarsity staff members, shared Noah's story with the children before presenting the colorful ball.

Often after the large-group presentation, we broke into smaller groups to further explain the message of the Gospel. I noticed that it was good to repeat the meaning of the colors and to engage the listeners by encouraging them to memorize the key words for each color. We then left them with a woven bracelet which also bore the five colors of the ball. This is a reminder of the Gospel and a constant challenge for them to consider the message and to respond to the call of faith in Jesus.

There were times when we were privileged to pray for the people we spoke to. In my case, there was one particular lady who was resistant to the Good News. We tried to explain what the Bible says about salvation in Jesus, but she would not yield to it. Even if she refused to believe, however, we still asked for prayer requests. Praise God because her face lightened with the offer. We prayed for her concerns, but more importantly Queen and I prayed for her salvation when we were already discussing the encounter.

The incident reminded me again that salvation of people is not in our hands. We may be able to share passionately, creatively, charismatically or dramatically but without the power of the Holy Spirit touching people's hearts, transformation will not happen. Our duty is to share faithfully, God gives the increase.

God dealt with one of my biggest fears in evangelism during the trip-- approaching a large group alone. He allowed me to share to at least two large groups even if I was so terrified of doing so. Incidentally, most of those in the groups were students so I felt very comfortable because my ministry is campus-based and I regularly worked with students of all ages.

Even if I wasn't very well during the trip because of flu and a back ache, I really felt God giving me the energy to keep on sharing. I preferred staying dry because of my condition, but even on the shore and the cottages the Lord gave me several opportunities to share His Son.

The people were very receptive. Several even said they remembered us from last year's missions trip. But even so, they still wanted to hear the Gospel. I sometimes wonder how many times should we share the message before they understand it, or more importantly before they put their faith in Christ. This is clearly out of our hands. It is simply a joy for me to be used to scatter seeds of Truth or water seedlings while trusting God's perfect timing.

Sadly for this trip I had to leave halfway-through because my flu worsened. I joined Kuya Dave on his way back to Manila. I wanted to finish the trip but my body was telling me to rest. Even if I left earlier, however, I continued ministering to the people of Pundaquit in prayer, supporting my teammates through intercession.

It was another tiring trip but spiritually fulfilling! To God be all the glory!

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  1. I never knew speaking to crowds scared you, Pau! Praise God that it didn't show, and that even in our weaknesses He shows just how Mighty His Spirit is in us! :)


  2. I'm glad you understand that many don't get saved the first time they hear, but that God causes the results. Some don't seem to understand that.

  3. I find this article very interesting. I just took a lot of time reading it but I enjoyed it.

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