I've been asked this a few times recently so thought we better post something up here.
What can I expect if I come with you on a missions trip to the Philippines?
Filipinos tend to have a very relaxed and easy-going culture similar to kiwis but probably even more pronounced. Therefore, often things tend to happen at the last minute and are not highly structured or organised. So coming on a trip like this will require all of us to be flexible and 'go with the flow' and trust God for his leading. We don't always know exactly what will happen or what we will get involved with beforehand but this approach certainly teaches us to trust God. We have certainly seen his hand at work in the past and we trust we will again on our next trip.
That said, here are some of the things we've done in the past:
- Children's ministry - assisting with community outreach programs, Vacation Bible School, puppet shows, drama, balloons etc.
- Family programs - run a family sports day or an outing to a local swimming pool or beach.
- Feeding programs - assisting the local community with reaching out to families and children in need.
- Medical Clinics - assisting medical staff run community health or dental clinics
- Distributing food parcels, 2nd hand clothing, school stationery packs etc - we'll be doing some fundraising before we leave to cover this.
- Opportunities for sharing testimonies, preaching, leading Bible studies or devotionals, songs, music, dramas, praying with others, depending on the team members giftings.
- Assisting our partners with building and maintenance projects - painting, labouring etc.
- Building relationships with our sponsored children and their families - we will stay a few nights with them in their house.
- Youth ministry - playing basketball and other sports, opportunities to lead Bible studies
- Teaching English and learning Tagalog - the locals love to practise their English and teach us Tagalog at the same time.
- Always be on the lookout for ways that we can serve and assist the locals in what they are already doing to serve the Lord. Probably there will be new ways that we can assist and support them once we are back home in NZ.