2015 Angeles City – Eunice Lee

Unity Beyond All Means

“… then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love,
being one in spirit and of one mind.” – Philippians 2:2 (NIV)

I’m not a fan of stringing together a couple of Christian catchphrases like “Our team unity was awesome!” or “The kingdom advances through relationships!” and calling it a testimony. But I can’t help but to express how much these so-called catchphrases became real and alive to me during my time in the Angeles City mission field. I never imagined meeting my Sydney team members for the first time, yet feeling like I had just hung out with them yesterday. I never dreamed of easily befriending the local people and so quickly changing our status from “acquaintance” to “friend.” I never thought to fall so quickly in love with every pastor, church member, and local person that our team encountered throughout the trip, but I did. I undeniably did.

Looking back, there are two ways in which I’ve personally received breakthrough and have been blessed on this trip. The first was through learning how to “roll with the punches.” The second was getting filled to the brim by all the relationships that our team gained through our NPWM (Native Partners for World Missions) pastors and respective church leaders and members.

Rolling with the Punches
“Just do whatever you want and however you feel! Let the Spirit lead!” These were the exact words I feared hearing, yet I heard them leave Pastor Ibay’s mouth right before our team’s first service. Always being an avid planner, the thought of losing the security of structure made every orderly bone in me cringe. However, I eventually did ask the Spirit to lead and to provide the order of how things were to go. Now throughout that time, there were definitely moments when I wasn’t really sure about what was going to happen next. However right as the current ministry item was about to finish, the Holy Spirit soon enough would unfold the next ministry that He wanted us to do. There were even other ministry times where everything seemed intact until I felt like Spirit leading us in another direction, but with a very short notice. Nerve-wrecking wouldn’t even suffice as the proper adjective to describe how I felt, yet there was a strange blanket of peace that protected me from anxiety. Needless to say, a grave lesson I learned was that no matter how much I have everything put together, God can always switch around and piece together more things to surpass my definition of a “perfect schedule.”

Filled-to-the-Brim Relationships
Not going to lie, I was incredibly amazed at how quickly and deeply our team was able to relationally connect with all the local pastors and members in the field. Personally, I don’t allow new acquaintances into my life that easily. However with our host Pastor Ibay and Pastor Bob, I wanted to exceed every relational limit and persuade them to adopt me into their homes. More than pastors, they felt like family. And they treated us like family. They just went above and beyond by insisting on hosting our team in incredible accommodations and making sure that we were taken care of at all times. There was one time where our team was doing some last minute shopping for our supporters, and a couple of us were looking for coconut oil but couldn’t find it anywhere. Overhearing what we were trying to look for, Pastor Bob quietly slipped out of the store and walked all around the mall to check the other stores to see if there was any coconut oil for us. Small gestures like this speak volumes to me. From sneakily buying us souvenir mugs to walking us across many blocks in order to take us to a pharmacy at night, there were endless episodes of Pastor Bob going out of his way to bless our team. There was never once even a single ounce of reluctance, but always a fullness of love. I honestly couldn’t believe the authenticity and purity of his heart, and it really challenged me to walk in the same heart of service upon returning home.

With all this to say, and more that I could have said, this trip was by far one of the most heartfelt and rewarding trips that I’ve been on. Our team saw and experienced a harvest of kingdom relationships that would go far beyond “hello” and “keep in touch.” We experienced the kind of relationships that would beckon us to return to Angeles City so that we could build more upon the foundation that God had set during our time there. So I will end my testimony by asking you (the reader) to release a prayer over Angeles City. Pray that God will bless and exponentially grow Pastor Ibay and Bob’s churches in every spiritual and personal aspect. Declare that God’s anointed touch will break off every heavy yoke and oppression weighing down upon the city’s red light districts. And lastly, pray that the hearts of those who received Holy Spirit’s ministry through the team will burn unconditionally for God’s kingdom purposes and promises over this land. Thank you!

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