2015 Manila – Jazzmin Duff

Life Abundant

The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10

From December 27th to January 3rd our team of nine ministered in the Philippines. We partnered with God in releasing hope, joy, peace, and greater vision. When we arrived in Manila, I knew two things for sure: we would minister with native pastors in Manila and the surrounding areas, and that God was going to show up in supernatural ways. Apart from that I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was my first missions trip!

In the weeks leading up to the trip, one of the many things I felt God wanted to release to His people was greater hope and vision. Looking back at the trip now, I can say without a doubt that He did just that. It was so strategic that God sent us out in this way because we ended up ministering to a lot of children. Pastora Ukat, the lead pastor of Sucat church in Manila, has a vision statement from Proverbs 22:6 which declares, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Most churches we went to had a range of children from infants (which I loved!) to teenagers. Each of them needed to know that God created them intricately and with great purpose. Through our skits, children’s dance ministry songs, sermons, and altar ministry times, we were able to tell them that God has so much more in store for them. One of our core values at New Philadelphia Church is to “dream big.” I was able to pray this over the youth of Manila and personally encourage them to think outside the box and increase their capacity to dream for their future.

Not only was I able to release greater hope and vision, but I also received it for myself. During our time in Manila, I sat in the front seat for all of our commutes because I get motion sickness very easily. A few times it was tempting to feel disconnected from the rest of the team. Everyone else was sitting in the back, communicating with each other so much more easily. Little did I know that having motion sickness would open up the opportunity for a divine appointment. One day on our way to a church, Pastor Joseph, our local ministry contact, sat next to me in the front. Something inside of me was very curious about how he came to be such a powerful and influential minister, so I began picking his brain. I asked him about a dozen questions and he freely shared his life story with me. He told me his salvation testimony, how God called him into full time ministry, his love story with his wife, and random stories of power encounters with the Lord. I felt like a child and sat there basically gawking at him as he unfolded his history with the Lord. I was blown away by his faith, passion, and zeal for God. Pastor Joseph shared with me that as God called him into ministry he went to the Word for confirmation of what he had heard from the Holy Spirit. The passage that God led him to was Isaiah 43. As soon as he told me, I got chills because it was the same passage that God used to reveal to me my own full time ministry call. Although we had been complete strangers a few days before, we ended up having a lot in common. God had clearly orchestrated this divine appointment to encourage me in the path that I’m on as I begin full time ministry- just as Pastor Joseph embarked on this journey many years ago. His testimony was being multiplied as he shared it because I was claiming it as my own. I was so inspired and encouraged by the end of our conversation.

Many areas in the Philippines have been devastated by natural disasters or occupied by other nations, but one thing is for sure- the Filipino people are very resilient and joyful despite what they have been through. During this trip God released even greater joy to his people and along with greater vision, hope, unity, honor, and fresh mindsets of abundance. Please pray that the Filipino people would experience life to the full. God has so much more in store for his sons and daughters in the Philippines, but pray that they increase their capacity to dream big, and ask for an even more abundant life. I was so honored to minister in Manila. It was easy to flow in the Spirit and minister from God’s heart because of the prayers of my supporters. Praise God for all He’s done, but expect more! God is taking His people from glory to glory!

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