2015 Manila – Toko Kim

Thrilla in Manila

How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! – Romans 10:15

Manila is the second largest city in the Philippines with an overall population of around 2 million people. The history of Manila involves much turmoil, but historically it is most well known as the site of one of the bloodiest battles that took place in the pacific theater during WWII. Known as the “Manila Massacre,” some 100,000 civilians were killed in the city. It was the second most devastated city in the world after Warsaw during WWII. The country is still undergoing reconstruction and healing as consequences from the war and the poverty that followed. As our team was ministering in the slums of Manila, we saw the hopelessness in the people and a country living in a vicious cycle of powerlessness that needed God more than ever.

During the trip, our team went to Maliksi Church, led by Pastor Ezekiel (our local ministry contact). While I was at this church, a moment that really stood out for me was when our team washed the feet of the church leaders to bless them. I remember the moment we sat down the leaders and we were getting ready to wash their feet, many of them were already in tears. At the moment I couldn’t tell why they were tearing up, but later when I spoke with one of the leaders, he said that these were tears of gratitude and thankfulness. He said that they were crying because the leaders at Maliksi Church were used to serving and always giving to the congregation, were so blessed to receive for the first time. This was the first time anyone had served them or had done something for them without expecting anything in return.

When our team leader Judy first said that we were going to be washing feet, I was initially surprised. I had never washed anyone’s foot before besides my own, and I thought it was an interesting way to honor someone. But then Romans 10:15 and John 13 were highlighted to me, and I remembered that Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet before the feast of the Passover to bless and honor them. He then told them to do the same with others.

While washing the feet of the leaders, it made me think of what Jesus was thinking when he was washing the feet of His disciples. I also thought of how awesome it was to do what Jesus did- to follow in his footsteps. Indeed, what changed and moved me the most though was praying for the leaders. I had the privilege to wash the feet of a young leader named Angelo. He was 22 years old and had been serving faithfully at the church for many years since he was 17.

I had the chance to talk to Angelo and asked him about his life and about his experience serving the church as a young leader. He ended up sharing the struggles that he had gone through and was going through in his family and with his spiritual life. After listening to his story, I really felt the Holy Spirit telling me to speak words of life into him and confirm that God loves him so much, and that God has big plans for him.

As I was praying for Angelo, I felt the Holy Spirit stirring up inside me and I couldn’t stop weeping. I could feel the love God had for Angelo. The Holy Spirit was telling me to bless him and tell him that even in times of difficulties or affliction, when he thinks God is not there or not listening, God is always faithful. Even when Angelo himself is not faithful, God is always faithful. The Holy Spirit was leading me to share very specifically with Angelo, that all that God asks sometimes is to fully trust him and to be patient. Be bold, strong and courageous.

As I was speaking these words to him, Angelo started weeping uncontrollably. I could tell that he was receiving all the blessings and words of life into his heart. I really felt that the Holy Spirit was stirring up something inside Angelo and giving him the confirmation he needed for him to keep running the race.

God was moving so powerfully throughout our whole trip. When we were visiting the different churches, it was clear that God had chosen each and every one of the team members to play a key role. Our team preacher Pastor Susy was preaching with such an anointing and boldness to the congregations. Sister Esther led the children’s dance ministry songs with such joy and happiness. The team shared powerful testimonies of how God moved so strongly in our lives. Also, the team acted out the powerful “Everything Skit” that so clearly displays the unconditional love that Jesus has for us.

Throughout this missions trip God met and exceeded every expectation. He even moved in ways that I couldn’t see or didn’t expect. He never ceased to amaze me through His grace, and through the people in my team and the different pastors I met. The words “God is good, all the time” were highlighted to me from day 1 all the way until the last day. Also, through the sermons and the way the Spirit was moving, I definitely felt the Holy Spirit present at every ministry outreach, and I felt an outpouring of blessings upon blessings on our team and the churches.

I definitely believe that I have grown through this mission trip. I feel and believe that I have grown due to God testing my faith, and speaking to me through the powerful sermons preached in the field. Also, witnessing the Spirit moving so powerfully within the local churches and pastors really made me rekindle and steward the fire of the Holy Spirit inside me.

I would like to thank you for your financial support but more importantly for your prayers while my team and I were ministering in Manila. I definitely felt the grace and blessings of the Lord over our team because of your prayers. I would also really appreciate it if you could pray with me for the church members and pastors in Manila. Pray for fresh fire within the church leaders, that God will ignite the fire within their hearts, and for them to be able to steward the fire. Pray also for God’s provision to finish building some of the unfinished church projects. Pray for hope over the churches and Filipino people, for the injustice and corruption to be rooted out, and for Christ to be exalted all across the nation.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound
-Isaiah 61:1

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