A Report of Our February 2014 Visit – by Mark Jantzi
Our two week February visit to the Butuan City area of Mindanao Island this time follows a flood that inundated the area a few weeks earlier, possibly one of the worst of their known history. When we left our homes on the 18th of February, we were not sure what we would find on our arrival, or whether we would be involved with the cleanup or not. But they are a people who live simply and they also recover quickly. So we were able to focus mostly on the business of the kingdom for which we had come. In order to give a more comprehensive view of our visit I have asked the team members to share in writing what they saw of our visit.
Bro George Herrig Writes
We have just returned from our mission trip to the Philippines. Our team consisted of Mark and Rita Jantzi, Mark Giegerich, Jim Cassell, Susan Herrig and myself. So much has transpired in the time that we were there it is hard to put it all down on paper. I will try to at least give a summary.
The Annual Conference in Butuan
At the start of our time we were involved with a 3-day conference where God truly visited us. Ephesians says that it is the washing of the Word that brings cleansing to His church. The first day nine people came forward for salvation. The second day His presence came down into our midst. Many were touched and weeping as we worshiped before the Lord. The third and last day, an altar call was made and almost the entire congregation came forward in repentance and a desire to rededicate their lives.
Visit to the Bible School
The second part of our trip was dedicated to three days of meetings at the Bible school in Jabonga. This is our fourth year of laboring there. The fruit of those labors have been most evident by their hunger for the Kingdom of God. We had an excellent time of praise and worship with the students at the school and the local brethren there. There has been a great triumph in their growth and maturity away from contemporary and soulish worship to a place where the presence of God comes down from heaven into the midst of them. Their openness to learning songs, which opens the heart, became very apparent. This type of atmosphere in the praise paved the way for the ministry of the word. At the end of our three days of meetings there was a time of prayer and rededication of the students, staff and spiritual parents, Edmar and Medlyn. Something very special happened in this time of prayer that brought repentance and consecration to the Throne of God. We were very blessed by the outcome of the Bible school meetings. There was a word of prophecy given 5 years ago that God would take a people from the Philippines and thrust them out of their country to all Southern Asia. We see the great potential these young people have in becoming what the prophecy spoke. They are growing in their understanding of becoming Sons of God for this end time hour.
The Children’s School in Ampayon
The third part of our trip consisted of working with the KMMS Children’s school and the local fellowships in the Butuan area. The School is in its fourth year of operation and at present consists of 95 children with a staff of eleven. This year added a new principal that is required by the government. Marissa, the new principal, came to us with much expertise in helping schools maintain the standards required by the government in the day to day operations. We are most pleased with the growth and stability that the school is making. We have an excellent staff that works diligently to meet the needs of our students as well as their parents.
It has been a marvelous thing to see a church birthed from the establishment of the School. When the school first started, its purpose was to make it possible for the most disadvantaged children to have an opportunity to obtain a quality education with a Christian perspective. Through that opportunity for families that could not afford schooling, many mothers and fathers have accepted Christ in their lives insomuch that a church fellowship now operates each Sunday ministering to this newborn church. There is a remarkable change in particular in the lives of these mothers. The school, this new church and its members have become a living environment for the presence of God. We truly share with all those who are sponsors of the children and contributors to the support of the school that your funds are being well spent for this great work. The parents are very thankful for providing for their children. They expressed it to us over and over again throughout our time there.
Also we were blessed with the various fellowships and elders that labor with the brethren. We had a day of meetings with the various elders exhorting them with the responsibility that is given to them as well as the need to live an exemplary life before the flock.
Bro Mark Giegerich Writes on the KMMS School and the Bible School
Our time in the Philippines has been very productive as well as very precious. It had been 5 years since I have last been there. Seeing the growth among the brethren there is, to say the least, tremendous. The school is doing very well, but not without its many needs. There are currently 95 students from kindergarten to 3rd grade. Next school year will add a fourth grade, bringing in additional students into kindergarten. Mostly the children are indigent and wouldn’t be able to afford this for themselves. There is a weekly feeding program currently in place that provides a healthy meal for the students. These are children that often times do not get their basic nutritional needs at home or go without meals due to parent(s) not having the means to provide at home. I also did notice that many children also suffer from much tooth decay as they lack in both nutrition as well as any basic knowledge of dental hygiene. This is something we would like to implement as well in the near future – some form of dental instruction as well as providing toothbrushes to the families. The school has also birthed a fellowship with some 35 parents or more getting saved. Seeing the kids firsthand and their eagerness to learn and know they are learning the gospel opens up quite a potential for the Philippines. When I consider the impact it will have on a nation, I want to be involved as best I can. I encourage all who are reading this to consider either sponsoring a child or getting involved with the feeding programs or possibly both.
We also visited Bro. Edmar, his wife, and the Bible school they oversee. We spent three days there and had 2 meetings each day. There are approximately 15 students and maybe 7 or 8 former students who help staff the school. These students are being taught the gospel of the kingdom. I was really amazed at their knowledge of the word as well as the tabernacle. Bro. George brought a model of the tabernacle for them to make. He gave it to them late one afternoon, and by the time we came back the next morning, they had it already completed. All in all, I believe our investment in the Philippines, as far as the gospel is concerned, is really paying numerous dividends in the lives of so many different ones who are being impacted by this gospel of the kingdom. Again, I encourage each one of us to pray as to what our part might be in all of this. To see how they live in comparison to us is really an eye opener. So many needs and yet such a love for God! There is much we can learn.
Bro James Cassell’s Observations
I praise God for the opportunity to participate with the Team Philippines 2014. My first observation was the labor of love and diligence that has gone on for the past 7 years to lay a very good foundation! There is a good grasp of the message among many, and the Lord is certainly adding to what has been laid. The elders worked well together and received the Word with gladness.
I was very blessed with the heartfelt and sincere worship we experienced. These people really love God and love to worship HIM, having a good liberty and a sweet spirit in the meetings. The word was very direct as to the present need and the response was very encouraging. May not one word fall to the ground, but bear fruit for His Name and His Glory!
I was blessed to see how efficiently the school operated. Everyone worked like a Swiss watch with their area of responsibility. God, I believe, sent His very best to work with us. The children are most precious and it is an honor to be a sponsor.
The people of the Philippines are a very meek and gentle folks; the people God has sent us to are very hungry for truth. Please pray for the word to go forth and multiply in this island nation.
Bro George Herrig’s Report on the Flood Relief
As many of you know back in January the Butuan area and Mindanao Island experienced a tropical depression that brought continual rain for 15 straight days. Out of that depression resulted in a flood on the island that affected many of the brethren, the children’s school and all of the families that attended the school.
We had sent out a need to all of the brethren in late January and the response by the brethren in the USA and Czech Republic produced an amount of $5580 to be taken to help our brethren there recover from the flood. The elders and the school board members put together a detailed list of the losses by the school, its staff, the children’s families and the brethren that we are working with. From that list we were able to distribute the money to all those involved who were affected by the flood.
Through the money that was taken for the Philippine Flood relief, we were able to give financial support to 126 families. 70 of those families have students at the KMMS children’s school. The remaining 56 families were brethren from various fellowships that we labor with who were directly affected by the flood. Of those families, many of them lost wages. They lived on just a watery rice soup in order to survive during the time when they could not get out of their homes. We were able to give funds for the rebuilding of 5 homes and cottages that were completely destroyed by the floods. Twelve families were reimbursed for partial damage to their homes and destroyed appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators. Money was also supplied to replant a rice field that was completely destroyed. One fellowship lost their amplifier, speakers and chairs through the flood so funds were given to replace them. In addition, 750 dollars was donated for the repair and painting of the school and its furniture that was affected by the flood.
All in all, $5580 was donated to the Philippine Flood Relief and $5581 was distributed out to minister to the needs affected by the flood (more than 100%). Praise the Lord!
A Few Testimonies
Sister Merlinda Writes: I praise and thank God for the Team Ministry for working your labor of love and the work of God within this 10 days ministry. Cherry and I have started to distribute the money on Monday and they are so blessed and thankful; many mothers were surprised to receive the relief help from the flood. I also said to them, give honor, praises and be thankful to God for He is good and wonderful to give some help to all of you, through His people, from USA, Czech Republic and Switzerland, praise the Lord!
Brother Allan, the Guidance Counselor writes: Everybody here in school was so happy after they received the blessings. They are so thankful for what God made in their family individually. These four families (the first visited at home after our departure) extended their undying thankfulness for the support for their families. They hope that you are always blessed by God so that you continue bless them also. Personally I am amazed of what are the reactions of the parents after they received it; some parents made to cry for they didn’t expect that they can receive any help from you.
There is one more testimony from Sister Susan Herrig. It can be found at http://kingdomfoundationph.org/2014/03/14/philippine-report-by-susan-herrig/.
Some of the mothers said that during the days of the height of the flood, they were unable to leave their house. Those employed were unable to go to work for about a week. They subsisted during this time on a watery rice mix.
We, the team (Mark & Rita, Jim, Mark, George & Susan), want to personally thank everyone that gave for this important need. Every dollar that was given went directly to our brethren there in the Philippines.
May the Lord bless each of you abundantly for your obedience in your prayers, intercession and giving on behalf of the work and the brethren in the Philippines.
The Ministry Team