Team Philippines 2013
Group Blog (Llamas and Mayonnaise)

-Derek is a silly, smelly, sleepy, cotton-headed ninny muggins.

-Kristen says peace and love to all muh home gurlzzz.

-Danika just ate an entire watermelon and is now going into convulsions.  Also, she just opened a clam shell with her feet because she is ambidextrous.

-Jacob Steven Austin (Stone Cold) Taylor Michael Blackwell IV, invested in Nike.  Wowzers.

-Although Jerry wanted to blog…yes, he did. He did want to blog…but due to legal obligations from his tribe back home, he was only allowed to say, “I am wearing a Hawaiian shirt and standing tall.”

-Our good friend Steph is awesome.

-Mel is transferring to Sterling College!  Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!

-Daisy is cool. Like super cool.

-Kendra just jumped off the high dive and did a triple back flip.  What talent!

-Brian aka John Cena, just body slammed 17 street dogs. And didn’t even get rabies.  Yay.

-Aundraya rescued a caterpillar from dehydration and just wrote some ridiculous updates on the craziness of the trip.  We’re starting to get a bit delusion.  Now we want to update you for real…

Today was a full, sweaty, fun day of ministry, and we definitely learned a lot.  God has allowed many opportunities for our team to stretch ourselves and learn about Him and the love He has for His people.  

We got up bright and early this morning to head to a ministry called Precious Jewels.  Precious Jewels is a place of love and freedom for children whose parents have died from a terminal illness, currently have one, or the child them self has some kind of illness.  The team divided up to lead different stations (games, music, story, and crafts) for the 100 kids in attendance.  We got to eat lunch with the kids and pass out backpacks with school supplies.  Kids are seriously so awesome.  Especially Filipino kids.  Despite the trial and pain that these kids have had to deal with for a good chunk of their life, their joy is still so real.  It is very encouraging.  

After a full morning at Precious Jewels, we went to a woman’s correctional facility.  On the first Saturday of every month, the facility allows the children of the women to come and attend a worship service with their moms.  We were blessed enough to get to be a part of this month’s service.  We shared three skits, the Gospel message, and Pastor Richard shared his testimony.  It was definitely a powerful time and we pray the women and children were impacted eternally.

I believe God is teaching our team a whole stinkin’ lot.  Individually and as a whole.  The biggest thing I believe I am personally learning so far is the importance of trusting God with the outcome of our ministry.  It is so hard to walk into a village, look around and see crazy amounts of poverty, hurting families, and children covered in filth, and not want to fix it all.  It’s been difficult to share the Gospel with some kids, hang out for an hour with them as their personal human jungle gym, then leave to probably never see them again…all without wondering if our time there even made an impact.  We cannot live like this, however.  In Acts 3, Peter encounters a lame beggar and heals him.  In verse 6, Peter says, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  This was really encouraging for me to read.  In my ministry, I must not feel like I have to find a solution to every hurting person.  I am not able to satisfy all of their needs.  If the only thing I have to offer is the message of Jesus Christ, then that is enough.  I must learn to be better obedient to what God asks of me, and trust Him to take care of the rest.  He may ask me to plant a seed, and I may never get to know what came of that seed.  As long as I am faithful in what He asks of me, He will take care of the rest.  He is Provider and He is Faithful.  He will meet needs.  

Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. You are all awesome.

Aundraya

P.S. Dr. Hank has arrived!  Whoop whoop!  We’re stoked to spend time with our favorite South African in this beautiful country.

Team Philippines Harlem Shake.  Missions is fun.  

And finally…eating it! Go Team Philippines!

Take two!

Trying Balut take one— balut is a partially fertilized egg. Kristin, Kendra and myself (Danika) chose not to partake in this adventure! Props to the rest of the team!

Feeling the Presence of God

Hello Sports fans!!! If you haven’t heard from anyone else on the trip , but this trip has been amazing. God has been doing some amazing things not only in the villages that we go into, but in our lives as well. Village ministry has been great, but the spur of the moment ministry has been the greatest to see. It is amazing to see how God can set up time for us to minister to people in the most random places. Whether that is in the mall or at the beach. We have been able to use our popularity to show people the love of God, who may have never felt the love of God before. Besides all this crazy stuff that has been going on, I want to share one story.

   Our team was able to lead worship, preform skits, share testimonies, and give a message to a group of high school and college aged Christians the other night. We were done with everything that we had planned, but the Holy Spirit was moving in the place that we were staying. PR (Pastor Richard) invited us to pray for the people around us for any need or concern that was going on in their life. I had the privilege to pray with one of the pastors that had been with us during our time of village ministry. During our time of praying for one another I could feel the presence of God in the entire room. It was nothing that I or anyone was doing. There was nothing magical about the words that we were saying or anything like that, but instead everyone’s hearts were in lined with the will of God. It was a joy to feel and made me think of worshiping in the Great Throne Room. That regardless of what language we speak, we will all be praising and worshiping God with the angels and arch angels. This goes to show that God is real and alive and His presence can be felt anywhere in the world.

Jacob  

To Love&Express with God

 Derek Lee here, haven’t ever really blogged before but this has been on my heart since we left the villages and Iriga city. Beautiful place by the way and there is nothing like Filipino hospitality!! So generous despite of what they have, always willing to go the distance to put you before themselves. To Love&Express with God, First Love. Going to villages and giving out backpacks and doing our routine skits were amazing, the look on a child’s face when simply we show them they got a toothbrush or toothpaste included melted my heart.  So ecstatic, then when my teammates are giving their all with the skits throwing their bodies on the ground for a Jonah skit was touching as well, can’t explain how much this team has impacted me and them, the passion is outrageous. God’s love is through the air, HolySprirt is igniting many kids! Simply giving a hug or playing b-ball in the rain with no shoes can go the distance in many lives. Not trying to do anything but simply show these children love they deserve!!! My heart aches for them but need to realize after we leave it’ll be in God’s hands. None is better than He, we need to feel at ease with the fact He is in control, to wrap it all up giving your all for just one person can turn into thousands without us realizing it, focus on loving one person at a time because with God he does that we plant the seed and He nourishes them like the loving gardener He is if that makes since. EXPRESSING YOURSELF TO GOD!! We are not the same all came from different area’s and lifestyles therefore don’t be afraid to express yourself to God He created YOU!! Be open with Him share things with Him, have a relationship with Him, that’s your Daddy!! If your crazy be crazy with God, if your monotone then talk to him that way, we praise different everywhere don’t exclude someone because they want to get their dance on with Jesus. Dance,Cry,Share,anything you want do it with Him. He wants you to be you, for all the children who are afraid to express their feelings because the Church is different than they are don’t exclude them, have you own relationship with Him and BE YOU with Him. Peace, Love, Happiness. Thanks for all the support!! 

Reunited and it feels so good

Magadang gabi! Hello from the Philippines! For those of you that didn’t know, this is my second time back and wow is it good to see old friends!! Pastor Richard (our contact pastor) has grown so much in his ministry since the first time a mission trip came to help him. We have gotten a chance to do children’s ministry to 2 separate groups of kids. My favorite was a feeding outreach where we were right off a major highway and we brought in a bunch of kids from the streets and did our ministry.

The young people of the Philippines are entering in to a revival of Jesus Christ right now. There is a passion and an understanding that is really cool to be involved in. The people here love us here and we are learning just as much from them as we are able to teach them. Over the next couple weeks, you will hear awesome stories of all the great ministry outreaches that we have. Stories of intense poverty, hunger, oppression, but I want to tell you a story that was very unique.

To start, I want to shout out my boy Derek Lee, he has grown so much this year and I am so proud and happy that he is here. He is my little brother and he’s a good partner in Christ for me. ANYWAYS There was a couple of us who went in to the mall to exchange money. Derek and I can’t sit there with that many people so we asked to hang out where a bunch of kids who were playing. We saw some kids playing Dance Dance Revolution so we asked to join. We started dancing and there were 50 people sitting around; then we kept dancing and turned around and saw 100 people. Next thing you know there were probably 200 people sitting around watching us dance (did I say they love Americans?) I turned to Derek and told him it was time to preach to them. We started preaching to all the people and the people sat there and listened. Granted not all understood english, it was still the coolest ministry opportunity of my life.

Gods timing is perfect. Time and time again we have experienced this. On the flights, we ran in to people who said they would pray for us and gave us encouragement and everything. God has seriously given us divine appointments time and time again so far. I met a japanese Christian on the plane who is praying for our trip and we got to exchange bible verses from english to japanese. What a cool experience! Aundraya met a short term missionary from the Philippines on a flight that prayed for her, encouraged her, and even got her a book! God has been blessing our team and going ahead of us every step of the way. As pastor Richard explained, we feel God’s presence and he provides for us when we are in prayer/worship and when we are loving people that God loves. I can’t wait to tell you guys more about this trip!! LOVE YOU ALLLLLL! :) lol my bff jill ttyl lylas brb

-Brian
Spaghetti…Philippines style

Hello, everyone!  Team Philippines has arrived safely and we are loving life.  God was seriously so good to us getting here.  We had zero flight delays and all of our luggage made it even!  

Pastor Richard picked us up from the airport, we ate dinner (spaghetti) at the restaurant of some of the awesome people we will be serving with.  Everyone is stoked to be here, but ready for a nice night’s rest.

We’re so thankful for the support and encouragement that has been given to us by so many family, friends, and even several people we met on our journey to the Philippines.  We’re excited to see all that will happen over the next few weeks.  Thank you so much for your prayers.

Hello sports fans!! My name is Jacob Blackwell. I am a sophmore at Sterling College, studying biblical studies. I am working along side Super Woman aka Aundraya Garica as the assistant team leader. To have the chance to serve the wonderful people of Philippines is something I could not even dream of, but God has done some amazing things over this year. I wanna give a shout out to my boi Micah “Duan Juan Sharkie” Mitchell from Denver. Keep it real jaboi. I may or may not be updating this throughout the trip, but if you wanna hear a joke I got a real good one….   

Hello sports fans!! My name is Jacob Blackwell. I am a sophmore at Sterling College, studying biblical studies. I am working along side Super Woman aka Aundraya Garica as the assistant team leader. To have the chance to serve the wonderful people of Philippines is something I could not even dream of, but God has done some amazing things over this year. I wanna give a shout out to my boi Micah “Duan Juan Sharkie” Mitchell from Denver. Keep it real jaboi. I may or may not be updating this throughout the trip, but if you wanna hear a joke I got a real good one….