Mutuality in Mission: Churches Working Together to Spread the Gospel
On April 8th, a Canadian Baptist Ministries SENT Team from Grace Memorial Baptist Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick arrived in Roxas City. Months and months of planning and preparations were finally behind them and they were eager to experience all that God had in store for them in the Philippines.
They made the decision to participate in a CBM SENT Team for a number of really great reasons, but a couple are worth highlighting. First, they wanted to serve as an encouragement and inspiration to our Filipino church partners by assisting them in the work of spreading the Gospel. One of the ways they did this was by joining with a small group of young leaders from Nipa Baptist Church, a small church in Roxas City, and together they held a Vacation Church School for children in the community (it is summer break so children are out of school in the Philippines until June). It was a wonderful example of serving God and serving others. Secondly, they wanted to learn from their experiences in the Philippines, from our local partners, and from the group of young leaders at Nipa Baptist Church. It was really amazing to witness the mutual learning and serving that took place throughout the week.
Throughout our work in the Philippines, and in particular, with our partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM), we strive for mutuality in our work. Mutuality in mission recognizes and values the unique contribution that each one brings into the relationship, for the sake of Kingdom benefit. As a result, the ministry of both partners is strengthened and enhanced.
As we sat and debriefed with the team from Grace Memorial, it was wonderful to listen to them share how their experiences in the Philippines was inspiring and motivating them in their own ministries as they prepared to return to Fredericton, NB. At the same time, we heard stories from members of the Nipa Baptist team, and they shared about how they were motivated and inspired in their ministry because of the mutual serving and learning that occurred with the Grace Memorial SENT team.
Below are a few picture and captions from the SENT Teams visit.
Over 100 children gathered at Nipa Baptist Church each day to sing songs of praise, learn about God though engaging Bible stories, play fun games, make cool crafts, and make new friends.
Members of the SENT Team from Grace Memorial Baptist Church, (Fredericton, NB) with members of Nipa Baptist Church (Roxas, Capiz). Together, they put on a Vacation Church School for children from their community and other outreach areas.
Lisa and Kyla Lohnes, while attending the 112th Annual Assembly of the Capiznon Association of Baptist Churches, shared about the ministry of Atlantic Baptist Women during one of the evening worship gatherings. It was a very encouraging and inspiring presentation for the members of the Baptist Women groups of Capiz province.
The final meal of the assembly was a ‘Boodle Fight’, which is a traditional Filipino meal where all the food is placed directly onto banana leaves that are laid over the table. Everyone uses their hands and digs into the delicious food (rice, shrimp, scallops, pork, fish, vegetables, fruit, and more).
One of the many aspects of Filipino culture that the Grace Memorial SENT Team experienced while here was the observance of Holy week and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter morning. On Good Friday we attended a service at Pag-Laum Baptist Church. The service was focused on the seven final sayings of Jesus on the cross and lasted nearly 3 hours 🙂
On Resurrection Sunday the team attended a Sunrise service, which began at 5:30am and was an hours drive outside Roxas City. This meant we had to leave Roxas City at 4:00am to get there on time. It was a wonderful celebration of Christ’s resurrection as we witnessed the baptism of 17 people.
On Saturday, the teams from Grace Memorial and Nipa Baptist conducted a VCS program for children who live along the beach. Again, over 100 children showed up and enjoyed singing, playing games, making a cool craft, and learning about Jesus through an Easter themed Bible lesson. It was so hot that, after serving lunch, we ended the activities early so families could find cooler places to spend the day.
Lisa and Kylah Lohnes enjoyed a ride on a tricycle through Roxas City after we spent some time souvenir shopping at the local market. Tricycles are the most common mode of public transportation in Roxas City. Kevin and Sarah Beattie also took at tricycle ride but I didn’t get a picture (sorry guys).
One of the highlights of Holy week was taking a hike to the Culasi lighthouse. The team from Nipa Baptist invited the Grace Memorial team to hike to the lighthouse so they could experience a beautiful Roxas City sunset from one of the most picturesque places.
For more information on CBM’s work around the world, including the Philippines, or to donate please visit www.cbmin.org or call 1-905-821-3533.
Michael & Melanie
Kyla, Sean, Carter & Allie