So the past few days have been pretty amazing. We visited:
- girls home on 13th,
- old folks home & satellite service (weekly thurs service in jolibee) on 14th July,
- Under the bridge on 15th july,
- Orphanage & women’s prison on 16th July.
The trip on a whole felt just like any OCIP trip, except that we learned to tune in to God and bring our focus on Him along the few days we spent here.
The first 2 days, we didn’t spend much time in prayer and worship together as a team. So most of it felt like OCIP. It wasn’t until the night on day 3 that we spent a good hour or more worshipping and praying together.
Nevertheless, God was with us throughout. In retrospect, we realised He was orchestrating things His way. Everything just fell in place even though they didn’t happen the way we planned/expected.
So on the 1st night, the night before we went to the old folks home, I asked God to speak to me. I felt led to the verse 1 Kings 17:14:
“For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ ”
It spoke to me, and I felt it is linked to the old folks home. I felt maybe I should share it as a short message, but I didn’t go ahead with it because I didn’t know if it was from God. At the night where the team prayed, one of the girls told me that she saw the drinks multiplied. She kept scooping but it wasn’t decreasing for awhile, whereas another lady who scooped from another tub had hers emptied way before. There was abundance in drinks for the oldies (I’ll check with PK again to confirm this). The old folks home was in such a bad condition. They seem like prison cells with no locks on the doors (some do get locked in because of their mental condition). They live in spaces that are cramp, and their toilet is the very floor they sleep on. Often they would not have enough to eat, and no one really comes to take care of them. Many of them were abandoned by their children, being picked up by the government afterwards. However, the government evidently doesn’t really do much to take care of these oldies. It’s so sad.
On the 2nd night, I felt like God wanted me to preach about joy. At that point in time, we were supposed to go to under the bridge and visit women’s prison afterwards. I didn’t know the message was for which group. While we went to under the bridge, we saw the poor living condition they were in. They slept on wooden planks, with poorly made homes and toilet (just a few planks of wood and a hole in the ground). Initially, I was hesitant to share the message, partly because I didn’t prepare a proper message on joy of the Lord, and partly because I didn’t want to shortchange them if I fail to convey the message well. But I went ahead anyway, taking the risk to release the word and share something short out of it. I managed to go with the flow, and it was relevant for them. It was a message built on a testimony that’s shared in Tagalog just before I shared my message. It was a word they needed to hear. I could feel the anointing while sharing (I initially thought it was because I was nervous). So glad I took the risk.
Like I mentioned before, we were supposed to go to women’s prison after under the bridge, but the traffic jam was so terrible, we couldn’t reach in time. We were stuck in traffic for about 2.5hrs, but we were only halfway there. They had certain visiting hours, and we would miss it if we stayed in the traffic. So we decided to cancel it and go the next day (by God’s grace, they managed to find time for us to go).
Yesterday morning, we went to the orphanage and then the women’s prison. The living condition at the orphanage was good, and the women’s prison was pretty alright too. In fact, the women’s prison was much better off than the old folks home. It was evident that the women in the prison (those born again believers we worshipped with) had more joy and love than many of the ppl living outside prison because of the Lord. It was a community itself. We were so blessed by it. They have so little physical freedom, but their hearts are so free.