Sometimes it takes prompting to get things started, and I guess onemustardseed has taken a slowdown in our updates. So now, having been greatly inspired and challenged, we hope to take onemustardseed to another level. We hope this new segment - Writings, would inspire you as much as we've been inspired to pen these thoughts.
A month ago, Shaun, Jared and myself had the priviledge to be a part of our WAM (Worship, Arts & Media) Mission team to travel to Manila. It was truly a life-changing trip.
I've never been to Philippines before so I didn't know what to expect. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning/or should I say night. The airport was kind of small and dingy. A little like a blast into the past. The moment you step into the terminal, you are basically greeted by the baggage conveyer. The air was humid, warm and filled with uncertain newness. But were greeted by the lovely AFJC team - Lito, Alan and Alvin himself came; and did I mention we arrived at an unearthly hour. Just in case you were wondering; AFJC, Abassadors For Jesus Christ, is a non-profit organisation set up by our brother Alvin and his wife Jace (who used to be a part of our church in Brisbane). God told them to go plant a church, and they basically uprooted and obeyed.
Day 2: Schedule - Prison Ministry.
We were picked up by the same lovely bunch, just with many more new faces. We rode in their ministry van to our destination - Manila City Prison. The journey was all about getting to know each other, exchanging language phrases, and a little bit of jamming to prep ourselves for what was to come.
Some pictures that follow might be a little disturbing; but I think it really highlights the rawness of the trip, and realness of reality.
I'll be honest, when we first stepped in, all I could feel was many pairs of eyes staring at me, and fear grabbed my heart tight. The inmates were free to walk around, and their compound was like a mini village. I guess it's because they're considered the better behaved prisoners hence the security in that quarters were not as high as other premises.
I remember trying to pretend it was okay; that I was here for a greater purpose, but I was so scared my heart was palpitating, and my body echoing the fear that ran through my heart. Because my hands were trembling, I could not focus and all the footages I shot were shaky, and none of people's faces because I didn't dare to look at them eye to eye. But God moved so strongly amongst the people - they ARE His PEOPLE, and He cares for them. Along with God's presence came comfort and courage. The worship was amazing; I have never seen people thirst for God so much, and the team did so well. I couldn't help but tear at a corner, because His love for them was so overwhelming.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
- John 3:16
It was a timely reminder that we are all sinners who fall short of God, but are only saved through His great love and grace.
Day 2, and that was only half of it.
Have an amazing weekend.