:thoughts on missions:

I tried writing a short entry that would very simply go over our journey in the Philippines, but it was turning into an essay, so I simply stopped, and decided to just record my thoughts and reflections from the trip.

Leading a mission trip is infinitely harder, worlds different and more tiring than just attending one. Maybe it's just my style of leading, but I have a strong style of leading a team of people. I believe in team. I believe that every team needs a leader, and I believe that God has called me to that role whether I've been given the title or not.

On my 3rd or 4th mission trip my 1st young adults pastor gave me the chance to lead and coordinate one outreach. Everything from who gives testimony to which dramas to the challenge. After 2 years of being Christian this was one of my biggest assignments, yet if my memory serves me correctly I did alright and people came to the lord.

Zoom forward another 3 years, and here I am leading my 2nd team on my own.

In my almost 6 years as a Christian I've learned a lot about leading people, about human resources, about people dynamics and about what it takes to motivate people to do things they normally wouldn't do. Anything from taking out the trash at 180, to preaching in church without any support from the team/leadership, to praying for healing. Motivation, decision making, conflict resolution, ministry leading, preaching, example setter, hearer of gods word.... This was something that I've been doing in spurts, maybe every week at 180, maybe every once in a while the SPIRIT will move in such power and strength that it was be a life changing episode.

Now I was looked to lead a team and ask the Spirit to do that every day, at every outreach.

I welcomed the challenge. I think I do really well in high stress situations. Ever since I went on my first mission trip I can see a gift in my to really see needs, to be aware, to have initiative. Even for when doing ministry here in HK I could that God has enabled me to have positive impact. What made this trip so precious for me was that I really didn't do it, it was completely the Holy Spirit blessing me and the team, and working in and through me to see such an amazing time.

What did God teach me?
This is a question I've been asking people in my debrief meetings. I thought it only fair that I answer it.

God taught me that if I completely rely on Him, He will do amazing things through me. You see, that's not an arrogant statement, it's a statement that has come out of being throw in the fire, being tested, refined and then coming out the other side refined. Usually for mission trips, our teams are asked to do outreach at every possible moment. Get as many people saved, then point them to the local church, then pack up and go home. Simple worm and true formula that has worked over the years. This trip, we only 2 major outreaches, but every day we we asked to minister. To pray for every Christian worker that is there 24/7. It was a ministry trip as far as I'm concerned, and that meant lots of preaching, lots of ministry time. I've been so spiritually spend on a trip, as some days I'd preach 3 times, with each having just as passionate ministry times. That takes it's toll on me as the speaker, and my team as the prayer ministry team. What I saw repeatedly was that we certainly did not have anything left to give, yet we were still called to keep giving and to keep minister... So without too much thought, we prayed for the holy spirit to fill us and to us, because, well... We didn't have anything left to give.

Another thing I learned is that I CAN DO IT. I can lead. I was so strengthen by the constant encouragement I received from the team, but every day I was asked to make hard decisions, on the spot, and then preach, and then minister. I was ok by it all, but ever since I started leading 180, I've secretly questioned my abilities, questioned whether I can really do what I've been asked to do. In the end, my conclusion is will always will be I CAN'T do it in my own strength, it HAS to be God.. But you see, that was a complete Christian cliché.. How many times have you heard that? Yet how many times have you actually experienced that feeling of being empty, having nothing left to give, of not knowing what decision to make, of having a completely blank mind, yet having a number of other people looking at you waiting for an answer to a question... I was there every single day of the trip, and yet after praying I just knew the lord was there. You see, it wasn't about questioning whether I could or not, I was really questioning God... And now my answer is that GOD CAN DO IT THROUGH ME.

God also told me again that there is more for my life.
You see, the general view on missions to the Philippines is that it's a feel good trip for the people going. Language not too hard, people know a LOT about Jesus, people generally ready to receive Christ and receive prayer, loads of Christians... BUT, even though I got to preach in ways I've never dreamed of, whether at a crusade of almost a 1000, or a room stuffed with Pastors.. It was an amazing experience. Looking back, and even while going through it I knew with all of my heart that this is only the beginning. This was god's way of saying to me, here's your experience to kick start your expectations of what I am capable of doing through you.


I'm a believer. Not just in god, but in what He has in store for my life, my wife & future family, my ministry and my church. There is more for me and my life.

God also taught me that I'm a very in your face leader, yet when I'm confronted with a person who can potentially be in my face back to me, I've always stepped down and let that person get their way. Over the last year I've been growing in this area, and this last trip has broken that condition over me. I'm stronger now, but more of an emotion strength.

What was your God moment of the whole trip?
I have a few.

When nicky lost her bag, and after 2 hours of praying, intercession and watching the security videos... And a whole 5 minutes before they were going to shut the gate and I was literally going to get nicky to give it up, the police turned up with nicky's bag.

Feeling god wanting our team to turn a generic film showing into an outreach. I forced the issue with the local team and they went with it. We saw at least 20 people come to know the lord on that court. Had an amazing divine appointment come forward to bless the local pastor. Certain answer to months of prayer for both sides. Amazing.

My 3 other speaker/leaders. Mandy, Anna, and Nicky. They responded well to finding out they were going to preach for a church service AND prepare words for all the pastors that was under care, about 50 of them. We cried, prayed, cried again, prayed again and they really came through. Each one of them.

Carmen read, friend and sister-in-lord with me and Janice for years, and she was on my first mission trip with me 5 years earlier. I've seen her go up and down in lord, and she was struggling a lot with the Lord about dancing. At the pastors meeting she got her satin cloth that she brought to dance with, draped it over a pastors wife, and prayed such a heartfelt prayer that it brought them both to tears, then carmen had a major breakthrough and started dancing. It was the answer to 4 days of struggle. Amazing.

Adam, the vine intern that I've been discipling, doing amazing on the trip. He ministered well, lead worship perfectly, prayed when needed, was exactly what was needed for this team. My god moment came when adam was visibly having a spiritual attack and he was going to throw up, yet every single feeling in my body said it was an attack and not going to happen. After prayer on the jeep he was healed. Amen.

Laura playing with an orphan who had something wrong with control of her limbs and actions. I've never seen a girl smile so much from just receiving love and stickers.

Anna gardener for completely allowing herself to be broken by the lord in being stretched beyond what she imagined. Her leadership, tears, prayers and friendship made this trip a lot easier.

Lea for being so energetic and ready to serve and willing to be pushed. So supportive and welcoming to the whole team.

Karen chan for also being super supportive, and honest, and ready to serve. Her testimony at the end made me realise why I was in the Philippines.

Shane for giving his testimony. I loved it. Shane is such a trooper. His strength, resolve and all round stubbornness blessed me and actually helped me have strength.

Mandy lee has and will always be a great source of joy, pain, headache and friendship all wrapped into one person. This time though, she showed amazing leadership strength, and she really shined this trip. Made me very honoured to be her leader.

Patsy... This is one of my defining moments of the trip. Right before going up to dinner I asked patsy a simple question of how the trip was going for her. She then unloaded a whole thing about being hypocritical ministering gods love when she didn't even feel that she knew or had gods love. Sensing a heavy talk, I basically gave it to her hard and straight that she needed to realise that she already knew and had it, she just needed to open her eyes to it. God continued to dramatically and extensively reveal his love to patsy personally, which I believe will forever impact and change her perception of who and what God really is.

The other God moments for me was preaching to almost 1000 people, preaching for the pastors meeting, rocking up to a church meeting, preach for 15 minutes, then have every person in the church raise their hand for a greater revelation of worship, praying for healing and NOT seeing it with my own eyes... Receiving prayer from my team at debrief meeting.

What is your next step?
I'm still digesting. I'm still hearing from God about this trip. But I know I need to move on, keep going, keep growing. My life, 180, my wife.. They all require my best, I desire with all my heart to give.

Lord, thank you so much for giving me the honour of leading this team. It blessed and stretched me more ways that I ever dreamed, yet it also enabled me to have spiritual victory again and again. You taught what it really means to trust in You, and to allow your name to be glorified. Heavenly Father, please help me to not forget what you taught me. Please help me stay humble and not think that anything was achieved through my own strength. Thank you Lord for giving me the chance to be a part of 13 other people's lives, to positively impact them, and to inspire them to get closer to You.

Lord, I am absolutely amazed by your love, your grace, your provision, your people and your Spirit. I give all I am to you, all that I have do and will do to you, and may you be glorified.



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