Hello Team! We hope everyone is doing well!
Rachel and I are doing pretty well, just getting ready for the coming semester. It’s crazy to think our students will be back within almost a month.
Anyway, I guess I’ve kept everyone waiting long enough. Time for the Climbing for Christ Philippines mission trip update!
Well, the trip was amazing! It was an absolute success! God had plans for us beyond the scope of what we could see before the trip.
On the surface, our goal was to hike into the mountains bringing Bibles in the local Kankanaey language. We’d also be showing publicly the Jesus Film for the first time ever in that language.
At first, we’d only be going to the village of Badeo but God opened the door for us to travel to Mogcao as well.
Along with the other goals was bringing a student, Sarah Mellberg, along with us, keeping her safe, and making sure she had a good experience where God could use her.
Thankfully, we can check off all of those goals. Praise God! We brought in 20 Bibles to the area. It’s less than last year because the Bibles are becoming more and more scarce unfortunately.
We were able to show the Jesus Film to over 200 people. Most of them had heard the name of Jesus but out of those who had heard, 90% didn’t know much, if anything, about our Lord and Savior. Through the film, the Lord certainly changed that. It was awesome to see them hang on every word. We had packed rooms with people in the doorway standing on their tippy-toes just to get a glimpse. I imagine that’s pretty much how it was back in Jesus’ day with people just trying to get a glimpse through the crowds.
Looking back over our goals, Sarah also had a great time. She was a perfect fit for the team and a great addition.
But again, God had more than we ever dreamed of. I got to lead worship a couple of times once we finally tracked down a guitar. The first time was just for our team. The second time was just before we showed the Jesus Film. Both times were great blessings for me.
I also got to preach twice. The first time was out of Acts. I was just going to use the same sermon again for church the next day as there would be different people at this service. But then God told me I needed to preach something different. He just wasn’t going to tell me what that was until I only had 10-15 minutes to prepare the next morning. Talk about having to really rely on the Holy Spirit.
I preached for around an hour about how if we live for God, He will get us where He wants us. Sure, we need to pray and seek wisdom but we shouldn’t worry like many of us tend to do.
I don’t share that story to toot my own horn but just to say, “The Holy Spirit is awesome!”
Okay, moving onto more of God’s bigger vision. I know another big thing was that Rachel was encouraged by how passionate believers were there to live for God. Durango can be draining sometimes. It was refreshing to see their passion.
Oh and I can’t forget to mention, Sarah now wants to move to the Philippines after college to be a missionary. God was really showing and teaching her things on this trip. That in itself was a huge reason why Rachel and I were there.
We also got to go to Don and Molly McAlvany’s orphanage which was awesome.
Looking back, it was a great trip where God did amazing things!
-Praise for the very successful trip and the connections we were able to forge for the future of the Kingdom!
-That the Holy Spirit would continue working on the hearts of the local villagers.
-For wisdom and discernment for C4C on how to move forward with best ministering to the Kankanaey people.
-That God would provide more Bibles for the region as there is still a great need.
Know that God did so much more than the few things I was able to share! Thank you so much for making this trip possible with your prayer support and financial support!
Cheers and God Bless,
Mike & Rachel
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Prayer Peaks Day is a day where climbers and hikers all across America climb to a high point and pray together for their town, their state, and their nation. In Durango this year, we hiked Smelter Mountain.
The team assembled around 10:30 am at the Smelter Mountain trailhead. We had three from Durango, CO and three from Farmington, NM join us. It was already becoming a very hot day. We prayed for safety and quickly started our hike wanting to beat possible afternoon thunderstorms.
It wasn't long before we were at the top. We were blessed with beautiful views. We snacked and rehydrated taking it all in. You could see the La Plata Mountains to the west of Durango, the San Juan Mountains to the north, and the Animas River flowing through town.
Soon, it was time for prayer and worship. I pulled out my guitar and we sang worship songs over Durango. We then prayed for the town, the state and for Farmington, and New Mexico. Lastly, we prayed for a safe, cloudy and cool journey back down to our cars. And wouldn't you know it, as we started down, a storm popped up to our northwest bringing us a cool breeze and the cloud cover we were asking for. It was awesome seeing prayers answered like that.
When we returned to our cars, we decided we couldn't finish the trip without some blizzards from Dairy Queen. It's becoming a PPD tradition in Durango. What better than ice cream after a summer hike? Not only were we thankful for ice cream after the trip but even more thankful that we have a God who hears our prayers and cares. That Saturday, we were blessed by great fellowship, a great hike, and an awesomely great God!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Hello Team! We hope you guys are having a great summer so far.
Rachel and I have certainly had a pretty busy summer. We actually just got back from the Philippines not too long ago. With that, we’re working on getting caught up on post-trip things.
Enough of what we’ve been doing since we’ve been back, though. I’m guessing you’d rather hear about the trips...but the Philippines trip will have to wait for the next update. I still need to update everyone on the Climbing for Christ Peru trip from back in May.
Well, the trip was amazing! It was an absolute success! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place more ready for the harvest! It was so encouraging!
Unfortunately, my wife wasn’t able to make it on the trip with me. I’m hoping next year, Lord willing, she’ll be able to make the trip.
Our team started out in Lima ministering to a family who C4C had met on past trips. Before we left, we were able to pray over the family and the serious health issues they were suffering from.
From Lima, we headed up into the Cordillera Blanca. There, we handed out Bibles around a village and shared the Gospel with every door God opened. It was a great time of ministry that saw souls come to salvation!
There was a 15 year-old kid, named Angel, who had just become a believer a month before. He came out with us because he wanted to share his testimony with people. Seeing him share his testimony was certainly one of the highlights of the trip.
Later during our time in the village, we were able to put on a church service for the locals in a ﬁeld across the street from the church C4C is building for ministry in the area. That night, we worshipped with the local believers and prayed over the sick.
In attendance was a lady who a year before, had to be carried to the church service because she couldn’t walk. After being prayed over at that service, she got up and walked home. This year, she walked to the church service under her own power. Praise the Lord!
From the Cordillera Blanca, we headed into the Cordillera Huayhuash. After setting up camp that night in the new mountain range, we went out to meet the locals. The ﬁrst lady we met didn’t have a Bible so we gave her and her family members Bibles.
She asked us then to put on a church service later that night for everyone in the area. So with that, we set out to invite everyone we could before the sun went down. We invited probably 25 people and had around 20 show up later that night. We were able to give out Bibles to those who did not have them and prayed over the sick.
The next day, we headed to a village that was a little bigger. We set up camp and went out to evangelize. We only made it 10 feet before we gave out all of the Bibles we were carrying with us. We went back and got more. We made it 20 feet this time before we ran out.
We returned that night after a day of evangelism to 40 kids playing around our camp. We played “keep away” with a volleyball for 2 hours and then shared the Gospel with them. It was a great day.
From there, our team split up. Part of our team would continue ministering in the villages. My group would head further and deeper into the high Andes mountains to reach the unreached...those beyond the reach of missionaries and pastors, those too far from any church.
We found plenty who had never been visited. We were able to encourage them that God had not forgotten them. Jesus had sent us to remind them of His great love!