Bicol, Philippines: For a couple of years, Nazarene Missions Teams (NMT) (formerly Work and Witness Team) were not able to serve overseas due to travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. But since the lifting of these restrictions, NMTs are now able to come and serve internationally. And in the Philippines, it was a joy for the Bicol District to receive the first NMT after the Covid-19 pandemic to serve their district and the community in Bicol. On April 16, 13 members from the Grace Point Church of the Nazarene, Albany Oregon USA traveled to Legazpi City to partner with the district on a project to build a new District parsonage.

Each day, the team worked alongside Filipino brothers and sisters in Christ plastering the walls, painting the rooms, tiling the kitchen and toilet, and other construction tasks. 9 team members were the first time to join an NMT and have not worked on a project like these before. It was hard work, but they were excited because they know that DS Feleo and his family will have a safe and dry place to live when the work is finished. The team was blessed with smiles, hospitality, and stories of the Lord’s faithfulness from this family. 

“Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the opportunity to come to the Philippines. I have met the most kindhearted people. They are more than my friends; they are family.”

Shawna Reilly

In addition to the parsonage project, they were blessed with an opportunity to minister to children throughout the district. The team organized puppet shows and provided crafts, Jollibee burgers, and a bag of goodies for the kids to take home. Their hearts were touched seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they sang songs, decorated their crafts, or played a game with them. The group prayed that the Lord touched many lives and hearts through these ministries!

Moreover, the team traveled for a couple of hours to meet with a Nazarene Youth International (NYI) zone group. There was passionate worship, and also training by pastor Brent on creative ways to share Bible stories through simple skits, and fun games. They also have a great time of fellowship.

“I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing experience. So happy to have this time with all the beautiful people who have welcomed us with open arms.”

Cora Limerick

The team also ministered to the Bicol District pastors and spouses during an event in Legazpi City. Their lead Pastor, Rev. Brent Wylie, led a pastor training, and team member, Tina Hering, shared about backyard gardening and providing soil and seeds for the women to take home. 

After the workshop, there was a meaningful time of sharing that became one of the most impactful parts of the mission for many of the team members. They were so blessed that the Bicol pastors and spouses were willing to share their hearts.

“The hospitality and appreciation we got was amazing. Some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. I’m thankful I got to go and thankful for all the new things I learned.”

Anna Hernandez

Their time in the Bicol District showed them how God works in His Church worldwide and that all are indeed brothers and sisters in Christ. The team prayed that God will continue to bless His Church in the Philippines! 

Written by: Shasta Prunk