“But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:7-8
Antipolo City, Philippines: Philippines-Micronesia Field Nazarene Youth International and Work and Witness partnered to help Peace Church of the Nazarene in the construction of their church building. 11 young people from five districts worked together for two weeks on this project. This is the second time that the field NYI mobilized young people to do ministry through Work and Witness. It was an incredible opportunity for these young people to reach other people and assist the local church in ministry in their community.
Ptr. Edwin Cabatingan, senior pastor of Peace Church of the Nazarene has been praying that God would provide them with a building on their property. Last year, the congregation pulled their resources together to pay off the loan on the property. And this year, they become a recipient of Alabaster Offering. The local church embraced the building project, and the two essential ministries (NYI and W&W) worked alongside the local church to minister to their communities which was a great kick-off during this pandemic.
Work and Witness Team Response
When international teams could not travel during this pandemic, the Asia-Pacific region provided resources and opportunities for locals to serve other local churches through Work and Witness. Peace Church is the 2nd local work and witness project in the Philippines and it will not be the last. As many young people hear about the ministry, many are responding to be part of future local teams.
This team went our of their comfort zones by learning new skills. They did cement work, prepared the wall for skim coating and painting.
They worked hard and enjoyed seeing the fruits of their labor. It was an opportunity for the team to build relationships with the local members as they work alongside them. On Friday night, long after the team had gone for dinner, the local church members stayed to prepare the room for the ministry the following day.
The team did not only do physical work, they also do the witnessing part. The local members invited people in the community for a blessed time of passionate worship and testimonies. Rev. Elsid Paragas, Philippines Micronesia Field NYI Coordinator, gave a message to encourage the seniors. It was a message of hope that it was not too late to do something for the Lord. “You are precious and welcome in the sight of God.” Then he spoke to the young people, “keep your faith in the Lord all of your life.” After the message, the W&W team divided the people into small groups for prayer.
In the afternoon, the team also ministered to 70 children for a time of worship, singing, dancing and games. Jeca, one of the team members, shared the story of the Good Samaritan. Through this story the children learned that Jesus wants everyone to love their neighbors.
Church Ribbon Cutting
On 5 June 2022, the church celebrated the completion and dedication of their new church building with a ribbon cutting ceremony. DS Ryan Cardinal did the dedication service, while Rev. Elsid gave the message on “Why we go on Mission.”
Although it was an exhausting week, the team was blessed with the opportunity to work and minister to the people in the local church and in the community.
“For more than 10 years, I have had a desire to be in the mission field and to be used by the Lord to preach His word. But sometimes we experience many uncertainties and think that it is impossible to serve. But I continue to pray to God to confirm my calling. It was during this week, while serving on the Peace church project, that God spoke to me in many ways, especially through pastor Elsid’s preaching about mission. God has confirmed my calling to be a missionary. There are doubts and fears, but I take courage knowing this is what the Lord wants me to do. I am realizing, when the Lord wants you to go, just go!” Mark Ezekiel Nepacina
Thank you to the many who supported this batch of local Work and Witness team. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. The impact of this ministry to the 11 young people and the local church members will continue as God calls and leads his people for His Kingdom.