Philippines Part III: Youth Edition

28 Sep 2019

What should we teach our youth?

Do we provide a how-to guide for their lives and add in a little bit of Jesus and send them on their way? Do we teach them to talk about Jesus? Do we empower them for leadership? All of the above?

The church often preaches and teaches about mission, but sometimes we can overlook our youth when it comes to reaching the nations. In many ways living in Dubai can cultivate a protective bubble for people who have been born or raised here, but it also gives us the opportunity to step outside and use our giftings in the nations.

We began discussing the possibility of taking our youth on a mission trip last year. Our main objectives were to expose our youth to the life of the church in the nations, and find opportunities for them to serve and exercise their gifts outside their comfort zones. We wanted

them to personally experience the power of the gospel to minister across cultural and geographic boundaries. Ultimately we hoped that they would be a blessing to Regions Beyond and other young people around the world.

Over the summer, our youth flew all the way to the Philippines to serve our Regions Beyond churches and conferences in Manila. Here’s what happens when the church cultivates a mission-minded youth:

“The mission of the Philippines trip was to advance the Gospel throughout the nations and to be prepared for what God has called us to.

This was my first mission trip and I seized the opportunity when I heard about it. I went to the Philippines to learn more about the Gospel, to be prepared and seek God’s calling for me. I expected God would give me great experiences with him during this conference, and I was excited to meet and get to know people from different churches and nations.

On the first day of our trip we went to House of Grace Church which is in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I shared my testimony about how I became a Christian and hoped to encourage my fellow youth to seek Christ to be the shepherd over their lives. My personal highlight during this trip was the vision God revealed to me at the Gospel Advance conference. I saw a dark tunnel, and in that dark tunnel was a moving tricycle. There was a man inside the tricycle and the man was holding a bright lamp. I also received a word from God, in Philippians 4:9. I believe that vision was a confirmation and I also believe it was for everyone at that conference. Another highlight was having fellowship with the youth during the ‘Accelerate’ conference. It was a great experience, especially the praise and worship. We experienced the overwhelming spirit of God and I was really encouraged to see all the youth full of passion and on fire for God. We also listened to people sharing their testimonies about how God transformed their lives and I was so encouraged and blessed by their honesty.

The most important thing I learned from this trip was that God will always reunite us as one for his kingdom, despite our differences. He is a true, living God, He has a plan and a purpose for our lives. He has called us to His great mission and we should be prepared and equipped to be His instruments for His people all over the world. God fulfilled and superseded my expectations during our time in the Philippines. Glory to God for this wonderful mission trip.”

Faith Montes

“I knew that I came to the Philippines for a reason: to bring the Gospel to the nations.

When I was first asked to join the mission trip, I was really nervous at first because I didn’t even know why they really wanted me to go or what my purpose was in going there. Later, I learnt that there would be a lot of great opportunities for me and I realised the benefits of joining the trip to the Philippines.

On the first day in the Philippines, we went to a church in Sta. Rosa Laguna called House of Grace, where I spoke about my spiritual gifts. I was really nervous when I first spoke in front of so many people (almost had a heart attack while I was on stage…). I spoke to the youth about how everyone has a gift that God has given them, which they can use to share the gospel. While I was in the Philippines, God showed me a lot of beautiful things that did not occur to me in the past, especially how He has changed all these people from sinners into God-fearing people. The testimonies of the people we met there were very inspiring and showed how amazing God really is.

A highlight for me through this trip was at youth conference when Fusi told the youth to step out if they wanted the Holy Spirit to fill their hearts. A lot of youth stepped forward as we began praying for them. I prayed for many youth even with my voice trembling, and people started kneeling and crying out for the Lord because of the powerful presence of God… that whole experience was beautiful! After that amazing experience during the Final Worship, everyone was hyped up and on fire for God! We were filled with joy, everyone started dancing (including me, of course!) and shouting His name. That was one of the best worship nights of my life.

I would encourage everyone to join similar trips to the nations or church activities! If you have the opportunity, do not miss out because it can be a life-changing experience, and it can help you build your relationship with God and with people all over the world. I was able to meet and make a lot of friends and build relationships with people from City Hill through our trip to the Philippines. I do not have a single regret about going on this mission trip! It was just a very, VERY amazing experience!

Rafael Agleron

“I went into this trip without many expectations.

Little did I know that a few small churches in Manila would bring whatever little they had and touch our hearts, impacting our lives in the most profound way.

I had been to a few Regions Beyond conferences across the world and my experiences at each one was unique and gave me a lasting memory of what it was like to worship and serve God in other countries. In fact, I didn’t even know I was going on this trip until about a week before I actually left. It had been so up-in-the-air and it didn’t seem like we were going to go as a youth group. But it happened! I didn’t think I would have the privilege of going to the Philippines… In fact, I even said that I would never go to the Philippines because I had heard lots of stories of some crazy insects showing up when you least expect them to. 4 years later, I ended up in the Philippines!

You know what they say, with God, “Never say never”. Now having been to the Philippines, I have openly expressed that this experience was unlike any other I’ve had before.

We had to have a lot of faith going into this trip, because only 2 people from our youth group had signed up. But we have all seen that the two young people that went to the Philippines did not come back the same. I believe this was a way for them to step into the great commission God has for their lives. This experience has taught me that we can teach our youth about loving people and serving our city all year round, but giving young people a chance to get out into the world and serve churches where resources are scarce but faith abounds, will challenge their view of God. They make that shift from being transformed by the gospel to being instruments for transforming lives.”

Suzie Hart

This year our youth were encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and get to know people in the Philippines. We have no doubt that the experiences in the Philippines will challenge our young people to step into ministry and begin God’s work at a young age. Everyone who joined us on this trip returned with a zeal for God and trust that if God can move mountains in the Philippines, then he can certainly move right here in Dubai.

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