By La Donna Yap
When the rest of the world is busily catching up with “Twitter”, ten zealous workers diligently connected the gospel to the unreached tribes by following “T.W.I.T.”
T.W.I.T for them stands for Tribal Workers Intensive Training which started last January to July 2013.
Their hard work was rewarded with no other than the JECPP Founding Chair, Rev. Dr. Robert Lim, came all the way from Singapore as the guest speaker on their graduation day. And Rev. Peter Wee, the current JECPP Chairman personally had the privilege of handing them their Certificate of Training on July 31, 2013 at Evangel Tribal Training Center, Barangay Ladayon, Arakan Valley, Marilog District of Davao.
On top of that, the JECPP Spiritual Leaders and Regional Directors namely: Rev. Jessie Yu, Luzon; Rev. Chuck Chua, Central and Eastern Visayas; Rev. Benjamin Chavez, Western Visayas; Rev. Andrew Kwong, Northern Mindanao; and Rev. Christine Wee took off from their respective offices to support and to lay their hands in prayer on the new graduates.
This extensive training for the tribal ministers was made possible with the partnership of JECPP and the Tribal Mission Foundation Inc. (TMFI), who dedicatedly shared their time, resources and teaching. The following are the lessons in which these tribal ministers were equipped with:
- S O W – School of Workers – a simple and transferrable Bible training course designed to equip students for evangelism and discipleship using the cell group method. The desired result is for church planters to raise up workers that would in turn reach out to others.
- R A D – Rural Area Development – a system that explores principles and practical approaches to help rural people manage, conserve and develop their resources particularly in the area of sustainable agriculture and sound environmental practices. Hands on activities include the practice of a simple gardening technique combined with the module of Integrated Farming.
- CHRONO – Chronological Bible Story Telling – an evangelistic tool that communicates Biblical truths and theology through the narrative method. This culturally relevant approach starts the account from creation and ends by providing a foundation for How & Why Jesus Christ is the only one who can save mankind.
- PHC – Primary Health Care – practical lessons on hygiene, proper nutrition, herbal remedies and first aid, this module also includes practical strategies of developing a community based health care system.
- S T S – Simply the Story – a Bible Study tool that narrates story segments of the Bible and uses open questions to dig out spiritual truths and applications.
This curriculum was carefully designed to balance culture and development, a combination of holistic development and Native Spirituality to meet the needs of the tribal people.
Further, Rev. Lim stirred the graduates with the liberating message entitled “SET FREE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD” taken from Luke 13:10-17. He emphasized that we have the power of the risen Christ to set the captives free. He said that most people now, whether in the mountains or those in the cities, are stricken with “sickness of the soul”. We, with the resurrection power of Jesus, can release them from this bondage, said Pastor Lim.
The graduates were filled with overflowing joy, enthusiasm and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. They went home with a bag of goodies and supplies as well as a pair of rubber boots to start their mission journey.
Testimonies from the graduates:
Jose Rocha: “Daku kaayo ug tabang alang nako ang “S O W- School of Workers”, dinhi nako nasabtan nga ako tinawag sa Dios sa pagpangabig ug kalag alang kaniya, ug Iya akong gipuno sa Balaang Espiritu alang niini nga buluhaton.” (“S O W – School of Workers” helped me tremendously. Here, I understand, that I am called to win souls for the kingdom of God and that the Holy Spirit empowered me for this ministry).
Alvin Ligue: “Salamat kaayo sa Ginoo niining gitudlo kanamo nga R A D – Rural Area Development. Among natun-an unsaon pag amuma ning among bukid ug daku kaayo ni nga tabang sa among pagpanginabuhi. Ako dayung gisulayan ang akong natun-an sa R.A.D ug nakita nako nga adunay deperensya kung naa nakay kaalam unsaon pag-atiman sa mga tanum. Nagpasalamat gayud ako nga gitudlu-an mi niini. Daghan pa diay ug maayong mga paagi nga makapanalangin ta sa uban, dili lang sa pagtudlo nila sa kaluwasan apan sa pagtabang usab nila sa ilang panginabuhi.” (I am thanking God that we were taught about R A D – Rural Area Development, We have learned how to cultivate our land, and it is a very big help for our livelihood. I applied our lessons immediately and I recognized the difference of those who have knowledge in scientific farming and those who do not. We can minister to them spiritually, and we can also bless and help them in their livelihood).
Edwin Lapasan: “Sa CHRONO -Chronological Story, akong nasabtan ang sunod-sunod nga pagsaysay sa Bibliya, nakatabang jud kini nga masabtan nako ang mga panghitabo sa Bibliya, aron sakto pud akong pagsaysay sa uban.” (In CHRONO -Chronological Story, I learned the sequential order of the Bible. It is very helpful so that I can explain it correctly to others as well).
Mulyboy Indat: “Alang kanamo nga layu kaayo sa tambalanan, daku gayud kaayo ug kahimu-an kining gitudlo kanamo nga PHC – Primary Health Care. Usahay sa among pagbisita sa mga katribuhan, aduna silay mga panginahanglan, labi na jud sa ilang panglawas, apan wala kami laing mahimo apan lamang sa pag-ampo. Karon amo na silang maampo-an ug matudlu-an kung unsaon pag atiman sa atong mga panalwas.” (For us who live far from Health Care facilities, we are really grateful that we are taught about PHC – Primary Health Care. There are times when we are faced with people who are sick. All we can do is pray for them, but right now, we can pray and teach them preventive measures for their health).
Divina Mambayen: “Nindot kaayo ang S T S – Simply the Story, kay diri among nasayran mga laglum na nga mga pagtudlo sa Bibliya pina-agi sa storya. Unya among nasayran nga lingaw kaayo tun-an ang Bibliya.” (S T S – Simply the Story is wonderful. We learned deep spiritual truths of the Bible through the stories. We learned that studying the Bible is very enjoyable.)
Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”