Evangel Tribal Family Camp
by: Rev. Mivelyn Margate
Evangelistic efforts in the mountainous areas of Marilog District are a challenging task. Many lumads (natives) in this place still never heard about Jesus. Most of them are into folklore and other traditional beliefs. Some of which are rooted in witchcraft and mysticism. Without the love and compassion of Jesus, the minister of the gospel cannot penetrate into these far-flung places. Aside from the difficult roads in going to the mountains. The minister needs to befriend the chieftains of the land for the permission to do a house to house evangelism. The natives are suspicious of motives. At all times, the ministers should remain in prayer. Hence, the 5th Evangel Tribal Family Camp is a feat in itself.
More than 300 lumads who are members of the 40 EFC Churches in Marilog District convene at EFC-Marahan on December 4 & 5, 2019 for the annual retreat. The family camp provided the tribal brethren a unique opportunity for their family to grow together in Christ. Alongside life-changing spiritual development, the fun environment of camp allows families to pray, fellowship and play together.
During the event a team of medical professionals composed of Doctors and Nurses from Davao City who are equipped with a heart to serve and a hand to share their expertise were brought in by Lighthouse Ministries Chicago assisted by Rev. Peter and Rev. Christine Wee of Evangel Family Church Davao to provide medical care. Most of the tribal brethren have limited or no access to medicines. The delegates were given free medical check-ups, medicines for various diseases, vitamins, supplies for dental health and ointments for skin allergies and skin diseases. One of the objectives of the activity is to share the love of Jesus to the people in the community as well.
Neighbors and friends in the locality were invited to receive the same treatment which were gladly responded to by the locals. Towards the end of the event, all the children were given a school bag, school supplies and dental products. They giggled as they received their bags loaded with gifts. They knew in their heart that Jesus loves them. Adults alike were grateful and teary-eyed as they left the medical mission site with the words “Salamat, Salamat” (Thank you, Thank you) their gestures of thanksgiving were evident in their smiles.
After the successful medical mission, the Family Camp delegates prepared for the Night Service. This year’s theme is “Padayon sa Paghiusa mga Pamilyang Kristohahon” taken in Psalm 133:1-3 which says “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” Truly an inexplicable strength is found when the people of God worked together in advancing the Kingdom of God. The speakers of the two-days event were Ptr. Patricio and Ptr. Mivelyn Margate Margate of EFC Marahan, Ptr. Alberto Flomentera of EFC Ladayon, Ptr. Maximo Lasquite of EFC Sagundanon, and Rev. Renante Miguel and Rev. Delia Miguel of EFC Mati. The speakers came with a powerful message to edify the tribal brethren.
All delegates received their portion for their physical needs, the Word of God renewed their weary souls, the presence of God and the encouragement of their fellow brethren in the Lord ignited their spirits to continue on living for the glory of God. They were ministered holistically- body, soul and spirit.