by Bro: Philip Louie Sy
Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
This scripture verse inspired one of the main thrusts of JECPP in Southern Mindanao: spreading the Christian faith in the tribal areas of the Davao region and making disciples of the tribes. This entails specialized training for tribal workers to equip them for the task of going to remote areas and introducing Jesus Christ to their inhabitants. In the year 2010, JECPP acquired a sizeable piece of mountain land to set up the Evangel Tribal Training Center, and it was successful in establishing the same.
They also incorporated an annual medical mission into the tribal ministry for 13 years. This project brought medical volunteers from Singapore and Davao City to tribal villages to provide free medical consultations and medications. The Tribal Worker’s Intensive Training (TWIT) started in 2012, and the Medical Missions ran from 2003 to 2015. Unfortunately, both works have ceased since then due to the NPA rebel infestation of the area; which made it difficult and hazardous for participants to gather and continue the work. Still, despite the situation, the desire to reach more souls never wavered in the hearts of JECPP leaders and church planters.
Fast forward to March 2021, when, while the country was struggling to get back on its feet due to the devastating COVID pandemic, construction of the new building for the Evangel Tribal Training Center began. It was transferred to the old site of EFC Marahan, which is a more peaceful and accessible area. Through the initiative of Rev. Peter Wee and Rev. Christine Wee, the support of Jireh Evangel Church Planting Philippines, Inc. (JECPP), and the efforts of Rev. Patricio and Rev. Mivelyn Margate, work on rebuilding the training center commenced. Rev. Patricio and Rev. Mivelyn Margate enlisted the help of tribal volunteer workers who can also work as carpenters to get the job done. The labor towards the goal was slow at first, but, through motivation and persistence, ETTC was finally transferred from Datu Ladayon, Arakan Valley, North Cotabato, to Marahan, Marilog District, Davao City.
The previous EFC-Marahan church’s worship hall was renovated to become the training hall. A two-story dormitory for men and women was also erected, complete with bed frames, beds, pillows, and respective bathrooms. A kitchen and dining hall were also constructed, complete with cooking and dining utensils. Lastly, painting of the entire training center was done. It took several months for the training center to be completed. Still, they were able to finish it. It is now ready and available for the next batch of volunteer tribal workers who are excited to learn and go out to spread the Gospel of Christ to the tribal domains of Davao’s mountainous regions.