Friday, September 27, 2013

Health Opens Doors!

Doors, doors and more doors.

Doing outreach for God involves lots of doors – mostly closed doors. We always pray that God will show us how to get inside those closed doors to share Jesus with those inside.

Here at PAFCOE, our students have been finding that the health message really opens doors! These are doors that would otherwise stay tightly closed. One student said, “I was so inspired by the very people I did not expect would be interested in our health survey. Two people came to do the health survey and after they were done, many, many people started coming to us and began asking what we were doing and they were so interested, even though it was raining very heavily. Health really is the key into someone’s heart!”

Last week, the students learned how to do health surveys and found them to be very successful. Then, if they find someone who is sick, they offer to do simple natural treatments on them to help them get better. These treatments are usually very effective and a great blessing to the ones receiving them – and also to the one giving it, too! One student said this:

“This week, we got to do 2 treatments on our ‘patients.’ It’s so inspiring to see people smile and have happy hearts because someone cared for them! Their smiles lifted my heart and I am also gladdened. Indeed there is joy in serving others!”

Sometimes all it takes is to get the right person interested and the rest will follow, as is the case with this student:

“Our inspiring experience this week is that we went out doing health surveys and hardly anyone was interested. We tried and tried to show them the benefits of the health survey, but they just weren’t interested. Finally we surveyed one man and he enjoyed it a great deal! Then he offered that we do the health survey on each of his family members (10 in all). Then he went to his neighbors and told them that they should participate in this really great survey. We were so inspired that God used him to help reach people that we couldn’t without him!”

At another place, our students found they were the center of attraction! Here’s what one said:

“I see God’s love in our outreach this week in the hearts of the people we are working for. I could not imagine that these people will really accept our health survey offer to them, but God had already prepared the people of this place where we went. We are like sugar that attracts millions of ants. The people came flocking around us and were so excited to see what we were doing. We had only one blood pressure cuff, but we used it on so many people and they were so happy to learn more about health!”

Though everyone was busy treating the sick out in the community, some of the treatments had to be given to the students and staff because they were sick, too! One student said, “This week, it was Sunday and I was not feeling well. I felt so cold and was full of aches. When the outreach came in the afternoon, my mind was in a turmoil. I didn’t want to go out. The rain was pouring and it added to the reason of why I didn’t want to go out. I fought with myself for awhile. Then I decided to go out for outreach anyways. And that day, God gave us another interest to work with! What a blessing! I’m so glad I went out!”

Another student said, “I’ve seen God’s love to my classmates who showed their love and care not only for me but for so many others. Many of us were sick this week and I have seen how so many of the classmates willingly offered to help the others get well. Truly God’s love can still be seen through His children. Others volunteered to do hydrotherapy on those who were sick instead of doing their assignments. They were so thoughtful!”
Student demonstrating how to do the hot foot bath.

And of course, every week we struggle with having so much rain that it makes it difficult to go out on outreach. One student said, “I was so worried this week when we had a new outreach territory and the rain was coming. As we were conducting our health surveys, I could see the rain really was coming. My companions and I prayed that the rain will stop so that we can finish our outreach and make it back to the classroom in the evening without getting too wet. The rain slowed down and we ran fast to the jeepney and praise God we didn’t get wet that day!”

And sometimes God sends people to help encourage us along the way! One student said this: “It has really been an inspiring week! One day a man opened the door to us and amazingly enough, he congratulated us and said, ‘Continue the good work. Continue reaching people!’ Later on that day, another lady said, ‘Reach more people and reach those who never heard of God’s love.’ We never expected that such random people will encourage us, but they did! It was just what we needed because we were very cold and soaked from the heavy rain. God is so good!”

Yes, friends, the health message really does reach those who would not be interested any other way! 

Health is the key to all those closed doors!

Use health and see what doors God will open for you, too!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In memory of Leo Burgos

Leo is the one in the blue tie.
Our hearts were filled with sadness when we heard the terrible news. No. No! How could it be? But yes, it was true.

Leo Burgos was coming home on his motorcycle from a revival meeting he was helping out with when he had a terrible accident. Unfortunately, he was not wearing a helmet and sustained some major injuries, especially to his head.

For several days, Leo lay in the ICU of the hospital in a total coma, struggling for his life. Finally the struggle for his life became too great and Sunday, September 15, 2013, he passed to his rest.

Leo was a graduate from the second session of PAFCOE, held in Iloilo. After graduation, he went back to his church and became an active laymen in the Lord's vineyard, along with being an elder in that church.

Although we are deeply saddened by the loss of one of the Lord's workers, we look forward to the day when Christ will return and Leo will be raised to immortal life!

Let us each strive to live our lives in such a way that if we were suddenly hurt or killed, we would be ready.

Leo receiving his PAFCOE diploma
Leo and his partner, Joren receiving their money for their first seminar together.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Healing comes naturally!

Healing really does come naturally! Really? Can I really get well naturally? Yes, you can! This was the theme for last week’s health expo here in Manila.

One student had this experience:

“I’ve seen God’s love for lost souls and for all His children when my partner and I were riding in a jeepney back to our classroom, coming home from outreach. On the way, 4 teachers got on the jeepney and sat across from us. As we rode along, we heard them talking about their need to change their diet because of their present health conditions. Upon hearing this, I whispered a prayer to God to help me interrupt their conversation and invite them to the health expo. Just a couple of minutes later, one teacher smiled at me, so I smiled back and then I got the chance to invite them to the health expo. They were all grateful for the invitation. I am learning little by little how to approach people in every situation. God is so faithful! He answered my prayers right then!”
Our PAFCOE students were heavily involved in the health expo from start to finish and what a blessing they were! This health expo was held in the Manila Center SDA Church’s parking area, which was covered with a gigantic tarp to protect it from the rain. 

Though the screening started at 5:00, all the health expo staff were there long before that time to get everything set up and ready for the people who would be coming later.

Setting up.
Everyone worked hard!
Since the church’s parking lot opens right onto the street, it was easy to invite the passers-by to come and join the program and many did. We used the NEWSTART acronym and had a booth for each letter. The students were assigned to do the short health lectures in each booth and really did a great job!
Having fun teaching nutrition
Teaching how to make a charcoal poultice
Learning how to breathe properly
Teaching about sunlight
The registration team
One student said, “On the first day of our health expo, I didn’t expect that a lot of people will come through. Yes, not so many came, but we see that God was blessing our work, even though we had had challenges in our venue changing at the last minute. I saw in the people’s faces when they listened to the lecture at each booth, such eagerness and excitement to learn more about how to be healthy! I’m so blessed!”

Of course there was massage, too. Some of our students were students at the LIGHT missionary training school before and knew how to do massage very well. They definitely put their skills into practice!

Doing massage
More massage
Teaching about rest
Teaching how to do a hot foot bath
Teaching about trust in God

Taking blood pressure
Busy students
One afternoon, it rained. Oh, no! What would we do? Thankfully, because of the huge tarp overhead and the small booth tents, everyone stayed quite dry. Of course, not as many people came through the health expo screening, but still people came, despite the rain.

Standing on the street to invite people to the health expo
And of course, there was some fun, too! Especially during the time when the people who were coming through were few.

Another student said, “God has been very good to me this week! I’ve seen how God worked so much with our group. One of us got very sick and was not feeling well. All the rest of us were willing to take her part to let her rest. Thank God our group was assigned to the “Water” booth and we were supposed to teach the people about the benefits of hydrotherapy. Through the knowledge we learned, we were able to apply it on our classmate! And when one group didn’t have anything to do, they helped the others and what a great cooperation and unity we all had!”

For around 2 ½ hours, everyone worked hard on giving health lectures, massage, or inviting people on the street to come in. Then at 6:30, everyone was invited into the church (we called it the Manila Center Auditorium) to listen to a health lecture by Dr. Blessey Varona.

Dr. Blessey is a very dynamic health lecturer and all who attended greatly enjoyed the program! Every night, a short cooking demonstration was done to help the listeners know how to cook more healthfully. But you can’t have a cooking demonstration without letting the audience taste what you’re cooking! So that’s just what we did! Almost every night, samples were served and were very popular – especially the night when vegan ice cream was made and served!

At the end, Dad would give a short mental health bite, which was also popular.

This continued for 1 week and those who attended greatly enjoyed what they were learning!

Yes, friends, healing does come naturally! Follow God’s simple steps for health and you will see the difference!

Stay tuned for more stories!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Divine Appointments

What is a “divine appointment”? It’s simply this:

God arranges circumstances to bring people who want to know about Him to those who can tell them about Him.

My partner and I going out on outreach
So it’s a Divine Appointment.

All our students are taught to pray for divine appointments – to pray that God will bring them to someone who wants to know about Him. I know they do this regularly, because the stories they bring back with them from outreach reveal the many divine appointments God is arranging for each of them.

PAFCOE is an international school that accepts students from all countries around the world, as long as the student speaks English. Each session, we have a few students from other countries – not from the Philippines and this session is no exception.

As I was leaving the church, getting ready to go home one day after outreach, I met our lady student from China. She was so excited to share a story of what happened on their outreach. This is the story she was so excited to tell me about:

“Since we were distributing flyers for the health expo, we were transferred to a different territory than the one we usually worked in. As we were going door to door, we met a Chinese couple. Usually my partner did the talking, since I don’t speak Tagalog, but this time, I saw that they did not understand Tagalog and I started talking to them in Chinese and they understood! I talked with them and told them about the health expo and invited them to attend. They were very interested in it but told me why should they come if they didn’t understand anything? (They didn’t speak English or Tagalog – just Chinese.) I promised them that I’d translate for them if they would come. I was so excited that of all the territories my partner and I were assigned a place where there were several Chinese people living! And God brought us together and I could share with them! The next day, I went to the market to buy some things and met my Chinese friends again and they promised me they would attend the meetings. God is so good!”

Definitely a divine appointment! Here’s another divine appointment from another student:

 “God really gave us divine appointments this week. One day, we knocked on the door and when the lady answered, she was really interested in what we were saying. She then told us that she watches 3ABN regularly and we talked for awhile. Then we invited her to the health expo and the prophecy seminar and she said she would try to come. I’m so happy for God’s leading us to that lady!”

Our lady students waiting for a jeepney
Another divine appointment! Here’s the story from another student:

“I was so inspired by that old man with whom we did a survey. He and his wife were so kind and didn’t mind giving us their time to listen to what we were sharing. Then he confessed that he is a smoker and would like to quit, but doesn’t know how to stop. My partner and I offered to tell him in 20-30 minutes a few tips for how to stop smoking the next time we come back. Hopefully next week, God will help us to lead him to stop smoking.”

And yet another one:

“Last Thursday, while we were handing out flyers for the health expo, we met a man who asked what religion we were. I was so thankful to God for the long uniform skirt we have because it was because of our long skirts that made him interested in learning about what we believe. He told us he was curious since we did not wear any jewelry and were wearing modest clothes. Then he asked us to briefly explain what we believe, which we did. After that, he told us that he is searching and wants to follow the Bible and learn more about our beliefs. God brought us in contact with yet another person searching for Him!”

Sometimes God’s divine appointment leads us to people who have influence over others, like this one:

“My inspiring experience during outreach is about a woman who had so many questions for us. Questions like – who are you? From where did you come from? Why are you here? After we had answered her questions, she was obviously satisfied because she told us to call her anytime we needed anything in that section of town because she is the one in charge of all the youth in the place! Truly God works in amazing ways!”

And one more:

Some of our male students heading out to find divine appointments.
“It’s so amazing how we met one of our interests. Her father is dying and this forced her into a circumstance to work to help her father and the rest of the family, as the bread-winner. Because of these circumstances, she was led to where she is and is so thankful to God that He helped her through it all and got her the job she has now. Because she was brought to the city to work, we met her out on outreach and were able to share with her. Praise God for arranging circumstances to bring us together long before we ever got to her place!”

And these are just a few of the many divine appointments that God is arranging for our students here at PAFCOE!

Is there a divine appointment for you today? Probably so! Just ask God to show it to you and you will be amazed what He works out to bring someone else to Him! 

Stay tuned for more stories – coming soon!