August 17-26, 95 people including staff, parents and students from the Rock Student Ministries at Mclean Bible Church (MBC), USA, traveled 8,000 miles to the Philippines to work with International Care Ministries as their annual senior high mission trip. Lucero Flores, former summer intern at MBC and current American University senior, gives a few highlights and reflections on the trip.
After the long flight, the group arrived in Bacolod on July 19 and enjoyed a office visit and welcome party at the ICM Bacolod office. After lunch, the MBC team jumped in vans and headed for a visit of ICM’s Transform communities. By talking with the pastor, participants and family members during house-to-house visits, the team really got an idea how ICM’s Values, Health and Livelihood program has positively impacted their community. That night, the team fought off jetlag to stay up for their first dinner and get further acclimatized to the heat. Lucero explained the group’s strategy for adjusting to the local environment, “We combated the humidity with mango smoothies and loved visiting the wet markets near where we were staying to buy and eat all the tropical fruits.”
The next couple of days, the MBC teams visited ICM Jumpstart Kindergartens and participated in more house-to-house visits around Bacolod and saw how lives in poverty have been transformed by ICM’s signature four-month training program. The team also had the chance to attend and talk with pastors involved in ICM’s Thrive program.
On July 22, the group headed to Sipalay for the second half of their visit. The following day, Sipalay residents were in for a thrill. Lucero remembers:
“One of the biggest highlights of the trip came in Sipalay when we held a Youth Sports Ministry day. The students were all great to work with! It was great to be a leader and see our students work for the greater good of our brothers and sisters in Christ! It was funny to see some of the girls teach the boys on our team how to build the cemented pathways. Our Rock students were able to build friendships with the kids in the Philippines and after spending some time together, the local children’s delight increased when several MBC unicyclists appeared!”
The crowds were enchanted to see a vehicle that touches the ground with only one wheel and the antics that were happening. It was great to see them connect with one another as the performance went on! The Filipino parents were definitely surprised by the unicyclists and the fact that their children were able to watch the performance – for free!
The next morning, the entire team went to church, then spent the afternoon enjoying some well deserved relaxation. Lucero finishes her recount of the trip with:
“We had the exhilarating opportunity to go on small commuter boats that sailed us not far from Sipalay to a nearby beach, which was so fun! We were able to teach our values, livelihood and health lessons (which is part of the Transform program) to the churches and we were able to serve through face painting, nail polish for the girls, animal latex balloons, parachutes and fun games like musical chairs. Our team was also able to use object lessons and our skits to share the gospel with them as well.”
“God touched our hearts and proved His faithfulness and goodness in our lives and in their lives that week… We were able to hear stories of how God was working in their lives and how He was working in ours.”
Thank you MBC and Rock Student Ministries for serving alongside us this Summer, bringing joy to the people who are in need of hope in their lives.
We would love to show your families or colleagues ICM communities! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning your trip!