ICM Trips are a fantastic way for people from all over the globe to get a sense of how ICM is changing lives. These trips are designed for all ages, with a range of different activities that encompass ICM’s many programs. We encourage everyone to “Come and see” and in 2016, hosted 47 trips. For current ICM partners, it’s a great way to connect with your sponsored community and witness the life changes you have been a part of. For potential partners, an ICM trip allows you to do some ‘hands-on’ due diligence.
Below, Daniel & Ruth Spiritosanto reflect on C3 Lane Cove Church’s recent trip, and share the highlights of some of the other attendees.
January 2-8, 2017, a group of 13 people from C3 Lane Cove Church went to Dumaguete, Philippines to see and get involved in the work of ICM there. The group comprised of youth, young and not so young adults. During our six days there, we visited a Jumpstart kindergarten, visited some families in needy areas, spent a day with the trainers in the field at various Transform communities, and built toilets for three families.
It was a privilege to spend time in the communities we visited. The people there were very welcoming of us and appreciative of our work. It was great to see the work ICM is doing in these communities and how they partner with the local churches there in ministering and educating the people. What a privilege it has been to see and be involved in this very practical out pouring of God’s love to the needy. Seeing the ICM staff interacting with the communities in such an engaging way was wonderful. Participant David S summed up, ‘ICM is doing a remarkable work in improving the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people in extreme poverty. To see the work first hand and to experience the generosity of those we have met and of the ICM staff has been eye-opening, humbling and at times heart breaking. I have been changed and inspired by my time in the Philippines.’
As parents, we were particularly moved in seeing teenagers having an impact and being impacted through their involvement.
Reflecting on the trip, 17-year-old Simone recalls her visit to Dumaguete as, ‘an eye-opening experience that will develop more ideas for the future. It was extremely eye opening to see how people in different parts of the Philippines experience living life however they were all so happy. They welcomed us with open arms and were willing to help us in any way they could while we were helping them. Seeing the children with smiles no matter the struggles they may have like not having a toilet in their community also made me appreciate what we were doing for them even more.‘
Another 17-year-old, Emma, had a powerful moment when visiting a family home and saw their young son. ‘A particularly challenging encounter our group had was with a young boy of about four who had cerebral palsy. I had initially thought he was less than one-year-old. The family was banned from access to the hospital. Being given the opportunity as a group to pray for the family and provide them with access to antibiotics has stayed with me as an example of how capable we are to help. I feel so privileged to have been part of the work.’
Trip participant Jess J was particularly struck by a the attitude and story of an ICM employee.
“Her name escapes my memory but her story never will. Not only did she come from a non-Christian, difficult family situation, she was also diagnosed with Lupus, a situation which her doctors described as ‘hopeless’. She shared how a female pastor embraced her the first time she stepped into ICM’s offices. That hug filled her with love that gripped and flipped her world upside down. She shared the complications of her condition, the medications she takes, her sensitivity to light. She explained, despite the challenges of her life, with her bunch of medication she takes each morning, she also takes a tablet of hope. The hope that Christ gives her. And its by that, she finds the courage to live each day and live each day with Christ. Like I said, her name escapes me, but her face, her smile, that shining hope in her eyes, never will.”
If you are interested in visiting ICM communities with colleagues, friends or family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .