Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Battle Is Truly The LORD's

From Pastor Mike . . .

It seems every year during our eCampaign in the Philippines we encounter some form of overt demonic activity. This year was no different.

Early last week we entered a high school. After a visit to the Admin Office our team of 20 soul winners went to various rooms sharing the Gospel with the students. As our team fanned out around the campus, the school’s administrators mentioned to some of our SMCI team that there was a young girl, just 16, demon possessed.

For two days this young lady had been tormented by a demon. Her parents had been called and they were desperately trying to free their daughter from the demon’s torment. They tried to appease the demon by offering it food and even worship the demon by lighting a candle, but to no avail. The unwanted guest continued to assume its control leaving the young lady writhing in pain, screaming and crying in a voice not her own.

After learning of this demon possessed young lady, one of our SMCI staff, Daphne, looked at me as if to say, "Let's go help."

As we made our way through the crowd of onlookers, I approached the young lady’s father and asked if I could pray for his daughter. He agreed and when I turned towards the young lady I immediately found myself looking into glazed and piercing eyes that communicated evil and hate. I ask the young lady her name and the demon replied, "My name is..." I immediately confronted the demon with the authority of the cross and the demon responded with a burst of anger and violence. 

For the next hour we would battle with this indwelling demon.

As we prayed and claimed the victory of the cross, the demon would mock us with laughter and attempt to intimidate us with piercing eyes and demeaning comments--often kicking, biting and grabbing at our necks. Soon, team members Joy Penero, Art Blum, Josh De La Rosa and others joined us in the battle. Together they prayed and stormed the gates of hell claiming the victory in Christ. 

After about 45 minutes it seemed that the battle was going nowhere. Every time this young lady attempted to call out to Jesus for help the demon interrupted her and the torment increased. At this point the Lord gave wisdom and told me that in the authority of the cross I needed to bind the demons influence on the young lady’s mind while Daphne encouraged her to turn to Jesus for salvation and strength. Within a few minutes this precious young lady in a staggering voice said, "Jesus you are Lord, Help me Jesus." 

The moment she uttered those words a new light came into her eyes.  It was as if a dark cloud had been lifted and she could see again, her mind now being free from the demon’s influence. I was able to lead her in a prayer of faith where she renounced the devil, repented of her sin and received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. She is now free, the battle is won and victory is hers. 

This demonic encounter reminds us that we are in a battle and the battle is for the souls of men and women. It also reminds us that there is glorious victory in the cross.  If we are going to maintain the victory won for us on the cross then we must go forward in the banner of the cross.

Mike Redick
President, SMCI

I am afraid some people will read this and not get it because it's outside their experience. Or not believe it. Or forward it to discredit it. I am sorry if that is true. I hope that we can all give thanks for the great victory that was had on this day! But if you cannot, please allow me just to say this, won't you consider that Jehovah God might be bigger than your imagination and experience? If so, wouldn't you like to know it? Are you invested in the spiritual battle you were saved into or is your enlistment in denying there is a battle at all? 
Just a couple of thoughts to consider.

Thanks prayer warriors! Faith is the victory.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

My Best Decision In A Long Time

Ray, CO Western Sloper
From the Heart of . . .
Ray Salmon
Colorado Western Slopers

This year was my first year to go to the Philippines as an E-campaigner. It was the best decision I have made in a long time and I am very grateful to have had such a wonderful opportunity! The Lord worked in my heart the whole time I was there, teaching me how powerful and faithful He is to His children when we step out in faith to serve Him. 

It was certainly a step of faith for me; I was way outside my comfort zone most of the time I was there! I was continually amazed to watch Him work across age, cultural, gender and linguistic barriers to reach the students and teachers of the schools we went into. By far the greatest joy of all was to watch as hundreds of students and even teachers responded to the powerful message of God’s redeeming grace. It was also a great source of joy to work with believers from several different countries, including the local SMCI teams, to further the spread of the Gospel.

Ray served on Leyte and Cebu.
This was his first SMCI eCampaign.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Pastor Jeff Rushing Home to CO

Pastor Jeff Musgrave, who has been co-leading the SMCI eCampaign this year, is rushing home to CO right now to be with Anna at the bedside of his dear father-in-law.  

We want to ask you to pray for Pastor Jeff and Anna as her beloved father is on the threshold of Heaven.  We are so thankful for Mr. & Mrs. Mitchell and their lives and love for their LORD.  Please take time to pray for them and the rest of the family. Let's faithfully stand with them, shoulder to shoulder, at the throne of grace at this time.

Sending this post now, we cannot help but thank the LORD for Jeff and Anna! We have known few such committed, loyal, dear friends as Jeff and Anna Musgrave. Their absolute commitment and surrender to the Gospel ministry of our Saviour is inspirational and humbling. Their willingness and surrender in making a life change in recent years has brought amazing attention to the Christian's purpose-to live a Gospel filled life!

It has been a blessing to have them both with us in the last two eCampaigns and while Anna had to handle the weight of things at home this year,  she joined the prayer warriors and Jeff has co-led the eCampaign with me!

We are so thankful for them and their desire to humbly represent Christ alone before men as well as encourage others in the truth of His power to save and to empower the witness! They have embraced our teams from many cultures and several countries and have washed feet with us time and time again. They stand with us in a unique and special group of believers who make up the Nosnuma Board as well.

Lord Bless Jeff and Anna. We love you, respect you and appreciate you. We know the LORD will be your help, comfort and strength.  We are with you.

Because of Jesus,
Mike Redick
for all of us on the SMCI/GP/Nosnuma/IE Teams

Day 21 Sunday Worship

From the Heart of Pastor Randy David

From the Heart of the 
Western Slopers Team Leader! :)

This has been the 4th year I have led a team to the Philippines to work with SMCI. Every year I come away awestruck at what God is doing among the young people in the Philippines.  

God has given an open door to SMCI like none other I have ever seen.  It is so thrilling to sow the Gospel seed among the many thousands.  

It is also thrilling to see what God has done in our church as we have participated in the e-campaign each year.  Our whole church takes on the project of praying for and sending the team.  The team members themselves have been changed and matured through the experience.  This year our team of 11 was able to present the Gospel over 600 times in 8 days. We Praise God for all he has done in the Philippines and our own hearts.   

Pastor Randy David
Pear Park Baptist Church
Grand Junction, CO
This is Pastor Randy's 4th eCampaign

Saturday, 20 July 2013

First Team-China Arrives For eCampaign

The first ever, 
long awaiting, 
fervently prayed for 
TEAM-CHINA has arrived to join the eCampaign. 

They were met by the team in Manila and all flew to Legaspi to begin the very first eCampaign in one of our newest chapters- BICOL! :) 

Please remember to pray for one of the Team China members who lost his passport in the flight. We are asking the LORD to bring it back to him.

Arrival from China in Manila! 

Joining SMCI eCampaign Week 4 Team!

Fresh Off the Plane Into ROTC!

Straight off the plane and into the Marine ROTC Assembly! 
Praise the LORD for this great opportunity for Simon to share the Gospel! 
Welcome to SMCI Legazpi

Day 20: eCampaign In Legazpi! :)

One of the newest chapters of SMCI is Team SMCI Legazpi! It is an exciting new chapter and this is the first year this team is hosting the eCampaign. We are very excited for them and trust that the LORD will use the team to encourage the local SMCI staff, student Smcians, churches and to take the Gospel to many who have never heard.

Please pray for them this week... it's their first year to organize and plan an eCampaign!   They have done a wonderful job... asking the LORD to work in a very powerful way this week with abiding fruit and growth both deep and wide!
Team SMCI-Legazpi/Bicol Excitedly Awaiting the Team Outside the Airport!
The Plane Arrives In Legazpi
On the ground again heading into action!
A Quick pose on the tarmac in front of the famous Mayon Volcano
Outside the airport this week's team is assembled and ready to go!

Singapore Eagles Fly Home

It was a tearful farewell after a great week of serving and pleading for the souls of men together. Team Manila SMCI was sad to see the Eagles off on their way but there is joy in their hearts knowing it is not a final goodbye, just so long for now! Well done guys.  Praying for your safe flight and remembering our brethren who will carry on the work in the year ahead!

SMCI Manila and Singapore Eagles

SMCI Manila Men Say Farewell from behind the PAL Banner

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Week 4 Singapore Team at Changi

Ready To Fly! Ready To Serve!

We are with you in prayer! ;)

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Friday, 19 July 2013

PA Brothers Give the Gospel to 9,800 In Mass Evangelisms

Day 18: Manila

This is the second eCampaign for brothers, Chris (19) and Steve (17) from Pennsylvania.! Today the LORD allowed them each to preach a mass evangelism session! It was exciting to see 9000 in one session and 800 in another! It was a clear, compassionate, Spirit filled Gospel message and the LORD worked!
(More pictures on the way)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Day 18: But God . . .

If you have traveled with the SMCI eCampaign you most certainly learned the "9th Beatitude" which according to Pastor Mike is 'Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape!' Yes, it's a little tongue-in-cheek but chances are you either learned it, or you most assuredly were bent out of shape!

Picture this.  Perhaps you've been there.  Often up at 4:30 a.m, driving hours to your 1st school only to be told the Principal forgot about the appointment-(even though you had confirmed only a few days earlier)- or gave the entire student body a holiday or is unavailable to confirm the appointment just long enough for the opportunity to slip away--all giving rise to the temptation of thought that God has momentarily stepped away from His throne (let alone the building) and left us on our own to be tossed and battered by the forces of this world. (Lack of sleep making it seem all the more dramatic :).

It is at this point that the proponent of the 9th Beatitude-- which, by the way, carries with it the reality that God never "steps away", that He never leaves us, that He takes our best laid plans to perfect them and refine them, and that we can trust Him no matter what--yes, it is at this point that the proponent of the 9th Beatitude says 'thanks Lord' steps down from the van in confidence into the divine appointment set since time in eternity began! Your eyes scan the students scattered around the campus-- some passing by, sitting in little groups, playing guitar, laughing, studying, eating. And then you see them. They are the ones. And soon it is clear, they have been waiting for you.

Today it happened again. And again, the LORD had His way and these texts came in to make the point:

From Linda Chan (Singapore): 
Praise God for using Pas Jeff to preach to the two Value Education classes yesterday at Quezon City Science High School. We are not given access to preach from room to room but God has used Pas Jeff mightily. PTL! 
This sms came in: 
From a grade 7 student, "J", sent yesterday at 5.07 pm from Quezon City Science High School... Good afternoon! i would like to ask if you have Sir Jeff Musgrave's current e-mail. He gave a talk a while ago here in QCSHS and I would just like to personally thank him for the life changing experience I had this afternoon. Thank you in advance!
Step out today into time and see where the LORD will lead you!

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"...but with a demonstration..."

Snapshot of Victory
From the Heart of Chelsea, Team Grace Singapore

I have a confession to make: I would like to say that the reason I signed up for SMCI in the Philippines this year was because I was on fire for God and can’t wait to tell the Gospel story to hungry souls in need of salvation, but truth of the matter is, I saw it as an opportunity to escape my 12-hour-a-day job, travel, dive and spend time with some of my favorite people in the world, my group of church friends. In short, I treated it as another vacation opportunity.

I was further assured by Pastor Mike that the accommodation would be clean and decent, as he strongly believes that his volunteer workers need to be well-fed and well-rested in comfortable environments so that they can be effective. I couldn’t agree more. With the assurance that my material comforts would not be compromised, I decided to participate in the mission this year.

Team Grace 2013
Our team from Grace Baptist Ministries (GBM) in Singapore was assigned / chose Week 1’s evangelistic campaign, which was in Leyte, near Cebu. Another incentive for me is the legendary diving sites in Cebu, and to be honest, I was more excited planning the “rest and relaxation” part of the trip (which would come after our week-long mission) than preparing myself for the e-campaign. As for Leyte, I’ve never heard of the place. 

Located in the eastern-central part of the Philippines in a region known as Eastern Visayas, Leyte is about nine times the size of Singapore, with a population that is only about a third. According to a 2010 census, the island has about 1.6 million people, most of them Roman Catholics (which is reflective of the country as a whole).  

Leyte is also where American general Douglas MacArthur landed when he returned to the Philippines in October 1944, thus fulfilling a promise he made to the Filipinos that he would return to help them fight the Japanese during World War II. After our first day of preaching in Tacloban, we visited the Leyte Landing Memorial in Red Beach, Palo. Aside from the larger-than-life statues depicting General MacArthur’s arrival on the shores of Palo Beach and MacArthur’s famous proclamation, the memorial also displayed his footprints, which he had immortalized in cement when he visited the Philippines again in 1961. Just above the footprints were inscribed words describing MacArthur as a “faithful friend to the Filipino people,” and someone who “wanted to be remembered as one who ‘carried to our land the solace hope and faith of Christian morals’.” 

How apt.

At the end of our one-week in the Philippines, how would we want to be remembered by the hundreds of students we would meet? As someone who told them a nice story about Jesus? As someone who reminded them of sin and hell? Or as someone who challenged them to follow Christ, even as we struggle each day in our own lives to do the same? 

As our vans whizzed along two-lane coastal highways lined with coconut trees and rounded lush mountainous terrains, we traveled south from Tacloban / Ormoc to Sogod, then north-west to end at BayBay. Pastor Mike was true to his word: Our accommodations were largely clean and decent, but even at the best of accommodation, we couldn’t get the hot water shower to work. So for five days we had cold showers. While visiting the schools and universities, navigating the CRs (which stands for “Comfort Room”, which is the polite term for “toilet” in the Philippines) became an acquired skill. We learned to ask for the principal’s or staff’s CRs, which were usually in better conditions. Flushing toilets and toilet paper were a luxury, and rare. If this is what it meant to “suffer” for the cause of Christ, I felt I had suffered. I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, for I know that this is nothing compared to real suffering experienced by persecuted Christians spreading the Gospel in countries where Christianity or any form of religion is illegal. 

Having gained some confidence over the years through work and life experiences, stepping into a classroom and speaking in front of 40 to 50 teenagers was not the issue for me. My Achilles' heel was walking the talk – how can I ask these young people to follow Christ, to trust him completely, to submit / surrender their lives to him, when I have such difficulty doing that, time and again, even having been a Christian for more than 20 years? Wouldn’t I sound like a hypocrite? 

During our eight hour or so layover in Cebu, as we waited at an airport hotel for our transit from Singapore to Leyte, Pastor Chris shared with us a verse from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. “…When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

It wasn’t about me anymore. Sure, I may not be able to fully walk the talk even as I ask others to trust Christ, but it didn’t matter because the message was about Christ and what he has done for us. The whole reason he came to suffer and die on the cross for us is precisely because none of us can ever fully walk the talk! That is not an excuse to absolve myself of my sins and shortcomings, but I take heart that whether the students come to trust Christ is not because of what I say or do, but what Christ has done. 

Throughout the week, a few students especially touched my heart: The lesbian girl who said she rather chooses her own way; The somber-looking girl who is being raised by a single mum and who wants to grow up to be a lawyer so she can fight injustice; The kind boy who brought a fan to the front of the classroom when he saw me drenched in perspiration; and the boy with the plucked eyebrows and thick make-up whose eyes lit up at the understanding of God’s grace. 

And in between our work, we were able to carve out time for rest and relaxation, especially during the last two nights when we stayed at a beach resort, similar to an East Coast Park chalet. On Friday night (our last night), someone built a bonfire, and we worshiped under the stars, which looked all the brighter and nearer than in Singapore. We also saw several shooting stars. Earlier that evening, we caught a rainbow while frolicking at the beach. An unmistakable sign of God’s promise and goodness. 

The trip fulfilled certain expectations I had: I got the rest and relaxation I wanted, the diving over the weekend and to spend time with friends I love. But it also fulfilled promises I never expected: God’s grace is infinitely new and refreshing every day, just when you think you’ve heard enough of it, or experienced enough of it, or even talk about it enough. This should be true not just when we are on mission trips in foreign lands, but it should be true even as we are back in the grind, on the treadmill of a graceless world. That’s when, in some ways, for some of us, the most difficult part of our mission begins.

Chelsea- Singapore Team Grace

This is Chelea's first e-Campaign

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

This Morning Just In From Manila!

Thanks Lord for Whatsapp!

Just now, at 8:30 a.m. my Whatsapp started singing! One after another the pics came in real time from Pastor Mike! How exciting to know that all over this campus, right now, the Gospel is going out in all these classrooms simultaneously! Students are hearing the message of the life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ and being given the opportunity to trust him as Saviour from sin, death and hell! Plus, they are given the opportunity to connect with believers to grow in Him!

Today in Manila they are divided into 4 teams.  This represents a few of the members of 2 of these team on their first campus of the day.

Geraldine - Singapore

Joey - Singapore

Grace - Singapore

Daniel - USA

Sushi - India

Andrew - Singapore

Chris - USA

Joanne - Singapore

Tsai - Singapore

Jonathan - Singapore

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Monday, 15 July 2013

Through The Lens in Manila

Such a blessing to see Soh Eng (Singapore Eagles!) back after the Lord carried her through some health trials thus year! She is not deterred!

So wonderful to have Dr. Stella (Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia!) in the campaign this year! Up early Monday morning!

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