It was my priviledge to get to take part in a youth camp here a few weeks ago. The camp was put on by New Tribes Mission of the Philippines (sort of the national arm of NTM here) and was a 4 day introduction to tribal missions for college age men and women. There were cultural demonstrations, testimonies from missionaries working among tribes here and overseas and lots of small group discussions.
I was so encouraged by the whole experience. After over 8 years of training and preparation (if you can believe that) we are on the edge of jumping into the work of tribal church planting among the Dupaninan Agta and the Lord knew what I really needed first was to return to the beginning and see the task through the eyes of young men and women the same age as when we started down this road; to strip away all of the technical aspects of what it takes to do tribal ministry and be reminded of God’s heart for the world and His call to take the Gospel to its furthest corners.
I had been asked to give the closing challenge on the last morning. To be honest it was quite a leap for me in language to give a 45 minute message even in Taglish (A sort of mix of English and Tagalog) but it was the kind of challenge that can be really helpful to a language learner.
Of the 50 or so campers who attended 4 put in applications to attend the next cycle at the NTM training school here and many others shared their plans to do the same in the near future.
These young people are the future of tribal missions here in the Philippines and we believe a priority focus as we head into tribal church planting ministry. We are asking God to give us more opportunity to work with Filipino believers in raising awareness among churches here and in partnering with them in the work.
Thank you all for your prayers for the camp!
The sign behind me reads, "Ethnos: A challenge to youth" which was our theme for the week.