Early on Monday 11th May Ann drove her husband Pastor David Rhodes down to Sarn to catch the 3.30am coach to London Heathrow. He arrived at terminal 2 and got to the boarding gate but when snacks were passed around and food vouchers issued it was clear there was a problem. There was a five hour delay. Although David missed the connecting direct flight to Cebu from Singapore, ongoing flights were organised but now via Manila. The Silk Air plane landed in Manila at terminal 3. David had now to go through passport control, get luggage and get to terminal 2 to fly back south to Cebu. The heavy traffic meant he arrived at the terminal by taxi just 15 minutes before the plane was due to go. Thankfully the gate was not closed, luggage was accepted and David walked through onto the plane and very soon was on the way to Cebu. Eight hours later than planned, David was met by Vange and Alonso Mantilla and taken to the Villa Asela in Bangbang, Cordova.
When David got up on the Wednesday he found there was no water in the accommodation. He was soon taken to have breakfast at Alonso’s home at the church. Two days of ministry to the members of Grace International Fellowship began. In 2013 David had sang along with the two backing tracks he had brought with him. On this trip he had a lot more tracks and sang several times each day.
In the first seminar David shared about knowing Christ living in you and prayed for many of the members. He then shared how we need to know the power of the blood of Jesus. Afterwards Pastor Samuel Coma said that his back pain was healed during the talk. There was a time of worship before they broke for lunch. David then shared about how to make the prayers in Paul’s letters personal and in the last session of the day about the anointing and authority Christians should experience. One example that people recieved was when a policeman can have a perfect uniform but not use authority because he does not realise he has it. Many Christians have no idea of the authority they have in Christ and so do not even expect God to move supernaturally through them.
David was introduced to a boy that Ann had prayed for 3 years ago. He suffered from epilepsy and an X-ray showed one side of the brain was black, so that he would need an operation. Since prayer he has had no more fits and has not returned to the doctor.
On the second day with the church members David started by sharing about how God wants us to have a revelation of his glory. David then spoke about hearing the voice of God and obeying it. Included in this talk he spoke about water baptism as a step of obedience in preparation for those who would be baptised on the following Monday. After lunch and a time of worship the subject was about changes we need to make to walk closer to God. In the last session David spoke about how Jesus knew where he had come from, why he had come and how he fulfilled the call on his life. Christians need to know their God given purpose and seek to fulfil it.
Some time ago Alonso took on an official role where he looked after the needs of the senior citizens in the barangay. Many started attending the fellowship on Sunday afternoons and have become Christians. All the Friday sessions were set aside for them. Once again David sang a song before each of the four sessions. Firstly he shared about what Jesus came to do and then spoke about living right now in all the blessings Jesus gained for us through his death and resurrection. After a lunch break David spoke about important questions Jesus sometimes asked people before a healing took place. After this session many came forward for prayer. One man’s left side was so affected by a stroke he could not move his hand and had pain in his shoulder. When he was prayed for he immediately gripped David’s hand and realised the pain had gone and his hand moved freely. Four who had back pain for a long time were also healed. Three who came forward for knee problems got healed and two who came for their eyes can now see clearly. One woman feeling numb over half of her body for a year and another with asthma were both healed. After the prayer time several raised hands when asked who had been healed. Latest report says all who had prayer were healed and they had changed their way of thinking.
On the Saturday David was picked up at 7.35am and travelled towards Mactan Newtown. They stopped in Macdonald’s and had big breakfast (with rice). It was there that David had ministered to pastors, in what was the 48th and final session of the mission in September 2005. Alonso had been given directions to the Real Church of Christ One Cup building but road works made it difficult to find. Eventually a pastor saw us and led us to the building. David again sung before each of the two teaching sessions. He spoke about how we are all weak but that God chooses to use us despite our weaknesses. The second talk was about how we need to know what authority we have but we can only exercise it as we are under God’s authority.
Alonso drove David to a meeting in a shanty town built under a bridge which went to mainland Cebu. They had to pass a police car watching what was going on in the area. They soon met with Pastor Junbert Gigayuma who translated for David during the meeting. David started by singing ‘Verge of a miracle’ and shared about the life choices we can make and the need to choose to follow Jesus. Several of the congregation responded and prayed for salvation through Jesus. David then sung ‘Jesus is your healer’ and opened up to pray for any sickness. The pastor told David and Alonso of those who came forward there were several ‘Mary Magdalene’s’, by which he meant prostitutes, and a drug baron.
Pastor Samuel Coma picked up David on the Sunday morning and together with Aljane, went to the church in his house in Lapulapu. The worship time was followed by David singing ‘I believe in God’. He then shared about how we need to speak life not death, blessing not curses over our lives and the lives of others. It proved to be a word in season. Aljane interpreted for David on this occasion and finished off the service by singing a song. Pastor Samuel Coma has since said that his family and church were changed and their needs miraculously met.
On the Monday morning David was picked up for breakfast at the church and taken in a hired jeepnee to the pier for a baptism service in the sea. Others made their own way there but road works made it difficult to find a way to the pier as several roads were closed off. After a short word from David and some worship, David and Vange got into the warm water and baptised twenty four people from various age groups near to a slipway. Vange translated where it was needed. Some had arrived late but David and Vange waited as they knew people were on their way. Eventually they drove back and dropped David back to the Villa Asela. After lunch Aljane tried to record in the church some of the songs David had sung and get them on Youtube and Facebook.
After the mission, news was received that one man who was baptised experienced a miracle. He had been in a jeepnee and got up for a moment and someone quickly took his seat. He was about to complain when he remembered the messages he had heard from David and held back. The jeepnee was soon involved in an accident and the man who had taken his seat was seriously injured. He immediately realised that could have been him in that seat.
Ministers from Cordova and Lapulapu met on Tuesday at the church where David sang before each session. David spoke first about how we have got too used to evil things going on around us, when we should actually hate sin. David then spoke about taking up our authority as Christians as we live under God’s authority. During a prayer time one man was healed of head pain and his vision cleared. Several asked for prayer for more wisdom. After lunch the senior citizen’s band led in worship, then David spoke about the need to preach the whole Gospel not just part of it. The final session considered the four points that the Welsh revivalist Evan Roberts said were essential if revival was to come. After this David was asked to sing again and he sang ‘Jesus is your healer’ and ‘He’ll do it again’.
Over ninety youth from various churches came on the Wednesday. When David came into the church from breakfast one youth group were already praying for the meeting. Aljane led a worship time. David had been asked to sing two songs before each of the sessions with the youth. David spoke about the choices the two criminals made when they died alongside Jesus; and the choices we have to make to know we are forgiven. The second session challenged what we allow into our lives that may affect our fruitfulness as we walk with God. This was followed by a powerful prayer time where nearly all the youth came forward. The Lord healed youth with head, heart and knee problems. After a lunch break David took the youth through Proverbs chapters two and three saying how wisdom needs to be sought and applied; then the fruit that comes is long life and prosperity. They dealt with some real issues that apply to young people today. The last session looked at things that simply need to be received by faith and others we have to seek after. There was another powerful time of prayer in which David prophetically gave out keys to those who wanted to unlock the riches and future that God has for them.
The final day was given over to the children. David sang four songs while they waited for all the children to come. More than sixty came. David spoke about the importance of keys for security, but also for unlocking the things we really want. The master key is Jesus. If we have him in our lives it unlocks so many possibilities. Sweet were given as prizes for answering questions. Prophetically keys were given to the children. They were just as keen to receive as the youth the day before. David sung four more songs and prayed for some others that came into the church. The children then played musical chairs. After David sang another two songs sweets and cups of porridge were handed out.
The mission had now come to an end in which David had spoken 25 times and sung 39 times.
On David’s final day in Cebu Aljane brought him breakfast. Alonso then brought an early lunch and then went off to find a taxi to go to the airport. Alonso’s family came with David to the airport. There were no issues with flight delays on the way home. It was however a very long trip and the plane circled a long time before landing at Heathrow. Eventually it landed; luggage retrieved and just four more hours on a coach to go. Ann met David at Sarn bus stop and made the short trip home.
Since David has returned home the Cordova church have reported that three families that had backslidden for many years, attended the seminars they were invited to, are back with the Lord and very happy. They said they received a clear message and they are on fire with the Spirit of God. One sister testified that what she longed for had now been answered. Many lives were changed and many were healed through prayer. Many have now come back to the Lord, even though they only listened to testimonies from people who attended the meetings. One young girl prayed for her uncle who was a drug addict and gambler. He attended the seminars, was completely delivered and has now been hired as a driver. One brother that was backslidden for 10 years was invited by his daughter to the seminars. Afterwards he said every question in his life was answered by David and he testified on the Sunday, crying with happiness in his heart.
Philippines Mission May 2015
Terminal 2 Heathrow
Singapore Airlines plane
Bangbang worship band
Members at worship
Senior Citizen’s band
Family send off at airport
Sweets and porridge for children
Power of God fell on the youth
Youth line up for prayer
Youth worship time
David with Bishop Limpot and Alonso
24 Baptism candidates
Sunday in Lapulapu
Homes under the bridge to the mainland
Alonso outside new extension to the church
Villa Asela accommodation
Ministry in church under bridge
Visit to new shopping mall in Bangbang, Cordova
Members line up for prayer