Posts Tagged ‘holy week’

PSALMS’ Missions Trip to Albay

by Miss Jireh Grace Cruz

(08-12 April 2009)

The TRIPPERS: Jun, Bong, John, Lance, Aerol, Cristian, Paul, Cade, Zarah, Judith, Hazel, Connie, Jeda, Kristy, Jesham, Saida, Jai, Jael, Elem

The DRIVERS: Alvin and Ramil (hired vans)

The HOST: Ate Tessie

08 April 2009 – At 8:30 in the evening of Wednesday, eighteen (18) young professionals, together with one of the deacons, Mr. Jun Rulona, embarked on a trip to Badian, Oas, Albay. And they shall be referred to in this article as the Albay “trippers.”

Boarding on Toyota Hi-Ace vans, the team journeyed on for eighteen (18) long hours (with a few stop-over, of course…beholding the Mayon Volcano, picture-taking at the remains of the Cagsawa church, visiting the souvenir shops, dropping by at the Legazpi airport, etc.)


… until they finally reached their target destination at around 2:30 in the afternoon of Thursday, 09 April 2009. The team was warmly welcomed and accommodated in the humble house of another faithful sister in Christ, Ate Tessie Lumbao.

After enjoying their first hearty late lunch, the trippers were divided as some were assigned to do the dishwashing, some picked which rooms to stay and to unload their belongings, while a few did initial sightseeing activity at the shore which is just across from the house of Ate Tess. After which, everyone took a nap in preparation for the commencement of the VBS later that afternoon.albay5albay6

At around 5:00 in the afternoon, the trippers began preparing the materials and transforming the living room of Ate Tess into a venue for Albay’s version of “Sidekicks.” All the paraphernalia (VBS posters, flags, song sheets, etc.) were displayed on the wall, the furniture were moved to the sides, teachers were reviewing the lesson materials, assistants were practicing the actions for the theme song, while the rest went out to fetch the children residing in the nearby neighborhood, of course with the help of some of Ate Tess’ relatives. The animated film, “Esther,” was shown to the kids, followed by a discussion, led by Connie. This first session of VBS enabled the trippers to introduce themselves to the kids and vice versa, and to give them an overview of what to expect in the next sessions of VBS. It ended at around 7:00 in the evening.albay7albay10

In the evening, the trippers went out and took a stroll along the shore…

After having a bountiful dinner of seafood delicacies and kakanin (specialties of Bicolanos…), the trippers had their first devotion with Ate Zarah with a slide presentation of a different and more personal way of looking at the Seven Last Words , and its implications to how we should walk as Christians. It was a chance to contemplate on the Cross, in line with the observance of the Holy Week and the trippers’ mission there.

Friday morning….the trippers attended the service on the “Seven Last Words of our Lord Jesus Christ” at the Badian Fundamental Baptist Mission. The trippers were cordially welcomed by Pastor William Semeniano along with all the church brethren.albay17albay18

In between the presentation of the Seven Last Words, the trippers rendered a few special numbers:

1) He Loved Me (by Kuya Jun & Lance);

2) Let Them See Christ in Me (by Lance);

3) Embrace the Cross (by Te’ Zarah and Jai); and

4) That’s When I’ll Know I’m Home (by the trippers’ choir).albay19

After the service, all the attendees stayed on for a scrumptious luncheon of Bicolano dishes, prepared by the church brethren.albay25albay26

At around two o’clock in the afternoon, the trippers transferred all the VBS paraphernalia from the house of Ate Tess to the church for the second and third sessions.

The Bible story for the second session was about the battle of the Israelites, led by Gideon, against the Midianites, and how the Lord delivered His people. The third and last session focused on the sharing of the Gospel to the children. The classes were further subdivided into smaller groups so that the teachers and assistant teachers may explain the Gospel more clearly and in a more direct and personal way. Although some teachers experienced language barrier especially with the younger kids, the message of salvation, was nonetheless preached to them through the music video of “People Need the Lord” and the more detailed presentation of the teachers. While the others are concentrating on the children, Kuya Jun, Ate Zarah, and Kuya John facilitated the sharing of the Gospel with the adults.albay27albay28albay29albay30albay311albay32

Once more, it was manifested that it is indeed God who is at work in the furtherance of the Gospel…


After the last session, there was a short break, and then the Graduation was held. Out of a total of sixty (60) attendees, forty-seven (47) of them were able to graduate, the breakdown of which is as follows: eleven (11) from the beginners; seventeen (17) from the primaries; ten (10) from the juniors; and, nine (9) from the youth class.albay34albay35albay36albay37


The trippers had their devotion facilitated by Kuya Jun on Saturday morning. He discussed about the “EXTRA-EXTRA” in our lives and exhorted the trippers to be grateful of our positive “extras” (time, finances, opportunities, etc) and to commit to the Lord the negative extra’s (burden, worries, etc.) of our lives. It was a chance for trippers to share their experiences and blessings, at work, and even in their personal dealings.albay39albay40

After another delectable breakfast, the trippers got ready for their island-hopping and teambuilding activity!!!albay411albay42albay43albay44

It was undeniably an opportunity for the trippers to enjoy the beach and be awed by God’s wonderful creation…albay451albay46albay48
…To have fellowship and bonding moments with fellow trippers, and for the PSALMS to be encouraged to carry on as one organization, willing to be of service to the Master.

After a day filled with happy memories and a rekindled spirit, the trippers went home to take a rest and prepare themselves for tomorrow’s Easter Sunday service and their last day in Albay.

They had an appetizing dinner followed by the devotion time. PSALMS’ president, Lance, led the trippers to an activity of sharing how one perceives himself/ herself to be by using each name’s initials to provide adjectives describing him/ her. Each tripper would pass the string one after another until a seemingly “web” of yarn was created. Ate Zarah shared a meditation on the implications of the activity highlighting the accountability of each one to the group, how each personality affects the others and vice-versa, and the need to stay connected – continuously cheering on and edifying one another.

In the morning of Sunday, the trippers started packing up their things while preparing themselves for the Easter Sunday service. During the service, the trippers’ choir rendered two more special songs: “All Creatures of our God and King” and “The Mission.”

Pastor William thanked the trippers once again for visiting their church, for organizing evangelistic activities and for fellowshipping with the brethren. To them, these served as an encouragement for them to be steadfast in their faith amidst latent and manifest discrimination from non-Christians in the area.

Pastor William requested to remember them (the workers, the members, the Ministries, and their plight) in prayer.

After the worship service, the trippers headed back to Ate Tess’ house and after enjoying their last luncheon in Albay, they arranged their things and loaded them back to the vans. After cleaning up their rooms and thanking all those who have assisted them in the duration of their stay, the trippers got on their respective vans and went homeward bound to Taytay.

They left Badian at 2:00 in the afternoon, and after a thirteen-hour drive, they arrived in Taytay at around 3:00 in the morning of Monday, 13 April 2009.

The travel was a bit exhausting, but even so, it was all worth it… all for God’s glory!!! (The trippers hope to visit there again in the future, Lord willing…)albay49For more pics, check out Kris’ site here.

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