20 Aug 2015
August 20, 2015

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

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Article by Jizza Magallanes-Malquisto, Registered Social Worker of IT Tender

Stepping out of your comfort zone to answer the call of God is the challenge shared by a group of counsellors who recently visited us for more than three weeks. The team comes from Bromham Baptist Church in England. They said that they learned about the Philippines last year because of the news stories on Typhoon Haiyan (locally named “Yolanda”) which killed thousands of Filipinos and left almost a million people homeless. The team consists of three lovely ladies named Lesley, Anita and Marie and one fine gentleman named Peter. Despite their “golden age” they took a step of faith and answered the burden put on their hearts by God. They left their comfortable and peaceful home in England to serve in the noisy, busy city of Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. The main objective of their mission was to use their expertise in counselling to equip the staff and to provide counselling for the mothers of the weekly Bible Study in Alabang.

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Bible studies and counselling with the mothers from the Napacor Community

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Marie shares her gift for music in leading the worship

 

The ministry was so blessed to have them. For the passed few weeks, they were busy with many projects. They held a Counselling Workshop on August 3rd which was attended by all the leaders of our partner ministries. One of the participants testified that the training gave her more ideas on how to do basic (counselling) intervention and presented a bigger picture of domestic violence. The team not only equipped us with such trainings, but they also encouraged us through one-to-one counselling sessions with each of the staff of IT Tender. The highlight of their visit was the counselling sessions or “healing sessions” (as one of the mothers called it) with the ladies of the Bible Study group in Alabang. The short three weeks were a relief for some of the mothers to share openly about the burdens of domestic abuse and extreme poverty. The group’s unique way of reaching out through lovely worship songs, sharing their testimony and even just listening to the cries of the mothers were enough for them to realize their importance in the Lord.

IT Tender looks at the Bromham group as part of our small team. They challenge us to keep moving forward in reaching out to our clients. We look forward to using everything we have learned from their successful mission trip.

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Anita teaches counselling techniques for children at the Counselling Workshop

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Peter shares more counselling strategies for our staff to use

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The leaders of IT Tender’s partner ministries who attended the Counselling Workshop

 

The Bromham Team shared testimonies of their experiences in Manila with IT Tender. Here are just a few quotes from their testimonies:

“A new adventure – Manila! Planes, vans, tricycles, jeepneys, buses, water buffalo (oxes) – some of the modes of transport. Coming to Manila has been a huge event in my life – a place of extremes. Contrasts of beauty and filth, wealth and poverty, tranquility and chaos, noise and smog, pollution and traffic jams. But it’s the people who made my visit special. I’ve so appreciated their openness, friendliness and hospitality. The ladies I met both at groups in Manila and in the province (Tiaong) have blessed me with their faith and humility and generosity, and it has been a real privilege seeing this first hand. . . Gabby & Jizza and all at IT Tender have shown a real passion and care for the people and work they do.” – Marie

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One of IT Tender’s children shows Marie pictures in his home from IT Tender’s Family Day and Family Retreat outings

 

“I was aware of desperate poverty, but the people were so friendly and welcoming. There is a real sense of hope in very diffficult circumstances….

Hope – Christine from Sucat (a graduate from IT Tender’s Sponsor-A-Child program) training to be a policewoman so she can help her sister.

Hope – Mary Ann from Napacor starting to read the Bible again after our first time together; Analiza’s husband (who suffered kidney failure) feeling well enough to work again after we all prayed together.

Hope – Mothers from Napacor – the pride and hope they have for their children looking so smart in their school uniforms.

Hope – The IT Tender Team making sacrifices to serve God among the poor; their integrity, love of God, and passion for their ministry shines out. I love the way they care for each other and for the children they serve.

. . . At times the mission was hard; crowded jeepneys, heat and humidity (no air conditioning in our flat/apartment), a bad tummy. But I will always treasure memories of the lovely people I met – their hope in the face of great poverty and a very fragile existence – typhoons and the threat of earthquakes. God’s love and hope shine in their hearts. I value their warmth, love and generosity, and their strong faith in God.” – Anita

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The Bromham Team leads some songs at Night Life Youth – they even learned some Tagalog songs!

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Lesley & Peter visiting the Napacor community

 

“It is heartening to see education as the focus of IT Tender’s ministry and would be wonderful to know the fruits of this work in years to come. The dedication and commitment of the staff has been good to experience, including their individual enthusiasm to continue studying to further their ministry. In the rural province, the staff [of Batang Matinik – partners of IT Tender] were very commmited also.” – Lesley

We are thankful for the relationships we’ve made with the Bromham Team and for everything they’ve taught us. They will be in our prayers as they adjust to life back home and share what they’ve learned.

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