Translate Page

Spooner’s UMC UMVIM serves in the Philippines

Courtesy Photo.
Courtesy Photo.

Our mission trip was a blessed experience, both for us, the missionaries, and for all the people we met in the Philippines.

Our mission team was small; it consisted of me, Reverend Ferdinand Serra, Billie LaBumbard, Terri (Theresa) Reiter, and Andrea Schullo. However, despite our small size, we were all willing to offer our services to whoever and wherever God may call us.

We drove to our mission destination: the barangay of Bigao, of the City Ilucano, Isabela. When we arrived, the Bigao Methodist Church had already set up tables and chairs in the Bigao Community Center for the medical mission. There, our mission team helped out in a variety of ways. Terri helped with intake; she wrote down people’s names and their blood pressure. Andrea helped distribute medicine, which the Spooner UMC have helped pay for. Billie and I helped the group of dentists by keeping people still while they got their teeth pulled. There was also a section where people could get counseling and be prayed over by the pastors. They also received free bibles, which the Spooner UMC also helped purchase.

We finished our medical mission around lunchtime, then walked over to the Bigao Methodist Church. The church members kindly hosted a potluck for all the volunteers. Afterwards, we visited the family that the Spooner UMC have been helping. This family, the Del Rosario’s, lost their house during a typhoon a few years ago. Spooner UMC has been helping them by paying for the construction of a new house. 

Courtesy Photo. 
Courtesy Photo.

Later that evening, our mission team went back to the Bigao Community Center to take part in their Evangelistic Campaign night. Their youth group had formed a band and they lead everyone in singing worship songs. It was a very joyous night, and you could tell that the Holy Spirit was there with us.

Our mission team also attended Sunday service at the Bigao UMC. The Bigao UMC has a large group of members; almost everyone in the village attends this church. That morning, the church pews were packed full, which was such a blessing to see. Terri was on the piano acting as the accompaniment during some of the songs. The church’s youth choir also sang a couple of songs. My dad, Pastor Ferdinand, gave the main message. The whole mission team also stood up and each of us gave a testament of our faith, and how being a Christian has affected our lives. Overall, it was a blessed experience, and one that we will always remember.

Courtesy Photo. 
Courtesy Photo.

The next part of our mission visited the local elementary school in Bigao. There they teach kids from Kindergarten to sixth grade, all in one place. The Spooner UMC had paid for new school supplies for every student in that school. After a short gathering where all the kids sang some songs, the mission team handed out the school supplies to each kid. The supplies were in plastic bags, and there was some slight variation of the supplies depending on the grade. But, in general, each bag contained a couple of notebooks, some pencils, glue, a washrag, and some crayons for the younger kids. The Spooner UMC also paid for some boxes of chalk for each classroom to have, which we handed to the teachers. In the end, both the faculty and the students were very grateful to receive their new school supplies, and they showed their appreciation by yelling a great big “Thank you!” to us.

Finally, we spent our last night at Bigao at Pastor Darlito’s house. There Pastor Darlito’s family hosted a meal for us, and many visitors came over to say goodbye to us. They also gave us some parting gifts, including a certificate stating their appreciation for, not only us, but for the whole Spooner UMC. Everyone expressed how grateful they were for our help, and they were hopeful that we could send another mission team in the future. In return, we expressed our gratitude for their hospitality and their kindness. We really felt that we connected with the people there and that this was only just the start of a wonderful friendship between the Spooner and Bigao United Methodist Churches. 

excerpt from a story by Lyza Serra, recipient of the Nolte Mission Scholarship for education missions

The Advance is the accountable, designated-giving arm of The United Methodist Church. The Advance invites contributors to designate support for projects related to the General Board of Global Ministries. Individuals, local churches, organizations, districts and annual conferences may donate to The Advance. One hundred percent of every gift to The Advance goes to the project selected by the giver. Gifts to missionaries support the entire missionary community.

United Methodist Communications is an agency of The United Methodist Church

©2023 United Methodist Communications. All Rights Reserved