Tag Archives: Philippines

Space Between

Philippines

The breeze was gentle as the sun began to set in the distance. I could already hear the musicians beginning their warm up set near the bottom of the mountain, as others prepared for the kickoff event of our annual youth camp.  One hundred and twenty-seven students from 50 villages would soon converge on a grassy mountainside to hear the gospel for the first time. I wondered if they would even be able to stay awake since most of them traveled hours that day to attend the camp.

On my way down the mountainside, I was met by our first aid worker with three sick youth.  One student was dehydrated, the other had a severe stomach ache and the other a toothache.  One by one we prayed for them and one by one God instantly healed them. 

As I finally made my way towards the muscians, three more leaders were approaching me with more sick students.  Just like the three before them, God instantly healed them one by one. Of those six students, there was one that I will never forget, Jasmine.

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The Difference of One

Philippines

Exhausted from teaching all day and spending the last 40 minutes praying with a demon-possessed boy, I crept quietly up the concrete stairs to join 50 Filipino student leaders and staff as they began the last session of the day. Sweet praise and worship music was playing as the sun set and the humid, night breeze invaded the uncovered windows of this upper room. A deep breath of relief flowed from my innermost being as I enjoyed this moment. For the first time today no one needed prayer, deliverance, or teaching from me. I could just have precious “me & Jesus time.”

The room was packed and joyful voices of praise rang loud as I walked past twenty people to find a seat near the back of the room.  I lifted my hands and began to lift my heart in worship when I heard the Lord say, “Go give her a hug.”  Just like a daughter knows what her dad is saying, I knew who the Lord was speaking about because I passed her on the way in the door. I chose to ignore his words and continued with my arms and voice raised high in worship.  Just like you would expect a father to react to disobedience, it’s almost as if He took my chin in his hand and turned it in her direction near the door to confirm what He had said.  There she was sitting in her chair – a Filipina woman by the name of Mella. 

A few months prior, a friend and I had prayed for Mella and seen God heal her both emotionally and physically.  After experiencing a miracle, she traveled three hours back to her village and I had not seen her since.

“I see her, Lord, but I’m tired.  Can I just have 15 minutes of me & you time?  I will go hug her after a few songs,” I said as I lifted my hands again in worship.  Reasoning in my head that surely God will see my need for him first after serving Him and others all day.  What about me, Lord? You are a jealous God, and I’m being jealous of my time with you now, so surely you understand.  Using God’s own words against him didn’t exactly work out the way I thought it would.  

Silence.

In a room full of 75 people singing, clapping, and loud music, even a few moments of silence from the Lord can feel like an eternity.  A silence that kept me from worshiping and connecting with my Creator.  Much like a father would raise his eyebrow with eyes locked, waiting for his daughter to make the wise choice to obey.

Then I heard Him say it again, “Khristina, Go give her a hug.” 

Unlike you may often experience in situation’s like this with your children, my feelings of exhaustion and stubbornness made me want to stomp over and give her a hug with my shoulders shrugged, lip tucked out, and heavy steps. However, we all know that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance, so a quick heart adjustment had to be done before making my move.

At once I realized the error of my ways, I immediately turned and walked over to hug Mella. I quickly said, “Hello,” hugged and greeted her, found my seat, and began to worship unhindered.   

Following the service, many had made their way to the front to receive prayer. I was just about to pick my foot up off the ground to join everyone when someone grabbed my hand from behind. I turned to see Mella standing there. She grabbed both my hands and drew me closer to speak. She said, “Khristina, do you remember a few months ago when you prayed for me? I had pain in my hands and God healed me.” I assured her that I did remember that day very clearly. 

There is no formula, plan, process, or method for God – you only need to be obedient.

She continued by saying, “Well, I’ve been experiencing pain in my stomach recently.” I thought she was going to ask me to pray for her again, but what she said next will be forever etched in my memory. 

Mella expressed, “Earlier when you came over and gave me a hug…. the pain went away.”  

Of all the miracles I’ve seen God perform, this by far is my favorite.  There is no formula, plan, process, or method for God – you only need to be obedient.  For obedience is better than sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22)  If you have a relationship with God, that’s all you need – just listen & obey. 

Romans 8:11 says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”  

It is God who heals the sick,

not me,

not you. 

If you have a relationship with God, then He lives in you, just like He lives in me. So, His same power that healed Mella can also heal you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Thank you, Jesus!


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Spirit of Heaviness

Philippines

“Ate Khristina, I need your help!” I turned to see a beautiful, familiar face awaiting my recognition and invitation for assistance. Grace shared that a year ago she started having chest pains. They felt more like heart attacks that would happen periodically.

Last night she laid in bed experiencing yet another attack and didn’t know what to do. As we continue to chat, I noticed she seemed a little out of breath. She agreed that during these chest pains, which she was currently experiencing, she felt a lot of pressure on her chest and it was hard for her to breathe.

God spoke to me and said, “Khristina, there is a spirit of heaviness pushing down on her. Rebuke it in my name!” So, I did.

As soon as I said, “In Jesus Name, you spirit of heaviness leave!” Grace took a huge breath of relief. She was breathing normally again. All chest pain was gone.

She said, “I felt the pressure and pain go when you said, ‘Spirit of heaviness leave!'” 

We have been given the authority through Jesus Christ to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. (Matthew 10:1) I’m not a doctor, so there is no way that I can diagnose what is going on in people’s bodies, but I do know the GREAT PHYSICIAN. He can tell me what the root of the sickness is, which is not always caused by physical problems.

Remember, it’s always good to “Be still and know that He is God.” (Psalms 46:10) He will tell you how to pray.  

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” ~ ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬

Thank you, Jesus!


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Pray Always, then Repeat

Honduras

Before me stood a petite Honduran man. As he limped towards me, I could barely hear what he was saying because my focus was on his legs. One leg was extremely larger than the other. I soon found out that he had injured his knee the day before while hiking up a mountain.

A friend and I offered to pray for God to heal him, but nothing happened.

So we prayed again. The pain lessened, but he still limped.

So we prayed again. The pain lessened, but he was still limping.

So we prayed again. This went on until we had prayed almost 10 times.

Jesus prayed for the blind man several times before he was healed so we were following His example which proved to be working. By this time, he had very little pain and was walking comfortably around the room. I asked him, “Do you want to keep praying?” He said, “Yes. There’s still a little pain and I can’t bend my knee all the way back.” So, we kept praying until almost all pain was gone and he could bend his knee.

The next day I saw him with a bandage wrapped around his knee.

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If For Nothing, but Love

Philippines

Walking through the dirty, long halls, my face had to remain calm as I held back the expression of shock for what my eyes beheld. “Certainly this is not a hospital!,” I thought to myself. The floors and hallways bore the soiled smell and filthy dirt of neglect for what looked like years past. We soon breached the doorway of a much larger scale of astonishment. A large warehouse room filled with over 500 twin size metal beds. All of which was chipping from the paint that was once used to cover its mature age. Old brown plastic coverings with a thin mattress laid beneath the women and newborn babies. No sheet, no pillow, no bassinet for the baby. There had to be one other family member there with you to ensure that the woman next to you didn’t roll over onto your new bundle of joy.

I was so thankful it was raining and the weather was cooler than usual. There was no source of air conditioning in this building except the small fan located at the center of a few large windows around the room.

I soon realized that the bed frame and mattress were the only thing provided at this hospital. Family members had to leave the hospital to bring pillows, sheets, and food. If the patient was in need of medication, or even blood, the family member had to leave and purchase these items from another place and bring them to the hospital, including the needles and instruments needed to perform the care.

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The Art of Believing

Philippines

The humid, Philippines air flowed through the open window as I wiped the sticky, sweat from my face.  Good thing no one else was in the room to witness my slobber on the pillow.  I could hear the earthly sounds of crickets, roosters, and tropical leaves blowing in the wind.  Barely able to lift my head, I decided to stay for another moment gaining my strength and preparing for the gut-wrenching pain soon to overwhelm my body.  Exhaustion coupled with the tropical heat had not produced the relief I needed from this deep sleep.  Instead, I was faced with the reality that I may not be able to get out of this bed.  Just like most of humanity, my bladder wasn’t privy to the news of my back pain.  It was functioning just fine.  

Perhaps if I rolled out of the bed and used those fancy military maneuvers I saw on TV as a child, I could make it to the bathroom that was less than four feet from me.  Clinching the bed frame with all my strength, I pulled myself closer to the edge of the bed.  In a moment of relief, I thought to myself, using my wonder woman accent, “I can do this!  I will not let my bladder win this battle!”  Quickly, I started to arise in a sitting position, only to discover my wonder woman skills had failed me.  The excruciating pain took over my lower back and landed me on the wooden floor.  

How did this happen?  I’m young.  I haven’t participated in any risky behaviors lately, that I could remember.  I just woke up one morning with this pain that increasing began to take over my body moment by moment, day by day for the past two weeks.  I couldn’t bend over, sit down, or even walk.  

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