DT(yeS)!… Manila, Philippines.

I was so nervous, and so were my three teammates. It was my first time in the Philippines and, as I walked out of the front door, into the humid night air, I also was walking outside the safety of my comfort zone. Lining the street, were flashing lights, a strange mix of tourists and homeless people, and the people we had come to talk to: prostitutes, pimps, bartenders. My team and I hesitantly walked into the street in front of the bars and clubs and a man approached us. In his broken english and thick Filipino accent he invited us into the club, and offered us a “great deal”. To my shock, my leader replied with a casual “ok, sure, let’s go!” We were led into the club where there were women reclining on couches. We asked if we could talk to them about stories from our lives and they turned down the club music so that they could hear us better. The team split and sat with different people to talk; I sat with a couple of the prostitutes and told them how God changed my life. We talked for a while about how God’s desire is that we can be free from the bondage of sin and how Jesus came to restore our relationship with God. We talked to several groups of prostitutes about similar topics that night. After an hour and a half of talking to people, we were able to see God speak to the hearts of 4 prostitutes, 2 pimps/workers at the club, a street kid, and a security guard. They all experienced God’s love and freedom that night! The conversation with the security guard was actually quite amazing! It was at the end of our evangelism time for the night, and our leader said we could stop by Starbucks, if we told someone about Jesus while we were there. In Manila, there seem to be security guards/police officers everywhere, at almost every shop/store/mall. So to get into Starbucks, we went through a little security check. After getting through, my friend, Mads and I, took the opportunity to talk with the security guard there. We learned that she belonged to a cult called Iglesia Ni Cristo, I was instantly a little nervous because we had encounters with members of this cult before, and they seemed very hard hearted and closed minded towards anything we said to them, but we continued to talk with her. We shared the gospel with her and a couple testimonies from our lives and I asked her, “how do you feel? What do you think about that?” And her response surprised me. She told me that, after hearing the Gospel, she felt happy! That night she chose to turn away from the cult and accepted Jesus! It was an amazing time of seeing God encounter people from all stages in life!

G’day Y’all! Manila, Philippines was the next stop after our time in the Kimberley Region. God put so much love in my heart for the people and culture. Every day we spent time talking with the people and sharing God with them. We went to hospitals, prisons,  schools, universities, bars, red light district (where we spoke to prostitutes, etc)… When our team went into the prison, we were able to see all 50 inmates accept Jesus, and give them all bibles. Over outreach, we saw God speak to the hearts of the people, change the atmosphere, break down walls, push back storm clouds, grow love in our own hearts for His people, and move in an incredible way during our time in these places. I saw the amazing ways that God spoke to people and changed their lives, while at the same time, He was changing my life too.

Six months ago, if you told me that I would be walking into Filipino clubs and telling prostitutes about Jesus, I would have called you crazy! Every day I did something that I was scary or uncomfortable; but I love it now! Being a missionary isn’t for special people; every Christian is called to be a missionary, whether it’s in the Philippines, or Africa, or your own home. All you have to do to be a missionary is obey God! God has called me to be a full-time missionary overseas and, by following that calling, I’m able to live out my passion for helping people in injustice, while at the same time, obeying God! I have seen how I am happiest when I’m following God’s way for my life because he knows what is best. There are so many people in this world who are hopeless, lost, seeking truth… if we don’t go, then who will?

-Nicci

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