This year, the Lord has graciously enabled me to be a part of the MCare team who went to Thailand and Cambodia to help minister to missionaries and their families. Ten members comprised our team, five, including me, were ACM staff, while the other five were volunteers. Each of us had individual debriefing sessions with the missionaries where we asked them about their situation, life problems, and needs. After listening to these heroes of the faith, we ministered to them and prayed for them.
The situation of the missionaries in Thailand and Cambodia is tough. Some experience persecution and discrimination, especially those working in restricted areas. Many wrestle with discouragement and loneliness, being separated from their loved ones and support systems back home. A good number work alone in the mission field and serve in areas where there are very few Filipinos. Hence, the ACM retreat was a welcome treat for them and a much-needed time for rest, encouragement, and spiritual feeding.
Ptr. Nathaniel Ramos, ACM’s National Director, encouraged the missionaries to cover one another in love. God covers them from their shame, Pastor Nat, reminded them, and so they must cover each other under a covering of love, concern, prayer, and blessing. As a symbolic gesture, Pastor Nat instructed everyone to take a partner and exchange shawls with him/her as a symbol of promise that “I will always remember to cover you.”
While the retreat was tiring, it was also fun and rewarding. We were blessed to hear testimonies from missionaries who continued to serve God and dedicate themselves to their calling despite all the trials, persecutions, and problems. We were strengthened and ministered to spiritually and were greatly humbled by the experience.