Establishing self-sustaining Samaritan Strategy teams in new areas.

Elly Oliveira, Global Field Coordinator

Dear God, we are saddened to hear about the killing of the Cebu City Mayor by unidentified men. We pray that you be near to his family as they mourn his loss. May they find consolation in you in this time of grief. We pray for the relatives, community, and the Cebu City, that your peace may prevail in the midst of grief, pain, fear, insecurity, and unrest in the community. May each citizen experience Your love and that their lives may be transformed so that such incidents would not happen again in Cebu City and in the whole nation of the Philippines. Amen

On September 5, 2018, I was reading the report from Prakash Nemade about the SamS project in Cebu, Philippines, when the news about the shooting of Cebu’s mayor, Mariano Blanco, popped up on my computer screen.  After seeing the news, I contacted Prakash, who wrote the prayer above.  The love of God and a profound sense of urgency to do His work –helping people see ways to do His will in all areas of life– have moved our ministry.  This sense of urgency became stronger after what happened in Cebu.  We invite you to read Prakash’s report below and join us in prayer for him and the participants in the SamS project.

The “Samaritan Strategy” (SamS) program helps churches demonstrate God’s intentions in every area of life.  It uses step-by-step applications called “disciplines of love” and “seed projects” to disciple people in practical ways, following the biblical model of Jesus’ growth.  A SamS project has four phases: (1) network, (2) training, (3) coaching, and (4) commissioning.

We thank the Harvest team and the participants in the SamS project in Cebu, Philippines.  Their vision and dedicated services blessed many people.  We thank the donors who so generously contributed to this project.  We would not be able to do it without their help.  We praise the Lord for His provision, guidance, and protection, and  pray that SamS projects may be multiplied for His glory.

Prakash Nemade, Harvest Advisor for Asia, [email protected]

Contact (June 2017)
I contacted seven pastors in Cebu City through e-mails and phone calls and some showed genuine interest to participate in the SamS training.

Visit (July 2017)
Praise God for opening doors to train trainers in Southern Philippines.  I met the President of Cebu City Pastors’ Fellowship, and the President, his wife, and the Academic Dean of the Nazarene Bible College – who asked me to extend the training to their students, pastors, and church leaders.  I offered them an overview of our core lessons. All of us were excited about the SamS project. We prayed together for God’s leading and planned to train about twenty-five people.

Basic Training (November 2017)
With seventeen participants from different churches and ministry backgrounds, we held the first training at the Visayan Nazarene Bible College. For two days, Dr. Larnie Sam Tabuena assisted me to teach four Harvest lessons. We had good discussions considering problems like corruption and poverty in light of God’s Kingdom, justice, and love for neighbors. The group was well engaged, and they looked forward to our next training module.

Advanced Training (February 2018)
With fifteen participants, we had a wonderful time of learning together.  The participants showed their passion for the Kingdom while sharing disciplines of love that advanced God’s purposes in their homes, churches, and communities.  They helped family members, gave food for the hungry, and served in their churches. They enjoyed learning new ideas and were challenged to stretch their disciplines of love.  Two participants led two lessons and did a great job. One of them developed a lesson about the “Wheel of Wisdom” with creative illustrations that made it more attractive and effective. They were encouraged to be confident to teach in their churches as well.

Training of Trainers, TOT (April 2018)
Eleven pastors participated in the TOT sessions.  We reviewed some of the lessons and the participants shared disciplines of love in their homes and communities:
Pastor Gulab expressed love for his wife, Silma –who is a teacher in the neighborhood–, by taking care of their three small children. He also helped fed more than 100 children in a slum area.
Pastor Manlun and his church fed over 100 children with bread and juice in four different places. They also distributed ‘bundles of joy’ boxes (like the ones given by Samaritan’s Purse) with tuna, sardine, milk, soap, and Bibles. Before the distribution of boxes, they showed the Jesus film.  Pastor Manlun helped people from his church and neighborhood with moral and spiritual support. He visited people and befriended them.  Washita, his wife, is a retired nurse who helped children with medical care and church ministry.
Pastor Boy Sy visited poor people in the village that is set on the mountain. He showed God’s love by giving them rides on his motorbike while going up the mountain.  With the help of City Church, he distributed school bags, food, and Bibles in ‘bundles of joy’ boxes. They organized competitions for school children in sports and memorization of Bible verses.

Mentorship (June 2018)
It was a great joy for me to meet pastors and see their churches learn how to serve the Lord in contact with their communities. We had eighteen pastors and Christian ministers for the mentoring sessions. We reviewed lessons and shared disciplines of love and seed projects:
The pastors continued to help in their homes, churches and communities by giving their resources and time to express God’s love. Helping the wife with her chores was the most common activity done at home, which is remarkable because this is not a custom in the prevailing culture.
They did a seed project of distributing food to the tri-cycle drivers to demonstrate God’s love. Funds were collected, food was purchased and then distributed by the pastors.
Pastor Manlun and his church continued to feed needy people in different areas. I visited one of their prayer cells where over twenty people gathered and learned to serve their community.

Observation (July 2018)
Unfortunately, due to a typhoon forecast and family emergencies, Pastors Manlun and Gulab could not hold the training as planned, but I spent time with them and their families. They were great motivators and coordinators for the SamS project in Cebu. We went to Bohol Island to meet local believers and encourage them to do a SamS project. On Sunday, we visited the church where we hope to conduct a future training.

Commissioning (August 2018)
We observed the SamS trainers conduct a one-day vision conference to a group of twenty-six pastors and church leaders at the Evangelical Holiness Church on Bantaayan Island. Five of us travelled to the island and three trainers taught lessons on “Wheel of Wisdom”, “Luke 2:52”, and “Disciplines of Love”.  The participants were excited to have us on the island where there is a great need for discipleship training among the churches. They are eager to see more training soon.  At the end of the day, I commissioned four of the trainers and prayed for them. Other trainers could not travel, but they will continue to train churches as God leads. The trainers were excited to reach out to other islands as the Lord provides for the travel. There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines where churches can benefit from this training.

I THANK our Harvest family, sponsors, brother Bob Moffitt and sister Elly Oliveira for the funds, prayers, encouragement and guidance for the SamS Project in Cebu, Philippines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *