- National Initiatives
The first Joshua Project 2000 Conference in the Philippines drew an impressive response and attendance last January 21-24, beyond even the expectations of the organizers themselves. By the third day, the conference moved to a larger venue, thanks to the generosity of the “Word for the World” Fellowship.
120 missions executives and 300 delegates from 118 churches came and strategized together to adopt 25 people groups and nine countries in Asia. Seventeen partnerships and focus groups were formed (see report below). Resources have been pledged, training scheduled and mission trips planned.
Called "The Church Missions Mobilization Conference," it focused on partnering churches with each other and with selected missions agencies to adopt tribal groups and to plant churches in those tribal areas. It was coordinated by AD2000, Philippine Missions Association and Asian Center for Missions, with Asia Missions Network (AMNET) as secretariat.
What impressed many mission's veterans was the willingness of churches to involve themselves directly in missions. The probability that neophyte churches may make mistakes should not disqualify them as a missions force. Rather, we should rejoice and help prepare training programs for them.
The second distinctive of the conference was the need for unique missions methods that will accommodate increasing short-term missionaries, since globalization has opened many doors for short-term missions and tent-making opportunities. Most of the priority people groups already have small numbers of believers which make training nationals to reach their own tribes very feasible. Empowering national believers is proving to be an effective method of evangelizing and discipling tribes and can be sustained by short-term missions. We need to develop modular training programs that would enable churches to have short-term missions programs and train tent-makers onsite.
Speakers were: Dr. Luis Bush, Dr. Phill Butler, Bishop Ef Tendero, Rev.
Ernie Abella, Rev. Dan Balais and Rev. Chito Navarro. Presenters
were: Rev. Joseph Lee (New Tribes Missions), Dra. Emma Palazo (Botika Binhi),
Bro. Andry Lim (Tribal Missions Philippines), Bro. Nemuel Castrodes (Salam),
Bro. Ben Yu and Bro. Ben Baluyot (Tribes and Nations Outreach), Philrads,
and Sis. Evita Perez (World Visions). Special drama presentations
were done by the Master’s commission, Day by Day and I Am ministries.
17 Partnership and Focus Groups Formed!
The 400 delegates to the Church Missions Mobilization Conference formed 17 partnership and focus groups to consolidate and firm up initial commitments to partner or at the very least coordinate with each other.
|Hill Tribes||(under the coordination of New Tribes Missions)|
|Bicol negritos (6 tribes)||Bro. Ben Clareza (0912-343-1965)|
|Dumagats||Ptr. Edwin Abesado (0918-231-4893)|
|Mandaya||Ptra. Nelin or Beth Pabalan (800-6030)|
|Mangyan||Ptr. Mon Quiring or Lini Versaz (044-711-1092)|
|Manobo||Letty Prades (063-221-1984)|
|North Luzon||Ptr. Alfred Calderon (721-7354)|
|Subanon||Ptr. Ben Salibio (427-7290)|
|Badjao||Ptr. Robert Tarigan (924-5543)|
|Kalagan||Tom Macintosh (0918-480-4148)|
|Maranao||Ptra. Letty Prades / Bro. Nemuel Castrodes|
|Palawanon||no convenor yet|
|Other countries||Coordinated by Bro. Deng Samonte|
|China||Dr. David Lim (372-1339)|
|Indochina (4 countries)||Dra. Kara Dimacali (0918-823-9132)|
|Middle East||Ptr. Peps Kho (075-582-7343)|
|Taiwan/Japan||Ptr. Raul Manalo (430-5114)|
|South Asia||Bro. Deng Samonte (361-4557)|
The purpose of these groups is to start with common interest and relationship building, then lead to coordination and cooperation, and then on to partnerships. The Subanon, Maranao, Manobo groups are already in the stage of partnership and resource sharing. The others like the Badjao and Dumagats are in the stage of missions awareness trips and training. The rest are in the various stages of planning and praying together.
There are many groups that are already in missions and have had successes, like Tribes and Nations Outreach, Glad Tidings, Asian Center for Missions, New Tribes Missions, and the like. It is our goal to bring these agencies in contact with interested churches.
For this to succeed, we all need to go the extra mile with each other. The danger to avoid is concluding that one church or agency has the answer because of past successes. God is sovereign and works with all of His children, no matter how inadequate some may appear for the moment.
Rafael "Chito" Navarro is the
Joshua Project 2000 Coordinator for the Philippines.