“I Saw God Work In Really Amazing Ways”

(edited by Brisa Ramirez)

Last school year I had the opportunity to go as a student missionary to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. I served as a dental and medical assistant in the church’s new clinic, Pagudpud Adventist Wellness Center, and as a Bible worker in the community.

Isai Ramirez (right) assists a dentist during his mission trip to the Philippines.

Isai Ramirez (right) assists a dentist during his mission trip to the Philippines.

In the clinic I assisted the doctors, nurses, and the dentist. I helped in taking vital signs, assisting in minor operations, teeth extractions, and teeth cleaning, among other things. In our group of student missionaries we also did medical missions where we went to different areas and gave free medical care for a day. With medical missions that we did, we always paved the way for evangelism in crusades, Bible studies, and invitations to church. It was all a big learning experience to be able to do hands-on things in the clinic with experienced doctors and nurses that had missions-minded goals.

In the church, I helped with doing visitations, evangelistic series, speaking at church programs, children’s ministry, doing special music, leading in song services, organizing programs and much more. One of the cool ways that we reached out to the community was that every Sunday we went to the local basketball courts and played with the locals. We built friendships with the young people that loved to play often. We held evening programs for children in the community every evening. I also got to lead out in an evangelistic meeting in one of our churches and did visitations to invite the community. At first I was nervous to speak up front, but God helped me overcome that fear and I was even able to preach a little in Ilocano, the dialect there.

We made a special trip during our time there to visit the mountains and see the work that the local laymen had been doing there. There’s a small town there in the mountains called Tanglagan where the Seventh-day Adventist message hasn’t reached. The people there are very secluded from the rest of the world and the Catholic Church has a big influence. We organized a trip to go there and hold a medical mission and evangelistic meetings to follow after that. We spent the first day hiking up to the town in the mountains and the next day we held the medical mission. We received a lot of patients that day and everyone was very busy.

Once we started, the evangelistic series attendance grew so much that we had to move the meetings to a bigger location to accommodate everyone that was attending. At the end of our 10-day meetings, there were many people interested in baptism. On the day we held the baptisms, about 60 were baptized and more were baptized later on. Our group started raising money for the new church there. Construction for a church building began after lots of fundraising and prayers.

God really blessed me in my time in the Philippines. I saw God work in really amazing ways. I learned how powerful prayer can really be and to trust in Him in every situation. I really recommend everyone at Southwestern to take a year off to go abroad and be a student missionary to serve God and put your faith in action. It is an amazing experience to represent God to others in a different country.

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