Mission: Philippines 2012
Survey Climb: Bekes/Culiang
Going a little farther
By Ace Concordia
Climbing For Christ Philippines coordinator
“We will come and visit you soon!”
This was the promise I’d made to Pastor Marcus Felipe, whom we met at a church service in Dalipey in February 2012. Pastor Marcus’s church is in Bekes, one of the outermost villages in the mountain province of Kibungan near the border of the province of La Union. Climbing For Christ Philippines members have been planning for this survey trip since last year, so from May 18 to 21 we set out to accomplish this task. It will be the first time we will set foot in this part of the Kibungan mountains. We are excited to meet the people of the two target destinations: Culiang and Bekes.
Photo by Rodel Talde
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:14 (NIV).
C4C Philippines is already serving four villages in Kibungan: Tacadang, Les-eng, Badeo and Dalipey. These mission fields were established through four years of continued trips farther into the mountains of Kibungan. Each survey climb was initially prompted by the request of teachers from other villages who heard of the mission work that C4C Philippines was doing in the village of Tacadang. We did not have the heart to turn down these requests for us to visit them, even though we knew that it would take greater effort and resources to reach them.
It has always been like that, I guess, in the life of missionaries. The tasks only seem to get bigger — or in our case, farther. It would be easy to say that since we are already doing three mission climbs a year, serving four villages, that we have accomplished much already and that maybe we should just focus on what’s at hand. That is until you look into the eyes of a Kankanaey villager from a part of Kibungan we have never been to — yet. Then you realize that they also need what we have given to the four villages we serve. They need medicines, school supplies, Bibles and, most of all, they need to know that Christ loves them.
The very first time I received an invitation to visit another village in Kibungan, my eyes looked out into the vastness and ruggedness of the Kibungan mountain range. I was intimidated by the challenge of the request. Questions would fill my mind: Where is that village? How long would it take to get there? How difficult would the expedition be? Despite my doubts, we went on to do the survey climbs, which now have borne fruit by growing the ministry that we do in Kibungan.
Back in the day when climbing was just a sport for me, I would struggle to reach the peak of high mountains. I am not physically strong, so I had to come up with a strategy to reach the summit. The strategy was this: “When you feel like giving up, tell yourself to go a little further.” This continual prodding eventually got me to the top of any mountain.
Because of Climbing For Christ, my climbing has never been the same. Just when I think I’ve made good ground, I hear God prodding, “Don’t stop here — go a little farther.” He has good reason to push me on, because a little farther on the path, there is someone waiting to hear the Good News that God loves them.
As a Christian you can’t sit and be satisfied, you can’t stop. You have to go a little farther every day.
Posted May 10, 2012