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Mission: Philippines 2012

Tacadang Traverse

Dispatches

  • CLICK HERE for Trip Report: “The Healer” by Climbing For Christ Philippines coordinator Ace Concordia.

Wednesday, July 25

The team is still in Kibungan; they will take the 11 a.m. bus from Kibungan to Baguio, and will arrive in Baguio around 4 p.m. They will take the 7 p.m. bus back to Manila and arrive around 2 a.m. Thursday.

— 10:36 a.m. local time

Tuesday, July 24

The team arrived at the Tanap pick-up point after a nine-hour trek and all safely returned to Poblacion. To God be the glory for the success of the mission.

— Ace Concordia
6:44 p.m. local time

Monday, July 23

The medical team attended to more than 20 patients, among them Pastor Henry of the UCCP church. Pastor Henry told C4C that there are plans to expand the building in Tacadang. Pastor Henry handed Sir Ace a letter to ask for support for this expansion. Sir Ace gave a commitment to help raise funds for the church development. The children's ministry team shared Bible stories and played fun games with the students of Tacadang elementary school. The team got a weather break from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., then strong rains and winds resumed. The mission has been accomplished for God's glory. All climbers are restored to good health as the team now prepares to go home and prays for favorable weather tomorrow.

— 7:49 p.m. local time

Received a call from Sir Ace and the group. Everyone in high spirits despite the weather they described as “epic.” They still have ministry day today and will trek tomorrow to Poblacion. Let's pray for good weather still, and for a productive last day in Tacadang.

— Kz Abesamis, Manila
1 p.m. local time

The weather has not improved, still strong winds and continuous rain. The team prepares for a whole day medical mission in Tacadang and will minister to the elementary school students. They've decided not to proceed to Les-eng and will trek back to Poblacion base camp on Tuesday.

— 11:30 a.m. local time

Sunday, July 22

We will be trekking back to Poblacion day after tomorrow. We can't afford to do a traverse to Les-Eng then La Union. Goodnight.

— Arlene Borillo Bolante
10:03 p.m. local time

The weather has not improved this morning and some members of the team are experiencing ailments due to the climb yesterday. The team hopes to do a medical mission today and discuss an alternative plan if the weather has not improved.

— 7:49 a.m. local time

Saturday, July 21

Despite strong winds and rain brought about by Typhoon Ferdie, the 12-person team arrived safely at Tacadang proper at 6:57 p.m. Praise God.

— Arlene Bolante
9:54 p.m. local time

We are about to reach the first station. Lord is good in spite of the bad weather. We are all safe. Thanks for the prayers.

— Doc Joja
10:24 a.m. local time

Friday, July 20

The team has just finished devotion and worship. The team has decided to follow the itinerary and forge on despite a storm over Benguet Province. Please continue to pray for us.

— Ace Condordia
11:03 p.m. local time

The team arrived safely at Poblacion at 11:15 a.m. and was greeted by Kolbel Acquiapat, a Climbing For Christ member who works for the government here in Kibungan.

— 11:35 a.m. local time

The fog is thick as it continues to rain as the team enters the mountain roads of Kibungan.

— 7:24 a.m. local time

Thursday, July 19

The 12-person mission team set off from Manila at 10 p.m. (local time) for the first part of the journey to Kibungan, carrying loads of medicines, school supplies, and Bibles to bring to the villages of Tacadang and Les-eng. Before their departure, Kolbel had informed Ace that there is no municipal vehicle available to pick them up at the exit point in La Union. The team will discuss in Baguio the possibility of a change in itinerary. If the team changes itinerary, it will require the rental of a vehicle, which is not part of the budget. The other option is to trek back to Poblacion. We pray for the Lord's wisdom on the right choice.

Introduction: Beyond Practical Decisions

By Ace Concordia
C4C Philippines coordinator

Two days before the next climb to Tacadang I got this text message from Kryscel Marinas, a new member participating in her first Climbing For Christ mission and going on only the third climb of her life:

“Good morning! It’s really amazing how God comforts us if we obey and if our decisions are His. I was surprised to see the first sentence of my devotion this morning – ‘A Colorado mountaineer and guide was once asked if he thought climbers had a death wish. He replied, Actually, they have a life wish, to live life to the fullest. As a careful yet adventurous climber, he explained why he considered the risks worth taking: When it comes time for me to die, he said, I do not wish to discover that I have not lived.' Same goes with the apostle Paul where at one point several people warned him of the danger and urged him not to go. But Paul had already made up his mind in Ephesus, where he clearly stated that his purpose ‘was to finish my race with joy the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God’ (Acts 20:20-24).”

Kryscel was contemplating her decision to go on the mission climb because she struggled during her training climb up Tarak ridge. She is new to climbing and only started a month ago with C4C. She had read about what C4C was doing in Kibungan and had a burning desire to serve God. In her testimony during the pre-climb meeting she said that for a long while she felt that she was a kind of pseudo-Christian, attending church but not really having a deep relationship with God. However, that all changed in February when she believes she finally, truly fell in love with Jesus, and she has surrendered her life to Him. It has changed her life and has given her a passion for service.

After learning about C4C she joined a training climb up Mount Manalamon to see if she could learn to climb and eventually join the mission team for Tacadang. She discovered during her climbs how beautiful God’s mountains are and found a new love in her life: mountaineering.

Kryscel, left, is raising the banner for Jesus, not to mention Climbing For Christ.

During her training I did my best to describe to her the challenge of climbing in Kibungan, specifically if you’re new, in the hopes that it would make her decision more practical. I am personally concerned because she becomes my accountability and the last thing I would want is for her to suffer through four days of climbing. I had my reservations about actually letting her go on this mission, again leaning on the side of practicality.

But the true Christian is beyond practical decisions. Paul was warned many times by people who loved him not to go to the places where his life was literally at risk, where people were planning to do him harm. Despite their pleadings he still went. Why? Because it was God who told him to go. The Bible is filled with the stories of people who made radical, unreasonable, and foolish decisions all because of their love for God. I guess true love does make one “Crazy for Christ.” As a Christian, if you stay safe and don’t ever take the risk and jump into the void, then you will never experience how God can make you fly.

The final decision to put Kryscel on the team was made after another text message from her. It went: “Sir Ace and Jael! I have confirmation from the Lord that I am to join the climb on July 20. It was made finally certain after my devotion today, entitled ‘The right fit,’ in Romans 12:6. It is said that having discovered our gifts let us offer them back to God and build up His church! One last thing I’m good at ministering to kids, but am not so much of a cook.”

Great endeavours require great risk. The Christian mission to share the salvation of Jesus Christ is the greatest endeavour that has ever been planned for the benefit of mankind. We cannot afford to be logical and safe. There’s too much at stake. We must go beyond what we are able to do, to the point where it becomes uncomfortable. Just like Kryscel, we must go beyond practical choices; we must choose God and His plan above all.

— Posted July 19, 2012

The Team

Ace Concordia, Jael Garcia, Doc Jhoe Cordero, Gutch Gutierrez , Isha Blanche Galimba, Celso Callo, Rory Morales, Arlene Borillo Bolante, Kryscel Marinas, Ian Salaysay, Karl Callo and Cez Lagman.

 

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