Tagged: philippines


 Mission Trip to the Philippines 

October 3rd – 22nd, 2012

Delaygon and Dios! (Praise the Lord!). We praise the Lord for another blessed trip to the Philippines. The masonic rain that flooded the streets of Manila this year in the fall had slowed down and made it possible for us to travel again to the Philippines. It is amazing how the Lord Jesus, though His Holy Spirit, moved and guided us (my son Tiberiu and I along with John Buia from Detroit) a second time to have another mission trip in the Philippines. After spending time in prayer and fasting to seek the Lord’s will about this trip, I was prompted through a divine confirmation (while sensing the Holy Spirit that moved me to understand that this is aligned with God’s plan and purpose for our ministry. Thus, the confirmation to begin the trip preparations was accepted. My oldest son, Tiberiu (which is deaf) even texted me (shortly after the confirmation) that he concurs with joining the mission trip to the Philippines. After God’s confirmation, I asked a few brothers to join me in this trip but everyone was busy with other tasks. As I was planning to be accompanied by other people, I went to mission trip to Alaska but on my way there, I attended a Romanian conference in Seattle where I was asked to bring greetings to the convention. Brother John was watching the convention live on the internet when he saw me and called me and left a message inquiring where the next mission trip would be so that he can join me. I called him and told him about the plans for the mission trip to the Philippines which I already had purchased the tickets to make sure I wouldn’t change my mind. Many times our thoughts are not God’s thoughts and our ways are not God’s ways. As Isaiah says; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

That is why it is very important that we (as the children of God) have; the gift of discernment to discern His voice, guidance to follow in obedience of His way, and plans which will bring to us fulfillment, satisfaction and joy. Even though this is not always easy for us to do (because it involves faith, obedience and intimacy with our God (who is Our Father)), we must know and remember that it is God’s good will for us to have a real relation and fellowship.

The first mission trip that I had in the Philippines was in October 2010 and I was divinely connected to pastor Belshiezar Simbrean who called me to come to the conference with the team “Ignite the Fire”. With obedience to the Holy Spirit, I obeyed Him without knowing anyone there but I knew that according to the Psalmist, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in His way.” Psalm 37:23. God was really faithful to us and we saw His hand moving and His blessing during the first mission trip to the Philippines where we connected with hundreds of people. When I was introduced to the church congregation by pastor Bonifacio Simbrean the first time, he told the pastors that I had a large family of eleven children. There was also another pastor (Olegario Albiso from the organization ‘International Leadership Fellowship Connection’) who had fifteen children and he described their lives to me towards the end of the conference. He pointed towards a group of bible school students from ILFC that were present at the conference and he said that he has a daughter attending the bible school in Dipolog. God works in a wonderful way to accomplish His plans and purpose more than what we think or ask. After I came home from the first mission trip (in 2010), I showed the pictures of that mission trip to my family and I told my son (Tiberiu) about a group of girls from the bible school in the Philippines. Not long after I returned home, pastor Bonifacio spoke to me on the phone and asked me to bring over some youth to make a strong connection with the International Leadership Fellowship Connection. Pastor Bonifacio referred to the verse in Deuteronomy regarding unity and cooperation on the mission field.“How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.” Deuteronomy 32:30This motivated my son Tiberiu to start the connection with one of the students there. Even though I confused him with the picture of another girl, he continued to communicate with Jojie Albiso (a student of the bible school and daughter of pastor Albiso from Tinyon, Ipil). With prayer and fasting for the preparation of this trip, the Lord guided us to go to this mission trip being unaware of the Lord’s plans and purpose.

The day came when we departed (Wednesday the 3rd of October, 2012) and we flew from Chicago to Detroit and then west towards Japan where we arrived in Nagoya. We then flew three and half hours from Nagoya to Manila where we lodged at Christian Strengthening Ministries (not far from the airport in Manila). The first day, we visited the American Embassy which is extremely under surveillance. Close to that area, the floods of September 2012 covered the streets and we saw the signs and damage of that recent flood. Pastor Nelson Praxido and his wife Elaine met us in that area and gave us a tour through the flooded area and both sides of the Pasig River. Elaine is the director of the Christian School and Nelson (her husband) is the pastor of Calvary Christian Fellowship Church in Pasig. We had a tour in the Christian School and we helped them with supply and some donated money for some of their school expenses. At night, we had a youth fellowship in a building of six levels (which consists of the school and the pastor’s house). We shared the word of God with the youth from the subject that ‘A Christian life is a balanced life’.“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 1:2

On Saturday (10/6th), we flew to Dipolog on the Mindanao Island south of Manila. Pastor Belshiezar (Joshua) Simbrean and his wife along with Jojie welcomed us for the second time in the Philippines. Being very tired, I went to rest but Tiberiu developed a stronger relationship with Jojie and to my surprise, she was a different girl than I had initially shown him. Even though we make mistakes, the Lord does not – and so we stood in His will. God’s Will is good, pleasant and perfect in any area of our life. Even though for us (as human beings), it is sometimes hard to accept and adjust to His Will. But God works in us through His Holy Spirit and convicts us to accept and surrender to His Will. God’s Holy Spirit is The Matchmaker – even for matching characters in marriage – and so as soon as Tiberiu and Jojie met, they almost instantly became attracted to each other and within that week, they decided to get married. A good custom of the Philippines is that the church wakes up and spends an hour of prayer and devotion to the Lord at 5 AM – so the teachers from the Bible School, students, orphans and the guests living in the ILFC all worship God. We lack this time of devotion in our western world. It is very important for us to follow the example of David. “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” Psalm 5:3“But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59:16“And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.” Luke 21:38Our Sunday service started in the morning with worship and prayer but the instruments were louder than our voices. Brother John Buia spoke about the requirements to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I spoke about the importance of pursuing a life of holiness.“Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.” Psalm 93:5The Grace of God touched the church and their hearts were transformed and freed as Forgiveness and Grace descended from above. In the evening we had a meeting with the students from Josei Rizal Memorial State University. We exhorted them to have a motto in life (and recommended; do what is right in the eye of the Lord). Brother John used an example of Joseph in Genesis.“There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9“..it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”1 Samuel 14:53As we traveled and ministered to these people, I observed that there was a lot of religion but little relation with God.

There was a Pastoral Conference in Dipolog from October 8th – 10th. The program was led by Pastor Belshiezar Joshua Simbrean (the president of ILFC). On Mindanao Island, there are 178 churches affiliated with the Pentecostal movement of ILFC. Twenty-two million people live on this island – Davao being the largest city. We participated in this conference and were invited to speak from the Word of God. Brother John exhorted the conference to worship God in the Spirit and Truth.“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24I spoke and motivated the church to be filled with the Holy Spirit and shared gifts of t-shirts with them. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:18

After the divine service on Tuesday (10/9th), there was a time where we remembered the founder Bonifacio Simbrean whom passed away a year ago (2011). Many leaders from the city came to show their respect. “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” Hebrews 13:7

A team from New Zealand came who spoke about humbleness and service – and as an application, they completed the act of washing the feet of every pastor. I also spoke about following the legacy of a leader; “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

Even though Belshiezar Simbrean is young, every pastor from the organization recognizes his leadership and respects him as the new leader of the organization. I also motivated him (in my sermon) to serve the Lord with all your heart and bring the organization to a higher level of living with God. With our God, there is no static condition rather; God always has great things prepared for us so that we progress from power to power and from victory to victory. “They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” Deuteronomy 33:19

The last day of the conference (Wednesday, 10/10th), was wrapped up with the marriage of Tiberiu Lupancu and the young Bible School graduate, Jojie Albiso. She comes from a family of fifteen children while Tiberiu comes from a family of twelve children. Pastor Olegario (her father), following the principles of tithes, dedicated his 10th child (Jojie also known as Joyful) to the Lord. In the Philippines’ traditional wedding, when the newlyweds are kneeling in prayer, their parents tie a rope around them representing the yoke of the marriage. Next was the prayer of blessings towards the marriage. The ceremony was led by Pastor Wilson Cal assisted by Pastor John. The newlyweds signed four copies of the marriage certificate during the time of ceremony. I declared that the best matchmaker is the Holy Spirit (which put two youth together in love). The purpose of the wedding in the Philippines was strictly for legal documentations as well as for her church and large family. Their wedding in Chicago, IL is being prepared soon after her arrival in the USA because their marriage was not consumed. At night, at the conclusion of the conference, I spoke about the importance to honor God in our daily life (living in righteousness and holiness). We finalized with special prayer for the sick and anointing them with oil. At the end, we had a meeting with the bible school students and exhorted them with the verse; “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15We gave an honorarium to all of the fifteen new graduates.

On Thursday (10/11th), we started the mission in the villages and towns of northern Mindanao even though it was a rainy weather. Our first stop was in the town Disakan where we spoke to a group of thirty people waiting in the kindergarten yard. They were believers in Christ and friends. I spoke about the Living Water who satisfies the thirst forever.“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:10-14

There is a well of living water in every one of us but sometimes it is covered up with the things from the world which are meant to never satisfy us completely. We encouraged them to open up the well of Living Water which brings happiness and fulfillment in our life as we put Jesus Christ in the center of it. Many people responded with joy. After the service, bishop pastor Simbrean introduced us to Ray Rodriguez (a local pastor) who told us that they need a land to build a church. He showed us a place that was for sale and we prayed to seek the Will of the Lord. Pastor Ray and his wife Mary are supposed to proceed in making the necessary negotiations with the owner. In Mobortidot (a village about 9 km away), we found a smaller piece of land which costs about $900. The people here are very poor and they work very hard in rice fields to earn their living. A lot of rice was scattered around the rode to dry up. The rice costs about $350/mo. for the students, orphans and teachers from Dipolog’s ILFC. On the way to Liloy, traveling southwest, we had lunch with rice and fish (as the sea shore is very close). From there we traveled towards Gatas for the night service. The road was very bad and with a lot of dirt. The church led by Wilson Cal was waiting for us. We motivated the church to live their lives in holiness and righteousness before the Lord. Much later that night (near midnight), we lodged at a hotel in Liloy.

On Friday morning (10/12th), we started with the dedication of the land of the future church from village Sindangan. We had a short service led by the newly bible school graduates (Cherryl (Chechi) Mae’s colleagues). Chechi is the girl who I confounded Jojie with before arriving to the Philippines. With a chainsaw, the mahogany trees were cut and the materials for the new church building were prepared on-site. We worked very hard all day (with their team) and prepared all the lumber for the new church. During lunch-time, we evangelized to the neighbors that were scattered through the woods in their small houses and were very welcomed in their homes. We sang songs, prayed and presented Jesus Christ and gave them an honorarium of 500 pesos (as a gift). A father of thirteen children said that he has a bible but does not have the glasses to read it and so we purchased him a pair of glasses. Now, with my son and his fiancé and other people, we formed a team of seven and continued our mission towards Lipacan. The church (called the church by the ocean), is in a critical area of Muslims. It is pastored by Pastor Junreal Mpatan. The members of this church are very poor but we exhorted them to keep what they have as it is very precious (salvation, faith, hope, love and the Holy Spirit). At the end, we provoked them to pray fervently and dynamically for the Holy Spirit to manifest among them.

Saturday (10/13th), the whole team traveled from Liloy to a town named Overview for a divine service that morning. The church is pastored by Cherryl Mae (a fresh absolvent of the bible school). After the service, we visited the pastor’s house (which is next to the church). The church is held by support posts and the floor with cross spaces. As I walked into the pastor’s house, one of the floor boards fell under my feet and I fell into the cross space. This was due to a termite contamination. John also fell into a cross space right after me. Thank God that the cross space was not too deep to break our legs or backs. Neither of us got hurt. This compelled us to donate enough pesos to rebuild the personage house. Our team continued the trip through the mountain area and arrived to a village called Butong for a divine service. The name of the pastor is Francis Escubido (who is a good craftsman and carpenter) who helped build a lot of churches in the area. We were surprised to see the church filled with adults, youth and children. We preached to them about the prayer; Heavenly Father.“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13

These people can replace the bread with rice daily because this is what they have with every meal. From here we took Lori (a vehicle adapted to transport persons across mountains) and stopped for a prayer at a church in Merkulisan which is pastored by Venjie Cabasag. For us, this was one of the poorest churches that we had ever seen. Wet and unsettled dirt was everywhere and the wood was eaten by termites. From our budget, we donated 3,000 pesos to pour concrete. In the area, there are a lot of rubber trees. They use the tree sap to make a living based on its rubber properties. In the evening, we held the first evangelic crusade in the city of Tampilisan under the open sky.

The local pastor gathered together a lot of youth, adults and children to hear the word of God. After we delivered the revival message, the Lord opened the hearts of a couple dozen people and they accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior. About midnight, we arrived at the orphanage in Gatas where Pastor Belshiezar Simbrean’s house is located and he hosted fifteen orphans. We were grateful to the Lord for His Grace and anointing that was manifested that night. Sunday morning, we worshipped at the church in Gatas where pastor Simbrean leads. In this area (surrounded by rubber trees and singing of birds creating a rustic atmosphere), it is pleasant and wonderful to worship God in such an environment. The evangelistic crusade could not be held at Tampilisan because of the rain and so it was held in Gatas Church instead. During the night service, the presence of the Lord’s Holy Spirit manifested in such a dynamically vibrant and powerful way that many people experienced refreshment and empowerment to live a life of victory with the Lord Jesus Christ. A dozen people came forward and we prayed for them. This area lacks bibles but we did not have enough to give to everyone.

On Monday (10/15th), we visited the prison and the church in the city Ipil and we preached the Gospel of transformation to hundreds of inmates. We distributed hygienic goods to all of them. Here at this prison, every inmate was very hungry for the Word of God and asked us for copies of the Holy Bible. John and I preached the Gospel and my daughter-in-law’s father (pastor Olegario Albiso) led them to the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer. In the afternoon, we stopped at the church Namnama for a prayer meeting. This church is very small (8m x 13m) and does not have a concrete floor but the Lord put in our hearts to help them with 6,000 pesos to pour concrete. That night, the Lord gave us a great joy and surprise in the church of Ipil (where the founder of ILFC had his vision from God to pioneer the area in the early 1980s). His son, Belshiezar gave us a tour of the city and showed us many places where his father gathered the church in the house and everybody called it ‘the church without walls’. After going through a lot of trials and difficulties, moving from place to place, the Lord spoke prophetically about a land where the church will be built. Where the Lord guides, He provides. Even though they were very poor financially, they knew to seek after God and not rely on man. The Lord sent a missionary from England who provided the money to purchase the land and build the church and even the pastor’s house – and so, the organization was launched form that point forward. Pastor Genelou Cahijas welcomed the officials from the city on this night and they stayed until the service ended and we prayed for them. As I was sitting on a bench, I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to deliver a message for the church; ‘Make your election sure’.“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” 2 Peter 1:10

On Tuesday (10/16th), we visited and ministered to the inmates from the prison of Liloy in the morning. We were accompanied by our large team and local people and purchased the necessary hygienic goods and gave them to every inmate. We taught them the importance of having a vital relation with the Lord Jesus Christ – not only the knowledge about Him. The time for the inmates to make a decision came and many of them surrendered to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to have a personal relation with Jesus. We gave everyone the Gospel of John. A local pastor named Calabruso said that he plans on having at least one service with the inmates per month. The Philippines had a Spanish domination for over 300 years and because of that, the Catholic traditions are very strong. The advertising bill boards in the cities inspire the public to spend time with family and to raise children with good morals. Before getting married, young couples are counseled by authorities how to keep a good and healthy marriage. Because of this, the country’s divorce rate is very low and families are very serious about marriage.In the afternoon, we arrived in Disakan (Manukan’s municipal) where we continued the negotiation to purchase the land for the church. We decided to purchase it on Wednesday, October 17th at the Office of Attorney; Jeneth C. Napiquit-Baje where the seller Josefina Cabrera signed the documents to transfer the property to ILFC – also signed by Joseph Belshiezar Simbrean and Blessed Hope International Mission, Inc. signed by Constantin Lupancu and Ionica Buia. We included the name of Blessed Hope International Mission, Inc. in the title to prevent the transfer of the land/building to anyone else and to insure that it will maintain the integrity of using it only for church services and activities. On that weekend, together with Jojie (my daughter-in-law) and Ann Simbrean, we flew from Dipolog to Manila. Jojie saw Manila and stepped into an airplane for the first time.

In Manila, Alina Voda (a missionary from Romania), waited for us, hosted us and gave us a tour to her mission site in Antipolo. We met her staff of nurses and the children that are under her care and basic Christian education. We also visited the surrounding area of the medical clinic where many poor people live and benefit from the mission service that Alina is doing.On Sunday morning, I ministered to one church in Manila and Pastor John ministered to Calvary Christian Fellowship church. At night, both of us ministered in Manila in a very poor area (Cainta) to a church led by Pastor Jeffrey Datangel. There was a good worship with great songs and prayer. During this final service for us, the Lord anointed us to preach about “The Work of the Holy Spirit”. Pastor Jeffrey shared with us that last time, he felt in his spirit the need to teach the church about the work of the Holy Spirit and this was a confirmation since the Lord gave us the same inspiration. This was the second time that we ministered to this church. Pastor Jeffrey testified of how God healed people when we held a healing service in our trip there in 2010. On our last night in Manila (after the service), we were hosted at the Strength Ministry Hotel near the international airport where we rented three rooms (one for my son and I, one for Jojie and Ann Simbrean, and one for John). Antipolo is a very poor city and is located near Manila and has a neighborhood called Solid Cement where Alina Voda is ministering to the people that just moved in the area (like squatters, without legal rights in the land). These people are coming from the villages to the city to work for the cement factory.

On Monday morning, we gave our farewells to Jojie (my daughter-in-law), Ann and Alina. We headed towards Chicago and they returned to Dipolog. In this report, we summarize how the Hand of the Lord guides, provides and transforms the lives of the extremely poor in very tangible ways: feeding the hungry souls and bodies; encouraging and lifting up leaders and pastors through conferences of teaching and preaching but there are still a lot of emotional and spiritual needs of those that we did not meet. We are so limited but we pray that God will fill them with love, nurturing them and give them hope to overcome the heavy and burdensome chains that weigh them down from rising above their circumstances and claiming a life of victory – being energized from the resurrected power of the Lord Jesus Christ!

At BHIM, Inc., we acknowledge and understand the needs of the poor (which is the hope in the Lord Jesus Christ that we embrace and also the Gospel that is our Hope) and we are ready and want to share this truth as it is the most efficient powerful life-transforming tool that we have. Our work is in a beginning stage and is for today, tomorrow and forever to bring the rope of Hope to the individuals and communities all over the world (especially to those that live under desperate and difficult circumstances).

My prayer for every one of us, as Christians, is that we all keep in view the mystery that has been kept from generations and ages, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:27-29

If you are discourages, lonely or feel that your future is uncertain, the solution is Christ in you – the Hope of Glory.“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power..” Colossians 2:6-10

Let us not forget to make our election sure every day and to remain rooted and build up in Jesus Christ, no matter the circumstances that come in our life. Always be thankful to God because through His son Jesus Christ, we have already received everything pertaining life, righteousness and to live in victory. God did not choose and select us because of who we are but because He see who we will become in Him if we walk in obedience.“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7We see that even the devil tried to discourage us and whisper to us that we are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough – but with Jesus, we become and we have more than enough to accomplish the mission he entrusted us with. As you daily devote your life to Him and make your election sure, God will work in you, for you and through you – in order for you to fulfill your assignment, purpose and destiny for what He has created and called you to be in His Kingdom. Our calling and assignment is not decided by us but discovered by us when we walk in obedience with the Lord Jesus Christ who always reveals to us His plan and purpose in His time.

What a blessed insurance we have! May all of you be blessed (dear brothers) with the blessings that flow directly from the Father’s Throne of Grace! The entire Blessed Hope International Mission team would like to thank the Lord and all those that make their election sure every day as we witness these brothers and sisters doing so from the Philippines as they honor and serve the Lord.

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team  


Mission Trip to the Philippines

October 22nd – November 2nd, 2010


the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Edgar Garza and I went on another mission trip, to the islands of the Philippines. Pastor Belshiezar Simbran invited me last year in June to minister to a part of the Mindanao Island – the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country of 7,107 islands, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The Land of Promise. Mindanao is the only area of the Philippines with a significant Muslim presence. A guerrilla war is ongoing on the islands. In addition, the crime rate on the island is the highest in the country overall. I took a step of faith accepting to visit such a territory even though I didn’t know Pastor Simbran or anyone else from that island. God’s Holy Spirit who knows everyone and everything guided my steps toward accepting the invitation. According to the Bible, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23-24) [NKJV]. And so I decided to make all the arrangements to meet other people in Manila (capital of the Philippines). Pastor Florin Cîmpean from Philadelphia Romanian Church of God had visited Manila a couple years ago together with Pastor Tony Lane from Church of God. I inquired them to give me some contacts and churches in Manila, which they were glad to assist with.

On Thursday October 21st, we took a flight to Manila through Nagoya, Japan and arrived there late Friday night. We spent the night at Church Strengthening Ministry, which was very close to the International Airport. Alina Voda is a Romanian missionary who began working in a clinic to reach lost souls. She picked us up from CSM and brought us to her clinic so that we may visit her work. Alina had a divine calling for missionary work and she responded and God led her to reach tribes in Rwanda, Senegal,

and now she had a calling to begin working in the Philippine islands for about three years where she already learned Tagalog language. Right now, she is among the poor suburbs of Manila in Antipolo where she opened a clinic in April 2010 named ‘Rapha de la Solid Cement’ where she works among the lost, sick, and very poor ‘squatters’ with a blessed team of nurses and health workers.

On Saturday, October 23rd, we visited the bible college in Manila led by Director Scott Rain who welcomed us to a tour in the school and a dinner and fellowship. We then went to Antipolo Church where we spent the night in the church’s guest room.

On Sunday morning, we attended the church service and both of us brought greetings to the church only because they had

already scheduled a guest speaker, Jack Bensop from Alaska. We had fellowship with the pastors and other leaders afterward. In the evening, we visited another church in a very poor area next to a river named ‘Church River of Life’. Both of us were able to share God’s love and encouraged the congregation and prayed for the sick. We gave rice and other goods to the poor.


Monday morning, we left Manila and flew to Dipolog City. Our contact, Pastor Simbran, picked us up from the airport despite our concern of not knowing him personally but the Spirit of God does not lead us into temptation but delivers us from evil when we sincerely server the Lord and do His will. Pastor Simbran drove us to his father’s house where we had fellowship with his entire family and we felt very welcomed and blessed. I thanked God that he gave me the courage to take this step of faith and come to this island because the way that God led us and confirmed his works with signs of His presence and was wonderful and beyond our expectation. We held a church service in the evening with Pastor Simbran at his father’s church where we were the guest speakers. Belshiezar’s father, Pastor Bonifacio Simbran is the founder of Connections International Christian Leadership that currently supervises 152 churches whom he and his team founded in the last 20 years. He raises 20 orphans at his church house and also runs a bible college for the new leaders.

We had to depart on Tuesday towards another church in Dampalan for a conference but the road was blocked because of a landslide and so we visited a prison in Dipolog city where we gave goods to the inmates and preached the word of God to about over 100 inmates. On Wednesday, we headed to the church in Dampalan early in the morning for our conference “Ignite the Fire”.

What is

remarkable about this is that I visited Romania two years ago and had a conference in Bistrita with Robert Brown of Chaplains for Christ International, and I was proposed to do a lesson called “Ignite the Fire” and someone else from another part of the world called me with the same topic again to come into their country. Well, God’s Spirit wants to ignite the fire in His church throughout the world. We have to be torches of fire with burning desire and passion of revival wherever we go. Flames of fire we need to become to destroy the works of evil and set the people free from bondage in the Name of Jesus Christ.


arrived at the church in Dampalan, led by Pastor Tumim Bang, on Wednesday and started the conference later in the evening. Words like fire were shared from the Gospels and also, testimonies of revival were shared. People were touched and the presence of God was manifested in the midst of over 100 pastors and bible students.

On Thursday, early church service began with prayer and worship and sharing the word of God. The Holy Spirit of God moved mightily and members started speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance. Refreshment from the presence of God was imparted to the members of the conference. At about noon, we left and visited a church at Lamaya where Pastor Ba Quiran had invited us. I spoke out of Psalm 85 to the congregation and the mayor of the village, Captain Baron, was present there to thank the congregation for her their electoral votes. As we spoke of the favor of God, which comes after we repent, a lot of people were touched especially Lady Baron. She responded by saying, “This is what we need, the favor of God.” We returned back to Dampalan Church to conclude our conference meeting and to have another service to keep the fire going.

Towards the end of the service, certificates were passed to the participants in recognition for their participation at the conference. Pastors from up to 1000 km away participated; some came by bus and some by motorcycles. We could see their joy and enthusiasm as being part of this conference. They all returned back to their home churches filled with useful information and fresh fire to share with their local church members.

At the conference, a mother approached us with her 6-month old daughter looking for prayer for her daughter, which had a tumor on her neck. She was looking for us the following day and was eager to tell us that lump on her daughter’s neck had vanished and was healed for the Glory of God! We departed back to Dipolog on that night and drove about 3 hours on gravel road to spend the night at Pastor Bonifacio’s home.


next day, we went to purchase hygienic supplies and food for our next visit to Dipolog Provincial Jail. We visited the jail on our way to the town of Liloy. We ministered to the inmates that very sunny morning with over 50 inmates who very attentively heard the word of God in the courtyard. Most of them surrendered their life to Jesus Christ, their only hope. Goods were distributed among them and they gladly received them because ministers seldom visit this jail. After spending a couple hours at the jail, we stopped at a very poor and small church by the ocean shores in the town of Lipakan on our way to Liloy. They were a lot of children worshipping God in the middle of a jungle. At the end of the service we prayed for the sick and among them, God touched an elderly woman with an inability to walk mightily. As a gratitude for our visit we received as gifts some freshly cut coconuts. The people of this community are fishermen, but due to the rainy season, their food source is scarce. We helped every family there (about 10 families) with 1000 pesos each. We then headed towards the town of Liloy where we attended one of the first churches planted by Pastor Bonifacio Simbran. The presence of the Holy Spirit was manifested so powerfully as soon as the worship started that everyone was filled with Joy and Peace. Both of us shared the word of God about the power of Prayer – Jesus himself went to pray fervently alone. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:36-36) [NKJV]


the morning of Saturday October 30th, we visited the jail in the town of Liloy and held a service there where a few Muslims were present and attentive during the service. We provided them with hygienic supplies but most importantly, we brought the word of God to their lives. Personal relation with God through the cross is the true way of salvation. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) [NKJV]. Pastor Belshiezar’s wife, Amette, descended from a Muslim family – joined us in this visit and met her cousin, who was an inmate in this prison. The Holy Spirit touched him by the message brought to them that morning. God miraculously healed Amette Simbran from bone marrow cancer. Her fragile leg was broken in three sections. Being a worship leader, she asked God to bring healing to her bones that she may jump and worship the Lord with her whole heart and become a testimony for her Muslim family. We then headed toward the town Batayan to visit another church in the middle of the jungle (literally) and held a powerful church service there. They were in the process of eviction. We asked Pastor Bilopaolo how much money they needed to finish the church they were in the process of building – they said $500, which we they humbly received with joy – we told them that God answered their prayers. The occupations of the people in this community are rubber collectors from tree trunks and they also cultivate coconut trees. Our driver, Dong Dong, which accompanied us for a few days, finally arrived home at this point and got to see his wife and young son. From there, we headed towards Gatas, hometown of Pastor Belshiezar. We attended their church service that night and shared the word of God to about 100 people. After the church service, we went to Pastor Belshiezar’s home where he raises approximately 14 orphan children. The orphans welcomed us with worship songs. We spent the night in their home, which was filled with sparrows. “Even the sparrow has found a home” (Psalms 84:3) [NKJV].


Sunday October 31st, we visited attended morning church service at Pastor Simbran’s church. A lot of children were there and we also had the pleasure of meeting a 90 yr. old man who was praising God, jumping and singing enthusiastically. The church building was incomplete with no windows and no floor. Even so, the congregation is full of joy and thanks for what the Lord has done in their lives. We encouraged them with the message “Today matters”.

At noon, we visited another church of Pastor Lanyohan and held another service there. Although this church consisted of bamboo walls and dirt floors, the members truly worshipped the Lord and maintained and active faith in Jesus.

• “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) [NKJV]

• “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:5) [NKJV].


, we were invited to have lunch at Pastor Lanyohan’s home and headed to the town of Ipil where we the Simbran family lived for many years and build their altars there for God. On April 4 of 1995, Ipil was attacked by a part of the Abu Sayyaf group. The town was set on fire and razed to the ground, and people were butchered to death. Press reports called it a massacre. All that had been so laboriously built went to rubble in a matter of hours. During this time, Pastor Joey Delapena that attended our conference says he was shot in the leg during the Ipil massacre and God spared his life because he promised he would commit his life to Jesus for his entire life, while he was bleeding to death. He kept his promise and is now a leader of the church of Christ in the mountain village.

A Christian security guard, Franklin Ramo, which we had met at Gata Mauswagon pastored by Lanyohan, invited us to Ipil city jail. We ministered to over 350 inmates whom were all incarcerated in their cells but were able to hear the word of God because of the courtyard. We brought them some hygienic supplies. On our way to Dipolog we stopped at another church at the town of Tampilisan pastored by Pastor Bagnol where we held an evening service. His wife translated for us at most of the places we visited. We met someone who had a tumor and we prayed for her.

This was our last church service in the Philippines where the people’s love and joy had such an impact on us that we would love to go back and visit or send another missionary team. Our driver, Dong Dong, drove us back safely to the Dipolog City. We spent the night at Pastor Simbran’s home and prepared for our departure to Manila the next day.


Monday morning, after having fellowship with the Simbran family, they drove us to the airport for our departure towards Manila where we stayed overnight at the CSM and departed early Tuesday morning, November 2nd to the states with one stop in Tokyo, Japan.

Once again we thank God for encouraging and guiding us to do His will and opening a window to minister to such a great country. We want to thank the Holy Spirit for motivating us to take the step the faith. We want to give a more sincere thanks and gratitude to all members of the Simbran family and all the pastors and attendees. To God is all the Glory, Honor and Praise.

-Constantin Lupancu

-Edgar Garza