A Trip to the Philippines for Jesus and Bananas

by | Jul 31, 2017

Two weeks, almost 16,000.

That’s how many students and teachers I personally shared the love of God with and witnessed accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Something I am still trying to fully comprehend and wrap my head around. Even more than that though, to know that there were several hundreds of thousands that came to know Christ as their Savior. Overwhelming.

At the beginning of this month I traveled to the Philippines for my second missions trip to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This post is to share with you:

  1. the amazing work of Jesus,
  2. the beautiful land and people of the Philippines – the most joyful, loving people I’ve ever met,
  3. that mission work can be done healthy and you can eat to thrive!

Although pretty minimal compared to the hundreds of pictures I took, I hope you enjoy the following blast (sorry!) of pictures for a pretty good snapshot of my time spent there.

Vibrant schools speckled amongst lush, dense tropical mountains, rice fields, and an abundance of fruit.

As expected, food and nutrition were very important on this trip. It was part of my “sub-mission” while being there to get that firsthand experience on how to eat healthy and feel my best, to truly thrive, in order to best carry out the mission work God called me to. Further, looking to Him was especially important with where I’ve been on my journey to complete healing from IBS and hormonal imbalances. There would be no going backwards.

God has revealed to me much about eating, lifestyle, health and wellness over the past several years, and given me a passion for how all of that should be under His design. As a result, my prayer through this trip was for His guidance with that passion for returning to His way of eating, His abundant living, and its connection with missions.

I will go in-depth of my eating on this trip and missions on another post, but in summary it looked like this: I took foods such as a few variations of homemade raw, dehydrated granola, dehydrated vegetables, Garden of life raw, sprouted meal, and raw, sprouted nuts and seeds. Then I bought in the Philippines fruit, fruit, and more fruit!

Watermelon, papaya, canteloupe, pineapple, dragonfruit, avocados, mangos, jackfruit, and of course, banana. The most complex and flavorful bananas I’ve ever had.

Around 140. Yes, that’s how many bananas I ate while there. Now you may be thinking “that is crazy! 140 bananas in two weeks?” I ate a completely raw, whole-food, plant-based, Genesis 1:29 diet and bananas just happened to take up a good chunk of that. I was up around 4 am, on the move all day long until the afternoon, yet was thriving with energy – filled with the nourishing and life-promoting foods of His design.

Some of my most treasured moments were waiting at the schools before speaking and spending time with the students.

Almost got a full sunset.

Hearing the Good News, accepting the free gift of salvation only through Jesus, and celebration!

Buko trees, jackfruit, and the most juicy and mouthwatering pineapple.

One of my most memorable schools I spoke at was the above panorama of over 3,000 high school students.

Jeeps weren’t our only way of getting to schools.

Blessed to have a brief time on the beach.

Oh my love of fruit…

Quite the experience and adventure. It’s been a few weeks since I returned, and am already wishing I were back, however I am so beyond excited that I was blessed to have been a part of the work God is doing there, for the souls that have been and will be saved forever because of Jesus, for all of the doors He opened through this trip, and for the connection of my future work as a nutritionist and missions.

Wrapping this lengthy post up, I offer with you the same truth and love that I shared with almost 16,000 Filipinos:

To whomever is reading this – God loves you. Oh, does He love you! He created you unique and individual, with a plan and a purpose for your life, and to have a personal relationship with Him. However sin, what you say, do, and think that goes against Him and His perfection (lying, cheating, desiring what is not yours, stealing, etc.) separates you from Him, even just one sin. The punishment for your sin is to spend all of eternity in Hell and there is nothing you can do on your own to get to God, to be saved. (Romans 6:23) We’re all either going to spend forever in Heaven or Hell, and on our own we’re all headed to Hell – that is how we must pay for our sin.

BUT, God loved you and wants a personal relationship with you so very, very, very much that He sent His one and only Son Jesus to earth to pay the penalty for your sin. (John 3:16) Jesus lived a perfect life of no sin; He showed us how to live. Being fully man He could die, and being fully God He could die for the sins of every human who ever has, is, or will live. He did die. Jesus was arrested, beaten, whipped, and crucified, dying the death of a criminal with hands and feet nailed to a cross. He bore all of your shame, all of your sin, and He said “it is finished.” That day, over 2,000 years ago, Jesus conquered your sin, all of it, even that which you haven’t yet committed. It was fully paid for by Jesus.

Unlike those dead religious teachers, you can’t find Jesus’ body in a grave today. On the morning of the third day, Jesus defeated death; He conquered the grave. God raised Him to life and is alive today in Heaven and He is offering you a free gift of salvation. (Ephesians 2:8) He is knocking on your heart, waiting for you to receive Him into your life. No amount of money, no amount of good works, nothing you can do on your own will save you. Jesus is the only way. (John 14:6)

The Bible says that if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Through Jesus, you are forgiven and can have a personal relationship with God, He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), and the Holy Spirit will fill your life and radically change you!

What are you going to do? I urge you, if you have not accepted this free gift of salvation, will you today? My prayer is that you don’t risk your eternity one more day. Admit your a sinner, believe in your heart Jesus died for your sin and God raised Him to life, and confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord of your life; receive eternal life today!

Please comment below or contact me if you made that decision to follow Jesus, regarding my trip, or to connect for nutrition and missions and be on the lookout for an additional post on that! Thank you my friends. 🙂

 

God bless,

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I'm Noelle, creator of Simply to Thrive. A place where I share my love and passion for nutrition and wellness. learn more >

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