Many of you know that I have a long-term support role with one of my ministry partners, the Bicol Center for Christian Leadership (BCCL) in the Philippines. BCCL is a leadership training center servicing the Albay Province, and is a catalyst for bringing together the churches all over the region. I’m excited to report that I will be going back again in June 2016!
If you’re interested in my continuing role with BCCL, here are links to my previous trip reports in 2012 and 2014. These previous trips were rich in experience and relationship, as we began training in the theology and practices of shared worship with dozens of churches in the area.
On this third trip, BCCL has scheduled a jam-packed three weeks. The first week, I will be a guest teacher for a Theology of Worship course as a part of the BCCL curriculum. I’ll also be doing practical worship seminars in both Legazpi City and one of their satellite locations, Naga City. Also, I’ll be doing a Songwriting/Recording specialized course, as well as overseeing other specialized courses, including Dance and hopefully Visual Arts. Similar to 2014, the culmination of this trip will be a large outreach worship concert, “Set Free To Worship 2.”
And here is why I’m very excited. When we started this adventure in 2012, we were very much starting from the beginning, forming a shared worship theology and a vision for worship and the arts that began with a few worship leaders that would hopefully extend outward. Now, we are seeing this vision taking root among dozens of churches in the Albay province, worshiping together in harmony. A recent Provincial Prayer Gathering brought many hundreds of people to the Albay Astrodome in worship and prayer together (see photo). And their desire to extend this to other art forms shows an unprecedented openness to other worship forms as well. I’m very humbled to be a part of this movement of God there, especially among the young people, and also humbled that you might be a part of this with me.
The trip will take be from around May 25-June 15, including travel time. Obviously, I will need to raise financial support, as well as LOTS of prayer support as well. I hope you will consider helping me on this trip. At the same time, I am extremely grateful that your support and prayer have gotten us this far. If you’d like to support me in prayer or financially, please let me know. I will need to raise close to $3,000. In addition to travel, lodging and food, this total includes providing music supplies, books, and other resources.
Your tax-deductible contributions can be sent directly to Oak Hills Church, 1100 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, CA 95630. Please put “Philippines Missions 2016, Manuel Luz” in the memo section. Prayer support is also critical too, so email me if you want to be a part of my prayer team this year.
Some other cool news:
1) BCCL has been expanding their facilities (thanks to the financial backing of Oak Hills and many other supporters). This is terribly needed as their current facilities are literally rotting away with termites and age. They are hoping to complete the third floor expansion of their facility soon so they can continue to provide classroom and other training.
2) You might be asking why I’m giving training in songwriting and recording. Very similar to what we did in Italy a number of years ago, I’m encouraging the people to find their own unique voice so that there would be more Filipino worship music composers writing for Filipino worshipers. I think this is extremely important, so that their faith would be more fully formed in their own culture, their own context (see photo). So my plan is to bring some recording equipment with me to continue to help them write more worship songs.
3) There’s a fledgeling group in Manila, Christian Artist Network Association (CANA), who want me to stay an additional few days to do a conference for them. I don’t know much about this group, other than they are a bunch of really talented inner city artists of faith and I really want to support them. If it works out, I’ll stay an additional couple of days in Manila and speak to them. God is up to something here, I think.
That’s it for now. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in supporting me (or just sent a check to Oak Hills as mentioned above), and THANK YOU for already supporting me with your prayers and friendship and words of encouragement.