“Go Glocal”: First Mission Conference in Palawan (Philippines)
“Go Glocal” was the motto of the first missions conference that took place in Palawan (Philippines) on Friday, August 27, and Saturday, August 28, 2010. The conference, with about 120 participants and three guest speakers, was organized by Pastor Chad (Christ Life Church) and Sa Bawat Wika Palawan Movement in partnership with Sa Bawat Wika 2025.
Go Glocal includes a play on words. Dahl Estrada, the Assistant Director of Sa Bawa Wika, explained the meaning in her opening speech, “Go Glocal means empowering Palawan Christians to become globally minded and locally active.”
Estrada reminded the pastors and church members of various denominations about the great commission and encouraged them to become glocal denominations. “This begins with a desire for it,” Estrada continues. “Then you need to dream about it and finally decide to pursue it, which requires action.”
Pastor Chad encouraged the participants to worship God in their local language. “Praise the Lord in your own language,” he said and cited Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.”
One of the guest speakers was Lalano Badoy Jr., Executive Director of Philippine Missions Mobilization Movement (PM3). In his workshop "Using your Career in Missions", he encouraged the participants to become tentmakers as Paul was. “Tentmakers are no second class missionaries as some might say. They can be full-time missionaries, too”, said Badoy Jr.
The next speaker was Jojie Wong of OMF International serving as a church mobilizer for the evangelization of East Asia. She held a workshop on Building a Prayer Movement, which not only inspired people to pray for missions but also to advocate for prayer for missions among other people and churches.
The third guest speaker, Roce Anog, Ethnoarts Coordinator of Wycliffe Bible Translators Philippines, led the Ethnoarts workshop, teaching the participants about using one's own indigenous or cultural art forms for worship and missions.
In her introduction, Anog challenged the audience, “The witness component in most of our churches is lacking. So often we are only focused on our own church instead of on how we can make an impact outside of our church – for example with using arts.”
During the conference, a worship band sang songs in their own language, Tagalog. One song said, “I found hope when I knew you spoke my language,” another song praised the God who created everyone with their own language.
After the conference, Pastor Jehu P. Cayaon (Agape Church) said, “The conference was very good and encouraging for us. It encourages us to be active here locally and to be globally minded. For me, it means doing missions in a new perspective. Before the conference, we thought that mission work was just for pastors. Now we know that we all can be a part of it.”
Another pastor said it was, “A great conference with lots of new information given to the participants. I want to pass on the information to my church members and hope that this can be repeated sometimes in the future.”
Ken Tan, a young volunteer of Champion Youth Philippines, was very glad about the conference.
“The Go Glocal Conference was a really inspiring and enlightening conference that enabled Christians to see the need to have local missions to reach out to Christians all around the world save those people who have not come to know Christ yet," Tan says. “We have seen that there is really a need for us to change the way we think; that we have to desire, to dream, and to decide on our lives the way we choose to live as Christians: that we need to mobilize; and that we need to take a stand for God, for our friends, for our families, and for the rest of the Christians all around the world. The conference has also united the body of Christ here in Palawan. More so, the young people and the older generations have this bonding through this conference. We all feel so happy that we had the Go Glocal Conference here to empower us to be globally minded and locally active. I am very happy that I became part of this conference and who knows – someday I can be part of the global mission.”
One day after the conference, the church leaders decided to have this missions conference again in August 2011. Pastor Chad, who initiated the conference, was amazed about this result. “I wasn't saying anything. When we met, all the other pastors unanimously wanted to have another missions conference next year. Praise God for this wonderful result.”
Photos: Pastor Chad by Aileen Agoncillo (© Wycliffe International); worship team by Daniel Höly (© Daniel Höly)
To see additional photos of the conference, go to Skilled to Serve.
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Daniel Höly is an online journalism student from Germany doing an internship program with Wycliffe International Asia Pacific Area. His strong desire to use his gifts for God's glory has prompted him to spend many months serving in missions-related ministries even while studying.