Early Christian medical tradition owed much to Hippocratic medicine, even though it was based on Greek philosophy. Early Christians saw the physical aspect of Hippocratic medicine as relevant and useful.
The early Christians such as Basil the Great established one of the earliest hospitals. Together with Augustine, they both acknowledged that medicine benefits the body while instruction benefits the soul, and the underlying source of the physician’s healing power comes from Jesus Christ. Both presented medicine as symbolic of Christian benevolence.
For years, I have been skeptical of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) due to its underlying spiritual Tao belief. Yet there are enough testimonies that TCM is effective in treatment. A notable example is the treatment of eczema. There is presently no cure at the moment but only relief management of this ailment at the hospital. But there are so many documented testimonies of people being cured of it going through TCM treatment. The TCM practice in using herbs and physical therapy like acupuncture might have certain scientific basis that might had been lost in centuries past. Perhaps during the reign of Shi Huang Ti, the first emperor of China, such medical knowledge were lost when he ordered the burning of all books.
Properly understood, the secular aspect of TCM is not incompatible with our Christian faith just like Hippocratic medicine. Since I believe all healing is divine healing so TCM can be part of God’s healing too. (In my gospel tract written for the Chinese, I mentioned that Dao De Jing, the Taoist Scripture, contained much amazing knowledge of our Christian faith. http://www.jcmanifesto.org/gospel-tract-for-the-chinese-final-print-in-english-version/)
Presently there is much official opposition to missionary effort in China but at the same time, enterprises are encouraged to help the poor masses to cope with rising cost of living. I believe TCM can be such a bridge to bringing much needed help and subsequently the gospel to the poor masses in China.
All praise and thanks to God for the invitation by Mrs Dolores C Rivera, Chairperson of the Philippines Council of Intercessors International Movement (PCIIM) and Pastor Danilo, Chairman of the Council of Churches Movement to share a message of preparation in the end times with both groups.
Glad to witness first hand how the rich in General Santos is serving fervently to fulfill the Great Commission with the wealth that God has blessed them. The serving ministers in PCIIM are given monthly allowance for life among other good deeds to help the poor and needy as well. PCIIM is praying to grow her membership from the current 25000 to 1 million to pray for Philippines and the rest of the world. You can imagine the size of the allowance budget.
Despite having only 9% of the 600,000 population being Muslim in General Santos, I observed there is hardly any smoking or liquor sold. Though the city is under martial law, it feels safe. The people are very friendly.
I believe as long as the rich in the city are taking good care of the poor and needy, the city will be blessed. All praise and glory to our Lord Jesus !
(Update : A 7.0 magnitude earthquake happened at 11.39am on 29 Dec 2018 just 121 km away from General Santos City. Thank God for His mercy as there is no reported casualty. I prayed that our Lord’s warning about the beginning of birth pains, the subsequent hard times, the necessary preparation and expectation of His return will be taken seriously.)
Our training farm in Cambodia is up and running complementing similar program in Indonesia and Philippines. By the grace of God, the self sustaining agricultural enterprise ministry is finally taking shape.
God willing, the model farms in Cambodia and Philippines will be refurbished to have better training facilities.
Prison Fellowship Cambodia has rolled out a pilot scheme to help out poor families to have such self sustaining enterprise too, though the original idea is to help the volunteer pastors and unaffiliated pastors as well. If successful, it will be rolled out in earnest in collaboration with a micro finance company whose owners are Christian and are interested to see charity as part of their corporate social responsibility.
All glory and honor to our Lord Jesus.
I am honored to be invited by Prison Fellowship Cambodia to share a timely message about the impending difficult economic times and the need for preparation in this conference in which 68 pastors and 17 ministry workers from 15 provinces attended. All thanks and glory to our Lord Jesus.
(Before the plane touched down into Phnom Penh airport, I could see from the skies that the surrounding provinces were severely flooded. Prior to this trip, I visited another farm in Olongapo, Philippines from 26 to 30 July 2018. It had rained continuously for 6 weeks and Olongapo was flooded before I arrived. By the grace of God, the rain stopped and there was sunshine for the few days I was there before the rain returned again after I left. Thanks be to God for His journey mercy allowing me to accomplish His given missions with hardly any disruption.)
Part of my exhortation for physical preparation to the pastors is to have self sustaining agricultural enterprise.
Matt 24: 45-46
45 “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 46 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward.
Since the completion of the initial pilot programs of training some pastors to have self sustaining agricultural enterprise conducted by Alfa Omega Ministry, JC’s Manifesto is pleased to continue this program to train another 4 Myanmese pastors this month.
The training costs of Pastor Awm Ha Awm, Pastor Om, Pastor Tam and Pastor Aung were kindly sponsored by their host, Brother Arnold and his fellowship group.
They will be trained in organic chicken rearing and making of fertilizer from chicken waste in particular.
All thanks and honor to our Lord Jesus. May our good Lord bless their hands when they return back to Myanmar after the training.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh…Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. “ – Luke 6:21,25.
I gave thanks to our Lord for pouring His love into the hearts of ministry workers around the world who work tirelessly to bring the gospel to the poor, especially the children, through such feeding and bible study programs. I thanked the Lord for a brief time of fellowship with the ministers of such a wonderful ministry in 2016 – Give-A-Child-A-Future Philippines Inc in Aug 2016 in my first trip to Bacolod, Philippines.
In the midst of feasting during the Chinese New Year (CNY) this year, it dawned on me that a lavish CNY dinner at any restaurant here might cost as much as several months’ budget of a feeding program of a small ministry in the poor countries. There and then, I was prompted by the Spirit of God to bless this feeding program ministry in Bacolod. Later, the ministry worker of this ministry informed me that she had run out of funds for 2 weeks and she was praying for God’s provision that morning. Thanks be to our Lord that JC’s Manifesto was the vessel used to answer this particular prayer. I shared this incident solely for the purpose of testifying about God’s goodness and timely provision whenever we ask our Heavenly Father for our daily needs.
Praying that JC’s Manifesto may be a vessel in this area in the longer term to share the gospel in word and in deeds in such a ministry, God willing.
Many pastors in the Third World countries, volunteering with Prison Fellowship International in rolling out the various programs, are poor. They supplement their income with farming. By the grace of God and His provision, JC’s Manifesto is able to fully subsidize the training cost of the self sustaining agricultural enterprise program in support of the work of Prison Fellowship International in Asia. God willing, we will also acquire a piece of land here to duplicate the same success in Alfa Omega Ministries.
After having trained two pastors from Myanmar and one from Philippines in a pilot program in early 2017, JC’s Manifesto is glad to kick off this year by sponsoring another 2 pastors from Cambodia to be trained in this program held at Alfa Omega Ministry, Indonesia.
The training will start after the pastoral conference of the Body of Christ Fellowship currently being held in Batam from 24 to 26 January 2018. Some 300 pastors came from Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines, Cambodia, South Korea and Europe to join fellow pastors from Indonesia in this yearly fellowship conference.
One of my given missions is to share the gospel both in word and in deeds in galvanizing churches in the region to meet the basic needs of the community and gain a hearing of the gospel as a result. Over the years of feasibility study by the grace of God, JC’s Manifesto has narrowed down to 3 evangelistic outreach projects as the most effective approaches – the farming aids, technology to rear poultry, the bio-sand water filter and the solar lamps.
JC’s Manifesto had participated in relief effort by supplying solar lamps to the typhoon victims in Tacloban, Philippines before. We have also given these lamps to some Nepalese pastors in enabling them to gain a hearing of the gospel in the border towns with India.
In late 2016, Bishop Martin of the National Chaplains of Philippines had gone to share the gospel in the mountainous regions in northern Luzon enabling the people there to have bible study in the evening using the solar lamp as there is no electrical grid in these regions.
So far, the missions to use the solar lamp as a bridge to evangelism have been relatively successful.
Praise the Lord !
When God graciously opened the door for me for the first time in 2011 to start the mission of galvanizing churches to prepare for the end times, I was invited to share a message in a nationwide pastoral conference held in Medan, Indonesia.
I was pleasantly surprised over the religious freedom there. Vans were allowed to ply the streets with loudspeakers blaring about the event and the local main newspaper even reported on the event. The whole event was broadcast on radio reaching out to millions of listeners in all corners of North Sumatra.
Utmost thanks and glory to God our Father and Jesus our Lord for the tremendous blessing of the availability of media like newspaper and radio in enabling the gospel to be shared so freely there.
Following is the translation of that newspaper report (translated by Google) :
“Thousands of pastors and congregations and various denominations of Church and Service Institution attend Seminars & Fellowship at once the PA & KKR services of the Body Building Team of Christ at the Pearl Building of Suara Nafiri Convention Hall.
Seminar & Fellowship sekligus worship that has been going on since Monday and ends today, Wednesday and open to the public from all walks of life. Church leaders, pastors and even church activists and Christian youth organizations come from various regions, such as from Batam, Pekan Baru, Jakarta, Surabaya including North Sumatra and even abroad Brazil, Singapore and Korea.
The keynote speaker at the seminar was Rev. DR Jhonston Silitonga (Batam) and testimony of the word from Ev Jhonny Pardede (Medan) and Pastor Antonio from Singapore. This Seminar & Fellowship is “The Hope Is Not Disappointing Because God’s Love Has Been Shed Inside Our Hearts By The Holy Spirit Who Has Granted Us (Rom. 5: 5).
The seminar and fellowship activities as well as the worship of PA & KKR itself are self-funded by all churches who are members of the Community Guild of Christ surrounding Medan in cooperation with the Radio Narwastu 97.9 FW Voice of truth that all activities are broadcasted directly to the listeners so that the congregation can be heard almost in all corners of North Sumatra.
The participants were very enthusiastic about following this activity, even the servants of God feel grateful to attend seminar & fellowship with the presence of Rev. DR Jhonston, Ev Jhonny Pardede and Pastor Antonio.”
I got to know the late Pastor Ng Tong San about a decade ago. He shared that he was called to share the gospel to the migrant Chinese working here. He would assist interested local churches to start weekend worship services for these migrant Chinese workers and in 2010, I was invited to serve and was roster-ed as worship leader and preacher in one or two such weekend worship services.
In 2011, he asked me to join him to minister to many elderly folk staying in a certain neighbourhood in Shenyang, China. Some of the elderly folk were the parents of migrant workers here. Commuting to the local church was difficult for these folk due to several reasons so he sponsored the rental of a shop unit for regular worship and fellowship.
His love for the Lord was evidenced by his zealous obedience in saving souls. Despite having not much in material possession and in less-than-desirable health, he was so generous in giving both time and resources for the Kingdom sake.
He had finished his race well at 63. I am sure our Lord would welcome him and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
A life well lived for the Lord without any regret. A glowing encouragement to me to do likewise to the very end.
Pastor Ng was seated next to me, the third counting from the right.