HLG students serve in the Philippines
By Brandy Campbell
HLG Public Relations
June 28, 2005
Hannibal—The 7,000 islands that make up the Philippines are often called the forgotten islands of Southeast Asia. With its history of violence, corruption, and destruction, it has not been a tourist destination for many years. But a group from Hannibal-LaGrange College overlooked the devastation and saw only hope as they ministered to villages throughout the region on a summer mission trip in conjunction with Christian Life Foundation.
This trip was HLG’s first to the Philippines, and was led by Bill Horstmeyer, director of planned giving at Hannibal-LaGrange. Horstmeyer has been on several trips to the Philippines in the past.
One of the first things many team members said they learned was the privilege of living in the United States.
“I really learned how privileged I am as an American,” said Keith VanBebber, from Polo. “The simple fact that we have running water here and electricity 24 hours a day is such a blessing. I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to go on this trip. He showed me more than I could ever imagine and in the process He drew me closer to Him.”
The group’s main objectives were to conduct medical clinics and children’s programs during the day and show evangelistic films in the evenings. Members also led music, drama, and preached in villages.
The medical clinics consisted of a small group of pharmacists, nurses, dentists and one doctor. The HLG team helped pass out medication and assisted the medical staff.
“This was an excellent ministry,” said Ashley Vink, a biology major from Belmond, Iowa. “Hundreds of people came to the clinics each day because the hospitals are few and far between in the villages we visited.”
Jana Corkern, a senior music education major from Hannibal, led music for the children’s program.
“First of all, I have never seen such beautiful children!” Jana said. “But the best part was hearing them sing. It gave me goosebumps as they sang as loud as they could, making a joyful noise to the Lord. Those children showed me how I should be singing God’s praises…excited, loud, and with so much joy!”
Corkern said she also learned about how universal God is while she was serving in the Philippines.
“I think I sometimes forget that God can be with me in little old Hannibal as I play the piano and sing, and He can also be with my new friend, Dwight, on the island of Palawan, as he also makes music to the Lord. And I can be praying in English and my Filipino friends can be praying in Tagalog and God understands it all.”
The Philippines team reported that more than 3,000 people accepted Christ on the trip. They were able to see two people baptized in the sea surrounding the islands, and countless others were exposed to Christianity through their service.
Alyssa Rose, a Nursing major from Carthage, Ill., expressed her gratitude for this life-changing trip.
“I feel very blessed that I go to a school with such an emphasis on missions that is willing to take students halfway around the world to share Christ with others. I love that mission trips always bring you that much closer to God and help you to grow spiritually as you learn to rely on God more fully.”
Over 75 student missionaries were commissioned at this year’s Commissioning Service at HLG, a record number for summer missions. New destinations for this summer include Ireland with Judson Memorial Baptist and Belgium with Sports Quest. Twenty-five students will be traveling to Switzerland this summer, and six students will team up with Awe Star Missions to travel to Peru and Thailand. In addition, HLG students will team with local churches, Sports Crusaders, World Changers, and the International Mission Board as they continue to fulfill the command of Acts 1:8.