EVERETT — Thirteen members of Northshore Christian Church will travel 6,660 miles next month to meet with representatives of 37 churches in the Philippines.
More than 100 members of Filipino churches will participate in two-day workshops in relational discipleship — a concept that the church says equips God’s people to do his work.
“It’s about developing relationships not only with God, but others,” said Fernando Feliciano, a church elder who is helping lead the trip.
A second more intensive workshop also is scheduled to train 48 leaders from four churches.
Feliciano said he has studied examples of kindness and patience that underlie relational discipleship. He said he tries to apply it daily in his work as Lynnwood’s postmaster.
“Especially during the hectic time of year, trying to show the love of Jesus toward others,” he said.
The idea for the trip began at a conference in California this past summer of American-Filipino churches. Some members of the church made a presentation on relational discipleship. Some church members from the Philippines wanted to know more.
“One of the big things was we didn’t have the funding to go there,” Feliciano said.
Funding was provided by a former Seattle police officer whose faith led her, before she died, to provide a $5,000 endowment for the 10-day trip, covering the expenses for up to five people.
Church members made additional contributions to cover the expenses of all 13 group members.
Participants in the trips form an unusually deep spiritual bond, said Nancy Brewer, who is making the trip to the Philippines and is the church’s missions and outreach director.
“You live like family,” she said, working together and “getting to see what God is doing in a different country.”
There can be challenges to your faith when you’re in a culture that’s not your own, she said.
“We’re not going there with ‘We have the answers for you,’ ” she said. Rather the goal “is to share how the love of Jesus Christ might be helpful in your situation.”
One of the core values of relational discipleship is responding and helping each other in daily life, Brewer said.
Everyone has issues, she said. “The great deception is to say we all have our life together. We don’t. That’s why we need Jesus and each other.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org.