We are in a new season of leaning in and listening to the Lord. It is no doubt that this “middle-age” time of our lives is right where God wants us. It is in His timing that He has orchestrated this beautiful team of two imperfect people to begin something new. We desire to serve Him by using our gifts and with our most valiant efforts. I am speaking of me and my husband, Mike, who up until a couple years ago did not have the idea of international missions even remotely on his radar. Little did he know that God was gonna start doing a transformative work on his heart and show him a whole new world that was soon to be calling out to him; not quietly, but with a mighty and exuberant ROAR!!!
It has been a year and a half since we were serving together at YWAM Saint Marc, Haiti and Mike experienced a real sweet taste of missionary life and loved it! He saw first hand how his God-given gifts and talents could tangibly be used to help draw others to Christ’s love and redemption.
A few months after returning home from Haiti, a young YWAM missionary named Austin, who is from our hometown and now serving in Manila, Philippines, reached out to Mike about the possibility of travelling and serving there. Again, he would have the opportunity to use his basketball coaching skills, and love on kids. When Mike first received the invitation he was not totally convinced it was something God was calling him to, but he did begin to pray about it, and ask the Lord for direction.
In the Spring of 2019, God began speaking to Mike in a very recognizable way. It was always this question that he would hear, “What are you doing? What are you doing? What are YOU doing?” Mike was really convicted and realized that God was indeed calling him to take notice of his life and what he was doing, or maybe not doing. A couple months after this obvious challenge God was proposing, Mike had the chance to meet face to face with Austin, the missionary, when he came home for a quick visit. They met for coffee and all seemed like a no brainer. Mike, however, still felt like pressing in and asking for the Lord’s guidance on his decision.
About mid-summer, Mike and I had a conversation before bed one night about him travelling to Manila. That night we went to bed praying for an obvious nudge from God, the green light, and thumbs up. The next morning I woke up to hearing Mike say, “NO WAY!!!” and in total shock…As he reached to check his phone that morning the first notification was a deal from Expedia…something like $600 round trip to Manila. WOW, GOD!!! You have such a way of making things so obvious that it is hard to be disobedient. Especially when the answer is staring you that fiercely in the face!
Mike booked his trip shortly after that and a month later he found himself right in the centre of Manila staring at the rooftops of these shanties…
A jam packed itinerary was sent to Mike before setting out for Manila. There were a variety of coaching opportunities for him. Everything from pro teams, to high school and university teams, to smaller, ministry outreach organizations. He had engagements scheduled with prominent people in the Philippines, as well as, an afternoon to coach and speak at a Muslim school where there was a large ISIS presence. Some of this made him nervous but he pursued the call with open hands and an open heart, excited to see what God had in store.
I am going to quote some of Austin’s recap of Mike’s trip here:
“Mike touched down in Manila on August 31st and we got rolling pretty quickly. A very kind hearted friend, Garry, had set up a very jam packed schedule. In the two weeks Mike was here we were able to open more doors with basketball in this country then I could have ever imagined. It included a wide range of groups so I’ll list them here:
City University of Pasay
- Coached the boys team for 2 practices preparing them for their first tournament
- Opened the door to run a leadership missions conference with 4800 students at the university
Technical Institute of the Philippines:
University team as well a PBA D-League team
- Coached the practice
- Opened relationship with AIA and basketball church ministry opportunities throughout the whole country
- Met and built relationships with some Filipino basketball legends
- Coached multiple practices
- Ran an open gym mini tournament
- Got to share and pray with all the boys there
- Connected with one of the largest basketball ministries in the Philippines
- Connected with tribes all over the Philippines
- Recruited one potential DTS Basketball track student
AIA Ball Club Batangas:
- Ran a training for about 30 boys and 5 girls
- Connected with AIA in the province region
- Able to encourage the pastor/coach and wife
- Opened relationship for continued partnership
- Opens doors for future tribe and compassion ministry
Mt. Moriah Christian Academy:
- Ran practice for 30 boys
- Able to bless the team and school that is a huge partner with YWAM PH
- Able to meet Manny
- Watch his team scrimmage before they head off to Dubai to play in a Filipino community
Maharlika Village Highschool:
- Able to get into one of the largest Muslim population schools in the Philippines
- School is in the second largest Muslim population village in the Philippines ( ISIS in there )
- Ran basketball training for 40 kids, including girls
- Opened the relationship in the school for future work
Mike was very excited to get to see this 500 year old Cathedral! He sent many beautiful pics as you can see here… -Leigh
This is one of my favourite photos of his ^^^^
YWAM PH Impact:
- Left a huge Impact on our base
- Left me with so much wisdom and ideas with using basketball in this Country
- So many connections it’s unbelievable
- Left our base leader with tons of wisdom and ideas that a lot with be put into action
- Started a partnership that in God’s will is going to be something huge
Mike Lee left one huge impact on me, this country, and our base. This is just the beginning of something big in God’s plan.” -Austin
Some of the more unique sights of his trip included these ^^^^
Needlesstosay, the trip was a beautiful display of obedience and God’s plan being revealed to many. We ask for your prayers: for the future of YWAM PH and whatever our part in that may look like.
Mike shared with our church on Sunday and he confirmed his biggest take away from this trip was acting on God’s call, and having faith in His provision in seeing it through.
“If God is calling you to something, have faith in Him and go.” -Mike Lee
Proud of you Mike Lee!!!!