September 30, 2011
Blossom Phillips has been serving as a missionary in TWR for the past 27 years. She tells of her journey in TWR, her passion and how the Lord directed her to move from a Caribbean island, to serve Him on this tropical one.
Tell us a bit about yourself, and your journey with TWR.
I am originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I graduated from Toronto Teacher’s College, and hold a Masters’ degree in Holistic Child Development from the Holistic Child Development Institute (in association with Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary). In my leisure, I enjoy teaching a ladies’ Bible Study group, counseling women in need, swimming and reading.
My husband, McDaniel, was a radio and television broadcaster in Canada. One day, he felt the call to use his gifts and talents in international broadcasting with TWR. This was how we began our journey of serving at TWR since 1984. We served, with our two daughters, Sara and Rachel, on the island of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles for 12 years, and in Cary, North Carolina for 7 years.
McDaniel’s role in TWR included broadcasting, program development and church engagement. My role was to oversee the supplemental English program for the missionary children. I also acted as the liaison between the Dutch school system and the missionaries and their children on Bonaire.
After our daughters finished their university studies, we were reassigned to TWR-Asia and have been based in Singapore since 2003.
What do you do in TWR-Asia?
Since arriving in Asia in 2003, I have served as the children’s ministry consultant. My role involved training children’s ministry workers in the developmental stages of children so that they are able to produce better age appropriate programs. I also work closely with the TWR ministry leaders in the region to facilitate partnership opportunities with other organizations. Currently we have a strong partnership with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.
I am currently developing a character development program for “pre-believing children” based on the life of Jesus. Additionally, I am working on the “Call-a-Story” project. This program gives children the opportunity to hear selected short-form Bible Stories through various media platforms (e.g. radio, the Internet, mobile mp3 players, etc.) so they can learn about some of the key characters in the Bible. The program also provides a feedback component so the children can contact local Christian volunteers who can respond to queries or questions.
How has your ministry grown since it first begun?
When I first came to TWR-Asia in 2003, I was tasked to work closely with the ministry leaders to develop the children’s ministry in the Southeast Asia region. At that time, there were only fledgling children’s ministries in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Philippines. Today, the TWR centers in those three countries have grown their respective children’s ministry tremendously and new children’s ministry initiatives have begun in Nepal and Vietnam as well.
How has your service in TWR impacted you or made a difference in your life? Are there any precious lessons you gained during your time in the ministry?
I have always loved children. I believe God has given me a gift to teach children and I love it. God has also developed a passion in me to teach adults. I experience joy when the adults whom I have taught are willing to impart their knowledge to their children in their villages.
One of the most valuable lessons I learnt, is to cherish the people you work and serve with. God has placed them in your life for a purpose. In all you say and do, remember to ‘carry each other’s burdens, and in this you will fulfill the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:2)
Can you remember one particular incident, when you experienced God’s blessings?
It was my first visit to Nepal to train a group of 50 young Sunday school teachers and children’s workers. They came from 13 different churches in Butwal, a city in central Nepal. One pastor stood and testified that he had been praying to the Lord for 27 years that TWR would send someone to train their teachers. His prayers were answered that day! It deeply touched my heart to know we were part of God’s plan long before we got there.
Any words of encouragement for readers or the rest of the staff before we end the interview?
In serving with TWR Asia, I have the opportunity to work with a unique, funny and fascinating group of co-workers who have faithfully cared and prayed for each other locally and globally.
This relationship reminds me of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, ‘Two are better than one- If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.’