Frazier to take Gospel overseas

Seven from church on religious trip to Philippines

They will teach, pray, sing

January 03, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier is forsaking county government and politics for a few weeks this month to take the message of Christianity to a Third World country.

She will lead prayer rallies and hymn singing as she helps a team of missionaries spread the Gospel in the Philippines.

Frazier and her husband, Donald, members of the Church of the Open Door in Westminster, will travel with two of their pastors and three other members of the congregation to Manila today. David Wood Ministries, a Georgia-based organization, is sponsoring the trip.

"I have been a prayer warrior for others on these trips before, but now I have a chance to go along," she said. "When I met two Filipino pastors here last summer, their enthusiasm and excitement for their work was so great, it rubbed off on me."

She expects to reconnect with those same pastors and meet many others who are arriving from all over Asia for missionary training in Manila, capital of the island nation of about 65 million people.

"We will be sharing the Gospel and giving these pastors the skills and tools they need for church planting and growing," Frazier said. "I want to share the Gospel and to teach others how to do that."

The trip will include prayer rallies at schools and other public forums, and possibly at prisons - Frazier participates in similar ministry at the Carroll County Detention Center. The two-week trip will culminate in a Billy Graham-type crusade at Manila's 60,000-seat stadium.

The Rev. David Wood, founder of the sponsoring ministry, has made the trip to the Philippines several times since 1991 and has helped train about 2,000 missionaries from 19 countries.

"The Philippines sent out more missionaries to the world last year than America," Wood said. "Their sacrifices and zeal put us to shame."

David Wood Ministries "equips them for evangelizing, outreach and church planning," he said. The organization maintains a presence in the country and supports its pastors there.

"Our goal in the next 10 years is to train 100,000 field missionaries," said Wood. "There is no better place politically or geographically to accomplish this. The Philippines truly are the gateway to the Pacific."

Frazier has no firmly set itinerary. Her plan is "to go wherever they send us and do whatever they need us to do. I am open to any opportunity they toss my way." Because many Filipinos speak English, she does not expect to encounter a language barrier, she said.

Her husband made the trip two years ago and the Rev. Larry Staner, one of her pastors, is visiting the country for the third time. They said they found the Filipino people to be outgoing, fond of Americans and interested in learning about the Christian faith. The predominant religion in the country is traditionally Roman Catholic.

"We are trying to reach the unchurched and the unsaved," said Staner. "This country is very open to the Gospel. Ministering there is easy."

Staner will be training Filipino pastors, hoping to "reinspire them and help them reach their communities more effectively," he said.

The Fraziers can help in the effort by providing "testimony of what the Lord has done in their lives," Staner said.

Robin Frazier is taking her experience in Open Door's choir and her favorite Christian music, in case she is called on to sing.

"I won't be preaching, but I will be teaching and singing," she said. "Singing solo is a little scary, but when the Lord gives you a little talent, you ought to use it."

She also would like to use her experiences in Open Door's prison ministry with Filipino prisoners, although she is certain those encounters would be difficult.

"I will enjoy this work very much, even though there may be times where I am uncomfortable," she said. "I will just lean on the Lord and pray for strength and wisdom."

The Fraziers raised their travel expenses - about $2,400 each - through a letter campaign to family, friends and their congregation.

"We got a lot of financial and prayer support," she said. "The prayers are the reason why I am not afraid to make this trip."

Frazier has taped her remarks for the annual state-of-the-county address at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Jan. 17. She did not divulge the content of her message, but said she is strongly considering running for a second term as commissioner this year.

"I enjoy serving the citizens of Carroll County in whatever capacity I can," she said. "I am really leaning toward running again."

The commissioner plans to be back at her desk in the County Office Building on Jan. 22.

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