Posted by: In: Typhoon Haiyan 30 Nov 2013 0 comments Tags: , , , ,

When Typhoon Haiyan (aka – Yolanda) comes to mind or in conversation, it is always with a feeling of heartache especially in light of the extensive damage and suffering caused by a storm of such magnitude.

Suffering in general is something we want to avoid and when the time comes that it knocks on our door, we find it challenging to endure. Despair, fear and hopelessness can consume even the strongest of people. Yet somehow in the midst of these trials, there is a unique opportunity to encounter the realness of God unlike any other way.Facing these hardships brings to the surface our frailty and need, something not always recognized when life is going smooth.

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Posted by: In: Typhoon Haiyan 16 Nov 2013 0 comments Tags: , , , ,

From Elaine:

We are so very thankful for God’s hand of protection over Siargao Island. In spite of the fact that all weather maps and satellite showed them taking a strong hit, there has been no loss of life that we are aware of. Winds topped 150 km and the ocean surge was approximately 50 meters from high tide. Many throughout the Philippines are facing horrendous loss of life and property. You have shown your heart for our family and the ministry that God has entrusted them with.

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From Elaine

We are so grateful for your phone calls and emails. As parents we felt helpless as we watched the “worst storm of the year” unfold. Other storms had bypassed Hope for the Island, but this would be different. Less than 24 hours before the typhoon hit Derek was still trying to decide if he should evacuate or ride out the storm. We prayed for wisdom for our son.

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Posted by: In: Malnourished Children 23 Oct 2013 0 comments

Love requires action.

Early in 2013 Hope for the Island started feeding severely malnourished children a healthy meal per day.  We anticipated success and the results have been incredible.  We have always fed children healthy meals on our weekly outreaches because many kids are under nourished.  However, for the severely malnourished we needed to step it up and fast.

With no intervention, many of these children die each year.  The need for this outreach became clear during the follow up visits with the pregnant women who are part of our Prenatal Care program.  When visiting these villages, we started hearing stories of kids who are neglected and eventually die.  As we sought out more information, we were led to homes where we encountered these precious children in such horrific conditions.

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Posted by: In: Learning Centre, Photo 28 Sep 2013 0 comments Tags: ,

From Jing:

As head teacher, I am very much grateful to God. He has always been our strength and our teacher and knows what is best for this ministry. He is always at work and we want to be sensitive in our response so as to see fruit and growth.

God reveals Himself in simple ways to children and they have grown to understand Him as a good Father that loves them. Parents testify how happy they are with our school. Students learn academics but also about Jesus, the name above all names.  Students are applying what they have learned at school in their homes. They are taking the lead giving thanks before even a simple meal at their house. They remind their parents what God’s Word says during trials. Their parents are proud of them and God is using them mightily! Some students live in an environment that is not Christ centred. One or both parents may not be Christians or may be new in their faith. Parents testify that when their children hear someone cursing or they witness their father drunk, their response now is to pray and repeat what they have learned from their teacher and God’s Word.

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Posted by: In: Staff 26 Sep 2013 0 comments

It is hard to know where to start and how to put words to the mix of emotions I have for God’s faithful hand of guidance and provision. Serving Him is amazing! It is really an honour to have been with Hope for the Island for 10 years and 3 months. The ways I have encountered God in this ministry I will treasure in my heart forever.

Back 10 years ago, before the day I graduated from Bible School, I prayed that God would send and use me in a simple and peaceful place. God answered that prayer when Derek and Jenn invited me to help pioneer Hope for the Island.  The beginning days were filled with struggle. The ministry was birthed by faith. Each day we trusted God to meet our needs and lead us. Although it was a beautiful place it was also dark spiritually. The area God provided for Hope for the Island was known as a place of bad spirits and many people were afraid.

Many of the stories people shared discouraged me and caused me to consider leaving and not turn back. By God’s grace and strength, we persevered and it became my training ground. It was training for ministry and for all areas of my life.

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Posted by: In: JoyJoy, Mercy Ministry 26 Sep 2013 0 comments Tags:

We apologize for the quality of these pictures sent from the hospital. The family is still in Cagayan de Oro where they travelled to seek medical care and a diagnosis. Our desire is to help you get a visual, as poor as it may be, of this precious young lady as she faces the fight of her life.

After speaking by telephone to JoyJoy’s mother and the doctor, we have some new information.  The MRI shows that the tumor is approximately 6cm on the right side of her brain.  To complicate matters, she has hydrocephalus, which is a build up of fluid deep within the brain. This is the cause of her blindness and impairs her ability to walk and function. Read more…

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 08 Sep 2013 0 comments

The day we arrived home we quickly made our way to visit JoyJoy. She was so excited when she heard our motorcycle pull up. She was loudly calling for Makana and Brison to come quickly.

We were all amazed how joy radiated from her face despite the fact that she is now blind and unable to walk.  She praised God that she has no pain even though doctors told her the pain would increase as the tumor grows.   It was incredible to witness the presence of God in JoyJoy as she expressed the increase of love and faith she has in God. Each day she worships, prays and listens to the Word of God.

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Posted by: In: Photo, Testimonies 07 Sep 2013 0 comments

I have been passionate about Hope for the Island since my first visit in 2003. After marrying my husband, Shawn, in 2008 I talked about it enough to convince him to take a look for himself. In 2009 the two of us traveled to the Philippines for 3 weeks. Shawn is passionate about surfing and was delighted to surf with the local guys and even with Derek. I believe he was in the water so often that his neck needed some serious chiropractic work when we got home! His passion for Hope for the Island was ignited and we were now stronger together.

When we returned home we had a group of friends and family over to talk about our trip and some needs of the ministry there. A generous friend was able to buy a new truck for Hope for the Island and others have become very committed to helping us ship boxes of supplies. My husband was never very excited about shipping food, school supplies or other necessities. His heart was still with the surfers and he wanted to find a way to pour into them.

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Posted by: In: Photo, Van Family 30 Aug 2013 0 comments

Our journey back to our home and ministry has not gone as planned. We arrived in Manila for what was to be a short stop over on our way to Siargao Island. We were met with heavy monsoon rains that hit Manila. The rain and wind did not let up and soon Manila was flooded. We are thankful we made it to our hotel before the flood waters rose.

Jenn and I remembered that many years before when we were newlyweds and had no children, we were also stranded in similar conditions. We had to wade through chest high disease filled waters to find safe ground and a route to transportation. We were fortunate to make it out safely, while many died from being sucked down open sewers.

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