Posted by: In: Van Family 17 Dec 2017 0 comments

Our God is good! We have witnessed and testify to God’s faithfulness over this ministry in 2017.  We pray you have a peaceful and joyous Christmas full of reminders of our Savior and His goodness.

Year End Donations that you would like included on your 2017 tax receipt

Online: Completed before midnight on December 31/2017

Mail: Postmarked no later than December 31/2017

TAX RECEIPT REMINDERS 

  1. You won’t get a tax receipt if we do not have your new email or address. Send us a quick hello to make sure.
  2. Include us in your contacts or receipts may end up in spam.
  3. Updated phone # help us when we need to reach you as well.

Donate for 2017 Tax Receipt

Hope for the Island Address

2310-1873 Country Club Drive

Kelowna, B.C.

V1V 2W6

Our Canadian office in Kelowna is up and running. It has been an easy move.  The only change that will affect you is our mailing address.  Email and phone numbers remain the same. That means no long distance for you to call me and chat!

If you have already sent us mail we have mail forwarding until the end of January so no worries.

A family update will be sent early in the New Year.  Needless to say Mama bear Elaine is very happy to have her sons and their family close by.

Posted by: In: Seniors 17 Dec 2017 0 comments

Please pray for Nanay (mother) Etan, who is one of the many widows we have the privilege of serving. She cut off her thumb opening a coconut with a machete! She came to us asking for help because she has no money to buy the medicine to fight off infection.  Pray for quick healing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Seniors 17 Dec 2017 0 comments

We love spending time with the elderly widows. We always receive a warm welcome when we visit.

They feel forgotten and hopeless, often neglected and left to tend for themselves. We remind them that God loves them and so do we. Time is spent praying for them, listening to their struggles and concerns and reading aloud God’s Word. Many can’t read because they are uneducated or have failing eyesight.

Lola (Grandmother) Alber came to our Bible study this week!  She is a widow that is known as a local faith healer. One of the other widows asked her why she was attending because she looks to other spirits not God. She replied, “Its ok, I want to listen to the Bible because I know it is a message from God.”

She stayed till the end and joined in during prayer. This is a big answer to prayer. She is responsive and wants to be part of the widows group, even requesting we visit her!

Please pray she will confess and turn to God rather than to other spirits so that God can bless her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Seniors 17 Dec 2017 0 comments

Our much-anticipated annual Hope for the Island widows Christmas party was a huge success. They all loaded into our truck to come for a party! Everyone looks forward to this gathering because they feel loved and special.  They put on their best clothes and let loose with singing and dancing!

It is a time to leave their struggles behind for a little while and have fun.  The widows enjoy time with each other as well as with our staff. We worship and celebrate our Savior Jesus together.

Donated items were used to send them all home with practical gifts.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Seniors 17 Dec 2017 0 comments

Pray for our dear widows in the midst of rainy monsoon season. They need God’s protection and covering.

It is the time of the year when they really suffer and some die because of sickness and hunger. They  have no choice but to venture out in strong winds and rain to try and find food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Staff 13 Oct 2017 0 comments

Hope for the Island staff has been going through intensive community health education (CHE) training over the last few months.  This training came at the perfect time as we sought the Lord and prayed how we can be more effective at overcoming the many obstacles that come from serving in an impoverished island.  The in depth training has taken us through many areas that stretch us, yet we are gaining confidence as we learn more and apply the proven holistic CHE principles in our community.

We thank God for the opportunity to be better equipped to serve the communities God has entrusted us with.  When Jesus sent out His disciples He did so with clear instruction to give attention to and minister to the day-to-day needs and struggles people encountered.  Jesus took a holistic approach to ministry and calls us to the same.  Through this training we are learning valuable techniques and strategies for community transformation. We are in the process of integrating the initial CHE principles in the community of Bayud Sitio that is near to Hope for the Island.

God has burdened our heart to first apply the CHE program in this area that has long held the name MIA.  This name was given due to the number of people previously involved in witchcraft.  Many people still refer to this place as MIA (Manila International Airport)  This is a name that comes with insult and shame.  The name was given and long held because of the demonic ayok and wak wak spirits that supposedly landed and reside there.

The true and accepted name of the area in past generations was “Bayud Sitio”.  The name came from a bird that frequents the area.  We prayed over the area before going in and declared God’s blessing and redemption over what the enemy has stolen for so many years.  We are believing God for restoration of His blessing and purposes over the people who reside in Bayud Sitio!!

The CHE program takes a unique approach that moves away from the standard short-term missions approach that often nurtures dependence. A spirit of inferiority is fostered especially when handouts are the norm.  Hope for the Island will continue to act as facilitators helping the people recognize the critical needs they see affecting their community and come alongside them as they consider solutions that they can work towards. We come in a support role and facilitate the steps at the peoples’ pace, rather than being the one who comes in with our preplanned and pushed agendas.  The plans we adapt often fall short of being adopted by the people thus lacking long-term sustainable fruit.

The steps we are taking with CHE will bring us closer to two aspects of the vision we have at Hope for the Island…

  • We dream of authentic community of people living and loving as servants within their culture, intentionally engaging their peers, families and communities.
  • We dream of upcoming generations equipped to rise above adversity and empowered to walk out the purposes they were created for.

We made the customary courtesy call meeting with local officials sharing the purpose of CHE and our focus in Bayud Sitio.

Second day community actiity in Bayud “road to development” was where the people identify the critical needs faced and the resources readily available in their area.   These activities help them come together as a team.  The activities are aimed to awaken their minds and hearts to the realities faced in the community.  It helps them take ownership of need and some steps towards reaching their goals. In this activity a line is created in front of them to represent the road to development and what problems they identify along the way that is preventing them from development.  Contaminated water, lack of work and disease are the 3 areas they identify as top problems with water concerns being number 1.

On the fourth day they create a detailed sketch map of the whole community.  This vicinity map helps them map out the place they call home and to give a visual creating a sense where they all fit into being part of the community and solution.  This was fun because many struggle to draw and it connected everyone through laughter.

 

 

The fifth day was a calendar activity. This activity purposes to involve everyone in determining the seasons and the challenges / possibilities that come with each. Again this is an interactive time that brings greater understanding and creates open doors for solutions to the needs expressed. Throughout the course of our time with the community HOPE do a number of activities to help them connect with each other and invoke creative discussions. Biblical truths are interwoven throughout each lesson and activity.

Pray for the community of Bayud Sitio as they continue to take these faith steps towards redemption by God’s grace and lead. We thank God for the joy and opportunity we have to minister and serve alongside God’s people.

Posted by: In: Water 05 Oct 2017 0 comments

From Jerbie:

 

In August, our staff together with the WAVES 4 WATER team went to the Barangay of Rizal.  This is the community north of Hope for the Island where we rebuilt homes after waves wiped out many homes along the coast.

It was almost 40 degrees and very humid. We went to Fernando village with water filters to help meet the long time and escalating problem of contaminated water.

It was my first time there as a new leader at HOPE. As we approached the village and the people recognized we were from Hope for the Island, they were so happy and responsive. One thing that amazed me is how concerned they were to know where our founder of Hope for the Island was. They expressed that they really miss Kuya Derek and want to see him again.

 

The love the people have encountered from HOPE really impacts them. They readily invited us into their homes and gathered to hear why we were there. We took time to talk with and pray for each of them.  The people were overjoyed!

As we walked through the village, we silently prayed that God would allow the filters to bring about a change in the struggles they face. Our prayer was that villagers would open their hearts to the true and lasting hope of living water in Jesus.

Almost all households received a filter and some shared with neighbors. They thanked God for this blessing! The relief and joy in their faces was touching for us to see.

One family shared how they faced so many sickness and low immunity when they drank the local water.  When they had enough money they would buy the 5-gallon purified water but not all could afford to do so.

They shared the challenge they have during dry season, getting water from streams. Winter rainy season brings plenty of water, but it becomes a murky chocolate color and is dangerous to drink.

Dirty clothes and empty containers for water are carried on a long walk to Tak-Tak Falls in the village of Tangbo. A lot of sacrifice and time is required just to carry out the basic necessities of life.

We spent time with the mother of a 15 yr. old girl who is suffering from bone cancer. They were able to get a check up for her in 2015 when politicians were giving money during their campaign. Beyond that original diagnosis, they have no means to get more treatment or medicine. Please pray for her because she is bed ridden now and is in constant pain.  We prayed over her and gave her some pain relievers. It was very sad seeing her in that condition with no avenue for more help.

HOPE will hold regular Bible studies in this area to help those grow in their faith that responded to the Lord. During those visits, we will also monitor the water situation and other needs that may arise. Pray for wisdom as we search out new areas to provide filters that were entrusted to us by W4W.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Van Family 07 Sep 2017 0 comments

Life in Canada has officially started now with our kids off to school. They have been eagerly anticipating this day well before we even told them we were headed for Canada.  It blessed us to see them warmly welcomed and already connect well with the small community at Heritage Christian School in Kelowna.

Our family is overdue for a little routine and calm! The last few months for our family have been a little out of the ordinary insane.  As challenging as the months were leading up to our departure from Philippines, it was incredible to witness God lead and protect us.  Our family was in close proximity to the ongoing war in Marawi and escalating terrorism.  The last few weeks before leaving my kids were starting to feel a little anxious. Arriving in Manila one of them said, “Papa it feels so good to be safe and know there is no chance of being kidnapped.”

In under a month we managed to juggle making two big moves from both Cagayan de Oro city and from the ministry base at Hope for the Island in Siargao. Over the last 2 years we have been back and forth each month residing in both these places. I am amazed at the favour we met in the face of what could have been obstacles too great to overcome. Preparing Hope for the Island and our family for this big of a transition in less than a month and under the circumstances, was nothing short of a miracle.  Along the way we would stop in the moment as a family to pray and thank God for each situation we saw God working in.  It was a great way to recognize God’s provision and help restore perspective in the midst of the chaos.  We found ourselves rejoicing in the trials and came out on the other side stronger and with a renewed confidence in the power and realness of God!

The first few weeks on Canadian soil have kept us on the steady pace of craziness (seems to be the only way our family rolls!) After a warm welcome at the airport and a couple of nights rest at a friend’s place, an opportunity to attend a 5 day Christian family camp came our way. Can’t say I would recommend this under similar circumstances, but not a bad choice when you don’t have a place to stay until the end of the month! After the jet lag and wide eyed culture shock wore off a little, we settled in well to the flow of camp activities.  In many ways it was great for us to have fun as a family and to quiet our minds and hearts.  It was a blessing to have a week to not think about what we left behind nor all the unknowns ahead of us.  We were also ministered to through some solid Biblical teaching. Those who have walked closely with us through the years know that each return visit in the past comes with a deep longing to be fed.  One of the things I look most forward to as we establish ourselves here is to develop relationships we can be sharpened in.  We are excited to get out and find a community of believers to grow in Christ and share life with.

The day finally arrived to move into the place we will potentially rent over the next 4 months. It felt so good to empty out our bags we have been living out of for months and to settle in.  The excitement however came to an abrupt halt when we saw a cloud of smoke rising through the trees just beyond the property.  We discovered a forest fire that started just off the road. It quickly spread upland with the strong winds. With years of typhoon and other calamity experience under our belt, our family went into game mode. Together with the owners, we were able to do what we could to protect the property and move the animals before the forced evacuation.  In the process Jenn broke her toe loading horses to the trailer but as usual she carried on smiling and positive.  We got away with our important documents and a few clothing items we were able to throw into our borrowed car.  Thankfully some great friends welcomed us into their home while water bombers and firefighters worked around the clock to save homes and lives.  After praying and casting our burden before the Lord, we all had a good laugh as we contemplated how interesting our lives are. No such thing as normal in our vocabulary. We went from escaping war and turmoil in Philippines to escaping fires!

 Video Kelowna Fire                            Video 2 Kelowna Fire 

With the fires contained at least in the critical spots, we were able to return to our rental the other day.  It was a relief to settle into this incredibly beautiful place near to the city but surrounded with dense forest and a creek. This short term rental came as an answer to the prayer request I shared in our last update.  Being around nature was what my mind and body desperately longed for. Although we have been in a polluted big city for the last 2 years, the majority of our 20 years in Philippines has been on a small undeveloped tropical island.  Living for so many years surrounded by jungle and the wild unpredictable weather off the Pacific, it’s no wonder I feel most connected and at home in nature.

Two months before we left the Philippines the President declared martial law and the city of Marawi was laid siege to by ISIS affiliated terrorist groups. By the hand and grace of God  we were out of the country and able to watch developments from afar.  We were on a planned 1 month mission trip through Malaysia as a family. This was a low budget trip with hostel only accommodations and a backpacker travel itinerary.  We were eager to serve and learn about history, culture and religion.  It was great exposure for Makana and Brison that led to some great conversations and growth.  The highlight of the trip came at the end. It was an experience like no other.  Even our teenage kids who were raised on a remote rustic island found the experience challenging to say the least.  Our family spent 10 incredible days deep in the heart of the Borneo rain forest with the Penan people.  I first discovered these special people when I was searching for communities where we could serve.  I was fascinated to read about a nomadic people who solely survived and flourished on the forest until being forced into settled communities and now suffer poverty and disease as a result.  It was shocking to read articles describing some of the atrocities the Penan have gone through.  They have been mocked for being uncivilized and given no rights while they watch their home in the forest being wiped out at an alarming rate. Large scale commercial logging and plantation companies together with an ambivalent government are responsible for decimating the Penan.  I was amazed when I discovered one lone tour group that organizes trips into this area.  They warn that it is only for the adventurous who are willing to rough it and can handle the physical demands.  Of course i signed our family up!!! The purpose of these organized trips is to help the Penan people generate income as they attempt to survive out of their element.  Money was not a concern before but they now find themselves lost and hopelessly dependent on a foreign oppressive system.  Little did we know that God was the one who ordained for us to step foot in a world that would forever impact us.  Over the course of the next couple weeks I will attempt to put into words what we feel God is leading us to walk out in faith with and how it beautifully connects with both Hope for the Island Philippines and us now being in Canada!! Your prayer support is greatly appreciated as we pray for God’s wisdom and guidance and formulate our ministry plan! Please also pray as we continue to work out the logistics of becoming a resident in a new place.

Thanks to each and everyone of you who have been on this journey with us.  Some of you have been along for the ride well before missions ever penetrated our hearts and others of you have partnered with us through the years.  We have all tasted and seen that God is indeed good and faithful! God truly does amazing things when we make ourselves available to Him and obeys His word. With great joy I look forward to what He has in store as we continue our missions journey.  We live a life not by what we can see or work out on our own, but with confident and secure faith in a living true God!

Please feel free to ask questions and we will answer those in a video in our next detailed update 🙂

Our family finds our self in need of a few things as we settle in. Those in the BC area may have some of these things not in use for sale or give away.   Click her to see list

Feel free to email us at byfaith65@hotmail.com or text (204) 915-7209

 

Blessing

Derek Van Ryckeghem

 

From Cristina: Hope for the Island Staff

I would like to report what is happening for me in Cagayan de Oro. Although Kuya Derek’s family is no longer living here with me, I praise and thank God for His favour and grace. He has worked through all the transitions in ministry at Hope for the Island and in my life as well.

It is different living alone without the Van Ryckeghem family, but I know that God is with me. God always has a reason for how He works.

I am also thankful for the knowledge and wisdom that God has given me even though we are loaded down as Social Work students.

I am thankful that I passed the preliminary examination with the second highest score! I was also elected Secretary for the Junior Social Worker Association of the Philippines. All glory; honour and praises belong to God.

Please keep me in your prayers. I miss you all but it is not about me but my Abba Father.

Thank you

Posted by: In: Staff 31 Aug 2017 0 comments

Hope for the island has some new faces!

Our family spent some time with them at the farm before we left for Canada.

We recently accepted to the team some new passionate people with a heart to serve. We are excited for what the Lord has in store!!!