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!!!

Posted by: In: Scholarship 31 Aug 2017 0 comments

Hope for the Island Scholarship program is making a great impact on the lives of the students involved!

Our new batch of 25 students is now regularly attending school and has been productive according to the teachers’ feedback.

We have incorporated Math, English and Science classes as part of our after school program.  This is helping students overcome a lot of learning barriers and associated anxiety. Many students were not excelling in the past and were dropping out of school.

 

 

Students not currently part of our Hope Scholarship, have approached our staff asking if they too can be part of the tutorial classes.  These opportunities provide ways for us to develop the trust within relationships that is needed to disciple them effectively.

Scholars also clean our Hope for the Island property. We have also organized community service programs where they are learning to develop a heart of servant hood with a variety of opportunities to give back.

 

Our goal is to build connection with the students’ families so we can minister to them as well. As we respond in obedience to the Lord’s example of love and compassion, we know the right doors will open.

 

SUPPORT A STUDENT FOR ONE SCHOOL YEAR $120

Posted by: In: Discipleship 30 Aug 2017 0 comments

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

Thank you so much to those who sponsored the new batch of Bibles. It is so great to dive into the Word of God with these young people and now they don’t need to share Bibles.

In the three different youth groups our Hope For the Island team leads, we are working through the book of John. Each of the youth study the chapter on their own through the week and come ready to share / ask questions at youth fellowship.

In one village, some of the youth struggled to attend Youth Group the next week because they knew that people would mock them because of carrying a Bible. Only a priest or pastor is seen with a Bible so the people will laugh at them and call them names. We need to pray for our youth that they will support one another to be bold in their faith and love for God’s word.

 

Here is a testimony from Nerm:

 

We prayed for Bibles, now we are blessed and thankful to God that He answered our prayer to have Bibles in our youth groups. Thank you so much for the people who supported for this.

In another youth group, we reviewed our topic of SALVATION from last week. Many are new and have heard the Gospel but have seemed tentative to respond because of fears and peer pressures. Our staff shared their testimonies and the impact Christ has had in their lives. They were able to share the fears they overcame to trust God and walk in faith. As a result of that open heart time each of the new youth responded in faith to the gift of salvation!!! They are committed to be discipled and are excited about the changes to come in their lives!

Youth in Siargao Island are not much different than youth in other parts of the world. There are so many distractions that pull them away from opportunities God places before them to grow in faith. In grace and love we will persevere to love and support these vulnerable youth.

Praise Report that just came in:

The girl with the pink top in the first picture texted Nerm to let her know she placed her trust in Jesus! She was congratulated by all when she came to Youth. She was really happy and in tears. Please continue to pray for her and that each new believer would continue to serve and grow in the Lord.

 

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 25 Jul 2017 0 comments

From Elaine:

We first shared the story of 23 yr. old Reshel in Dec 2016. Our hearts were moved for this young lady. I knew there was a way to help, but the solution would take time.

My friend Angela and I set out to find a suitable walker in Winnipeg. God provided what we needed, now to get it to the other side of the world.  It was taken apart to fit in a box and left Winnipeg along with other donated blessings for the 3 month journey over the ocean to Siargao Island.

The really awesome part of this is that the box arrived in April when our Winnipeg team of Angela & Jeff, Dennis & Charlene and Brian & I did.  Jeff was very aware as he put it all back together, the incredible impact this would have on a young girl’s life.

What a joy to see the end result of how God worked!  We headed down the road in our Hope for the Island truck with Hope staff, to a village in the northern part of the island. In true island style we had no idea if she was home or not. You just show up and hope for the best! Reshel had no idea that we were coming and why!!!

The walker was unloaded. Reshel shyly peered around the corner of a curtained off room.

An explanation was given to Reshel as to who we were and why we were there. Tears flowed as Reshel took her first few shaky steps. Before long she was turning corners recklessly and soon needed a rest!

As we prayed and got to know her, we heard that she had been promised help previously and how that promise fell through. A huge disappointment only brought this young lady closer to her God as she persevered and intensified her prayers believing for a miracle. Her faith and love for God inspired us all.

Over and over again others and myself witness the way God works in this ministry. It gives those of us who live in the western world a visual of our God in action.

If we are hungry we can go to a food bank, if we are sick we can go to a doctor or hospital, if we need money we can get a job or apply for welfare.  We don’t need to apologize for our way of life and the privileges we have. It does however make we wonder if I would trust God as Reshel and others on this island do every day for their daily food, family, health and safety.

Read Reshel’s previous post 

Witness the answer to prayer as you watch a 2 min. video Reshel Video

 

Posted by: In: Staff 08 Jun 2017 0 comments

From Derek:

We are blessed to have four young women join us at Hope for the Island. These students will be serving at Hope for two months. They are from Mindanao State University in Marawi City where conflict with radical Islamic groups and military is ongoing.

 

From their heart:

We are so thankful to escape Marawi City and serve for this season at Hope for the Island!

As we prayed and prepared during travel, God gave us His Word in the book of Nehemiah. He was going to use us over this time to help rebuild. We prayed into this, as well as for those left behind in Marawi.

War between the military and Maute/Abu Sayyaf exploded near our school. It all happened so fast and then our President declared martial law. Although we were shocked by what was happening around us, we had a confidence knowing God is with and for us, so it didn’t matter who was against us!

The day that we planned to travel to Hope for the Island, news came that every entry and exit point on the way to Iligan had been closed. For 2 1/2 days we were trapped in our school in the middle of war with no electricity and no water. The morning of May 25th, we received a message to evacuate and go to a place where we could be rescued. As we escaped, we prayed and cried to God for the situation that Marawi was facing.

We praise God because He ordained everything, giving us a vehicle to ride on. We left at 10 a.m. and arrived in Iligan at 7 p.m. The one hour trip turned into nine hours because of the other people also fleeing the city. We, as well as our family, thank God because we arrived at Iligan safe and sound.

Continue to pray for Joy’s family who is still in this area. She has sleepless nights at times not knowing if her family will be killed.

Some family did not support our decision to go to Siargao Island to serve at Hope because of fear. We know God called us to go and even spoke clearly in dreams to us. We must obey and trust God to give peace to our families. We must follow God’s greater purpose in spite of what happens to us. For us, that purpose is to serve here alongside our mentor Kuya Jerbie.

When we arrived, it was clear that God has blessed this ministry. The Hope team has been so hospitable and kind. The warm welcome we received made us feel as if we had been here a long time.

We are honestly amazed to see the various ministries the Hope team handle. They are ready to serve in any way and help our team develop to be more fruitful and anointed in the work God has entrusted to us.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 20 Apr 2017 0 comments

Jesus Fiesta:

Many villagers came from all over. The highlight for me was one particular lady. She approached me and asked if we had a Bible to give to her. One soul craving for God’s Word!

Treasure Hunt:

Along with the Singapore team we had a treasure hunt. We told the people they should first ask God for His treasures.

There was a lady on the beach. She was watching her son swim. We told her we believed that God wanted us to pray for her. She smiled then cried. She shared that she was ready to give up. She was very depressed and needed someone to talk to, especially about spiritual things.

We encouraged her and prayed with both her and her son. Then she gave us some money to buy food even though we tried to give it back and she always said no. She was blessed by us and wanted to bless us as well.

2nd midterm outreach:

Using drama and actions songs, we did Kid’s ministry with the Finland team in Pardo, Sambag and Mananga. I overcame my shyness to share the kingdom of God.

Jail Ministry:

Even though nervous, we entered to see prisoners who were happy to see us.  We shared a skit that spoke to their lives. Prayer with them followed testimonies and preaching the Gospel.

I was so blessed as God reminded me that I was a prisoner of Satan who believed his lies and when I found God I experienced freedom.

Hospital Ministry:

We prayed for the sick people and shared the Gospel.

Final Update:

Personally I learned a lot how to depend and to trust God. We spread the Word of God to eight different locations. I thought I can’t do it to share the Gospel boldly in areas I haven’t been and to people I don’t know, but God gave me courage.

The more I share my testimony the more I become bolder and God taught me that I am called to express not to empress.

One of my highlights was when we were in Tacloban. Personally it’s my first time having a prayer walk for almost 8 hours and along the way we met different people. It really wasn’t an accident because some of them really need a prayer. There was one old lady walking in the street, she can’t talk normally and she was so dirty and smelly. Every one of us prayed for her and one of the staff asked for a nail cutter to cut her long nails and he poured the water on her nails and he started washing her feet without hesitation.

God really rebuked me because on my own I can’t do it because she’s really dirty and smelly. When her feet were washed it reminded me how Jesus came and served the people. I prayed for her and I hugged her while praying for her.

It was my first time doing jail ministry, radio ministry, campus ministry, hospital ministry and building houses.

When we had our house-to-house evangelism we met a Muslim guy. He was touched by God and responded in faith to Christ’s love and salvation!

I had a lot of highlights dancing in the different churches and singing in the street. I discovered new things about me. I’m not shy anymore when I share my testimony in front of people and act in dramas.

God gave me more passion for the kids, seniors and orphans. While seeking God and praying He revealed to me that MISSION is not just in YWAM for 6 months but mission is a lifestyle and you can do missions everywhere.

Going back to Hope for the Island, I want to change.  I will tell the staff what God has done in my life during my DTS (Discipleship Training School) I want to minister to the youth and kids. I want to serve like what Jesus did and walk in obedience. I will do my best to be a good example and carry what God did in my heart through this experience back at Hope for the Island.