Posted by: In: Staff 30 Jan 2017 0 comments

From Cristina:

God has been faithful through this last semester.  He continues to give me the ability to learn and absorb what is being taught.  The Lord is providing everything that is fulfilling the desires of my heart.  With each passing month I feel like my passion is growing and my heart is even more burdened for those who are destitute. I see Jesus’ life in the gospels in a more clear way. His humility and love for others was unmatched. I know the outcome of this Social Work degree is not going to be an occupation for me, rather a life calling.  It’s my prayer that I will be a bridge leading deprived people to the goodness of God.  Hosea 10:12 inspires me on during my studies.  We can never underestimate the power of a seed.  Planted seeds of love that are heart deep in ones life will bring impact.

During my semester break I enjoyed some nice rest.  I was also able to view the needs we face at Hope for the Island with a different perspective.  I can see areas we can improve and be more effective. As I spent time with the people in the community, it is clear that they need to enhance their abilities and learn skills that can help them break out of the cycle of poverty.  As leaders at HOPE, we will be working to gradually implement aspects learned from my schooling.  We need to look ahead so that generations to come will have hope.

Within Hope for the Island Malnourished program there are steps that we are taking to not only help restore the health of the child, but also to help prevent reoccurrence.  This comes from educating parents and guiding them to break free from poor habitual practices. Many superstitions held by the people contribute to the outbreak of many health problems.  It is our goal to see families become independent so that they can stand on their own once our support ends and the child is healthy.

Teaching families with malnourished children how to plant in small areas surrounding their home is a practical way to have food that they can harvest rather than missing meals or borrowing money to look for food.  Spending recreational time with these families outside of follow up home visitations is also a great way to connect with them and build relationships.

In each ministry we will continue to evaluate what are the greatest needs so we can accurately intervene and bless those God entrusts us to serve.  Thanks for the support and continue to pray for my schooling and success for Hope for the Island.

 

Cristina Espanto

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 23 Dec 2016 0 comments

Meet 23-year-old Reshel. She has only finished her 1st year of high school.

Her parents don’t know what has caused her disability. It started with her hands when she was five.  She used to live in Manila with her grandparents and had opportunity to go to a therapist and receive vitamins all free of charge.   A doctor indicated she does have a problem with her blood. Vague diagnosis or none at all is common.

She came to Siargao Island when she was 12 years old.  After being away from the source of vitamins and therapy, she got thinner.

Reshel has quit attending school because she is so self-conscious of her condition. Because of a lack of exercise, she is deteriorating more and more.  She longs to go back to school and to be more active.

Thank God we were able to get a much needed walker for her in Canada and it is on the way now in a box to the Philippines!

Vitamins and therapy are current needs.  Our remote location makes it costly to travel for the therapy.

Please continue to pray for her as she deals with these issues at such a young age. We are grateful for how God has already provided.  See a short video of Reshel

Posted by: In: Children 18 Dec 2016 0 comments

We did a Kid’s Ministry lesson that brought about some touching moments.

David chose not to react by hurting Saul even though Saul kept on attacking David.

The children were touched by God’s Word and decided to put into action what they learned. They wrote this message on a piece of paper:

“Even if you hurt me, still Jesus loves you and so do I”.

They then took brave steps to give this piece of paper to those people who hurt them. One girl gave hers right away to one of her friends whom she couldn’t forgive for a long time. Although nervous, she approached her friend and handed her the paper. They wept and forgave each other! At a young age these young ones are learning how to obey God and strengthen relationships.

Posted by: In: Staff 14 Dec 2016 0 comments

Hope Staff Leah reports from YWAM:

When I heard I was approved for DTS I was filled with excitement because my prayer was answered. I was also very nervous and afraid to be alone on this trip away from what is familiar. The trip started with a big test. I needed to board an overnight ferry to Cebu. This is not easy for me because of a bad past experience that stirred fear back in my heart. Thank God He brought me through and I arrived safely! It was a good start to gaining some independence, facing fears and experiencing God provide for me!

I was picked up by a YWAM leader and taken to the base in Cebu Talisay. I have 11 classmates from different countries. After a few awkward days not sure what to say or do, we started to connect and build friendships.

The first guest speaker’s topic on Foundations of Christianity really impacted me a lot. I was reminded how important the foundation is that I build on.  If it is built only on Christ and truth I can`t easily stumble. When other things get mixed into the foundation it becomes dangerous.  Some of my new friends responded to the message on baptism and we celebrated the impact that will have on their walk.

The “Father Heart of God” message was a very emotional time for me as God’s love embraced me.  It was really nice because it was my first time to weep freely in front of a man.  He hugged me and spoke the Father’s heart to me as one of God’s princesses and loved daughters.  I won’t forget that encounter I had with God!

We also did Kid’s Ministry outreaches using drama presentation and Bible lessons. Kids were very happy and responsive to the Gospel.

Other teachings were on Spiritual Warfare, Godly Relationships, Intercession and Hearing God’s Voice. These topics were very good and very real when stepping out in faith to serve God! I was challenged to intercede more faithfully for others.

During our prayer summit from 6 a.m. to 5:30 pm., I was so blessed because we were praying for the nations and for the people who are in positions of authority.

This has been a really good experience because GOD spoke clearly into my life.  I will continue to grow in WALKING BY HIS WILL not MY WILL.

Posted by: In: Scholarship 11 Dec 2016 0 comments

Video:  Scholars Say Thank You

 

 

With an increasing burden to see youth graduate and for them to get plugged in at HOPE, we took a huge step of faith this school year. We opened our Scholarship Program to every single high school student (150) in Burgos.

Criteria is quite simple: High attendance rate in school and our weekly Youth Ministry as well as participating in our scheduled community service initiatives.  Even though it’s not difficult to meet these requirements to be a scholar, this semester only 46 youth received scholarship reimbursements. It goes to show just how much of a challenge education is in the island. For this reason, poverty related issues are amplified.

We had a meeting with the scholars’ parents last week to affirm them for the efforts made and to release funds to cover costs they spent for the first semester. This approach helps them learn the valuable life lesson that hard work pays off.

 

After the meeting our staff asked the parents to write an encouragement letter to their child. Many parents moved to a quiet area to think of the right words to say. Others were not comfortable with sharing their feelings but wrote a quick note in a fun and light manner. Communicating love or encouragement is not common in our island culture.  The students were touched.

The estimated cost per student is $120 for the whole school year. At the moment we do not have the funds necessary to cover each student. Please consider supporting one student for the year. This includes uniform, tuition and school project costs. Please indicate SCHOLARSHIP program when you make your donation. We will keep you updated throughout the school year so you can be praying with us for these students to excel and honour God!

Support a Student Donation Options  

Posted by: In: Kid's Ministry 18 Nov 2016 0 comments

From Janece:

Each week we open God’s living Word and help kids think of practical ways they can obey and apply it in the week ahead. When they return the following week we all take time to share opportunities that we could in faith obey truth. It’s exciting to hear simple yet heartfelt victories from the mouths of young children. It is a great way to affirm them in their obedience and for them to clearly experience as children the blessing and power of being a doer of God’s Word.

I would like you to meet Andrea. This week she shared how she made an effort to obey all that her Lolo (grandpa) asked her to do. Other times she will complain or not do it willingly but she realized that attitude is not pleasing to God or honoring her Lolo.

She said she also offered to help in washing the laundry by hand even though not asked. Although she was not thanked for her efforts, she had peace and joy knowing God helped her to do the right thing.

As her teacher I am also blessed to see the positive affect when we obey God’s Word. The testimonies they share and our excitement and affirmation helps to encourage and inspire other kids listening to make the same efforts to obey!

Paul John ( Standing)

I was reviewing with my kids about Abraham who was kind to Lot. Paul John is a new kid in my group and it was the second time he joined us in Kid’s Ministry. I was amazed he was very interactive and willing to answer my questions.

 

Paul John always has a smile on his face and seems to be a leader with the other kids. I am really blessed and thankful to God for the life of Paul John. I pray that he will continue to join us and grow more in knowing God. Just as Abraham’s life impacted all those he came in contact with, we trust God to raise up kids like him with a heart to influence their community. Thank God that He uses children and that we at Hope for the Island have the privilege to disciple them to know their creator.

Posted by: In: Kid's Ministry 11 Nov 2016 0 comments

From Gina:

Maylene is 10 years old and is one of my kids in the town of “Bitaug” where I serve each week. She was one of the participants who was impacted by the “KIDS HEARTLINE SEMINAR that we hosted.

Heartline VIDEO

Last Saturday I had a hard time in sharing a Bible story to the kids because there are many little ones moving around and noisy. Currently we are in a transition training up new assistants so all areas don’t have assistants yet. Please pray for the new assistant we involve each week to have God’s heart and grow in their love for kids in communities.

 

Maylene surprised me and offered to take all the little ones while I teach. She did such a good job taking care of them. It was nice seeing her taking the lead and the kids responded well to her.

I’m thankful and blessed because our topic was about “KINDNESS” and Maylene showed kindness to me and to the kids by helping and serving them. It was a good way to have a practical example to explain ways they can apply God’s Word.

From Derek:

God is really working in Maylene and other kids. Even at a young age they already have a willing heart to help and be used by God in the ministry. In some areas local religious groups do all they can to prevent kids from joining us on Saturday. Threats carried through by these groups, forces some parents to not allow their kids to attend. Tears are common when they have to leave.  We pray that the real encounters they have had with Jesus during their time with us will provide a foundation that securely holds them. Praying also that doors will open for them to return. Thank you for all who join us through support and prayer. You are helping these kids know God and His purpose for them.

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 03 Nov 2016 0 comments

From Jing:

We enjoy spending time with and supplementing the diet of some seniors and widows in need.

Nanay (older mother) Ethan is one of those widows. Her grandchild Joy is actively involved in my discipleship in the Mia area.

I visited Nanay Ethan after hearing she was among those who had been poisoned. Because of hunger, many elderly widows head up to the mountain to find food that grows wild.

This time they chose the wrong mushrooms to eat and even gave some to a daughter who is breastfeeding an infant. Almost immediately after eating they started vomiting uncontrollably, urinating and had diarrhea.

When people realized they have eaten the wrong kind of mushroom, they found a way to take them to a doctor over an hour away in the south of the island.

Thank God they were treated right away and now they have all recovered.

Nanay testifies that God still has something for her here on earth that is why she did not die.Thank God for He is good to His children.

Please be with us in praying for these widows. Rainy season is approaching making it impossible for people to go fishing in the high winds and torrential rain. They have no fish most of the time. Farming is also very hard during this season. Most of the locals get very hungry and suffer many illnesses.

Maryjane and her sister Jeremay face many hardships at their young age. Their mother went to the big city with plans to send money to help meet family needs and with a promise to not be gone long. Six years later she still hasn’t returned.  Distraught and desperate, their father looks for any work he can find to make ends meet.  His efforts have come up short and his regular absence from home leaves his daughters in a lonely and hopeless place.

These sisters have been part of our daily Malnourished Feeding Program. Jeremay has reached the weight she should be, but Maryjane still struggles to reach a healthy weight and regain her health.

Please keep them in prayer as we minister to them weekly. Pray for opportunities for the father to find work near to home. Pray that they will respond well to the care and healthy food we supply. Food is cooked in the morning and they have to make it last until their father returns. Pray that their heart finds healing from deep wounds they have and for God’s love and hope to shine through our staff that spend time connecting with them each week.

Posted by: In: Kid's Ministry 02 Nov 2016 0 comments

From Nermilyn:

12 year-old Lhaica has become a very good example to her friends.

Click on the link to hear her boldly share one of the memory verses she has learned.

Lhaica memory verse Video

At the age of 12 she is already teaching and challenging the other kids in her area to grow spiritually.   Even at her young age she teaches effectively and humbly. Her boldness inspires the other kids. They can be used by God as well to live love and care for others.

 

Kids in Algeria are praying for the dreams that God places on their heart and for their future. Our topic was about Joseph who dreamed and God brought it to completion in the future.

I was able to share from my personal experience that even though poor and from the same situation as them, I dreamed as a kid to ride on an airplane and go outside of the Philippines.

God in His timing and purpose allowed it to happen for His glory. God took me to new countries to serve others and learn more about God’s heart for the world and me. I encouraged them to trust God and that nothing is impossible with God. I heard the kids sharing their plans to each other how they will study harder at school so nothing could hinder them from reaching their dreams. We prayed over each child and trust God with each life He allows us to care for.

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 18 Sep 2016 0 comments

Each week we look forward to times of joy as we connect heart to heart with the widows most in need. They often face an entire life of poverty related struggles alone and suffering horribly.

As we simply step into their world with love and compassion, life and joy is being restored in their hearts. Helping them find dignity and comfort is an honor and privilege! Love has such power.

As part of Mercy Ministry, Jing has been visiting three particular widows. She brings a meal and spends time reading to them from the Bible. We praise God that all three of them recently responded to God’s goodness and love in prayer by renewing their faith and hope in Jesus.

Although most find it difficult to read, we pray that faith will be stirred in their hearts as we speak truth and life into them through the Word! (Rom 10:17)

Nanay Tansya lives alone in the house we built for her. Link to Video and story She had an accident recently and hit her head hard on a rock trying to get Kalamungay leaves from a tree to feed herself. Thankfully, some people saw what happened and rushed her to the clinic. Each day she comes to Hope for the Island to have her wound cleaned. Please pray against infection!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have the privilege of spending time with and serving many of the elderly in our community. Everyday you can see them by the road breaking rocks with a hammer. They sell the smaller broken rocks to construction companies.  This dangerous and difficult labor earns them some pesos to feed themselves. Each sack they fill earns them 20 pesos or about 50 cents.

Please stand with us in prayer for strength and good health for these dear elderly men and women.  Because they can’t put in a full day of work we help supplement their diet with vegetables and rice. Pray also for an open mind for the Word of God. It is often hard for them to understand or hear as we read to them. Their hearing and sight is failing. It can take them a minute or so to recognize us when we arrive to visit with them.

 

Pray for God’s blessing and provision to be upon these precious seniors that are the beloved children of God.