Posted by: In: Kid's Ministry 29 May 2016 0 comments

4 day Youth Discipleship Training Camp

 

Over the last few years, Hope for the Island has been praying about ways we can creatively adjust to the drastic changes that have come to our once sleepy little island.

The surf has drawn in people from around the world. With the influx of tourism centered on the party and bar scene, incidence of crime and other negative influences has skyrocketed. This has created a strong lure for the kids and youth we serve each week.

Unfortunately we have seen many lives destroyed because of naive choices and boredom. Easy Internet access with no parental guidance has also added to the temptations these young ones are bombarded with. Continue to pray for us as we seek to be relevant to the staggering needs surrounding us.

From Jing:

A 4 day Youth Discipleship Training Camp was coming up. We searched out different places throughout the island to find a quiet place, without any distractions, where we could focus fully on the Hope for the Island youth.

We prayed for a place away from their home so they felt free to let down their guard. Most places are crowded over the summer, but with God’s favor, we found a place far enough away from Allegria beach where we do weekly Kids Ministry. On the property there was a small 2-person room.  We squeezed 15 girls inside and the rest slept in tents.  The boys slept in hammocks, tents or under the kubo (a small roughly built hut) where we had our teaching sessions. It was perfect, especially that the weather cooperated and there was no rain. God is good!

Monday morning was orientation followed by the lecture time. Topics covered during the camp were Quiet time with the Lord, Why do I exist? Forgiveness, Praise and worship, Fear of the Lord and the final day was on Baptism. Each day the youth grew deeper in their understanding of life changing Biblical truths and it ended with us going to the ocean where 11 young people chose to obey God in baptism!! It was an amazing time!

During ministry time at Hope for the Island we always make time for personal testimonies.  It is important to declare what God speaks to us and give opportunity to apply God’s Word.  It not only solidifies what God is doing, testimony declares God’s goodness and encourages those listening.

The topic of forgiveness was heavy to receive and there were few willing to share. Some who had breakthroughs with walking out in forgiveness did eventually share.  As God worked, we patiently waited. Some gathered the courage to open up about deep hurts and wounds that are ongoing in their family. Many tears were shed and hearts opened to the power of forgiveness.

As is our practice, we will do follow up visitation with the youth. We will privately help them walk through this process of healing.  Follow up visits will also be done with those who took the bold step of baptism.

We are so grateful for the anointing and wisdom God provided for us to teach and guide these vulnerable youth to newness of life.

Hope staff are very thankful as well for God’s goodness and for Him using people to support ministry opportunities like this. Budgets for each ministry enable us to hold these events.  These are times that these young people will never forget.  Seeds of truth were planted and they encountered God in fresh ways.

One youth girl asked us to thank people who give so generously.  She said without help to attend she would not have experienced God in such a real way. Glory, honor and thanksgiving to our God who made all things possible!!

Posted by: In: Staff 27 May 2016 0 comments

Hope for the Island is located on a small island with little to no opportunities available for training or seminars.  Our leadership has been praying for ways for the team at HOPE to receive further equipping and training that will in turn grow the ministries entrusted to them.  God answered prayer through a friend who invited Hope for the Island to Surigao City for ministry training focused on kids’ ministry, performing arts and worship. God not only provided the means for our staff to attend but we were able to bless all the youth assistants who volunteer each Saturday with an all expenses paid trip to attend as well.  Praise the Lord!

Here are some testimonies from our team…

Janece: 

This seminar was an important experience for me and challenged me really hard. 200+ participants attended and there were only 2 comfort rooms (toilets) and no water most of the time. We had to go out each day at 4 a.m. to find a place where we could shower. Food portions were very little and we sleep on a floor together with everyone. The whole seminar was very challenging and I am so thankful to experience that struggle because God reminded me how very blessed I am at Hope for the Island.

I need to be more grateful with everything God provides for us each day personally and for the ministry. Thank God I was able to lead a group teaching children during our outreach. We had such a blast during the praise and worship. It was amazing to worship God with so many others who are also involved in ministry like us. Thank God for people who supported us in prayers and finances that enabled us to go!!

 

Mary Grace:

I thank God for the opportunity to grow in my giftings and be used to lead a group during outreach.  We met many new friends that share in God’s call for missions!                                                                 


                                                               Leah: 

I was so blessed, refreshed and encouraged through all the topics that we’ve learned through the training seminar

                                                              

 

                                                                                           Nerm:

God rebuked me hard this time when we went through the topic of facing the giant. Most of the time that I face something big my normal reaction is to run away or react, but God reminded me to face the giant with Him. That is what I am called to do. I was challenged and rebuked. I thank God I was also one of the leaders of a group. I initially thought I was only going to be one of the participants but God allowed me to lead in His strength.  Thank God for opportunity to share my life and lead other youth that I met for the first time!

 

Angel: 

During seminar God spoke to me through the life of David. Although he was only young God used him mightily. And so like David, I too am only young and God reminds me to make myself available to be used by Him. That is great!

 

Jing:                                              

God is always faithful!  He sees the heart of His children and He reminded me through the training that He is the I AM THAT I AM. The training was a great time of being filled up, restored strength, and refreshment in His presence. I learned more about being a leader. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet other leaders who have also been leading for a while.  We were able to pray, encourage and counsel one another. Thank God for the way He allowed me to lead out in new ways and serve where there was need. It was a great time for us all to experience such incredible ministry equipping. My prayer is to send more youth to this training next year.

 

Some great testimonies that bless my heart as their leader at HOPE!  It encourages me to continue to seek ways for our team to grow for His glory.  With that said a new and grand opportunity was provided that would only fuel the fire even more!  Our family will be taking the ministry staff from HOPE up to Manila the first week of June.  We will be attending a massive discipleship conference that has international speakers coming in from around the world. Check out moveydc.org for details and be praying for us!

Blessings!

Derek

 

My name is Anna and I recently led a Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Maui School of Biblical Foundations and Missions Team (SBFM) to Hope for the Island.

Hope for the Island is an exemplary example of what it looks like to serve and worship God in every facet of your life. We, as a team, had the privilege to serve alongside the staff and live life with them for two whole months.

We had the expectation to come serve, teach and disciple the staff and community, but as we did, we were served, taught, and discipled by each of them too. Our team was greatly impacted by the staff- their testimonies, their lives and the way they pursue God authentically and passionately.

I believe that Hope for the Island portrays what Jesus has always intended the body of Christ to look like; their lives reflect Jesus and they display His heart so beautifully all throughout the community. Whether we are visiting with the widows or playing with children, the confidence in Jesus that they carry and how the gospel has changed their lives is evident and God is glorified. Because of our time at Hope for the Island, I can easily say that none of us will ever be the same. We were inspired, encouraged, challenged and sharpened everyday. Read more…

Posted by: In: Staff 07 Feb 2016 0 comments

Nermilyn Oraba (Nerm) is a special part of our HOPE family. She grew up in our Kids and Youth Ministry. Nerm, like most of our staff, now lovingly cares for, mentors and leads kids and youth from similar situations to hope found in knowing Jesus!

It has been our goal over the last few years to send out staff from our little island for additional schooling and equipping. Nerm was the third staff member we have sent to YWAM (Youth With A Mission.)

DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM offers 5 months of growing deeper with God during lecture. That is followed by 3 months of outreach exposure to other nations to apply all that has been learned.

Growing up in a small island, most people do not venture anywhere beyond some neighboring islands.

Nerm’s experiences will be carried with her for a lifetime. She will bear more fruit as she continues to serve and share Jesus’ love back at HOPE. Here is her story…

From Nerm’s heart:

I am thankful to God for the opportunity that He has given me to go through YWAM’s discipleship training school (DTS). Wow amazing! God really changed my life!!!

God used each circumstance, relationship and teaching to mold me. I thought to myself before going, that I am already in ministry and not sure if I will push through with plans to take a break from HOPE for training in YWAM. I was wrong and am so happy God opened those doors for me!

I thought I had it all together and was free, but God gently revealed my brokenness and hidden areas of unforgiveness. My spiritual eyes were really open to the truth of God’s Word and condition of my heart.

God challenged me to be vulnerable with Him and to release everything. I was surprised by the hurts, hatred, jealousy and self-pity that still affected my life. Although I went through trainings and heart healing times with God in the past, I didn’t really deal with the root.

God’s presence was so real as I walked through this. I deeply wept, repented and was released from the bondage that comes by holding on. It was really God’s timing for me to encounter His fresh love and grace and find freedom that comes through Jesus alone.

I learned to be thankful in every aspect of my life. I also gained confidence in who I am in Christ and not to justify my shyness. This was especially true in spreading the good news of the Gospel in challenging environments. God put a confident boldness in me. I really experienced it during our outreach to other nations. I’m blessed that our team was able to go to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We taught English, served and loved others.

These travels and experiences were very new for me. As the nerves started rising, God spoke to me again. He said, “Don’t depend on yourself. Depend on me alone!” Outreach was the time that I was able to apply everything that God had been leading me through during the lecture phase. He gave me boldness to step out in faith and share His love in many places. The Holy Spirit was promised as my helper and He worked in and through me.

 

 

This season of my life was a great privilege and a life changer. Thank you God for my Hope for the Island family who  supported this time for my training and equipping. May the Lord continue to bless our lives so we can be a blessing!

 

Posted by: In: Van Family 02 Jan 2016 0 comments

Our trips back and forth to the island are always an adventure. Our recent trip was a grueling 17-hour journey to get back to Cagayan de Oro. Although my body was wrecked from the trip, I felt alive with joy remembering all that God did over our thirteen days on the island. It was a blessed trip connecting heart to heart with our staff, teaching His word and being home where our heart is called.

Jenn and I take turns traveling back to Hope for the Island to spend around ten days there per month. When there are school breaks we can travel as a family. A one-week semester break freed up Makana and Brison to be with us. It was great to see them have fun and get back to their island ways! In this challenging new season as a family, we have confidence in God and His plan. Despite adjustments, we see this test of faith as an answer to prayer.
Here is some of what has happened during the 5 months we have lived in the city…

God provided a small clean home for us to rent in a safe neighborhood!

We were blessed with a reliable used truck. Driving in the city is a little nuts but fun!

Makana and Brison attend a great Montessori School with other classmates. They are adapting well and with resolve. They now have friends and have good grades. This is a great testimony to the hard work and perseverance of Jenn’s homeschooling years!

Our kids have new and varied opportunities to develop through youth groups, voice lessons, rock climbing, field trips, camping, team sports and volunteering as they did at HOPE.

After 16 years of marriage Jenn and I finally get to go out on dates!!! We are plugged into a good mission minded church and we have joined weekly growth groups. This was an answer to prayer because we lacked the blessing of being in relationships that challenged and sharpened us.

We are establishing great relationships that can lead to future ministry/networking /mission teams coming to Hope for the Island.

Fast and reliable Internet connection free us to work on Admin / office work requiring good connection and proximity to agencies. Most of these tasks are tedious and require a lot of patience and discernment especially with corruption being a real issue here.
Jenn and I are developing ourselves with great parenting / ministry / leadership training online. This is something we never had the luxury of before.

We have taken opportunities to visit farms and attend seminars that educate us as to how to further develop sustainability at our Hope for the Island organic farm.

We have fun as a family when we escape the city and get out in nature on Saturdays. Mountain ranges are beautiful and the temperature is actually cool! Pine trees and strawberries bring back Canadian memories. Our kids wish there was snow. I tell them it is overrated! ?

Beyond prayer for our family as well as ministry needs, please pray for protection. Nearby provinces are known for rebel activity and radical religious groups. The threat and opposition Christians are facing in the world is at each of our doorsteps.

A year ago it wasn’t a threat to stand in your faith in North America. That has changed and will only worsen. It may look different from one place to the next but the response to the new spiritual climate should be the same. We are called to be set apart in the way we obediently live for Jesus and carry His life-giving message of hope and love. As we seek to reflect Jesus and extend grace by the leading of Holy Spirit, circumstances and people we encounter will be impacted.

I pray for an urgency to stir in the hearts of all God’s children as we prepare ourselves for the groom to come. As Jesus so perfectly put it in Matthew 5:16:

 “Let your light so shine before men that they may

see your good works and glorify your father in heaven”    

We should not be surprised that the world is going in the destructive direction it is and acting like the world because it is “the world”. The response we are to take is to do what God calls us to do rather than react in the flesh and act like the world. We are to remember God’s grace in our lives and extend that unmerited grace to others according to the fruit of the Spirit. We are called to be His salt and light as we live by faith in the trying days ahead. There are many things God desires to do in and through His body before Christ returns. Let us endure and bring in a great harvest for His glory!
Derek

 

Posted by: In: Youth Ministry 11 Nov 2015 0 comments

Most of the youth we have the privilege of connecting with and serving each week come from despair, extreme poverty, broken homes and neglect. Sadly many youth walk down the familiar repetitive cycle of destruction as a result of deeply rooted wounds and no role models. In spite of the beauty of Siargao Island and the many smiles seen by visitors, there is an underlying hopelessness that is a very real struggle the kids and youth face.

Our staff knows very well the ongoing battle because of their very similar heart wrenching past. By God’s grace our staff have walked through the process of healing and restoration! They know the power of being forgiven and forgiving others and move forward daily in the freedom, identity and purposes of Jesus. It has been an honor to be a part of their redemption stories coming to pass. Even greater is to see the cycle go full circle, as our staff who we used Read more…

Posted by: In: Testimonies 24 Oct 2015 0 comments

God really has worked in my life according to His plans. He worked in ways I did not expect. God used all experiences and situation to reveal Himself and for me to know His plan is perfect. He even used people to make clear His message to me. Thank God for the right people He brought into my life to help me see the light.
As far as I can remember, I started attending Hope for the Island Kid’s Ministry when I was around 5 or 6 yrs. old. I was so young.

All I remember that time is that there are these strangers who wanted to befriend us and told us some amazing Bible stories. At first I had no idea why these new people came to share each week. I always attended because my playmates were also there. Almost all the kids in our village would go and I followed. I had so much fun and was very curious what would happen each time they came. I was very excited when I was able to move from the kids into the Youth Ministry!

It turned out that my time in Youth would be the most amazing years of my life. Every Friday night I was able to spend it with other youth who also want to know more about God. Every Friday I always told myself that this day will be for God alone. I did not want to follow my other classmates to parties because I can see they did not have peace or joy.

Honestly speaking if Hope for the Island did not provide a place for me to encounter God I wouldn’t be where I am now. I would have become like so many teens that ended up suffering consequence of following sinful life. I can remember so clearly May of 2009. It’s the time where I made the decision to put my trust in and follow Jesus! I accepted what He did for me as my Lord and Savior.

Shortly after I also had desire to be a part of serving the kids in my community and became one of the volunteer assistants at Hope for the Island. That was truly one of the best experiences that really brought a great impact in my life and gave me God’s heart for others.
Now I am in college pursuing God’s plan for my future. At Hope I learned that despite hardships around me God will do something great in my life if I obey and follow Him. I still have a long way to go in my relationship with God, but amidst the busyness of college pressure, I have held to what I learned in the past. I am still living with it and will continue living with it! God’s word is my armor and shield wherever I go. He guides my every step!

The foundation I have from my time at Hope for the Island opened a door for me to become a full-time GK Volunteer. I work with various communities all over Bukidnon province in order to impart the culture of caring & sharing. I teach the Lumad youth in various parts of Bukidnon who have difficult access to proper education being too far away from the cities. I enjoy helping with organizations that train and educate struggling youth. I enjoy mentoring them to be future leaders. I am able to teach them that trusting God and hard work gives way for God to fulfill His great plans.

There is nothing better than knowing God and being in a personal relationship with Jesus. Having God in your life means we share in His passions, serve as He served and help the poor and needy. God always provides a way for us to fulfill His purposes. The choice is ours but as a Christian it’s our call and responsibility to care for others. It’s our responsibility to help lead others to Jesus who alone saves. God is my reason for everything. Without Him, everything would be meaningless.

Thank you to all who have and continue to support and pray for Hope for the Island. My life was changed because of you.

Posted by: In: Testimonies 20 Oct 2015 0 comments

I am glad to share with you my life journey with our Lord. My name is Gonzalo O. Monter, Jr. I usually go by nickname JR. I am 23 years old and currently, I am an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) working as a teller in a financial institution here in Doha, Qatar. I am enjoying the gift of life that God has given to me. I have so many things to share with you about my life and it will be exciting because it’s not about me but more about God.

At an early age, I heard about who God is since my family is religious. It is still vivid on my mind when Hope for the Island started in the year 2001. Missionaries from a different country came to live and volunteer their lives. I actively joined the ministry for kids and continued in my teenage years. There were some hindrances for attending due to religious issues being brought up by people It didn’t stop me to continue because I am learning about Jesus.
To be involved in the HOPE helped me a lot. I learned and come to know Jesus and the real purpose of my life in this world and what will be our life after death. Read more…

Posted by: In: Youth Ministry 02 Oct 2015 0 comments

This summer we had 130 youth ages 13 and up attend our Hope for the Island Youth Camp. It was a camp unlike any other we have had.

We have been praying for years for some youth we knew needed to surrender their bad habits and sinful lifestyle to God. Our prayer was for them to be saved and truly follow Him with all their heart.

God used His Word to convict hearts. The final evening was a life changing moment for so many. Jing offered the youth a chance to surrender their life to the Lord. She reminded them of the fact that many have been coming to youth group for years. They confessed to be Christians, but they were living defeated lives, bound by their addictions and poor decisions.

When the final challenge was given, no one responded and no one came forward to be prayed for. Praise God for Jing’s boldness. She kept challenging them to examine their lives and to accept the embrace of God who was pursuing them. Read more…

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 29 Sep 2015 0 comments

Learning about yourself and your true identity is the basic theme of the seminar we held at Hope called Plumbline. The Hope team has a desire to work with heart issues and issues that hold us back from fully surrendering to God. We had been blessed by a similar course with Pastor Duane Siemens from Canada and now once again the theme continued with Plumbline.

We all need to be willing to walk the same path as the people we minister to. Locals struggle with issues of self worth, unforgiveness and not knowing how to anchor on to their true identity in Christ.

We have had previous discipleship sessions discussing forgiveness and who we are in Christ. Jing really felt the need for the Hope staff to go deeper to their roots and so we participated in Plumbline. We knew there were still those who were being held back by their cultural customs or past hurts.

Sheila and Joy were great seminar leaders who came and not only led the teaching but also met and prayed with each staff one on one. Brian and Dennis from Canada and Ryan from Hawaii also participated while they were at Hope for the Island.

It was evident that the staff had been impacted when we spoke to them about their experience after the seminar. They were now pushing past their shyness and walking in freedom. Something new was stirred in their heart. We saw increased joy and fresh passion for teaching and discipling kids, youth and adults.

It was such a blessing as ambassadors for the Gospel, to have opportunity to participate in this seminar. Being filled up and checking your heart condition is vital for ministry. Fully submitting to God and His will for our lives not only changes us, but how we minister as well. Our serving becomes an overflow of what is already going in our own lives and heart.

We want to keep serving well!