Donna is someone who visited Hope for the Island and has become very dear to us. I could not talk her into sending me her picture to share with you. We are grateful however, for her ability to share word pictures with us about her time there. Enjoy!

I visited Hope for the Island Ministries for about 10 days after having heard about it from a friend who had met Derek briefly at a church in Hawaii. My friend was so impressed by what Derek shared that she suggested I contact the ministry before I headed to the Philippines. I did so and was very blessed by my reception and visit there. Read more…

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 01 May 2015 0 comments

Reflection from Michele:
On my third journey to Siargao and second to Hope for the Island, I rode with my big traveling back pack and balikbayan box on a motorbike, stopping on the side of the road filling up with gasoline measured out per liter via a glass Coca-cola bottle. It was nice to breathe the fresh air and see palm tree forests on my way to the Hope Organic farm, the beginning of a month-long stay with the Hope for the Island family. I was looking forward to a change from working in San Diego, California, in the medical field as a physician assistant and was excited to learn more about the area medical needs, surf some warm water waves with the locals and share the stoke of knowing Jesus Christ.
Earlier this year, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Derek, Jenn, Ate Let and all those at Hope for the Island as a return trip to Siargao to check out the Cloud 9 surf break. As part of the Christian Surfers family, our desire to serve comes along with our search for good surf.

Prior to flying out to Siargao, I had connected with the Van Ryckeghem family and they welcomed my mother, brother and me for a 3-day stay. We brought them some medicine and medical supplies. It was great seeing a glimpse of what Hope for the Island was doing for Burgos and the other areas in Siargao. After my short time there, I knew I would return and God definitely opened doors for me to do so and for one month!

Medically, I had the opportunity to help with the Hope for the Island’s Mercy Ministry and work alongside one of the local doctors at the town’s Rural Health Unit (RHU). I went out with Ate Let and a few of the other girls to visit some of the malnourished kids in Burgos and Del Carmen, We brought much needed food and hygiene supplies as well as some fun items. We also checked in with the local social workers to follow up on the progress of the children from when the Mercy Ministry began supplementing the child’s diet to the present. With the RHU, I worked with Doctora Rose, seeing the patients in town, treating common ailments and chronic medical conditions. I learned the country protocol for tuberculosis screening, work up and treatment and how to care for infections endemic to the area.
Surfing was a big plus to serving at Hope for the Island. Since there are no islands east of Siargao, it receives swell from the grand Pacific Ocean. Surfboards were available to use at Hope, allowing me to experience the local warm water swells. Just like any other surf spot, there were some big days and other not so big days. Derek was fond of the larger 4-5 foot swells, which I dared to venture out in, and on the smaller days I surfed with a few girls that work at Hope and from town. I would say that I absorbed a bit of the Burgos surf vibe, mellow and non-crowded, especially at Harpic, which I liked to call the “Hope surf spot”.

In the midst of the different ways that Hope for the Island is impacting Siargao is the desire to spread God’s love and teaching others how to do as Jesus did. Living with the girls at the newly built mission house provided me a unique experience of spending time with them between the many activities they did throughout the day. I enjoyed joining in on the daily group devotionals they had, worshiping and sharing where and how God was leading us. One of the recurrent themes expressed by different individuals was paninkamute (which means to pursue in Siaragaonon), pursuing God and His will for you.

Through all that Derek, Jenn and the staff were doing at Hope for the Island, God was in the center of it all, and in order to keep Him central it is important to always seek and grow in your relationship with the Lord. I was so blessed to have this time with the Hope for the Island family and look forward to my next adventure with the crew.

My name is Wendy and I had the opportunity and privilege to serve at Hope for the Island with a mission team from Cross Church in Winnipeg. All 17 of us had a wonderful time sharing God’s love by serving and using the gifts and talents God has given to us in a variety of ways.

We had a fantastic time working alongside the Hope staff, who day in and day out faithfully serve the Lord and the people on the island. We spent time with youth and children who regularly visit Hope. The love of Jesus was shared in tangible ways as we spent time with them. We did acting classes as well as volleyball and baseball camps. Relationships were made, all had fun and we made some great memories! I praise God for the amazing things He is doing in the lives of the people there.

Other opportunities included doing outreaches in two different towns or barangays as they are called. There, we were able to connect with kids and adults of all ages and share the Gospel with them. We had lots of fun singing, sharing Bible stories and playing games with the kids. What a sight to see even the adults joining in a game of musical chairs and dancing the “Hokey Pokey”. We also took part in handing out Bags of Hope for the children that included small toys and simple toiletries among other things. There were quilts and clothing for the adults; things we tend to take for granted in North America. It was thrilling to see the look of joy on their faces.
Wendy -

It was amazing to visit with believers in their homes in Burgos. God reminded me of this verse of scripture while we were there: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself untainted from the world.” James 1:27 ESV

Nany Floring-
During my visit with a widow named Florencia or Nanay Floring, we had a great time in fellowship and God really opened my eyes and made me think about how I live my life back home. We brought a love gift for her and in the bag was a towel. I will never forget the look of happiness on her face as she wrapped the towel around her shoulders, snuggled right in and giggled to herself. All this because of a towel!

After a time of prayer for her failing eyesight, we asked if she had any other prayers requests. She very simply replied, “I have everything I need”. Looking around, I couldn’t help but think how little she had, but how content she was. For me, it was a humbling experience realizing how blessed I really am and what “things” bring me joy and what I could be without.

Our time at Hope was filled with many wonderful experiences and we learned a lot from everyone we met. We are so thankful to God first and foremost and give Him ALL the honour and glory! And we are so thankful to Derek and Jenn and the rest of the Hope staff for allowing us to come to serve and love the people of Siargao Island.

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 08 Mar 2015 0 comments

Anita and Josepito Ravelo is a couple with six children, two of which are grown and live elsewhere. They live in the village of Rizal, fifteen minutes north of Hope for the Island. Although Josepito is a farmer, he built his small nipa hut on stilts within the ocean along with many others who did not have land of their own.

See Typhoon Ruby Gallery           See Typhoon Ruby Blog Post

When storms come, these families are most at risk from high winds and ocean surges. As typhoon Ruby threatened to make landfall on Dec 6/14 their family packed a few bags and headed for the elementary school that is on high ground. They, like many, returned to their home to safeguard their only belongings in life. They tried to hold out as long as they could. The weather continued to worsen and the tide rose extremely high, so they left in the dark of night for higher ground, as did their neighbors.

The cost of one home is $500.00, please click this link and build a home


Sadly, countless people die in situations like this. They try to preserve the little they have at the expense of their own lives. This family was definitely thankful they made the decision to leave. Thirty minutes later the first wave came thundering in and wiped out their home! Three more waves hit and washed away a total of forty-four homes. The ocean surge travelled up to the national road leaving a path of destruction scattering boats and debris throughout the rice fields. We thank God that no one in the village lost their life.

We, at Hope for the Island, spent our Christmas reaching out to families affected by Typhoon Ruby. We knew we did not have the necessary funds to help them rebuild. We served food, distributed clothing and supplies from our Bags of Hope. For many months now, families have been sleeping on benches in churches and in neighbors’ homes.

The Revelos are the first family we have had the privilege of helping rebuild their home. A relative of theirs donated a small piece of land for them to build on. On average the cost is $500 to buy the basic materials needed to rebuild a small home. Labor is not paid for, as family and friends supply the labor.

Thus far we have received donations to cover the cost to rebuild three homes. Please pray how you can help to meet this critical need! Pray also for direction as we coordinate with the local government to find land that is safe for these people to relocate to. As of now, only twelve out of the forty-four families have secured a place to rebuild.

Will you help us restore these families?
We have funds to build 3 homes and we need funds to build 39 more.
The cost of one home is $500.00, please click this link and build a home


Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 22 Feb 2015 0 comments

Understandably we often hear prayer requests that focus on asking God to help with health and to supply food for each day. Situations intensify when one or both parents are not in the picture. This is a daily reality for the children we minister to. Imagine praying with a child who asks for prayer that they would be able to finish their daily assignments. The dropout rates are high as families struggle just to put food on the table.

??????????Young people dream of being able to finish school so that one day they are able to support their family. Hardships look very different on this side of the world and we ask that you join our kids in prayer!

Picture Princess testified last week after our lesson on the lost sheep that she is so thankful that Jesus loves and cares so much to save her. She said even though I have no parents to love or care for me, I have Jesus who loves me and takes care of me always. He is my good shepherd!

Princess is 11 years old and faithfully attends Kids Ministry. Each week she soaks up the love and attentively listens to the Word of God. She has shed many tears with Nermilyn and Makana. Her father left before she could remember and her distraught mother turned to other men rather than loving and protecting her daughter. Her mother had children with other men and then left one day never to return. A distant relative has been taking care of Princess. Her wounds run deep especially when other kids tease her. She longs to see her mom again one day. Pray for healing and protection over her life. She is one of many that God allows us to minister to facing similar circumstances. As one child said last week “For me the Bible is like His love letter to me”. God is so faithful and ministers love and compassion to all who turn to Him.

From Elaine: Hope for the Island Canada

Although it has been some time since my trip to Hope for the Island, I continue to get requests for a personal report. I used to write an update after each trip and apparently you enjoy it.

Can this really be the 14th time I have been to Asia? Sleep eludes me when I travel so I am most often awake for over 50 hours with little more than a catnap on a plane or airport bench. This grueling trip has consisted of 12 flights and 4 boat rides. I am finally convinced that my efforts to save money will be my demise if I insist on taking this route again.

Our Cross team prepares to leave-The Philippines either works its way into your heart or you struggle with it. Needless to say, there is a special place in my heart for this country. I arrived with my husband Brian and Hope for the Island board members and friends Dennis & Charlene. Very soon after returning home, I would be requested to accompany a mission team of 17 from Cross Church. Trip #15! It was a joy to be a part of this group who served with passion!

Brian and I, as well as Dennis and Charlene, have been on this journey many times together. We comfortably eased into the bustling port of Surigao City. The buzz of the local transportation, which is little more than a converted motorcycle, brought back memories that made us smile and filled my heart with a strange comfort. Even the never-ending roosters crowing remind me of where I am and how much I love it. Read more…

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 12 Jan 2015 0 comments

Mercy Ministry is ever changing. On a daily basis we encounter those who are very poor and their situation is compounded by dysfunction within their extended family. Seniors are often thrust into situations of providing for young grandchildren, while they themselves struggle to survive daily. As always a smile erupts as we talk to each person God brings out way. Wisdom is needed as we pray with them and decide how best to help them with their immediate needs. Our goal is to help them help empower them as they come into relationship with Jesus Christ and walk that out in their community.


Rommel is 11 months old. His mother Analyn is a housewife who does laundry for others and his father Roel is a skilled mason worker without consistent work. Rommel now has a beautiful smile. May he grow to honour the Lord for His goodness! Read more…

For five consecutive days now, we have been trying to cope with no power on Siargao Island. There have been five earthquakes that have hit in the evening hours. Two towers are now down after a signal #2 typhoon that hit last week.

Nutritious2Supply boats are not running because of the weather. Food supply is Farm worker Jose 2often a day-to-day ordeal under normal circumstances and many are hungry right now. We are thankful for the produce at our Hope for the Island Organic Farm. It is helping feed us as well as others.

With no power source, locals have turned to gas lamps. Most homes are very small and breathing the fumes is harsh and toxic in such confined quarters. Needless to say it is also a huge fire hazard.



Ien, a young boy was burned badly when a lamp containing hot gas fell over onto his back while he was sleeping. His family brought him to Hope for the Island. We prayed for him and cleaned and treated his back. A donated stuffed husky dog we gave him briefly turned his tears to a small smile.

A badly burned boy2Ien 2JPG2Ien
Please pray for his full recovery and that no infection would set in. Even with so much to face, we see the fortitude of the people here and are humbled as we minister to them.

Derek Van Ryckeghem

Posted by: In: Weather 11 Dec 2014 0 comments

From Derek:
Thank you all for keeping the Philippines in prayer with the latest super typhoon hitting our shores! We have learned our lesson to prepare for the worst because these weather systems can shift unexpectedly.

Thankfully we did not encounter any damage at Hope for the Island because we are just south of where it made landfall. The wind barriers held up well at the farm and only a few plants were lost. At our main compound 40 foot waves were breaking along the reefs. On the high tide, swell surged over the reef and came up into the property approximately 25 meters to the volleyball court but there was no damage.

Sadly, this was not the case in a village 20 minutes north of us. Four tsunami type waves surged into this village causing extensive damage and completely wiping out 30 homes together with all of their personal belongings.

The ocean surges carried boats all the way to the national road 300 meters from the beach. Thankfully, most people heeded the warning to evacuate so there was no loss of life! Those that did stay in their homes almost drowned but were able to swim with the current and made it safely to high ground.

Yesterday we went into the village to spend time loving on the kids and listening to the stories of the people. We brought 3 boxes of clothing and dehydrated vegetables to give to those households most affected. It was incredible to see everyone in the community working together to clean up the debris. They were trying to salvage pieces of wood and any scraps that could be used to rebuild a shelter. A Pastor friend that serves in this community accompanied us. His church is housing many families who lost everything. Read more…

Steve Klassen is one of our Hope for the Island Canadian Directors. He led a team from his church in British Columbia, Canada to the Philippines. They share from their mission trip experience….


I led a team of 17 to Hope for the Island from Cloverdale Baptist Church. As a Canadian Board Member, I really stand behind the vision of Hope. I had previously been there in 2008 with my 11 year-old son Jude and again in 2010 with my 11 year old daughter Adrianna.

When I introduced the idea of a short-term mission trip to our church leaders, I was pretty sure I would get approval from church leadership. They went beyond that by fully endorsing the trip, raising support and awareness for the trip and for the ministry of Hope for the Island. I was shocked to see 17 applications, with 13 of them being youth. My children, Jude 17, Adriana 15 and Mireya 11 were among them.

CLOVERDALE MINISTRYI really believe exposing youth to short-term missions is important. God can use those experiences to stir their heart for the lost and the disadvantaged. God can use those experiences and lessons learned as a guide for life. I know God can prepare his future full time missionaries through exposure to the mission field on a short-term trip.

In their story, you will see the hand of God working through this entire trip. I was pretty concerned about the “youngness” of our team, but later saw how this team really was handpicked by God to do the ministry that He had set before us. What a joy it was to also minister to the staff and leaders of Hope for the Island!

Ministry that we were part of was often spontaneous. We discussed the need to be aware of the “promptings” that God uses to spur us into action. Ministry happens where we are and opportunities are all around us, in Canada, in the Philippines, or anywhere in the world.

I look forward to see how the important ministry of Hope for the Island grows in height and breadth because of the 17 that answered the call and went out!

At Your Service,



When I think back to my escapade across the world at Hope for the Island, I remember a song I was taught in Grade 2. The words to the song were: “Wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere where everybody knows your name?” That phrase describes the town of Burgos, Surigao Del Norte so well. Everybody in town knows your name within the first 48 hours. It only took me approximately 2 hours to feel like a part of the Hope for the Island family. I knew I was a part of something great that God was doing there in the Philippines. My heart aches for the part of it that was stolen by the staff, the kids and even the dogs of Hope for the Island.
Memories and emotions always seems to pause at one particular memory that makes me smile. It was made clear by my team leader that our group of 17 would take turns to help the staff wash dishes. We were warned that the staff would try to refuse our help and that we were to stay strong and insist on helping. Our team would take turns helping with dishes in pairs.
When it was my turn, all the youth stayed for dinner at Hope so I was faced with washing approximately 100 dishes. I was actually super excited to hang out with the staff. I was directed to a corner of grass area where huge circular tubs were filled with water. As I walked over, I saw I was being followed by some of the youth.

I told them I was going to help with the dishes and some of them offered to take my place. Big tubs of water were set up in assembly lines to wash, rinse, second rinse and dry the dishes. Some youth helped and others watched me. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been self-conscious about doing dishes. Eventually I was demoted to rinsing for taking too long and not washing the dishes clean enough. Filipinos can squat for a long time while washing dishes. My leg muscles were burning so one boy gave me a stool. They are very shy and he bravely started asking me about myself. That encouraged more conversation and I had what turned out to be an amazing time interacting with the locals…while washing dishes!





When I signed up to serve in the Philippines at Hope for the Island, I was seeking to follow God’s leading in my heart. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but as I made preparations and continued to pray about it, I grew more and more certain that this was where God wanted me to go. I am so glad I did! It was one of the best experiences of my life!
I was blessed by many of the different ministries I participated in at Hope for the Island, but the Children’s Ministry in particular really touched my heart. Hearing all the children’s voices raised in singing “God is good to me”, having sweet little girls put their hands in mine and seeing the love of the staff for “their kids” as they were teaching—these were just a few of the things that encouraged me to look beyond myself and reach out to others for God’s glory.
At the end of our first week on Siargao Island, we visited another town to teach kids and youth and to encourage parents. After teaching a Bible lesson, singing songs and playing games with the kids, we distributed care packages and pillowcase dresses made by many of the ladies from my church. It was exciting to watch the kids receive their gifts, though the mothers seemed even more eager than their children when their turn came! When we gave out the dresses, one of the grandmothers put on hers and started to dance to the music playing in the background, a joy filled smile lighting up her face. It was such a heart-warming sight!
I had the opportunity to share a lesson on the importance of personal devotions to a group of teens. It was a big step outside my comfort zone to speak in front of people (and my age, too!) and to prepare the lesson in under 2 hours, but my lack of confidence in my own ability caused me to turn to the Lord and cry, “Help!” When my time came to speak, I waited expectantly for the sweaty palms, knocking knees and shaky voice, but they never came! God gave me calm and confidence to do my best.
God did more than answer my prayer to have courage in sharing this lesson. He knew I needed to be reminded of this lesson on the importance of daily devotions. I was getting so caught up in serving and making friends that I wasn’t putting my Lord first and struggled to seek Him through prayer and the Word. As other things crowded Him out, it became difficult to point my new Filipino friends to Christ and encourage them in their faith. But God graciously helped me get back on track—He is so faithful!
Jenn shared the story of how she and Derek came to the Philippines and started up Hope for the Island and one thing she said really spoke to me. She said, “It does not matter where you are, as long as you are at the center of God’s will.” Mr. Klassen also continually encouraged our team to listen to the nudging of the Holy Spirit and to watch for opportunities to lift up Jesus Christ. It was exciting to do that in the Philippines and I loved being able to serve God by ministering to the Filipino people. But the call to obedience and serving is still there every day no matter where I am—even though doing God’s will in the Philippines was way more exciting than doing school or chores at home! I pray God would give all believers the passion and strength to pursue His will in every area of our lives!
Thank you, Hope for the Island, for your amazing hospitality, the fantastic meals, the encouraging fellowship and the wonderful blessing you brought to me and our team from Canada!
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints…we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” – Colossians 1:3, 4, 9-12



Dexter with guitar
My experience at Hope for the Island was truly incredible. I got a chance to be a part of this ministry and I was amazed to see all ages of youth be so into God. While I was there I found it amazing to see all the smiles on everyone’s faces to come learn about God and at the same time have fun with another. I had so many great moments while I was serving there. Interacting with the kids while singing songs was probably one of my favorite things to do. You can see different emotions that the kids have when I played different songs. Every song has a different connection for each of them. I just love playing music and seeing other children singing Christian songs and getting so happy really puts a smile on my face. God works in many ways and getting a chance to see how He works in a place that I’m not used to is just amazing. This trip was a great eye opener for me and I would love to come back when I can.


Chris & Grace

I find myself always waking up in the middle of the night with dreams of people whom I had met at the Hope for the Island. Perhaps the reason may have been that we’ve been always talking about the Hope, if isn’t that, we’ve been always thinking about it and praying for it.

I just want to say thanks for the work you are doing to minister to all those people and even to us for His glory. We are greatly thankful for the opportunity of serving Him alongside of what you are doing on daily and weekly basis. It helped us understand and taste for two weeks, what you’ve been building up to further the Kingdom of God through the vision God has given to you.

We felt and saw the deep love, care, kindness, patience, compassion and the passion for the Lord and people. We also saw the wisdom of discernment in each one of you through your words and actions. We praise the Lord that Hope for the Island is giving a hope in Jesus to the people in the communities and being the lighthouse and the imitators of Jesus. You welcome them into your lives and offer yourselves to them by all the visits, follow-ups, practical gifts, Biblical teaching, and words of encouragement, prayers and fun. You are there for them and build up relationships in the communities with THE purpose and strategies.

We thank the Lord for making a huge impression in the hearts of our family and our team with the work you are doing. We would have loved to spend more time with Derek and gotten to know him more. We came home with the feeling that we have known him & his vision so much more than what time had allowed us through these last two weeks just by being there at the Hope.

We feel very privileged and blessed to be a part of the Hope family and co-servants of God. We thank you for sharing the blessings of hope, vision, love, opportunities of serving and your time of precious memories
We miss you all very much. We will continually lift you up in our prayers and especially for Derek’s health.
God bless you all! with much love & appreciation,