Posted by: In: Uncategorized 15 Nov 2014 0 comments

Following God’s call to make disciples has always been our priority at Hope for the Island. It is a beautiful thing to be a part of someone discovering and walking out his or her identity in Christ!

Recently our new junior staff shared with us their desire to be baptized. Persecution is always a reality here for those who turn to the Lord. Being baptized will increase the persecution. Family often views baptism as being initiated into a new religion and the ultimate rejection of a Catholic upbringing. Fear of rejection held some of our junior staff back from boldly entering the water.

After meditating on God’s Word, they felt the time was right for them to take a stand regardless of the outcome. A few days before the baptism they told their family about their decision to obey God’s Word and asked them to come bear witness.

God honored the desire of their hearts when many family members attended. It was a deeply emotional day. God’s presence was evident. Testimonies were shared, family members embraced them and joy radiated on the face of each staff that rose up out of the ocean where they were baptized.

Here are a few words from them…

Ching

Ching

Ching

I am thankful to God for changing my life. Through God’s love for me, I see His goodness in my life. Before my walk with Jesus was not faithful, but still His word is always reminding me that the man who does the will of God prospers and has true joy. I decided to be baptized because Jesus is my Lord and my faith in Him is 100%. I now walk in God’s presence and have joy serving Him. Only in Him I have this joy that is not found in the world. I thank God how He is growing me and making me a new creation. I am a new Ching now! My life in this world is temporary and I will surrender it for God alone. I’m praying always for His direction over my life together with my husband Jerry and my two kids. Through hardship and good times we will serve the Lord!

 

 

NOTE FROM DEREK: Before his baptism, Jerry asked forgiveness from his grandmother for the way his lifestyle hurt her before he turned to Jesus. It was a beautiful moment!

Each of those being baptized had similar heart felt and God led moments before they entered the water. What a great way to begin a day that represents their new life in Jesus!

Jerry

Jerry asks forgiveness

Jerry asks forgiveness

Thank you Lord God for this opportunity that I will be baptized in you. At first when I don’t really know God, I did not give control

to Him. I was baptized during that time but did not understand what I was doing. During my time at Hope for the Island I have been growing. My heart changed and God work His amazing plan in my life. God answer my prayer and use Hope for the Island so that my wife and I can be married and not live in sin anymore. Today when I was baptized my faith is in God alone. I am thankful that my sins are washed away by Jesus and that I am a new life in Him. I commit my life to you Lord! Thank you for your patience with me.

 

Gina

Gina

Gina

 

 

I thank God for Oct 5! It is the day I obey God in baptism. I accept Christ with all my heart and surrender my life to Him. God answered my pray this day also because it is the first time my parents accept who I am in Christ. Before they don’t understand my faith. In Baptism I know more what Jesus accomplished for me. It is Christ who lives in me and I will serve Him and live for Him so others will also know Him more. To God be the glory and honor.

 

 

 MaryGrace

For so long I don’t understand what baptism is. I know God is important to me and I kept praying for more understanding. God answered that prayer and I desired so much to be baptized. Being baptized I really experience God’s presence and I get picture of how my sins are cleansed because of Jesus. I am happy that time because my mother came to show support and love. Even my father cannot attend I know He loves me. I am thankful for my parents and all those who are part of my life at Hope.

Janece

First I want to thank God for what He has done in my life, for His goodness and faithfulness! I am happy that I understand and have courage to be baptized even I am the only Christian in my family. My life is His and I am a new creation in Christ. This day is so special because it is the day I will remember the joy I experienced being baptized!

Leah

When I was 10 years old I was baptized so that I could be saved from hell. I was wrong and God spoke to me through a friend. Through faith in Jesus I am a new creation in Him. God increase the desire in my heart to be baptized. God had the right timing for it to be with other staff at Hope. It was also a special day because God touched my mother’s heart to witness my baptism. Even my father wont attend I have God’s joy.

Jennifer

I am happy with where my life is now. My home life was very hard and it led me to choose bad habits. Through Hope for the Island I accept Christ and grow in my faith. I love to meditate on His word. Being accepted here changed my life. I am thankful to Kuya Derek and Ate Jenn because they are the one who help me get back to the Lord. They treat me as their own daughter and send me to school so I can finish my studies. I am blessed because through them I know what is right in the Lord. Being baptized today makes me so happy and I thank God I am part of His family at Hope for the Island.

Posted by: In: Van Family 07 Nov 2014 0 comments

From Elaine:

As I sit in my office here in Canada after celebrating Thanksgiving, I want to declare the goodness of our God. Here are just a few examples of why I am so grateful.
Psalms 36:5 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Praise items from this past month or so:

Close to 50 people from all over the world have visited Hope for the Island to minister alongside our Hope team.

39 young people gave their life to Jesus during Youth Ministry.

3 new monthly sponsors came forward for our Malnourished Children.

October starts our annual Bags of Hope goal of 500. To date we have reached 140 bags.

A timely one-time donation of $10,000 was received.

A local family has started a new tradition of filling Bags of Hope for Thanksgiving.

Faithful helpers continue to help me pack and ship off blessings to Hope for the Island.

SC Johnson Company is now donating all the Ziploc bags we use for Bags of Hope.

7 staff at Hope for the Island stood strong and declared their hope is in Jesus with water baptism.

Thank you my friends for your prayers and continued support. I am moved as I remember how faithful my God is!

Posted by: In: Water 27 Sep 2014 0 comments

7HirwNdR-Dn9SkT814BWpj0yNncn3TIBXAQi5XuCtSA,7h0cFWsLnP69iEQsjDVEVMWAEclexFgDH-fe_QRfs1QHere on Siargao Island, accessing clean drinking water has always been a serious problem. During rainy season there is ample water, yet water sources are murky and full of bacteria. Villagers make feeble attempts to filter out sediment before drinking it by placing an old t-shirt over the faucet. This does nothing to eliminate harmful bacteria. During the dry summer season, water trickles out of only a couple of ground pipes. People travel far to fill containers with contaminated water from these sources. There are many contributing factors to the problem. One big one is that the water source in Burgos is an open stream that various animals drink from and defecate in.
Another problem is that almost all septic tanks in communities are not sealed with concrete. With no way to pump septic tanks, and cost for concrete being too high, people leave the sand bottom open. Harmful septic waste then leaches into ground water that people use for cooking and drinking.
In the past, Hope for the Island has served those areas most affected by incidence of disease, by setting up weekly mobile water purifiers for villagers to come and fill up for the week. This made only a small dent in the problem. We at Hope, drink safe water from a controlled source that goes through a purifying unit from Canada. People regularly come to us from the community to fill buckets and bottles for sick family members or for their newborn babies. We are pleased to be able to help, but it is kind of like putting a Band-Aid on a large infected gapping wound.
On our last mission outreach to the areas affected by typhoon Yolanda, God crossed our path with an organization called Waves for Water. They were bringing small portable filters into devastated areas to help meet the needs of those suffering. Some filters were given to us to be used on Bantayan Island for our outreach. It was amazing to see how effective they were to purify the filthiest water.
Recently, more filters were donated to us in order to meet the growing water concerns for suffering communities on our island. Cholera, Typhoid Fever, Salmonella, Amoeba, and E. coli are some water born diseases being controlled. It is incredible to hear testimonies of health from areas once plagued by skin disease, vomiting and diarrhea. Rather than providing meds or financial aid to help send sick kids to the hospital, we are now helping in a more preventative way by helping prevent further incidence of disease.
Presently, 84 water filters have been distributed to 5 out of 6 barangays of Burgos. More filters are committed and soon on the way to meet the needs for other municipalities where we already minister. As we travel in areas to demonstrate how to use these filters, people are overwhelmed with joy. They express how blessed and thankful they are to God because in the past only people with money would have access to safe drinking water. Words are not enough to describe how we feel when we see their smiles and hear their testimonies.

 

Posted by: In: MarkAnthony 27 Sep 2014 0 comments
14 years old and 40 lbs

14 years old and 40 lbs

Mark Anthony is a young man who is dear to our hearts. God worked an amazing miracle by healing him of advanced stage Schistosomiasis many years ago. This disease comes from a parasite commonly found in communities surrounding us. The parasite continues to multiply because of poor sanitation. Areas such as rice lands where contaminated water gathers is perfect breeding ground for the parasite. This parasite excretes an enzyme that allows it to enter even the thickest skin on the soles of feet.

When we encountered frail little Mark Anthony, we immediately travelled with him to the hospital on another island. On the way to the hospital Mark prayed with me and put his faith in Christ. Doctors said he was as good as dead when they laid eyes on him. When Mark heard these insensitive words, he naturally started crying. I encouraged him not to listen to what man says but to place his trust in God.

Lab tests unfortunately only confirmed the bleak reality of his hopeless condition. God had different plans however for Mark Anthony! Over the course of a few days God miraculously restored all his organs and his blood. Life, color and weight gradually came back and he was released from the hospital a short time later.

We nursed him back to full health with a good diet and a lot of love. His short life has been marked by much suffering, abuse and hardship, yet his deep faith in God and connection to Hope for the Island has allowed him to overcome each obstacle.
There was a time we lost touch with Mark when the elderly woman who had cared for Mark Anthony passed away. His biological parents both died of the same disease when he was a child. We continued to pray for Mark Anthony.

During one of our recent outreaches we saw him! Although his life had not been easy, he looked good and was doing what he could to find odd jobs to survive. I offered him an opportunity to work at Hope for the Island Organic Farm and he jumped at the opportunity. Because of the many years Mark Anthony suffered, he was not able to perform hard labor. His development has been stunted in many ways because of his illness, but we found simple work duties at the farm that he is capable of doing.

It has been amazing to watch the joy and dignity rise within him now that he has productive, consistent work. All our farmers love to work with him. His joy and love for God is contagious!

We love his smile, especially when he is worshiping with his guitar. We are so happy to have him as part of our lives once again!!

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 24 Sep 2014 0 comments

LALU #11For the past four months Lalu has been showing progress. The local doctor worked out some assistance for Lalu and her great grandmother to travel to Cebu City. There she saw a specialist about her flexed arms and legs at no cost to the family!

After several consultations and tests, she was given meds and an exercise program that is helping. As part of our Feeding Program, we supply her with a healthy meal a day and have added chewable multivitamins that were donated.

Lalu is slowly gaining weight and is much more responsive. Through a donation, we were able to get a wheelchair for her as well. This gives her much needed mobility. Previously her great grandmother had to carry her everywhere!

 

 

Posted by: In: JoyJoy 24 Sep 2014 0 comments

photo 32We mentioned JoyJoy in the recent blog you received from us. We couldn’t wait to give you the good news!

JoyJoy is a delightful young lady who has an incredible story of faith and trust in God. If you are new to this journey, please click on this link to see previous blogs.

Related Links:  Read all of JoyJoy’s story

Our Hope for the Island team followed up with her at her home and reported the following:

Thank you Lord for what you are doing in JoyJoy’s life, you are so amazing and wonderful! A testimony from her mother testified that they have not lost hope and continue to trust for more miracles in their daughter’s life.

At the last follow up appointment with the doctor, He said the brain tumor is getting smaller! Her mother directly attributes this change and gives God glory for the prayers that Pastor Duane and his team from Harvest Church prayed over JoyJoy while visiting from Canada.

She is still having difficulty walking and will need to exercise daily because they believe she now has rheumatism. We believe God has heard our prayers and JoyJoy is in His hands.

We are so grateful to you for your prayers and continued encouragement for this family.

We love you JoyJoy!!!

Read more…

From Dennis Derkach- Hope for the Island Canada Board Member

I am blessed to have visited Hope for the Island for a fourth time in five years. My wife Charlene and Brian and Elaine experienced life as it happens on the island.
I was excited because this time we were not with any church group or non-profit organization but as a board member of Hope for the Island.

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I was immediately entrenched in the day-to-day operations. I renewed acquaintances with familiar faces that faithfully serve at Hope and met the junior staff that has come alongside the veterans. These new friends became family by the end of the trip and are very dear to my heart. They called me Kuya Dennis and I was honored.
The personal one to one time I got to spend with Derek enlightened me on the challenges of running a non profit organization, being a father, husband, mentor, big brother and director. His day was jam packed with responsibilities, some similar to those in Canada but others that are unique to the culture of the Philippines. I was impressed with the fact that his day began with fervent prayer time and devotions with God. I believe this is a key element in the provisions God has given to the ministry.

I was there to see the medical system at work and the difficulties and expenses occurred while being on an island that is not in close proximity to a big city. I was there helping with the nipa when Derek injured his foot and saw how he trusted God to meet his medical needs and while in pain, still persisted in doing the work of God he was called to do.

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The faithfulness and commitment I saw in Derek, as Director of Hope for the Island was very impressionable as was his 4:30 in the morning jogs with his son Brison and a group of boys he mentors. When the jogging was over they would return to his house to a wholesome breakfast and a time of devotions in studying God’s Word with them. Many of these boys do not have a father figure and it was good to see how they respected Derek out of the relationship and time he spends with them. One of their excursions was to TakTak falls for a swim and again Derek taught them a few Bible memory verses.
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Jenn took the female staff on a weekend getaway to a quiet area on the island to fellowship, pray and mentor them. She has a heart to encourage the girls to be all they can be as women of God. Jenn also spends time with the staff in prayer and teaching in a weekly Bible study. Besides being a mom, wife and Godly woman of many talents, she finds time to spend with God daily to seek His will and direction for the family and ministry. Jenn has a passion for the Organic Farm and with the assistance of God and the farm staff has brought that area of ministry to a point where owners of restaurants and resorts on other islands are requesting the farms produce.

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I went into the village of Burgos to visit and pray for children and families. I especially enjoyed the Saturday ministry time with the children. I got to play games, teach a Bible lesson and then feed them a meal. In my session with them, I shared the story of caterpillars changing to butterflies and how God changes us spiritually into a new creation. I enjoyed special playtime with the children who would come to Hope for recreation. We would play with animal character balloons that Charlene made.

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My time on the farm included doing chores such as spreading manure around the vegetation and painting wooden stakes to identify rows and crops.

I heard the dreams, desires and stories told by the Hope family and watched as the final parts of the old Mission House were torn down. It was a bit emotional as I recalled the fun times I had ministering in the old house. I understood the necessity of tearing down the old in preparation for the new. God has a new beginning planned.

I thank God for each time I can visit Hope for the Island and look forward to when I can be a part of God’s ministry there again.

Hope for the Island Canada Board Member, Charlene shares about her recent visit to the Philippines.
The sights and sounds of Dapa greeted me as I walked off the boat and headed from the port into town. Vendors were selling their fruit and vegetable produce. Trikes and multi cabs were honking at each other as they transported their fares to various destinations. The smells of roasting chicken and other delicacies wafted through the air as the lunch hour approached. I smiled and with tears in my eyes, I knew I was back home just where I belonged!
In the midst of numerous trials and struggles here in Canada this past year, my Lord once again answered my prayer and sent me across the world back to Hope for the Island for my fourth visit. Brian and Elaine and my husband Dennis joined me. It is always so good to see our extended family again. What a joy to get to know and spend time with some of the newer additions to Hope – Jerry and Ching, Leah, Janice, Jennifer, Gina and Govani!


I went to town every chance I could. I love embracing the every day life of Burgos, watching rice drying on the road, women sweeping or baking bread and mostly loved watching the kids play and call out our names as we walked by. The kids know how to make fun from anything! Whether its a 2-boy ride on a skate board or my favourite was a boy with a roller blade on only one foot and a flip flop on his elbow for a pad! He zoomed and raced with big smiles having the most fun ever!
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One memory I will cherish always was my visits with JoyJoy. She sits quietly on her porch listening to her favourite praise and worship music from within the house and sings the songs quietly to herself. As we walk up and sit beside her and embrace her small hands her infectious smile beams and she warmly invites us to sit with her a while. I learned a Visayan song “Sa Presentia”. JoyJoy said she knew the song and I held back tears as JoyJoy and I sang that precious worship song together.


Saturday morning Kid’s Ministry was a joy to be a part of! I love spending time with the kids singing songs, playing games and learning Bible verses as a lesson is shared from God’s Word. The children soon knew my name as we all sat together coloring our Bible lesson. We then provide a hot nutritious lunch for each of them.
On hot afternoons at Hope, children will wander over either to play a game in the sand or chat together under the shade of a coconut tree. Those were perfect times for the making of fun animal balloons for everyone! What fun to watch them giggle and smile as they ran around playing with their new found toy!
No matter what the task, no matter what is required or needed, I am happy to serve in whatever capacity at Hope for the Island. At times, the tasks take their toll on my physical body in such a hot humid climate, but for me they seem effortless. My joy and inner strength come from His strength and grace. I have returned to Canada knowing God will once again send me to Hope for the Island next year. I pray for Derek, Jenn, Makana and Brison and for the Hope Staff as they continue to serve their God showcasing the love of our Lord Jesus Christ to each and every person they encounter.

Posted by: In: Van Family 25 Aug 2014 0 comments

Once again I am dealing with an infection following a scrape on my leg. I was admitted to a hospital in Cebu. My leg is swollen and the redness has moved from the wound down to my ankle.

I was put on two different IV antibiotics that seemed to have no effect and am waiting on culture results. I am concerned that I may have built up a resistance to these drugs when I had the last infection and surgeries. They are now changing my meds, doing a culture and checking for diabetes. I have a new doctor now who specializes in infections and is taking on my case.

Jenn is back at Hope for the Island with our kids, where we have a team of 17 visiting from Canada. Being alone in a hospital on this side of the world brings with it just a few challenges. I will leave most of those things to your imagination. Some wild thoughts you may have are probably close to reality. I am thankful that a close friend in the city has taken time to help just at the right times. Normally patients have a “watcher” or companion with them at all times because absolutely everything from supplies, meds to something as simple as ice or water has to be purchased outside the hospital. You even have to walk what seems half a block to call a nurse. Not the easiest thing in my condition.

 

All trials remain to be an opportunity to respond in faith and expectancy. God is good! Thanks for your prayers.

Posted by: In: Kid's Ministry 22 Aug 2014 0 comments

Bailan is a small barangay (village) in the northern part of Siargao Island. We have never done an outreach there and were so excited to work with the local government in the area.

Bailan #1reszThe day was SO intensely hot. As soon as we arrived there was not time to rest, we unloaded eleven bulging door-to-door boxes from our truck. Kids, youth and adults were then registered and put into groups. It was evident the kids in that area were hungry for the Word of God and ready to listen. Our team was excited to see what God would do in the lives of the people in Bailan. We were greeted by youth who were so kind, hospitable and joyful.
I had the pleasure of ministering to the adults who have no access to a bookstore; blog or TV shows on parenting or family. They have no where to turn for advise. I felt honored to be able to connect with them by sharing in their language about what God says in the Bible. I am personally blessed by receiving a weekly phone call from a dear mentor friend.

I was open about my personal parenting challenges as well as insights into parenting issues I see here. Our island is changing as tourism increases and families are opened up to new influences.

Nermilyn (Hope staff) taught the youth and kids about salvation and forgiveness of sins. When asked “who would like to receive Jesus in their heart and turn away from their old life?” every child and youth raised his or her hand! The kids made a cross as a craft to remember the decision they made to accept Jesus and what He did for them. The soil was ready for the seeds planted that day. We pray for fruit from these decisions. We know getting into God’s Word is vital for growth that brings about change in lives.


We thank God for such an amazing time and for those of you who donate items for the door-to-door boxes that are shipped. If only you could see the faces as they receive something from the box!!!