From Elaine Van Ryckeghem

So many of you faithfully prayed, called, donated funds and encouraged us as a family and ministry during this time. Thank you!!
On Sunday our church family anointed and prayed over Brian & I on behalf of Derek, Jenn, Makana & Brison. If we looked at the circumstances as is human to do, it can be very discouraging. Against the backdrop of the finished work of Jesus Christ, we have strength to face what comes at us.
We believe that before the enemy could finish his plan prayer warriors were in action.
From Jenn:
Our family is so blessed to have had such great love and prayer support from you. God has shown Himself faithful through these trying times!
I have internalized my stress over the last month. The torrential rains of monsoon season are generally hard on me emotionally, but the devastation from recent storms took it to another level for me.
After years of hard work at the Hope for the Island farm, we were finally making some great progress only to be set back. Seeing the destruction and effect on our farmers, as well as the local rice farmers, really affected me.
I knew I was stressed and not in a good place mentally, but I was unaware that it was affecting my health. Daily frustrations with no electricity and the resulting lack of communication, limited food, non-stop rain and wind, plus all the destruction piled up on me.
Homeschooling my kids through this roller coaster time brought my emotional state even further down. Keeping up with projects and research have been challenging with constant Internet interruptions. I developed a pattern of negative thinking that I could not snap out of. I felt I was letting my kids down. Close friends were praying for me, but for the most part I struggled on my own.
The following devotion couldn’t have been timelier.
“Satan really takes advantage of homeschoolers. When you jump into something different, such as teaching your own children, you become susceptible to his attacks of doubt and fear. Unsure of your abilities, you second-guess your decisions and desperately look for affirmation and direction. Added to those doubts are questioning remarks and comments from those who don’t homeschool, and soon you begin to think, “I could really mess up my children’s lives if I do this wrong!” The multiple battlefronts of spiritual, emotional, and physical attacks call for reinforcement from the Lord. Only His divine strength, wisdom, and power can counteract.” Read more…

Posted by: In: Weather 30 Jan 2014 0 comments

 

With over a week of no communication, we here in Canada suspected that yet another storm had hit Hope for the Island. We received this update from Derek.

Although not getting the international media attention of a super typhoon, we just experienced more than three weeks of very strong winds and non- stop torrential rains. We were unable to communicate because electrical lines and the tower used for cell phones and Internet was down.

Tropical Depression “Agaton” moved very slow and covered a large area spanning the entire Visayas and Mindanao regions. Winds were steady and directly hit us at 65 km/hr. from the north. Rainy season is generally hard, but nearly a month of that weather felt unbearable at times.

Absolutely everything was wet! Even the walls inside our buildings looked like we threw buckets of water on them. We had to mop floors in our home every hour to prevent flooding. All trees were stripped of leaves and branches. Roofs and walls of simple structures were damaged.   Before we were able to finish all the repairs at our farm, we were again facing flooding and wind damage estimated to be around $600 USD. Neighboring rice farms have extensive damage with most losing their entire rice crop due to flooding.
Read more…

Posted by: In: Youth Ministry 27 Jan 2014 0 comments

Hope for the Island celebrated Christmas with 87 youth who faithfully attend our weekly ministry.  They really look forward to having a Christmas party, getting all dressed up, dances and dramas, eating good food and most of all having good fun.  They convinced Kuya (older brother) Derek to play the part of baby Jesus. It was a great evening! Because of your gently used donated clothing and other gifts, the youth each took home a blessing.  Something so simple has such an impact on them.  

 

The youth are loved and made to feel part of a family at HOPE. It is a safe place where they can come as they are. Our group has been talking about hardships in life – how they affect us and how we can face them – how God desires to be our shelter, helper, comfort, strength and guidance. We discussed how we can come to Him and cry out and even how we can grow as a result of trials.
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Posted by: In: Staff 17 Jan 2014 0 comments

Jing has served at Hope for the Island for 10 years. She is currently doing her DTS (Discipleship Training School) at YWAM in Manila. The following is an update from her:Jing 2013

I am always grateful to God for those of you who have been my partner in prayer in this season of my life. One of our YWAM lectures about the heart and all the issues surrounding it broke me before the Lord. I got a clearer picture of my spiritual walk and many past hurts surfaced. Although painful, God used this to show me that for a long time I was still living in the dark.

Thank God for this time of refreshing and bringing me into His light so I could shine it to this dark world. I feel like a new person as He healed these root issues.  I have lived with so many insecurities, trying to hide behind them by doing more ministry. I am grateful to have time like this to press into Him without any distractions.  I feel so free and want to shout how good is our God that He never gave up on me! I can now witness boldly about God’s goodness and love without any awkwardness because it is real in my life.
Read more…

Posted by: In: Kid's Ministry 31 Dec 2013 0 comments

God is so real to the children here. When we arrive in the villages each week, the kids are so excited to see us. They run alongside our truck calling out our names ready to give us local flowers and hugs.
Christmas programs bring much anticipation as the Ziploc Bags of Hope arrive. Your love and care in packing these blessings bring big smiles and squeals of joy. For many of them it is the first time to have a real toy and quality school supplies. They say thank you so many times to us and we tell them that many people on the other side of the world love, care and pray for them. We are so grateful for your generosity whether you physically packed a bag or donated so we could fill one. Most of these children are poor and face daily struggles because of it. Blessings even though practical and simple bring such joy and excitement for them.

As we look to the year ahead please keep these kids in prayer. Attendance varies from month to month. Some families left for other parts of the island because of political problems. Read more…

Posted by: In: JoyJoy, Mercy Ministry 30 Dec 2013 0 comments Tags:

Joyjoy is a young lady who continues to inspire us. She could so easily be discouraged by her very trying trip that was 10 hours away by land and sea where she sought medical attention. The doctor who examined her made it clear to her and her family that Image_Newshe has no hope apart from surgery for a brain tumor.

JoyJoy and her parents did not have peace that surgery was the best option. She knows very well that her hope is set in the right place. Her hope is anchored in the one who gave her life and provides strength and joy to face each challenging day.

We are blessed and inspired daily by this young girl who has her eyes and heart fixed on Jesus. As you pray for her, also ask the Lord to stir in our heart this kind of faith, hope and love that is not dependent on circumstances.

Posted by: In: Weather 28 Dec 2013 0 comments

  We ask you to continue to remember those in the Philippines who are trying to rebuild their lives. We are thankful we were able to serve them and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Posted by: In: Typhoon Haiyan 30 Nov 2013 0 comments Tags: , , , ,

When Typhoon Haiyan (aka – Yolanda) comes to mind or in conversation, it is always with a feeling of heartache especially in light of the extensive damage and suffering caused by a storm of such magnitude.

Suffering in general is something we want to avoid and when the time comes that it knocks on our door, we find it challenging to endure. Despair, fear and hopelessness can consume even the strongest of people. Yet somehow in the midst of these trials, there is a unique opportunity to encounter the realness of God unlike any other way.Facing these hardships brings to the surface our frailty and need, something not always recognized when life is going smooth.

Read more…

Posted by: In: Typhoon Haiyan 16 Nov 2013 0 comments Tags: , , , ,

From Elaine:

We are so very thankful for God’s hand of protection over Siargao Island. In spite of the fact that all weather maps and satellite showed them taking a strong hit, there has been no loss of life that we are aware of. Winds topped 150 km and the ocean surge was approximately 50 meters from high tide. Many throughout the Philippines are facing horrendous loss of life and property. You have shown your heart for our family and the ministry that God has entrusted them with.

Read more…

From Elaine

We are so grateful for your phone calls and emails. As parents we felt helpless as we watched the “worst storm of the year” unfold. Other storms had bypassed Hope for the Island, but this would be different. Less than 24 hours before the typhoon hit Derek was still trying to decide if he should evacuate or ride out the storm. We prayed for wisdom for our son.

Read more…