From Jenn:

For previous reports on this ministry click on this link: 

I had the pleasure of driving Let to Del Carmen to follow up with two of the kids in our Hope for the Island Malnourished Program. We were so pleased to see them clean and happy.


Let had so much fun playing the peek a boo game with Eliza. She is 4 years old now and hasn’t progressed much in weight or height. You can definitely see that she interacts well with people and is quite a cheerful little girl. Her mom mentioned that she easily gets sick. Currently her asthma is acting up and she has a bad cough. I was so impressed by this mother. She has another daughter who is 2 years old and is quite healthy. This dear lady found Eliza on the side of the road! Her health has been a challenge from day one. She was very malnourished and her body was covered in skin diseases.  I thanked the mom for her constant love and care and encouraged her that many are praying that Eliza’s lung will become strong and she will gain weight.  Read more…

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 01 Jun 2014 0 comments

Mercy Ministry doesn’t always look the same at Hope for the Island. We recently had the awesome privilege of witnessing twenty-one couples get married. They were living together and had never been joined in holy matrimony.

Please take the time to read Hope staff member Let’s account of how this came about. Two pastors from opposite parts of the world, Pastor Mozo from our island and Pastor Duane Siemens from Winnipeg, Canada, who was here with a team, got to be a part of God’s plan for these men and women.

I have grown up believing that every child deserves a happy home.  Being with Hope for the Island for 8 years now, and involved with our Hope for the Island Learning Centre for 5 years, I have encountered many different kids in a variety of difficult situations.

A seed was being planted in my heart every time I heard stories about kids being left alone by mothers who have to work. Some children are born out of wedlock or may not have proper documentations because they don’t have fathers present at birth. Years passed and I still felt nudges in my heart every time I heard of unwed couples with kids. Read more…

Posted by: In: Merlyn, Testimonies 01 May 2014 0 comments
Every once and a while we are blessed to get feedback and testimonies from those God allows us to minister to. Below is an unedited testimony shared by a woman who is dear to our heart.


My name is Marlyn Espanto, a single parent of 7 children.Year 2004 when my husband decided to work in Manila because life is hard here in the province. Since the time he left he never came back for us again. Later on I found out that he is already living in with another woman and never even thought of us, his family.
I don’t know what to do, having to feed 5 children under me since my eldest is already married and is living in another city, and the other one is a working student in Manila also. I started harboring hatred in my heart and then I started to learn how to drink, then neglecting my own kids as well.
One day I just noticed that Joe one of my sons is always not at home during Saturdays. I usually scold him even spank him. One time tried to look for him and to my surprise I found him here at Hope for the Island. I saw him listening to the words of God together with the other kids and led by a staff from Hope.
I cannot spank him nor scold him since then because for the first time again in a long time I have seen my son happy with all the smiles and coming home telling us even his other siblings all that he is learning. And his younger siblings taking so much interest as well. It became a joy in my heart hearing my children having those times of stories, and then I realized that I cannot guide them just by myself, so why not let God work out in the hearts of my kids through the Hope kids Bible study and snack times.

Read more…

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 14 Apr 2014 0 comments

Hope for the Island continues to be a place where people from all over Siargao Island come to seek help and receive comfort and peace.  Acts of love and mercy create open doors that impact lives. Simple acts of care and concern look different for each soul we minister to. It can be cleaning and dressing wounds, providing assistance for health emergencies, giving meals to hungry widows, lending educational resources to students, feeding malnourished children, caring for pregnant mothers in need or initiating community service with kids and youth. These all establish a level of trust with locals and openness for deeper spiritual matters.
Read more…

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

1 Corinthians 13:8

February was a month where “love” seemed to be in the air.  People make extra efforts to show love to those close to their heart. We focused our teaching this month on “Faith expressing itself through love.” Love is not only for those dear to us or for those who we feel are worthy of our love.

Scripture is full of exhortations, challenges and rebukes when referring to God’s ultimate mandate to love Him and others.  It was our goal for these young people to grasp just how much God really loves them and provide opportunities for them to reveal God’s love to others.  Read more…

Posted by: In: Weather 25 Feb 2014 0 comments

For many weeks now, our staff have been unable to travel to remote areas because of the weather. This hindered our essential weekly follow up visits to the malnourished children we feed. Thankfully we were able to provide ample food to them before the storms rolled in.

During our latest visit we were saddened to hear the extent of what many families had endured. Boats used by their community for fishing were destroyed and many areas are still impassable by motorcycle because of landslides.

We learned that the daily meal we provide for one of the children had to be rationed by all. Most of those we feed did not show any progress in overall health or weight as a result. Under normal circumstances, we are firm that the food is designated strictly for the child in need. This was an exception; we affirmed their decision to share provisions.  Replenishing the daily food supply for these kids was timely.  Read more…

Posted by: In: Team House 21 Feb 2014 0 comments

In the summer of 2013 Derek, Jenn, Makana & Brison were in North America to share the vision of Hope for the Island.

A major focus of the trip was to raise funds for a new Mission House. Our old building needed to be demolished.

Since returning to the Philippines, construction has begun on the new Mission House. Typhoons have made that a challenge as you will see and hear in these videos.

We are excited with the progress and are sending you links to a series of short clip/updates.

Video #1 Construction island style.

This Old House Is Coming Down

Video #2   Listen carefully (accents & shyness make communication fun!) as the foreman and our maintenance man share the challenges they face. Also see the new building going up…

Mission House Update

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.
Read more…