Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 25 Jul 2017 0 comments

From Elaine:

We first shared the story of 23 yr. old Reshel in Dec 2016. Our hearts were moved for this young lady. I knew there was a way to help, but the solution would take time.

My friend Angela and I set out to find a suitable walker in Winnipeg. God provided what we needed, now to get it to the other side of the world.  It was taken apart to fit in a box and left Winnipeg along with other donated blessings for the 3 month journey over the ocean to Siargao Island.

The really awesome part of this is that the box arrived in April when our Winnipeg team of Angela & Jeff, Dennis & Charlene and Brian & I did.  Jeff was very aware as he put it all back together, the incredible impact this would have on a young girl’s life.

What a joy to see the end result of how God worked!  We headed down the road in our Hope for the Island truck with Hope staff, to a village in the northern part of the island. In true island style we had no idea if she was home or not. You just show up and hope for the best! Reshel had no idea that we were coming and why!!!

The walker was unloaded. Reshel shyly peered around the corner of a curtained off room.

An explanation was given to Reshel as to who we were and why we were there. Tears flowed as Reshel took her first few shaky steps. Before long she was turning corners recklessly and soon needed a rest!

As we prayed and got to know her, we heard that she had been promised help previously and how that promise fell through. A huge disappointment only brought this young lady closer to her God as she persevered and intensified her prayers believing for a miracle. Her faith and love for God inspired us all.

Over and over again others and myself witness the way God works in this ministry. It gives those of us who live in the western world a visual of our God in action.

If we are hungry we can go to a food bank, if we are sick we can go to a doctor or hospital, if we need money we can get a job or apply for welfare.  We don’t need to apologize for our way of life and the privileges we have. It does however make we wonder if I would trust God as Reshel and others on this island do every day for their daily food, family, health and safety.

Read Reshel’s previous post 

Witness the answer to prayer as you watch a 2 min. video Reshel Video


Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 23 Dec 2016 0 comments

Meet 23-year-old Reshel. She has only finished her 1st year of high school.

Her parents don’t know what has caused her disability. It started with her hands when she was five.  She used to live in Manila with her grandparents and had opportunity to go to a therapist and receive vitamins all free of charge.   A doctor indicated she does have a problem with her blood. Vague diagnosis or none at all is common.

She came to Siargao Island when she was 12 years old.  After being away from the source of vitamins and therapy, she got thinner.

Reshel has quit attending school because she is so self-conscious of her condition. Because of a lack of exercise, she is deteriorating more and more.  She longs to go back to school and to be more active.

Thank God we were able to get a much needed walker for her in Canada and it is on the way now in a box to the Philippines!

Vitamins and therapy are current needs.  Our remote location makes it costly to travel for the therapy.

Please continue to pray for her as she deals with these issues at such a young age. We are grateful for how God has already provided.  See a short video of Reshel

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 03 Nov 2016 0 comments

From Jing:

We enjoy spending time with and supplementing the diet of some seniors and widows in need.

Nanay (older mother) Ethan is one of those widows. Her grandchild Joy is actively involved in my discipleship in the Mia area.

I visited Nanay Ethan after hearing she was among those who had been poisoned. Because of hunger, many elderly widows head up to the mountain to find food that grows wild.

This time they chose the wrong mushrooms to eat and even gave some to a daughter who is breastfeeding an infant. Almost immediately after eating they started vomiting uncontrollably, urinating and had diarrhea.

When people realized they have eaten the wrong kind of mushroom, they found a way to take them to a doctor over an hour away in the south of the island.

Thank God they were treated right away and now they have all recovered.

Nanay testifies that God still has something for her here on earth that is why she did not die.Thank God for He is good to His children.

Please be with us in praying for these widows. Rainy season is approaching making it impossible for people to go fishing in the high winds and torrential rain. They have no fish most of the time. Farming is also very hard during this season. Most of the locals get very hungry and suffer many illnesses.

Maryjane and her sister Jeremay face many hardships at their young age. Their mother went to the big city with plans to send money to help meet family needs and with a promise to not be gone long. Six years later she still hasn’t returned.  Distraught and desperate, their father looks for any work he can find to make ends meet.  His efforts have come up short and his regular absence from home leaves his daughters in a lonely and hopeless place.

These sisters have been part of our daily Malnourished Feeding Program. Jeremay has reached the weight she should be, but Maryjane still struggles to reach a healthy weight and regain her health.

Please keep them in prayer as we minister to them weekly. Pray for opportunities for the father to find work near to home. Pray that they will respond well to the care and healthy food we supply. Food is cooked in the morning and they have to make it last until their father returns. Pray that their heart finds healing from deep wounds they have and for God’s love and hope to shine through our staff that spend time connecting with them each week.

Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 18 Sep 2016 0 comments

Each week we look forward to times of joy as we connect heart to heart with the widows most in need. They often face an entire life of poverty related struggles alone and suffering horribly.

As we simply step into their world with love and compassion, life and joy is being restored in their hearts. Helping them find dignity and comfort is an honor and privilege! Love has such power.

As part of Mercy Ministry, Jing has been visiting three particular widows. She brings a meal and spends time reading to them from the Bible. We praise God that all three of them recently responded to God’s goodness and love in prayer by renewing their faith and hope in Jesus.

Although most find it difficult to read, we pray that faith will be stirred in their hearts as we speak truth and life into them through the Word! (Rom 10:17)

Nanay Tansya lives alone in the house we built for her. Link to Video and story She had an accident recently and hit her head hard on a rock trying to get Kalamungay leaves from a tree to feed herself. Thankfully, some people saw what happened and rushed her to the clinic. Each day she comes to Hope for the Island to have her wound cleaned. Please pray against infection!













We have the privilege of spending time with and serving many of the elderly in our community. Everyday you can see them by the road breaking rocks with a hammer. They sell the smaller broken rocks to construction companies.  This dangerous and difficult labor earns them some pesos to feed themselves. Each sack they fill earns them 20 pesos or about 50 cents.

Please stand with us in prayer for strength and good health for these dear elderly men and women.  Because they can’t put in a full day of work we help supplement their diet with vegetables and rice. Pray also for an open mind for the Word of God. It is often hard for them to understand or hear as we read to them. Their hearing and sight is failing. It can take them a minute or so to recognize us when we arrive to visit with them.


Pray for God’s blessing and provision to be upon these precious seniors that are the beloved children of God.


Posted by: In: Mercy Ministry 21 Sep 2015 0 comments

Leaning HouseThis story is about a fiercely independent 76 yr. old widow who lives alone. Her humble home was leaning precariously on the side of a hill in the village of Burgos. Each typhoon that hit our area only made it worse.

When we approached Nanay Tanysa about tearing it down, she was concerned that she would have nowhere to go.

Under the umbrella of our Mercy Ministry, we supplied new and used materials to help make her home more stable. Family and neighbors tore it down and rebuilt on the other side of the road.

It may not look the way we would imagine, but we are learning that sometimes we have to put our western agendas aside and let locals lead the way.

We featured Nanay Tanysa in one of our recent blogs sporting her new donated sunglasses. These protect her eyes during long days of breaking large rocks into little pebbles with a hammer. It takes her two days to fill a bag that earns her 18 pesos or 50 cents =$7.50 month!

Our Mercy Ministry regularly calls on her to spend time praying and developing relationship. We supply her with dried veggies and rice to provide her the energy she needs for rock breaking.

Your donations help us have the resources in place to make decisions such as this. We are able to provide funding as God leads for a variety of needs. What a joy to see her smile and thank God. This simple blessing gave a sweet elderly lady the dignity and love that she deserves. We give God the glory for His provision.

The cost to bless this dear senior was about $100! THANK YOU!!!

Please take the time to click this link and view the 34 seconds of video. It begins with moving day for this independent lady, moves to the view inside her NEW home and finally she poses in the door of her NEW home.

My New House

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.

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.

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