Posted by: In: Staff 04 Feb 2018 0 comments

Firstly, I need to thank my God with all my heart for allowing me to grow in so many ways over the course of my schooling. I’m so blessed to be part of this journey with the Lord. God is so faithful for always providing all the needs that sustain me. I am especially thankful for an answer to prayer. God provided a person in my life who has become a mentor. She loves the Lord and was brought into my life in God’s perfect time.

I am getting more involved with people in the church who share a desire to grow and live out their faith. I believe God has many plans ahead of me. I always trust Him alone because He has been faithful and good.

I’m so excited to apply all that I have learned in my schooling. To help those suffering is my passion.

On my holidays I really enjoyed my retreat home to Siargao Island. During Christmas break I had real connecting time with family and the staff at Hope for the Island.  I was able to encourage and impart to the new staff the heartbeat of our ministry. Having these breaks provides me with a direct place to apply the techniques I learned in school.

I praise God for another victory. I received the highest grade for exams.  I am enrolled and ready to start the 2nd semester. I am praying for the same favour and wisdom to keep up my grades.  It’s hard to believe this coming June will be my 3rd year.  I only have one final year for field practice. Glory and honour belong to God!

From Derek:

Continue to pray for Reshel. Hope for the Island team continue to visit her regularly. Despite her struggles she is gifted with a resilient faith and the joy of the Lord.

Doctors have long recommended she get therapy if there is any hope of her gaining strength and improving. Manila is the only city that has the adequate facilities and trained therapists.

We rejoiced when some friends of Hope for the Island responded with a desire to support the needed travel and therapy. Plans were set in motion and travel was scheduled for Reshel and her mother to go to Manila. Unfortunately at the mid way point of travel, Reshel’s mother felt uncomfortable and nervous about going so far.

Many people from the island are not used to travel and it can be scary. Our staff that accompanied her tried to help calm her nerves and encourage her to continue on. Unfortunately, the mother gave in to her fears and decided to go back to the island. We cannot force her even though we do not agree with her decision. That was a little over a month ago and sadly Reshel’s health has deteriorated. At this point she is unable to walk anymore even with the walker we provided. She is dearly loved and needs prayer as she endures each day.

Posted by: In: Staff 13 Oct 2017 0 comments

Hope for the Island staff has been going through intensive community health education (CHE) training over the last few months.  This training came at the perfect time as we sought the Lord and prayed how we can be more effective at overcoming the many obstacles that come from serving in an impoverished island.  The in depth training has taken us through many areas that stretch us, yet we are gaining confidence as we learn more and apply the proven holistic CHE principles in our community.

We thank God for the opportunity to be better equipped to serve the communities God has entrusted us with.  When Jesus sent out His disciples He did so with clear instruction to give attention to and minister to the day-to-day needs and struggles people encountered.  Jesus took a holistic approach to ministry and calls us to the same.  Through this training we are learning valuable techniques and strategies for community transformation. We are in the process of integrating the initial CHE principles in the community of Bayud Sitio that is near to Hope for the Island.

God has burdened our heart to first apply the CHE program in this area that has long held the name MIA.  This name was given due to the number of people previously involved in witchcraft.  Many people still refer to this place as MIA (Manila International Airport)  This is a name that comes with insult and shame.  The name was given and long held because of the demonic ayok and wak wak spirits that supposedly landed and reside there.

The true and accepted name of the area in past generations was “Bayud Sitio”.  The name came from a bird that frequents the area.  We prayed over the area before going in and declared God’s blessing and redemption over what the enemy has stolen for so many years.  We are believing God for restoration of His blessing and purposes over the people who reside in Bayud Sitio!!

The CHE program takes a unique approach that moves away from the standard short-term missions approach that often nurtures dependence. A spirit of inferiority is fostered especially when handouts are the norm.  Hope for the Island will continue to act as facilitators helping the people recognize the critical needs they see affecting their community and come alongside them as they consider solutions that they can work towards. We come in a support role and facilitate the steps at the peoples’ pace, rather than being the one who comes in with our preplanned and pushed agendas.  The plans we adapt often fall short of being adopted by the people thus lacking long-term sustainable fruit.

The steps we are taking with CHE will bring us closer to two aspects of the vision we have at Hope for the Island…

  • We dream of authentic community of people living and loving as servants within their culture, intentionally engaging their peers, families and communities.
  • We dream of upcoming generations equipped to rise above adversity and empowered to walk out the purposes they were created for.

We made the customary courtesy call meeting with local officials sharing the purpose of CHE and our focus in Bayud Sitio.

Second day community actiity in Bayud “road to development” was where the people identify the critical needs faced and the resources readily available in their area.   These activities help them come together as a team.  The activities are aimed to awaken their minds and hearts to the realities faced in the community.  It helps them take ownership of need and some steps towards reaching their goals. In this activity a line is created in front of them to represent the road to development and what problems they identify along the way that is preventing them from development.  Contaminated water, lack of work and disease are the 3 areas they identify as top problems with water concerns being number 1.

On the fourth day they create a detailed sketch map of the whole community.  This vicinity map helps them map out the place they call home and to give a visual creating a sense where they all fit into being part of the community and solution.  This was fun because many struggle to draw and it connected everyone through laughter.



The fifth day was a calendar activity. This activity purposes to involve everyone in determining the seasons and the challenges / possibilities that come with each. Again this is an interactive time that brings greater understanding and creates open doors for solutions to the needs expressed. Throughout the course of our time with the community HOPE do a number of activities to help them connect with each other and invoke creative discussions. Biblical truths are interwoven throughout each lesson and activity.

Pray for the community of Bayud Sitio as they continue to take these faith steps towards redemption by God’s grace and lead. We thank God for the joy and opportunity we have to minister and serve alongside God’s people.

Posted by: In: Staff 31 Aug 2017 0 comments

Hope for the island has some new faces!

Our family spent some time with them at the farm before we left for Canada.

We recently accepted to the team some new passionate people with a heart to serve. We are excited for what the Lord has in store!!!

Posted by: In: Staff 08 Jun 2017 0 comments

From Derek:

We are blessed to have four young women join us at Hope for the Island. These students will be serving at Hope for two months. They are from Mindanao State University in Marawi City where conflict with radical Islamic groups and military is ongoing.


From their heart:

We are so thankful to escape Marawi City and serve for this season at Hope for the Island!

As we prayed and prepared during travel, God gave us His Word in the book of Nehemiah. He was going to use us over this time to help rebuild. We prayed into this, as well as for those left behind in Marawi.

War between the military and Maute/Abu Sayyaf exploded near our school. It all happened so fast and then our President declared martial law. Although we were shocked by what was happening around us, we had a confidence knowing God is with and for us, so it didn’t matter who was against us!

The day that we planned to travel to Hope for the Island, news came that every entry and exit point on the way to Iligan had been closed. For 2 1/2 days we were trapped in our school in the middle of war with no electricity and no water. The morning of May 25th, we received a message to evacuate and go to a place where we could be rescued. As we escaped, we prayed and cried to God for the situation that Marawi was facing.

We praise God because He ordained everything, giving us a vehicle to ride on. We left at 10 a.m. and arrived in Iligan at 7 p.m. The one hour trip turned into nine hours because of the other people also fleeing the city. We, as well as our family, thank God because we arrived at Iligan safe and sound.

Continue to pray for Joy’s family who is still in this area. She has sleepless nights at times not knowing if her family will be killed.

Some family did not support our decision to go to Siargao Island to serve at Hope because of fear. We know God called us to go and even spoke clearly in dreams to us. We must obey and trust God to give peace to our families. We must follow God’s greater purpose in spite of what happens to us. For us, that purpose is to serve here alongside our mentor Kuya Jerbie.

When we arrived, it was clear that God has blessed this ministry. The Hope team has been so hospitable and kind. The warm welcome we received made us feel as if we had been here a long time.

We are honestly amazed to see the various ministries the Hope team handle. They are ready to serve in any way and help our team develop to be more fruitful and anointed in the work God has entrusted to us.

Posted by: In: Staff 30 Jan 2017 0 comments

From Cristina:

God has been faithful through this last semester.  He continues to give me the ability to learn and absorb what is being taught.  The Lord is providing everything that is fulfilling the desires of my heart.  With each passing month I feel like my passion is growing and my heart is even more burdened for those who are destitute. I see Jesus’ life in the gospels in a more clear way. His humility and love for others was unmatched. I know the outcome of this Social Work degree is not going to be an occupation for me, rather a life calling.  It’s my prayer that I will be a bridge leading deprived people to the goodness of God.  Hosea 10:12 inspires me on during my studies.  We can never underestimate the power of a seed.  Planted seeds of love that are heart deep in ones life will bring impact.

During my semester break I enjoyed some nice rest.  I was also able to view the needs we face at Hope for the Island with a different perspective.  I can see areas we can improve and be more effective. As I spent time with the people in the community, it is clear that they need to enhance their abilities and learn skills that can help them break out of the cycle of poverty.  As leaders at HOPE, we will be working to gradually implement aspects learned from my schooling.  We need to look ahead so that generations to come will have hope.

Within Hope for the Island Malnourished program there are steps that we are taking to not only help restore the health of the child, but also to help prevent reoccurrence.  This comes from educating parents and guiding them to break free from poor habitual practices. Many superstitions held by the people contribute to the outbreak of many health problems.  It is our goal to see families become independent so that they can stand on their own once our support ends and the child is healthy.

Teaching families with malnourished children how to plant in small areas surrounding their home is a practical way to have food that they can harvest rather than missing meals or borrowing money to look for food.  Spending recreational time with these families outside of follow up home visitations is also a great way to connect with them and build relationships.

In each ministry we will continue to evaluate what are the greatest needs so we can accurately intervene and bless those God entrusts us to serve.  Thanks for the support and continue to pray for my schooling and success for Hope for the Island.


Cristina Espanto

Posted by: In: Staff 14 Dec 2016 0 comments

Hope Staff Leah reports from YWAM:

When I heard I was approved for DTS I was filled with excitement because my prayer was answered. I was also very nervous and afraid to be alone on this trip away from what is familiar. The trip started with a big test. I needed to board an overnight ferry to Cebu. This is not easy for me because of a bad past experience that stirred fear back in my heart. Thank God He brought me through and I arrived safely! It was a good start to gaining some independence, facing fears and experiencing God provide for me!

I was picked up by a YWAM leader and taken to the base in Cebu Talisay. I have 11 classmates from different countries. After a few awkward days not sure what to say or do, we started to connect and build friendships.

The first guest speaker’s topic on Foundations of Christianity really impacted me a lot. I was reminded how important the foundation is that I build on.  If it is built only on Christ and truth I can`t easily stumble. When other things get mixed into the foundation it becomes dangerous.  Some of my new friends responded to the message on baptism and we celebrated the impact that will have on their walk.

The “Father Heart of God” message was a very emotional time for me as God’s love embraced me.  It was really nice because it was my first time to weep freely in front of a man.  He hugged me and spoke the Father’s heart to me as one of God’s princesses and loved daughters.  I won’t forget that encounter I had with God!

We also did Kid’s Ministry outreaches using drama presentation and Bible lessons. Kids were very happy and responsive to the Gospel.

Other teachings were on Spiritual Warfare, Godly Relationships, Intercession and Hearing God’s Voice. These topics were very good and very real when stepping out in faith to serve God! I was challenged to intercede more faithfully for others.

During our prayer summit from 6 a.m. to 5:30 pm., I was so blessed because we were praying for the nations and for the people who are in positions of authority.

This has been a really good experience because GOD spoke clearly into my life.  I will continue to grow in WALKING BY HIS WILL not MY WILL.

Posted by: In: Staff 27 May 2016 0 comments

Hope for the Island is located on a small island with little to no opportunities available for training or seminars.  Our leadership has been praying for ways for the team at HOPE to receive further equipping and training that will in turn grow the ministries entrusted to them.  God answered prayer through a friend who invited Hope for the Island to Surigao City for ministry training focused on kids’ ministry, performing arts and worship. God not only provided the means for our staff to attend but we were able to bless all the youth assistants who volunteer each Saturday with an all expenses paid trip to attend as well.  Praise the Lord!

Here are some testimonies from our team…


This seminar was an important experience for me and challenged me really hard. 200+ participants attended and there were only 2 comfort rooms (toilets) and no water most of the time. We had to go out each day at 4 a.m. to find a place where we could shower. Food portions were very little and we sleep on a floor together with everyone. The whole seminar was very challenging and I am so thankful to experience that struggle because God reminded me how very blessed I am at Hope for the Island.

I need to be more grateful with everything God provides for us each day personally and for the ministry. Thank God I was able to lead a group teaching children during our outreach. We had such a blast during the praise and worship. It was amazing to worship God with so many others who are also involved in ministry like us. Thank God for people who supported us in prayers and finances that enabled us to go!!


Mary Grace:

I thank God for the opportunity to grow in my giftings and be used to lead a group during outreach.  We met many new friends that share in God’s call for missions!                                                                 


I was so blessed, refreshed and encouraged through all the topics that we’ve learned through the training seminar




God rebuked me hard this time when we went through the topic of facing the giant. Most of the time that I face something big my normal reaction is to run away or react, but God reminded me to face the giant with Him. That is what I am called to do. I was challenged and rebuked. I thank God I was also one of the leaders of a group. I initially thought I was only going to be one of the participants but God allowed me to lead in His strength.  Thank God for opportunity to share my life and lead other youth that I met for the first time!



During seminar God spoke to me through the life of David. Although he was only young God used him mightily. And so like David, I too am only young and God reminds me to make myself available to be used by Him. That is great!



God is always faithful!  He sees the heart of His children and He reminded me through the training that He is the I AM THAT I AM. The training was a great time of being filled up, restored strength, and refreshment in His presence. I learned more about being a leader. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet other leaders who have also been leading for a while.  We were able to pray, encourage and counsel one another. Thank God for the way He allowed me to lead out in new ways and serve where there was need. It was a great time for us all to experience such incredible ministry equipping. My prayer is to send more youth to this training next year.


Some great testimonies that bless my heart as their leader at HOPE!  It encourages me to continue to seek ways for our team to grow for His glory.  With that said a new and grand opportunity was provided that would only fuel the fire even more!  Our family will be taking the ministry staff from HOPE up to Manila the first week of June.  We will be attending a massive discipleship conference that has international speakers coming in from around the world. Check out for details and be praying for us!




Posted by: In: Staff 07 Feb 2016 0 comments

Nermilyn Oraba (Nerm) is a special part of our HOPE family. She grew up in our Kids and Youth Ministry. Nerm, like most of our staff, now lovingly cares for, mentors and leads kids and youth from similar situations to hope found in knowing Jesus!

It has been our goal over the last few years to send out staff from our little island for additional schooling and equipping. Nerm was the third staff member we have sent to YWAM (Youth With A Mission.)

DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM offers 5 months of growing deeper with God during lecture. That is followed by 3 months of outreach exposure to other nations to apply all that has been learned.

Growing up in a small island, most people do not venture anywhere beyond some neighboring islands.

Nerm’s experiences will be carried with her for a lifetime. She will bear more fruit as she continues to serve and share Jesus’ love back at HOPE. Here is her story…

From Nerm’s heart:

I am thankful to God for the opportunity that He has given me to go through YWAM’s discipleship training school (DTS). Wow amazing! God really changed my life!!!

God used each circumstance, relationship and teaching to mold me. I thought to myself before going, that I am already in ministry and not sure if I will push through with plans to take a break from HOPE for training in YWAM. I was wrong and am so happy God opened those doors for me!

I thought I had it all together and was free, but God gently revealed my brokenness and hidden areas of unforgiveness. My spiritual eyes were really open to the truth of God’s Word and condition of my heart.

God challenged me to be vulnerable with Him and to release everything. I was surprised by the hurts, hatred, jealousy and self-pity that still affected my life. Although I went through trainings and heart healing times with God in the past, I didn’t really deal with the root.

God’s presence was so real as I walked through this. I deeply wept, repented and was released from the bondage that comes by holding on. It was really God’s timing for me to encounter His fresh love and grace and find freedom that comes through Jesus alone.

I learned to be thankful in every aspect of my life. I also gained confidence in who I am in Christ and not to justify my shyness. This was especially true in spreading the good news of the Gospel in challenging environments. God put a confident boldness in me. I really experienced it during our outreach to other nations. I’m blessed that our team was able to go to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We taught English, served and loved others.

These travels and experiences were very new for me. As the nerves started rising, God spoke to me again. He said, “Don’t depend on yourself. Depend on me alone!” Outreach was the time that I was able to apply everything that God had been leading me through during the lecture phase. He gave me boldness to step out in faith and share His love in many places. The Holy Spirit was promised as my helper and He worked in and through me.



This season of my life was a great privilege and a life changer. Thank you God for my Hope for the Island family who  supported this time for my training and equipping. May the Lord continue to bless our lives so we can be a blessing!


Posted by: In: Staff 25 Jul 2015 0 comments

The following is a testimony that was shared by Ching in her own words at our Hope for the Island Mothers’ Day ministry time.

Before I was a Christian, I know in my life there is God, but I don’t have faith in Him. I didn’t mind having God in my life. I lived a life that follows and does all that I want to do in my life. I don’t care about other people, and I don’t even care if I hurt other people and even my own family. In short, I used to live without Christ and I followed what my flesh want. With all of these deep in me I don’t have peace. Most of the times I don’t understand my life and anything happened in my life I blame God.

I thank God that He had given me a chance to know Hope for the Island and had a chance to join their ministry. Since I join Hope, that’s how I started hearing God’s word and learning the truth. They keep reminding me about the Word and letting me know that what God is looking is our heart if we have relationship with Him. By God’s help and having devotion everyday slowly I understand what is the truth and blaming God because of all things that happened to me is totally a mistake. There I found out that God never failed me, it was me who stays away from God. Those time I realized the reason I don’t have peace is because I don’t have a relationship with God. Having a relationship with God is the best thing that ever happened to my life.

One day I decided to be baptized knowing that my life is now own by God, no one pushed me to be
Now, I could say I’m a change person and now I am always on guard and being sensitive if I’ve done wrong or not. I could now sense the works of the Holy Spirit in me. And I am careful not to entertain the works and lies of satan.

I thank God for His love and forgiveness that I experienced. Now, I am experiencing the real joy and I have peace within me.
Picture cooking
I could say, there is no impossible with God, before I was a sinner now I am a renewed person. I am grateful for everything that God has done in my life and also with what He is doing now with me and with my family. I am happy serving God.

Posted by: In: Staff 12 Jun 2015 0 comments

1Kenneth is a young man that God brought into our family at a time when he was lost and very troubled. My relationship with Kenneth has been an amazing journey and one that allowed me to get a better grasp of the Father heart of God. I am blessed to see Ken confident and walking out his identity in Christ. Below is his testimony in his own words. I pray it inspires anyone who may feel like someone they love is beyond reach and they are losing hope.





I started working at Hope for the Island 2008. First year, 2nd year, 3rd year of work, I could say it’s a blessing working with Kuya Derek and Ate Jenn together with the other staff. They considered me as their family. I worked at Hope for the Island with no questions in my heart, I don’t even think of money. I worked as the maintenance of the property of Hope and driving the staff to the ministry areas.

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