Hope for the Island formed from what was intended to be a short term mission trip to the Philippines in 1997. Derek Van Ryckeghem (Hope for the Island Founder) was on the first Youth with a Mission (YWAM) team that entered the Island of Siargao proclaiming the gospel. Derek stayed on well after the rest of the team departed to go home. It was during that time of follow up and immersion in the culture that God started stirring his heart with a long term vision and love for the Philippines.
Within the next 3 years Derek went on to lead another team into this Island and within the tribes of Mindanao and completed the School of Biblical Studies (SBSC) at the University of the Nations in Kona, HI. The long term call to missions in the Philippines became clear, so Derek went home to share his vision with family and friends. Upon arriving back to his home in Winnipeg, Canada Derek reconnected with Jennifer who faithfully prayed for each mission trip to the Philippines. Jennifer also attended YWAM and felt God’s call to serve in the Philippines. With Bible College and a TESOL degree under her belt she was ready to go! Derek proposed to Jennifer! With only an 8 week engagement they were married and on the field long term 6 short weeks after their “I DO’s”!!
From there the adventure of faith began and has never slowed down for a minute. It was during their first year of marriage that this couple learned what it was like to truly live by faith, endure countless struggles, spiritual attacks, storms and literal hunger. Nearing the end to this first year, God imparted His vision to start what is now known as Hope for the Island! Hope for the Island became a registered non profit organization in the Philippines on Jan 15, 2001. In obedience to following in the example of Jesus, Hope for the Island takes a holistic approach to ministry. This means that the totality of man’s need is taken into account. It is not enough nor Biblical to focus merely on man’s spiritual need while neglecting their physical and emotional necessities. Countless lives are being transformed and lasting fruit produced as Hope for the Island prioritizes walking out the holistic ministry of Christ. By making children and youth the focal point of this ministry the impact is far reaching and communities are being developed.
God has blessed Derek and Jenn with 2 of their own children Makana and Brison. Beyond their immediate family they have nurtured and mentored locals who now serve as part of the HOPE team.