Our 5 months of travel within North America and living out of suitcases is coming to an end. It has been an action packed trip filled with many emotions and experiences, all of which we thank God for. Each step was met with God’s direction and provision. As the days windup here, our family has been highly anticipating seeing our staff and getting back to life and ministry on Siargao Island. We did our final presentation of the trip recently in Langley, BC and we will fly home to the Philippines on August 16.
First things first … A BIG thank you to all of you who made our North American trip possible and fruitful. We appreciate everyone who hosted us and generously supported the need for rebuilding a new mission house. Our goal was $55,000 USD and God faithfully provided!! Any excess funds that may come in will go towards building a storm bunker. We don’t want to be vulnerable in the face of another super typhoon. The plan is for demolition of the old mission house and new construction to start in the late fall. Upon arriving home, we will be busy catching up, hosting new interns and mission teams, as well as training six new junior staff from within the surrounding community.
When we were first praying about making this trip, we expressed the urgency in our hearts to expose our fast growing island kids to the place they hold their citizenship. North America still holds some familiarity for Jenn and I since it is where we were raised. Yet for our kids, it is a completely foreign land and culture. All they knew previous to our trip is life on a small island in the Philippines. We do feel blessed and see the many benefits of raising our kids in a simple and faith filled environment. For them to mature and appreciate where God has us, we felt that our kids needed exposure other than the third world where we live and minister. There were many first for our kids this trip. They experienced the inside of an elementary classroom with other students, developed close friendships with other English speaking kids and their cousins, shared about their personal life and faith in front of a large crowd, fished in a lake, went on water slides and garage sale hunting!
God provided opportunity for us to share our testimony and heart for missions at an Awana kids camp, youth programs, in churches, banquets and Bible studies. Our goal was to humbly honour the Lord as the source of victory from day one until now. It was a joy to share how God works in our lives as we make ourselves available to Him. We were so encouraged by the response at each event.
Each new experience brought with it many joys and challenges, as well as provided opportunity to share life lessons with our kids. Their faith was tested causing them to trust God in fresh ways. Jenn and I are so proud of how they faced many unknowns and adversities with a humble and faith filled heart. There were moments that they desperately wanted to return home to the Philippines, but they persevered. Especially hard for them was receiving news that two of their pets died while we were away.
Again for all who made this trip possible – THANK YOU!
Thank you also to our HOPE team staff who rose to each challenge in our absence and grew in faith and love. You all serve faithfully and represent Jesus well!