Day in Olongapo

Today was our only full day in Olongapo. The trip here is for scouting and to get an idea of what we may be able to do in the future with the base here.

We had a meeting time with worship and teaching in the morning, followed by an orientation of the projects and aim of the base. The main focus of the YWAM base in Olongapo is bringing women out of the bars that are in the area. They help bring them out of prostitution and teach them skills to make money in other ways.

The girls often choose this lifestyle because it is easy and consistent money. And if they want to leave, they have no job skills for anything else. YWAM Olongapo is working the fix this problem.

We were able to see a small area and understand what it really was like. Many talked to some girls and connected with them and leaders on the base will meet with them again and continue to try and bring them out of that life.

We only had a short time, but we were able to at least begin to see the need and what work is being done to help. Hopefully we can gather more information tomorrow and pass it on to you.

Advertisements

To Olongapo!

Today was a day of travel. We spent the morning getting ready and then we headed out to catch our Jeepney, then bus to Olongapo.

The jeepney ride was long and cramped and the bus ride was longer but much more comfortable. It was nice to get out of the city and see more of the Philippines. We had a great view of some mountains on the way in and we went to dinner with some of the team from the base here in the city.

Olongapo was once home to a US Naval Base and unfortunately due to that a large Red Light District came up in the city. The base was shut down in the early 90’s and so the city has cleaned up some, but it is still here and areas close by are full of the same problem.

We are looking forward to being with the team here and learning about this city and seeing how Word of Life can partner with them.

Day 2

 

Today was another great day in Manila! We had amazing opportunities to be with and minister to elementary children and High School kids again!

We began bright and early at 7 am with a quick breakfast and then off to the ministry room  for elementary ministry. These kids were incredibly cute and they can color extremely well! Once again we were blessed and inspired by their hearts for the Lord and their voices of worship. Even the youngest kids are getting excited about their time with the leaders and time learning about God. Their joy is contagious and their energy encouraging. I’m sure no one could ever tire of seeing hearts so glad and thankful in all things. We sang songs, played some games, read a story and taught, and colored. There are many artists among the elementary children at YWAM Balut.

Many of the kids that were in this class are students that Word of Life sponsors. It is so exciting to see exactly where our funds go and see how it really does make a huge difference in their lives. The work that is being done here is well worth our support.

The second half of the day was with the High Schoolers again. Paul did an amazing job leading worship and giving his testimony and word. They really liked his tale of God pushing him in the direction that God called him to…. and how he met and proposed to his wife. He did an awesome job and many students came away with a word from God.

God is speaking to the team and seeing how we are just a small part of a greater Kingdom really speaks to all of us. Seeing our brother’s and sister’s around the world makes Jesus’ commission to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth more meaningful and even more real. It’s easy to forget that there is a world beyond the USA that needs Jesus. It’s also easy to forget that the USA needs Jesus just as much as the rest of the world.

We are off to Olongapo next. This will be our first trip there ever, and we are not sure how reliable the internet will be, so the next time you hear from us may be Tuesday.

Day 1

 

Day 1 is in the books. It was a fairly easy day all things considered. The base was nice enough to give us a later breakfast so we could sleep and recover a little more from the long journey and we took the morning to get settled in and organize.

 

We had an unusual (for us) but delectable breakfast of noodle soup bread and they gave a presentation/orientation for the base and the ministries that they put on here at the base that filled up the morning. It was good to be reminded again of all the work being done here and also be encouraged that we are able to play a big part in their student sponsorship program.

 

If you do not know, Word of Life sponsors about 60-70 kids in elementary school, high school, and college to put them through each year. We bless the students and their families by paying tuition so that they can receive an education to launch them into the world qualified for good jobs. This area was built around “Smokey Mountain.” Many families scavenge for recyclables or any other money-making garbage they can find in order to provide for their families. With a good education, children are able to help bring their family out of that lifestyle and are able to follow their professional dreams.

 

When I say that Word of Life sponsors students, I mean that YOU sponsor the students. Our Coffee For A Cause donations go directly and completely to these students. So if you have never dropped in some cash or have thought about it or have done it once last year, think about it again and realize that only $10 is about 10% of a full year at elementary school for a child.

 

Elementary School = $110 a year

High School = $140 a year

College = $600 a year

 

So now that you know how little it costs to fund a year of school, maybe we can all band together and add more to the number of students that are a part of the program?

 

Anyway, our ministry for the day was with the High School (7th-12th grade) in the evening. It was a great night. We played games, we worshiped, we had a message, we met new people, and we shared stories with new friends. It is really very similar to a night at any youth group. That is always fun.

 

Paul led worship and it is always wonderful to hear a room full of students worship in English with us as well as their own native tongue. It can make you feel like a slacker when you only kind of are into it. It was fun to see students from the last trip and see how they have grown and changed in less than 2 years. It gives perspective when you see them again in their own neighborhood, that many of us would be uncomfortable in, and they are still full of joy and grateful for the chance they have to worship together and go to school because of generous people who want them to succeed. They have much less than many, but they also have much more than most because of their love and pursuit of God.

 

Well, it’s late, the internet is shut off so I cannot upload anything, and we have an earlier and later day tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers and support and we will continue to keep you updated along the way. Good night!

We Made It!

After 26 hours of travel we finally got here.

The flights were good and thankfully uneventful and without complications. We met Cherry and Dulce (our YWAM leaders for the trip) right after we grabbed our bags and they whisked us away to YWAM Balut.

At this point we have really just said our “Hello’s” and slept, but we are getting ready to head out into Manila and begin working!

We have a quick orientation this morning and then we will be doing some youth ministry in the afternoon. There will be another update at the end of the day to recap, but I just wanted to let everyone know that we are here!

Internet is turned off at 10pm every night and doesn’t come on until about 8:30am, so we will try and get something posted everyday if our activities allow it. If the internet can upload fast enough we will have some video to show what we are doing!

Let the fun begin!

And They’re Off!

Our Word of Life Missions Team is traveling to Manila & Olangapo, Philippines from October 24 – November 6.  We would love for you to partner in prayer for us: travel mercies, health and protection, divine appointments, God’s heart and compassion for the people, and boldness to share the gospel.  Updates and videos will be posted here as soon as the team has access to the internet!