Monday, December 14, 2009

Bags of Joy Team


As a team of 11 we flew over to Metro-Manila to deliver the Bags of Joy to the Children of Hope preschools. These schools are the newest phase of the former Urban Church Planting Project. While we were there we worked alongside our missionaries, Bryant and Patty Sabandal, and many of our Filipino pastors and friends. Each day we divided into teams, with each team visiting one or two preschools per day. When at the schools we were greeted by the community, parents, teachers, pastors and the kids. These preschoolers were excited to share with us and their parents the songs and presentations they had learned. We also had our own songs to teach them, and had them help us act out the Christmas story. We also had the opportunity to pray a blessing over the kids, their parents, many of whom don’t attend church, and the teachers and pastors at each of the schools. Each party was concluded by the handing out of the Bags of Joy!

Each of these preschools is a valuable part of its community. Most of the kids who have graduated from the preschool programs are in the top 10% of their class. Many parents come to the churches and to know the Lord because of the lessons their kids learn at these preschools.

We ended our trip by helping put on our annual Christmas party for all of the pastors and teachers involved in the Children of Hope project. It was a great way to come together, revisit with those we had worked with during our time there, and celebrate Jesus and what he had done during our trip.

There is no way this trip would happen without your generous contributions through the Bags of Joy. On behalf of the children and families in Manila, we extended our deepest gratitude and thanks for your efforts. Please continue to pray with us for the preschool children, the Children of Hope project and future children to be enrolled in these schools.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Manila Flooding


After six hours of training with the pastors and teachers of Children of Hope project we set out to visit a couple of the churches that were badly hit by the flooding. There was no point in spending all of our time in a classroom with pastors while their communities had been badly impacted by the flooding.

Our van was fully weighed down by bags of rice, clothes and canned foods.

As we entered the narrow road leading into the community the damage was obvious – the further downhill we drove the worse it became.

People had emptied their belongings into the streets and were sorting through piles of debris saturated by filthy water. Soaked and ruined mattresses were being used by children as trampolines. Clothes were hung on every available wire, drying out in the sun. Important documents were carefully laid out to dry. Televisions were disassembled in an obvious hope that they would dry and work once again. The smell of rot and trash at times was unbearable and overwhelming.

Our van included two pastors and their pre-school teachers. As we made our way into the community they pointed out the members of the churches and the children of their schools. They told us their stories of wading through the water to higher ground – carrying their own children from their homes as their belongings were engulfed in the flood.

At times we were forced to stop the van and the street had to be cleared in order for us to continue down the narrow road. It was obvious that a car hadn’t been into this area since the flooding took place five days earlier.

The waterline was clearly marked somewhere above the first story of the houses. Plastic grocery bags completely filled the trees where the water had passed (apparently Manila Bay had filled with these trash bags – spilling into the ocean in a mass the size of Texas).

Men walked by with loads and loads of metal, wood and plastic – going to barter the trash with a recycler in hope of being able to buy some food for dinner. Half drowned animals sunned themselves in their own effort to recover. Women toiled over the wet clothes and the tedious effort to remove the mud from their homes. The streets were packed with children – some who had their feet and legs wrapped in plastic bags in order to create makeshift boots.

The churches that we visited had been flooded. The school supplies were completely soaked in muddy water – beyond recovery. Sound equipment was drying out in the hope that it would work again. The flood waters had stripped the walls all signs and d├ęcor. The building itself had been spared.

When our van stopped we were immediately surrounded by a clamor of people; Smiling children, curious men and women, church members.

We were the first people in their community to bring them “relief”. This brought them hope. They speculated that perhaps Bryant was one of the Presidential candidates – a politician securing supporters. When they found out we were missionaries they pleaded with us that their government had failed them again – No one seemed to care about the plight of their community.

The pastors got some young people to help carry the goods to the church. A young man with short and flip flops – his skin covered with mud from his toil, hoisted the bag of food onto his shoulder and proudly walked through the trash filled street to the church where we laid out the goods.

We had brought them a “drop in the bucket” to help out. A drop in the bucket in an ocean of need. I felt like a 25 lb bag of rice and some canned foods was a laughably feeble effort to help.

But it was something. And “something” brought hope. All you can ever do is help the individual. If you look at the massive needs it is overwhelming. But we did help someone.

Pastor Rickson and his staff know that this is a strategic time for them to reach out to their neighbors. As they take care of their own personal losses they also are addressing the needs of their members and neighbors – some who have had their homes completely washed away.

Today we will continue this process of gathering goods and visiting the most badly hit areas. A proper assessment of the damage to the churches will take a couple more days.
We’ll keep bringing “drops of hope” into these seas of suffering. In times like this we must do all we can to help our neighbor.

If you want to help, then pray about what you can give – Money is needed to replace mattresses and clothes. People have been out of work for a week so they need food. Disease will press into these communities as the conditions are horribly unsanitary. Medicine must be purchased and distributed. Schools need to be re-supplied.

Before this week is over we’ll come up with a clear strategy for relief. For $500 we can probably replace the workbooks and school supplies, purchase emergency food and medicine, and replace some of the equipment. We will give more to the most badly hit churches.

Thanks for your prayers. Stay tuned.
Photos and video are HERE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fall Opportunities

These two teams are right around the corner:

November 18-28, 2009: Bags of Joy Team
Deliver hope and gifts to the Manila Schools of Hope Pre-Schoolers. Families and individuals are all welcome to join this trip. Please contact Brandon Brazee at brandonb@eastsidechurch.org for more information. Cost: $1500

November 22-27, 2009: Ensenada Team
A great opportunity to get involved with YWAM and Impact ministries. Team members will be building houses for selected families and will be sharing a Thanksgiving Dinner. Interested families and individuals please contact Cathy Laird at claird@bellevuewa.gov. Be praying for this team! We have 45 tickets reserved for the trip.

Congratulations to Bob Horn for completing his Ride for IMPACT. He raised over $12,000 and had a great ride! See http://www.rideforimpact.org/ for more information.

IMPACT has approved assisting with the completion of stairs in the Torre de Poder Fourquare Bible College in Tijuana, Mexico. This will give them needed access to the upper floors of the school. Here is a photo of the school. We are prayerfully looking at ways to partner more with this and other works in that area.



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mission Team Calendar

May: Teams to "Beyond Malibu"


July 5-11, 2009: Baja Mission Team
This team will be partnering with Foundation For His Ministry in Vincente Guerro, Baja, Mexico. For more information, please contact Mike and Donna Cathey at 206.361.7337: Cost: $800

July 10-31, 2009: Uganda Team
This team will be working with our missionary to Uganda, Maggie Josiah and the African Hospitality Institute. For more information, please contact Cliff Oje at cliffoje@hotmail.com. Cost: approx. $3500

July 23-August 1: FYO Mission to Tijuana.

Fall 2009: Manila Medical Mission Trip
This team will conduct medical missions among the pastors, teachers, kids and families of the poorest of the poor cities of Metro Manila. Medical experience is not necessary. If you have been called for this mission you are more than welcome to join this trip. Please email Gary Requa at gary.requa@verizon.net Cost: TBD

October 2-3, 2009: MissionsFest Seattle
Visit http://missionsfestseattle.org/ for more info. Cost: Free!

November 2009: Bags of Joy Team
Deliver hope and gifts to the UCPP Pre-Schoolers. Families and individuals are all welcome to join this trip. Please contact Brandon Brazee at brandonbeastsidechurch.org for more information. Cost: TBD

November 22-27, 2009: Ensenada Team
A great opportunity to get involved with YWAM and Impact ministries. Team members will be building houses for selected families and will be sharing a Thanksgiving Dinner. Interested families and individuals please contact Cathy Laird at claird@bellevuewa.gov. Cost: TBD

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ensenada 2009

Hey everybody, just thought I'd let you all know about a great opportunity to get involved with YWAM and Impact ministries! From November 22-27 team members will be building houses for selected families and will also share in a Thanksgiving Dinner! Interested families and individuals please contact Cathy Laird at claird@bellevuewa.gov
Cost: TBD