Well we’ve been in Metro Manila for over a month now and have been able to work on several projects.
Project 1: Church building in Paradise Village.
The walls of both stories are now complete and the outside of the first floor has been covered in cement. The gates were installed this week; as well as, some of the wires for electricity. We will start on the roof next week.
This church has already made an impact in this very bad area. We were able to use the inside of the building to hold one of our VBS stations, and the outside for another. Pastor William and this Church are also making an impact in the lives of the people of Paradise. The man who is in charge of all cock fighting, is allowing to store our supplies in front of his shop. He is also selling us the cement blocks we need with a 30% discount. We were able to give him a World Family Missions t-shirt and an Armor of God coin. We also have a young man who works for us who God is using this church to change. Early on in the building progress, five bags of cement were stolen from the job site. Pastor William and several of the church members prayed that they would get the bags back, and the man who had stolen them heard them praying. The next day, he came to Pastor and confessed that he had stolen the bags to be able to afford milk for his baby and food for his family. He also told Pastor that just weeks before his brother and him had killed a man and his brother was now in hiding. Pastor told the young man that he did not need to steal, and if he needed food for his baby that we could just give him a cash advance on his paycheck. It’s been several weeks, and the young man has not stolen anything else. He did however, come and ask Pastor William if, when the church building is finished, he would perform the wedding ceremony for him and his girlfriend. Several other workers have asked Pastor to perform their weddings as well.
Pastor William and all of us who regularly attend the Bible studies at Paradise have made strong relationships with the people there. It’s great to see how kind Pastor is to all of the workers, while still making sure they are doing their jobs. They all know if they have any issues or need help they can talk to him.
Project 2: VBS in Paradise.
During the mornings of the week that the team stayed with us, we ran a VBS for kids ages 3-13 in Paradise. The kids split into four groups, led by the youth leaders from our church. They then rotated between four stations, led by our team. The stations were Games, Music, Craft and Story, then at the end we gave the local mothers money to cook meals for all the kids. It was great to see everyone come together to put on this VBS! The older kids helped show the younger kids what to do, the mothers cooked meals, our team led the groups and even the youth from the church in Navotas spent their semester break from school helping. We were so blessed to be a part of these kid’s lives!
Our VBS was centered on the Gospel Wristband and each day represent one of the 5 colors. Day 1: Black/Sin. Day 2: Red/Christ’s Blood. Day 3: White/Purity and Forgiveness. Day 4: Green/Growing and Going. Day 5: Yellow/Eternal life with God. On the last day everyone received their own Gospel Wristband.
Project 3: Painting the Church in Navotas.
Because of the skilled work and team that the Lord put together, we realized that spending all our time on the church in Paradise would not be wise, so God gave us another project to work on. Our home church in Navotas (Pastor William’s Church) really needed to be painted and so we decided to get it done. We spent three afternoons (after VBS) and then all of the Monday before the team left getting everything painted.
Since the team left last week we have been getting settled into our house, began Tagalog lessons and have been taking Inna and MJ (two of our team members who stayed longer) to see their families here in the Philippines. In the next few weeks we have several events coming up: a conference, youth sportsfest and a gathering of all the local churches for “Family Day”!
Please pray for us as we look for more ways we can meet needs and share God’s love here in the Philippines!
Michael, Sarah and Eden.