Ministry Report 1/30/15

This week has been full of activities. We have preached, visited, served, taught and much more!

This and That

In the last week I have preached in two church services, one mission’s conference and one special conference for a Bible College alumni group. In that last service I preached for one hour and forty five minutes straight! That was the longest sermon I have ever preached and the people enjoyed it! I wasn’t just being long-winded; I was actually given a two hour time slot.

Last Saturday we had our first ministry day in a squatter village called Handumanan. There were over 65 children present and all of them had a good meal and heard the Bible story.

Every Thursday I teach in the Bible College for three hours and this week was no different. Thankfully we take short breaks each hour!

We visited the dump again this week and we will have our first official day of ministry there this Saturday. Please pray for us and I’ll let you know how it goes in next weeks update!

A morning to remember

But the main thing that I would like to share with you is what happened on Friday morning. (It is now Friday night here), I know, confusing right?

This morning we woke up at 4:00 am and we were out the door by about 4:45 am armed with thermos’s of hot water, cups of just add water noodles, bread and mango juice.

We were in pursuit of the precious children who sleep on the streets in Bacolod. The streets were dark and there was a light rain falling. There were only a few people out and about in this city of 500,000. During normal hours there a people everywhere and the traffic is unimaginable.

It’s hard to find the homeless people during the daytime here but at this early hour they are sleeping everywhere.

It didn’t take long before we spotted the first cluster of kids sleeping on the dirty sidewalk. It was the same five kids that we met last week. They were in the same spot sleeping on dirty, wet pieces of old cardboard boxes.

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Walter and I began to wake them up as Pastor Ricky, April, Hunter, Sarah and Lynnsey prepared the noodles and bread.

Before long the kids were wide awake and enjoying a hot breakfast!

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These kids are beautiful and it’s hard to comprehend why they are on the streets. But basically, their families are so poor that the children have to stay in the streets to rummage for things to sell as scrap. They bring the money that they make home to their parents so that they can buy food.

While we were sitting and just loving on these kids we noticed the awful sores on many of their legs, feet and arms. We are not sure what the sores are but more than likely they are caused by bacteria and infections due to the fact that these kids go for days without bathing.

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April began to use baby wipes to clean the sores of the little girl who had the worst case on her legs. After cleaning the places she applied some cream that is primarily used for minor burns but we figured it was better than nothing at all. (Neosporin type medicine is very expensive here).

One by one, the kids began to show April all of their sores. They have so many.

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It quickly became apparent that they really needed to bathe first and then get the ointment. At first we were a little frustrated and said among ourselves that we wished we already had our ministry center, that way we could get them cleaned up.

Then, someone had the idea of just taking them back to our house. What a novel idea, just using what you have to love people! But we would need to meet their parents first and make sure it was okay with them.

We loaded up the kids in the church van and headed toward their home. In just a few short minutes we parked on the street in front of a large squatter settlement. We crossed a little makeshift bamboo bridge that carried us over a small filthy ditch. We followed the kids down a path that passed by family after family living in small, makeshift huts until we reached the home of the kids.

The parents were happy to meet us and we explained who we were and what we wanted to do for the kids. They eagerly agreed to let the kids come to our house to get cleaned up. (We also made arrangements for the kids and parents to come to church with us on Sunday!)

Before long we were off to our house. You could tell that the kids were nervous and even a little unsure about going with us. They rode very quietly and solemnly with few words.

I think they were surprised when they arrived at our house. They stared at it for a few seconds like they had never seen the inside of a real house before.

One by one, April helped them all take a bath. Like a good momma, she made certain that they scrubbed all the important areas! As each child emerged from the bathroom, they literally looked like brand new. Now April could do a little better job of bandaging up those sores. And she did.

As the minutes passed, the smiles began appearing. They ate cookies, played with Sarah’s new puppy and drank lots of juice. It wasn’t long before I heard the precious sounds of laughter. Some of them were outside playing with a ball and just being kids.

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If I had endless time I could tell you many more details but I’ll just end up by saying the ride back to town was filled with laughter, kids songs and lots of “I love you”. Lynnsey said they must have said “I love you” a hundred times on the way home.

So for now, our house is our ministry center! We have learned that love + action = COMPASSION!

Please join us and give a gift today to help us continue to help these kids and the many more like them.

God bless and thanks for reading,