Ministry Update 1/23/15

I can hardly believe that we have now been here in the Philippines for over two weeks. The time seems to be flying by but we are enjoying every single minute and trying to make the most of our time here.

Today I will give you an update about our ministry as well as our family.

Some ministry highlights from this week

We spent Saturday at several of the meal centers that Pastor Ner and Crossroad Community Baptist Church have. Currently there are 10 different locations but we are adding more.

Every Saturday they cook a meal and take it to the different centers. Before the meal, they sing some songs and have a Bible story. Last week April did the Bible story at two of the centers.

Visiting the dump

On Wednesday we visited the dump site in Bacolod. I was absolutely heartbroken at what we saw. The first two people we met were a couple of ladies who were resting after having been sifting through trash all morning.

As they rested under a very makeshift shelter that was made from plastic bags and sticks, they were covered head to toe in flies. I have never in my life seen so many flies on human beings before. They were getting ready to share a piece of fruit and it too was covered with the flies.

Our hearts were saddened as we carefully plowed on through the center of the trash dump wading through household waste. As we walked we passed families, children, huts where people rested and even a decaying dog that evidently couldn’t find enough food to eat.

 

Lynnseys dump pic

We met with the engineer of the dump site who was a very nice and courteous man. We expressed our desire to minister to the people who live and scavenge at the dump. He told us that most of the people who come to the dump each day are squatters who live nearby. They look for anything they can recycle and sell.

There was one man working on a bulldozer. As he pushed the trash, and backed up to push again, he was constantly surrounded with people eager to dig through the freshly sifted garbage. They earn about 100 pesos per day doing this (about $2.25).

Our plan at the dump

After speaking with the engineer and telling him our desire to minister there, he told us that no other church group was doing any ministry there and he welcomed us in.

Our plan, Lord willing, is to go there each Saturday. We will take a meal for everyone and also have a preaching time. Please help us pray that everything will work out for us to accomplish this each week. The biggest need will be workers to help us so pray that God would “send forth laborers into the harvest”.

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Handumanan

After our visit at the dump we went to a place called Handumanan. In this area there is a huge population of squatters. Many of the people who live here also work at the dump. One of the families that live here are members of the church that we are working in.

They are opening up their home and we will be starting a meal center there this Saturday. This will be a new addition to the church’s already 10 centers. In this location there are children everywhere. The need is great and we intend to have a weekly presence teaching the Bible and serving meals to the kids.

There is much more to tell you about but time and space does not permit it now. I should be (if this internet cooperates) posting a new ministry update each Friday.

 

Family things

We want to say a special thank you to each of you who have been asking about our family and how we are doing here in the Philippines. we appreciate your prayers and love for us so much. Here are some updates about each of us.

April

april serving at bridge

April is doing great. She has been tasked with teaching children’s church and Sunday School each week. She has also been learning to cook the meal that we serve to the children at the meal centers each Saturday. The meal is called rice soup and it is a soupy mixture of rice, chicken, ginger, garlic and onions. It is a great tasting meal and the kids love it.

Sarah

sarah and Charlie

Sarah is adjusting well and she has made a good friend now. I think all of this is a bit overwhelming for her and she really misses her friends back home. One of the hardest things on Sarah was leaving our dog, Shocker, behind. But she found a little puppy in the market and of course, I bought it for her. She has named the dog Charlie and I am confident that Charlie will be a big help to Sarah while we are here!

Hunter

Hunter serving at bridge

Hunter is having a good time. He started off by battling some flue like symptoms but he is doing much better now. Like Sarah, Hunter misses his friends a whole bunch. But he is adjusting well and participating in every aspect of ministry.

He is helping his mom in children’s church and he will be preaching this weekend at a youth fellowship so please pray for him as he prepares for that.

Moonpie (Lynnsey)

Lynnsey with girls

Most of you know that our niece, Moonpie, is here with us. This is her first time to be out of the country and away from her family and friends so please pray for her. She has a real heart for missionary work and feels like the Lord is calling her into a life of service on the mission field.

We visited a squatter village on Wednesday and several little girls immediately gravitated to her. It wasn’t long before the little girls were holding her hand and just “being” with her. I think that might be the highlight of her trip so far. She is very natural at loving the children and we are proud of her.

Myself

Travis and several "street" children

I am truly having the time of my life. The Lord has really put this ministry in my heart and I am fired up about it all. The above picture was taken at 5:00 am one morning while we were out visiting. All of these kids sleep in the streets each night.

I have been teaching in the small Bible College one day a week and doing my best to pour into these young men. There are four of them (and one young lady). These Bible College students are extremely poor and have made some great sacrifices to be students.

They rarely have enough money to buy their food each week so April has been cooking for them once or twice a week. Some of our best time is with them around the table just sharing Bible verses and talking about the Lord.

I have began to drive and I love that. It has always been a dream of mine to drive in a foreign country. Driving here is MUCH different than in the U.S. but it works out great for me because I never have been able to stay in my own lane anyhow.

My sciatica has hurt me severely most every day so that has been a real aggravation but I just sit down as needed and then press on.

Thanks so much for reading. Please tell your friends about our ministry and encourage them to sign up to receive these weekly ministry updates!

Travis Sharpe
Founder/President Unsheltered International

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