What We Shared At The Breakfast

We had a great crowd and a great morning at our “thank you” Pancake Breakfast this past weekend at Temple Baptist Church. I know that many of you live out of state and couldn’t make it, so I wanted to share with you everything that we shared with those who attended on Saturday.

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Our good friend Ron Brooks opened us up in prayer a little after 9 am and we enjoyed delicious pancakes and country sausage that was cooked up on propane fired griddles by some hard working volunteers. After we fellowshipped a little while, I welcomed everyone and stated that the purpose for the day was to say thank you to everyone who has supported us this year in our first international ministry.

One point that I made was that our ministry hasn’t changed, it has simply GROWN. I told them that in 2011, when we began Unsheltered International, our main goals were to start new ministries that would reach the homeless population around the world. We also hoped to be a blessing to people who were already ministering to the homeless. We wanted to be an organization that not only ministered to the homeless but also one that helped others as they do the same.

I explained that the Philippines ministry is our very first international ministry that we have started. We didn’t really choose the Philippines, the Lord simply opened the doors and we walked through them! We hope to start similar ministries in other countries in the future.

After that short opening, each of our family members shared a little about the five months we spent in the Philippines this year.

Sarah’s speech

Our daughter Sarah is 11 years old and loves the ministry in the Philippines. She was excited to have an opportunity to share a little with the crowd.

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Sarah chose to talk about her best friend that she met while we were there this year. Mary Joy is also 11 years old and she and her family are members of the church that we partner with. Sarah told us that it didn’t take long at all for her and Mary Joy to become best of friends.

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Everyone enjoyed listening to Sarah as she spoke about how her and her friend worked together in children’s church, VBS and other weekly adventures. She told us how she learned several songs in the Filipino language. She even sang one for us!

Hunter’s speech

Hunter was up next, and as always, he did a great job of explaining things from his point of view. He talked about how we met the first five children on the streets and how it was a life changing experience for him.

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We all sat there in amazement as this 14 year old young man told about the great poverty, homelessness, and everyday difficulty that children face in the Philippines. He told about a precious little girl named Princess whose life was threatened when she became extremely sick with pneumonia but God allowed our paths to cross and she received the help she needed. The best part he said, was that her daddy received the Lord as his Savior after that incident.

Hunter ended up his part by reminding us that when the disciples tried to keep the little children away from Jesus because they thought he didn’t want to be bothered by them, Jesus simply said “suffer the little children to come unto me.” We were all convicted!

April’s Speech

April was next and she started out by thanking everyone for their love and support of our family. She explained how much it meant to us and how that we couldn’t do what we do without everyones prayers.

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She then took a few moments to update everyone about her health. She told us that her auto-immune disease is being treated but she isn’t really happy with her current doctor because he doesn’t seem to be treating it very aggressively. She will see another doctor in a couple of weeks and hopefully he will be a better fit for the care we are looking for. She did report that she is now having more good days than bad days! Praise God for that!

She went on to tell about one of the places we ministered while we were in the Philippines that touched her heart the most. That was the dump site where many families work and live. She told about one special little girl there named Erika. The first few times we visited the dump, Erika was too shy to even come near us. But the candy that April had in her backpack finally did the trick and she began to trust her.

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April said that Erika was an amazing girl because she has a smile that can light up an entire room. She wears that smile despite the fact that her mother left her and she is often clothed in rags. Erika has taught us that no matter what our lot in life, we can still make it! April told about how our team serves meals at the dump each week and how we are planning to begin a church there as God leads.

Travis’s speech

I was the last in our family to take the podium and share about our Philippines ministry. My job was to give an overview of what all we did, give some results and share our future plans.

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We would have been there all day if I tried to share everything, so I just hit the highlights. Here’s all of that in a nutshell:

Some of the accomplishments

  • We established a new ministry called Unsheltered International Philippines, Inc. This ministry has a board of directors with three Filipino members as well as April and myself. We currently have two full time staff members, three part time staff members and several volunteers.
  • We established 13 meal centers where we minister to hungry children every week. The children who attend receive a meal and a Bible lesson tailored just for them. They also sing songs and receive first aid treatment as needed. These meal centers are overseen by Pastor Antonio Ner and Crossroad Community Baptist Church. We have partnered with them to expand what they were already doing.
  • We established an outreach to the homeless children and adults in Bacolod City. Two times each week we visit early in the morning or late at night giving food and trying to help people off the streets.
  • A van route was established and we bring people to church every Sunday. Many adults have been saved and baptized as a result.
  • Three buildings were constructed for meal centers. One of those was at a dump site where dozens of families work and live. Each week we have a ministry there at the dump site with 15-25 children attending. Another was at Handumanan and the other at Crossroads Community Baptist

Some of the results

  • Over 45 people have received the Lord as their Savior
  • 9 people have been baptized
  • 20 children have been taken to the doctor or hospital for serious medical treatment. We paid for their treatment and follow up medicines.
  • 4 children had life threatening injuries or illnesses. Without our intervention they would have likely not lived
  • 50 or more children have received basic first aid treatment.
  • 8 children have been rescued from living on the streets.

Future plans

Future plans include a child sponsorship program, an orphanage or shelter and the expansion of our meal centers.

The closing message

Our closing message was given by Pastor Jeff Robertson. Jeff is the Missions and Outreach Pastor at Temple Baptist Church (our home church.)

Pastor Jeff spoke from John chapter four about the fields that Jesus said were “white already unto harvest.” In this great charge, Jeff reminded us that our mission field is available and valuable. The part that stood out to me the most was when he stressed that harvest time was an urgent time. He said that in the old days, is small farming communities, everything changed during harvest time.

Sometimes they would dismiss school. Entire families focused on getting their crops in from the fields. Jeff related that urgency to our mission field and reminded us that we need to be winning souls and training disciples now. We don’t have time to waste!

Lastly, our good friend Howard Dye closed us in prayer and a bunch of hard working volunteers helped us clean everything up and make ready for the church services on Sunday. I am extremely grateful for each and every person who served and helped make it a fun and enjoyable event.

Now, the only thing you missed out on if you weren’t there is the food! Thank you very much for reading and praying for our ministry!