You may not believe this by Travis Sharpe

Just the other day I spoke about our plans to spend five months in the Philippines. We will be leaving in January and returning in May (Please help us pray that everything works out for the dates and travel as there are many details). I want to now share with you our plans and what God has laid on our hearts.

April with kids

A little background (The part you may not believe!)

As you probably know, we spent time in the Philippines earlier this year. But it’s what happened before we even left the good ole USA that is pretty amazing. It is what God was doing in April’s (my wife) life.

Several weeks before our trip, April shared with me that God had unmistakably been speaking to her heart. She wept as she told me that God had revealed to her that this particular trip was going to be a life changing one for her. She didn’t know exactly how, but God had told her it would be different than all the other trips.

She also shared with me that for quite a while she had been feeling an overwhelming concern for orphans. As she explained this to me she was sure to tell me that she couldn’t really put her finger on exactly what God wanted. Did he want us to adopt? Was God saying that? She wasn’t sure. But she was certain that God had burdened her like never before for orphans and he also told her that this trip was to be a game changer.

She felt so strongly about this that she was almost scared to go. So we prayed. We prayed and we went on the trip that, just as promised, changed not only her life, but mine as well.

So, with all that in mind, please read on!

God has given us a heart for children

Up until this point, our ministry has been primarily focused on homeless adults. Although we did start a shelter in Augusta, GA for women and children, the primary focus has been adults. My mother was the director there at the shelter and her love for the children truly inspired me.

When we were in the Philippines earlier this year, it was the children that truly touched our hearts. Especially April’s heart. As a matter of fact, I have never seen my wife more in tune with ministry as she was while we were there. God literally broke her heart for them.

In the Philippines there are many children who are homeless. They live on the city streets. They live in trash dumps. They live in many places that aren’t intended for human habitation. It is a crisis. God has called us to help.

Where and who?

We believe that God has led us to begin in Bacolod City. The strange thing is, we have never even been there. The place we worked was several hours away on Bantayan Island. But God has opened a door for us to work with a church there in Bacolod City.

The church is Crossroads Community Baptist Church and the pastor is Antonio Ner. Pastor Antonio was our “guide” while we were there earlier this year. He has a burden for the children in his city. As a matter of fact, they already have a children’s feeding program that they do in several places on Saturdays but he wants to do more.

Enter Unsheltered International and the Sharpe Family

That’s where we come in. You see, our plan is to spend time living there with them and helping them get this new ministry off the ground. It is our prayer that we provide ourselves and servants along with new resources to assist this church in their mission.

We plan to rent a store front type of building where we can hopefully live upstairs and minister from the storefront downstairs. There will be tons of things to work out but I believe God will pave the way.

What will we do?

Well, that’s a great question and to be honest, we don’t have all the answers just yet. We are not going over there with our own agenda. We are going and asking God to reveal his agenda to us. But we do know that we want to build a place where the children can come in from the streets and eat nutritious meals, participate in VBS style bible studies, be loved and hear about Jesus.

Hopefully, this humble beginning will lead to something much larger such as shelter for them. We are just praying and seeking the Lord’s will in it all. This is a step of faith. If we knew all of the details already, it wouldn’t take quite as much faith. So will you join with us in prayer? We will need many, many partners along the way!

God bless you and thanks for reading!

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