Top 5 reasons we chose the Philippines by Travis Sharpe

Now that the cat’s out of the bag and everyone knows that we are going to the Philippines next year, I thought I would talk about the why.

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With all of the needy places around the world, what made us choose the Philippines?

With all of the needs right here in America, why would we go 9000 miles away?

Those are great questions and my hope is that my answers might even give some insight to you for your own journey as well as filling you in on ours. So, here goes!

1. We didn’t really “choose”, we just said yes. That’s right, the number one reason we are going is because God said to go. There is not a doubt in my mind that the Lord has called us to make the Philippines our very first international place of ministry.

God has, without a doubt, laid the people and the place heavily on our hearts. Trust me, I’m not just looking for another reason to have to raise money. I’m not looking for the next great adventure. I don’t just “want to travel.” All of those things are actually hard work when you do them for a living every day. We are going because God said to go!

2. It lines up with our purpose. Our mission statement is “We bring help and hope to those experiencing homelessness and disaster by assisting the church in it’s mission to declare God’s glory to all people.”

Did you catch that? We do what we do by assisting the church. That’s the way we go about fulfilling our purpose. We help pastors and churches minister to the homeless and victims of disaster. So when Pastor Antonio asked us to come to his city and help him minister to the children who live on the streets, it was a no-brainer.

This opportunity lines up with what we set out to do in the first place. As the Lord blesses, our efforts will help to create new ministries which, in turn, will declare God’s glory to more people. I like that!

3. We added things up. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together ya know. In the last year, all signs have pointed to this place. When responded to the typhoon that hit the Philippines in 2013, that became our first international disaster response which was pretty cool for us.

While we were there, we met some of the friendliest and greatest Christians you could ever meet. We loved serving alongside of them. We have kept in touch and so have they. The Lord is providing for the needs. I could go on and on but suffice it to say, we can take a hint.

4. The need is great. The Philippines is a country with a great need. Some estimate that as much as 40% of the population live in slums or on the streets. The average income is also extremely low. Average family income is around $5,300 US dollars. That’s average, which means there are plenty of families who don’t even earn that much.

Simply put, there is an undisputed great need to do what we can to reach who we can in the Philippines and we are ready to do our part.

5. It’s about our journey. This is where our family’s journey has led us to at this point in our lives and ministry. When I left the Garden City Rescue Mission in 2009, it was with a burden and a dream to work with the homeless on an international level.

We have been praying for this for over five years now. God has answered those prayers with an open door in the country of the Philippines. You see, it’s not just about a need or a place, it’s about what God is doing in our lives. And our journey has led us to this place at this time.

Nineteen years ago my journey with God led me to Bible college. Then to minister to the homeless in Augusta, GA. Then to work in different states. And now, to other countries. So, for me, it’s a matter of where God is leading on this journey. We are just along for the ride!

There’s more

There are plenty of other reasons we are going. But I hope that these five will give you an idea of why we chose the Philippines. I would invite you to come along on this journey with us. You can pray, you can give, and maybe one day, you can go!