Entries in Philippines (26)
Thank you for your continued prayers for the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan at the end of last year. God has moved in powerful ways to address the needs of the beautiful Filipino communities we served, and you played a major role in the relief efforts.
When Jack Eans, our Vice President for International Child Ministries who works with our staff in the field, visited the areas hardest hit in the Philippines with our project staff a month after the typhoon struck Cebu Island, the need that stood out front and center is that of shelter. Home after home had been demolished.
They visited nearly 50 homes of One Child Matters children – all had been flattened and all their belongings ruined or exposed to the elements. In the weeks since the storm some had been able to begin a little reconstruction, tapping into government aid to get some metal sheets for roofs. But most had simply propped up salvaged pieces of their houses and put tarps over them. Others dispersed to sleep with other family, some even slept on the sand. Tents donated by Taiwan Red Cross mostly went to those with disabilities. There were no refugee centers with cots, blankets, food and water and other supplies. They were still very exposed to the elements, again living in makeshift shelters right beside the ruins of their homes.
We spoke to many children and parents about what they went through during the storm. Most talked about the incredible sound and blast of the wind – a deafening roar and whistle, then watching roofs raise and blow off, trees twisting and snapping, and running to neighboring homes when theirs fell down. They took shelter in the churches only to watch those roofs blow off.
There were miracles, though! First, no one got a scratch. With debris, coconuts, sheet metal flying and swirling and roofs and walls collapsing on top, somehow no one even got hurt. Second, the storm hit at low tide, meaning there was no storm surge. If it had hit at high tide the island and the coastal area of Daan Batayan would have been swamped. And third, local leaders did an amazing job at getting people to leave their homes for shelters. Countless would have been killed if they had stayed in the simple structures they called home.
The relief efforts
In the months since, much of the world has forgotten the remaining need of these already underserved communities, but we have not. The children continue to display good resilience, hope, and typical child-like reactions to all the hustle and bustle. Many were content to play in the rain or create obstacle courses out of the downed palm trees.But the parents are worried. People are scrambling to rebuild their lives, burning the rubbish and continuing the clean-up. This is the time to respond and make a sustainable difference.
And you have responded! Your gifts to the CCF were immediately put into the relief efforts, providing food and shelter materials for the families of the children we served.
We estimated between 100-120 homes of One Child Matters children need to be rebuilt completely or have additional supplies provided to finish what they have started. The community staff in the Philippines continue to check on the families to determine the level of need and what the families themselves can contribute toward rebuilding.
The power of partnership
Using your gifts to the Children’s Crisis Fund, plus other donations from our incredible partners, we were able to help them begin to rebuild and do so well, together. The Garrisons, local missionaries who help us coordinate our work in the Philippines, were ready and able to meet the needs of the communities we have served thanks to a strong partnership with Convoy of Hope. The Garrisons had a shipping container full of enriched rice meals at the ready, plus another on its way.
Convoy of Hope helped us continue to get relief supplies to the areas that needed it most. A U.S. church partner stepped forward to help raise money to help with rebuilding efforts as you, our sponsors, continued to donate to the Children’s Crisis Fund. The board of One Child Matters voted to make a substantial donation toward rebuilding efforts, and Convoy of Hope stepped forward to match it!
We have been able to respond with your donations, plus $120,000 from One Child Matters and Convoy of Hope to begin rebuilding homes in the community.
Churches and sponsors continue to step up to donate funds, for which we are so grateful. As you can see in the photos below, the rebuilding efforts continue. But homes are being restored and rebuilt, and Jesus is being glorified in the process!
“Brokenness is the bow from which God launches the arrows of healing.”– Louie Giglio
Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. If you're looking for inspiration on how you can get involved in the fight against this evil industry, we recommend looking toward the very girls who recently escaped its clutches.
The reports from the Philippines continue to challenge and encourage us.
Our staff and partners are working hard to continually evaluate the needs of the three communities we serve. Relief supplies from partners like Convoy of Hope are helping feed families – thousands of enriched rice packs, which are enough to feed a family of six, continue to be distributed.
Our projects continue to operate as strategic hubs of care and support. The church building in Daan Bantayan has one of the few working water filters thanks to the quick action of our partners and support from the Children’s Crisis Fund. Pastor Victor estimates that they are one of the few centers offering respite and relief to this community of 1600. They continue to feed more than 200 kids.
Some of the first tarps went to the church building to protect the families who seek shelter there at night. During the day, meals are distributed and families come to get clean water. Medical clinics have been held there.
The impact of Super Typhoon Haiyan on the surrounding area continues to astound relief workers. Palm trees either bent by the force or were snapped off at the top, leaving eerie trunks reaching toward the sky. Homes were completely destroyed, and families are building shelter out of whatever’s left. Revealing the desperation of these families, many are seeking shelter in the nearby graveyards; the crypts were some of the few structures still standing in the wake of the storm.
Here are the prayer requests and the praises from the staff ministering in these areas:
PRAISE: The customs office renewed the certification needed to release the container held at their port. Praise God that these much-needed supplies are making their way north to the areas hard hit by the Super Typhoon. What’s more – 4 more container ships are on their way across the ocean. Please continue praying for favor with the authorities so these supplies are not held up in any bureaucratic way.
PRAISE: For the volunteers who continue to help the staff prepare supplies and meet the needs of the children at the projects. So far, 13 Bible College students helped assemble bags, and women who graduated from the Philippines Child Rescue Home also volunteered at the medical clinic in Daan Bantayan. Countless others are donating to the Children’s Crisis Fund, continuing to help us meet needs there!
REQUESTS: Travel to the hard-hit areas remains difficult, as the few roads remaining are clogged with supplies for distribution. We praise God that the staff’s knowledge of the area (many were born in the region) allowed the team to find alternate routes. Please pray that God continues to make a way for both our staff and for the supplies needed all over the Philippines.
Pray also for continued strength and guidance for the staff.
Pray for protection for the children who are surviving in these unsafe conditions. Some authorities are reporting that children in the affected regions are at higher risk for trafficking and exploitation as parents struggle to provide for them. Many safe places such as schools were destroyed. We praise God that two of our three project buildings still stand, and continue to serve the community.
Please continue to donate to the Children’s Crisis Fund, which is helping us respond to both the urgent needs for things like food, shelter, and water, while also evaluating the long-term needs like rebuilding the project building at Ati and other homes in the community.
Thanks as always for your prayers – as our partner Glenn, who has lived in the Philippines for years has shared, “Praise the Lord with us. God is so good. He is hearing and answering all kind of prayers.”
Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed the Ati Child Development Center in the Philippines -- but it is still a magnet for kids! Even the seasonal heavy rains can't keep these kids from playing!
Special thanks to Sarah, a servant-hearted woman who works at one of our less-affected projects in the Philippines, but was among the first to reach these hard hit areas to check on the children!
It’s been a week since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. Here’s what we’ve learned since then:
Our staff and partners in the Philippines are simply incredible.
So far, they’ve been able to confirm that the children in the projects affected are okay. And here’s what they’re doing to keep them that way – and how you can help!
First, a group of staff traveled from the main office in the Philippines to the northern area on Cebu Island that was harder hit. They had packed a bus full of supplies, but it was very slow going.
They had lists of the children in each community and had to set off on foot to try and track them down. This took so much fortitude and dedication, but our staff love the children just as much as we the sponsors do.
The needs are tremendous, but we are in it for the long-haul.
News reports continue to point out that the relief supplies aren’t making it to people on the
outskirts – but that’s where we already are. The communities know us and trust us, and because we are already committed to their health and well-being, we are uniquely positioned to help them through the arduous rebuilding process.
So far, donations to the Children’s Crisis Fund have gone to purchase food, water, and medicine; to transport those supplies (the devastation in the area meant we had to get creative, such as renting boats from less affected areas to get to the other islands where our projects are located); securing supplies like tarps for temporary shelters and buying generators to help the projects continue to operate plus fuel to keep them running.
In the three communities we serve that were hit hard, most of the homes were destroyed. Donations to the CCF will help us respond to the needs of your sponsored child's family as best we can, which is why continued donations are so important!
The CCF while help us respond to the children's families while also helping the projects continue to serve the children.
Each of the three projects suffered structural damage. The project at Daan Bantayan lost large portions of its roof, as did the project and church building at Masapascua.
The project that served the Ati tribal region, a remote community on another island, was in a simple building that was completely destroyed. The Ati community is already beginning to repair their homes, and we are committing to rebuild the project that provided such valuable help to the children there.
We’re meeting the pressing needs, anticipating what's next, and responding as best we can.
Yesterday, we learned that those you helped us minister to have become ministers themselves. Girls who graduated from the Philippines Child Rescue Home (many of whom were rescued out of exploitative or trafficking situations) volunteered to help relief efforts. They and the nurse from another One Child Matters project traveled north to Daan Bantanyan to put on a free medical clinic. The scrapes and cuts many children have received could easily become infected – a potentially life-threatening situation in this region where there is no treatment available.
This is the type of response you can help provide through the Children’s Crisis Fund. Please donate and help us continue to meet the needs in these three communities. One of our staff members offered this prayer request:
We need all the Lord’s strength. I still have no way to understand their depths of despair or anguish… it seems each hour we hear of another group still unreached and begging for help. My staff is emotionally exhausted already, it takes me back to years ago when I learned I have to leave them all in His hands and remember He carries us all. I also learned that many people were there to lift me up when I became too weary to even pray for myself.
Please continue to lift up the helpless, homeless and hungry. And then pray for those giving a helping hand!
Thank you for your donations and for all your prayers. Please share these requests and continue to lift up the people of the Philippines!
Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11)
We’re continuing to receive updates from our staff in the Philippines. Here’s what we know, and here’s how you can help:
Three of our projects were in the direct path of the Super Typhoon Haiyan. Those three projects are Daan Bantayan Child Development Center (PH-003), Lugon Malapascua Child Development Center (PH-004), and the Ati Child Development Center (PH-006).
We praise God that so far, there are no major injuries or deaths in our projects – the children are safe.
Here’s what our staff have to say, and ways that you can pray with us:
The needs are tremendous. Due to the extreme poverty in that region, homes were simple and could not withstand the force of the storm. The town of Daan Batayan is “devastated and unrecognizable;” our staff estimates that 90% of the homes destroyed.
One of the best ways you can help is to donate to the Children’s Crisis Fund. This is what we use to respond quickly, providing for basic needs and allowing the projects to become centers of help and hope.
Our staff is seeing this in these devastated communities, where families rode out the storm together in the church buildings that also operate as our child development centers. As one put it, “kids instantly know where to go for help, because it is where they have been getting help all along. God is their safe haven.”
The projects and partner churches will also need help to continue these vital relief efforts. Many of their buildings were damaged, and yet their doors are open, providing shelter to families who have lost everything.
In addition, here’s how you can pray:
Our staff already has a 40-foot container at the port on Cebu Island which is filled with the protein-enriched rice packs (often called Manna Packs) which are crucial to meeting the nutritional needs of entire families during trying times. Please pray that the bureaucratic red tape is cut away, allowing the container to get to the people who need it most. We know if God can part the Red Sea, He can part red tape as well! We need this container in the northern part of the island, please help us pray it there!
Here are some images of the staff packing up what they had on hand. To continue to meet the needs in these communities, please pray for the container to be released!
Please also continue to pray for those who are trying desperately to locate family members. One staff member shared her heart as she traveled north to find her mother, sister, and family:
“What I saw broke my inner being...but the thought of the people in the middle of it all, made me weak and literally, for that moment, my world stopped... I became speechless but pictures will speak to you in a language only your heart can understand. I arrived home but my mother was not around. They told me she went to the city with my sister, brother -in-law and two nieces to be able to get in touch with me and to ask for help. [When we finally met up] it was a beautiful reunion. 'Thank you,' my mother cried. 'I thought I never get to see you again!' A single hug was enough to ease the pain.”
We praise God that Sarah’s family weathered the storm, but we know countless others are still waiting on word. Please pray that the God of all comfort feels very real to them in this tremendously difficult time.
Friends, thank you for your care and support. Please consider giving to the Children's Crisis Fund. It will help us respond quickly and effectively -- thank you!
Friends, thank you for your patience and prayers.
We have received preliminary reports from our staff and friends in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (also called Typhoon Yolanda), one of the strongest storms ever recorded.
As we feared, the damage is severe. Our staff is in the process of reaching two of the areas that One Child Matters serves, but the roads and bridges are completely destroyed, and communications are still down.
As you can tell from the image above at right (courtesy of the Cebu Daily News), many families lost everything.
Here are some ways you can help right now:
Give to the Children's Crisis Fund, which is helping us respond quickly. Our staff in the Philippines were proactive, securing supplies and organizing transportation to the areas in the direct path of the storm. Your donations will help them continue their outreach and relief efforts in the two communities we serve that were hardest hit, Daan Batanyan and Malapascua.
Pray for the way to be made clear, for our staff who are traveling long distances in difficult conditions to try and locate children and their families. The damage is surreal, and many of our staff have family in the areas as well. While the northern part of the island of Cebu was hardest hit, other areas suffered damage, too, and several projects are continuing to minister to families in need where they are.
Pray for supplies such as the protein-enriched rice packs that can feed entire families, a container of which is currently in a shipping yard. Pray for any red tape to be cut so these supplies, which the staff had been securing for other outreach efforts, could quickly make their way to the families in greatest need. Pray against corruption and that the officials in charge release the supplies quickly.
As always, we appreciate your patience as our staff work diligently to reach the children in our care. We will contact you directly if your sponsored child was affected.
Thank you again for your prayers. You are strengthening the staff who care for these children daily, and they need it now more than ever. Bless you!
Another massive storm is barreling down on an area where One Child Matters' projects are located, and we are requesting your prayers for the children and staff in that area.
Typhoon Haiyan is equivalent to a category 5 hurricane, with winds over 150mph and heavy rains, and is considered the strongest storm seen this year. The areas our projects serve are expecting to be hit hard.
We will post updates as we are able -- the staff have been able to report that they have preemptively sent additional food and supplies to areas that may be in greatest need. Please be patient as we wait for updates -- disasters like this often make communication difficult.
When natural disasters and personal emergencies strike the children we serve, we rely on the Children's Crisis Fund to respond. A small donation can go a long way in helping a family get back on their feet. Please consider making a donation today to help us meet the tremendous needs created by storms such as Haiyan.
Thanks as always for your prayers. In the past we have asked for prayer and seen storms turn around -- such is the power of our God, the storm-stiller. Please join us in praying for protection and provision for these children and their families.
At first glance, Genn blends right in with her students. A slight young woman, you’d easily think she was only 12 or 13. Sweet and shy, Genn has undergone tremendous transformation.
Ten years ago, life was tenuous. Genn, one of five children, knew that her widowed mother, Francine, was struggling to support Genn and her siblings as well as their grandmother. They lived in a three-sided hut (often called a squatter’s hut) made out of scavenged materials; the entire family slept on the floor. They cooked meals over a fire outside and had no bathroom.
Every day was a struggle for Genn’s family. Genn and her siblings should have been in elementary school, but often her mother needed them to help take vegetables into the city to sell. On the days they were able to attend, many times they only made it a half day – the children were so malnourished and weak that they were often ill.
At age nine, Genn and three of her siblings were enrolled at Happy Horizons Academy, a One Child Matters program. The project found work for Genn’s mother in the kitchen. With more stable income, the children were able to stay in school, and the health of the entire family improved.
Genn began to enjoy school and never missed the Saturday and Sunday group activities where they learned about God’s love and how to be healthier and happier citizens of the world. The faithfulness of her childrens’ sponsors made an impact on Francine, who often remarked that she learned about God and how He took care of them through the love and kindness of the others.
As she grew older, Genn wanted to find a way to reinvest what was given to her – the project had restored her and her family to health, they had nurtured them with love, and they had given her hope for the future. She announced she wanted to go to college and become a teacher.
Genn excelled in her first few semesters at the college, and her siblings continued to do well at the project. Her mother, now a full-time cook at Happy Horizons, was providing for the family. But then Francine fell ill with a fever and was taken to the hospital. Within a few days, Francine died.
The family was devastated. Three of Genn’s siblings were still at home with their elderly grandmother. Without an income, they could not pay for her mother’s funeral expenses, and Genn could not pay to finish college.
And yet, God continued to be faithful. The sponsors stood by the children, and the project pooled resources to pay for the funeral for their friend and fellow coworker. Genn qualified for an extra scholarship and returned to school.
Earlier this year, she graduated and fulfilled a dream: she was hired to teach at the Happy Horizons Academy. Now Genn is providing for her siblings while investing in children in her community.
Genn looks back on her time at the project as absolutely formative, and as she graduated, she sent a letter to her sponsor:
"No words can express how grateful I am to have a sponsor like you. Thanks to God so much for that. After four years in college, now I am soon to graduate and it would not be possible without your kind heart and support. Thank you so much for leading me towards this achievements. You are a great part of my success. Thank you. Thank you so much! I know God will bless you more and more and give you strength always. May you help and change more lives. May God take care of you always. I love you dear sponsor."
Genn’s sponsor shared this with us and provided her own acknowledgement:
The thing is, I think of Genn as so much more than a "sponsor child".... she is like my own daughter. It is I who has been blessed by God to have her in my life. I thank God for HIS faithfulness when it came to being able to help support Genn through the years. Genn, I am so proud of how hard you have worked in spite of all the challenges you have faced... you are beautifully and wonderfully made! God truly is amazing that He brought you into my life!
It's time for another recipe -- and trust us, you want to try this one whether you sponsor a child in the Philippines or not!
Pansit Bam-I (also sometimes spelled Pancit) is Cebuano dish, meaning it is a specialty of Cebu Island where One Child Matters has several projects. The mix of mushrooms and meat with the two types of noodles (egg noodles and bean thread or vermicelli noodles) create fantastic flavor.
We used chicken, shrimp, and pork to create this tasty dish. We had trouble finding chorizo bilbao, but you can probably find it at an Asian market.
As you can see, there are a lot of ingredients that go into this. We had to divide the ingredients among two skillets (a wok would be ideal), so make sure you use a larger pan available, or halve this recipe. As currently written, this easily fed 8 people with plenty of leftovers!
Overall cook time was over an hour but well worth it.
Pansit Bam-I is traditionally served at birthdays because the long noodles signify longevity, but it is served all over the Philippines' southern islands.
Have you had Pansit Bam-I? Would you consider making this recipe? We highly recommend it!
For years, our mission has driven us forward: to equip children in developing nations to reach their God-given potential by creating opportunities for spiritual, physical, social, mental and emotional development.
Over the past two summers, you have helped us address spiritual needs as you wrote out prayers for your child. Last year you learned about the way we address your child’s physical health needs at the project level.
So this summer, as we focus on education and that crucial level of mental development, it may help to think outside the classroom.
As we shared earlier, less than half of our programs are schools who provide formal education. The rest focus on educational activities and support, from field trips to group and individual tutoring if needed.
Yet to continue helping children reach their God-given potential, the educational elements in our programs must venture beyond a blackboard and textbook. Our staff work hard to develop vocational programs – things we call “life skills” such as gardening, barbering, and wood working to help children gain training and experience to help them later in life.
We were thrilled when we saw the fruit of these vocational skills on children in our programs in the Philippines – because of a government-certified sewing program, older students are learning tailoring techniques. And this year they made the uniforms for children in the Happy Horizons Academy.
They created the design and were taught to measure and cut pieces, not using a pattern to ensure the uniforms fit their fellow customers. They are paid per piece, a portion of which is put into their own savings account so when they graduate the program, they have funds set aside to help them on their way.
They also make all the bedding including sheets and pillow cases. They sew curtains for the buildings, make the physical education uniforms, costumes for plays, and nurses uniforms.
Because the program is government-certified, this invaluable experience can help the students get employment at factories or small shops – some are already dreaming of starting their own business!
We’ll share more about other countries and the vocational programs they’ve developed for the older children. We praise God for how he is building the confidence of students in these programs – something especially critical in impoverished areas where educational opportunities are minimal, and vocational options even less.
What do you think of this program? Can you see the pride they students take in their products?
Partnerships are a beautiful thing. Because of your help, thousands of children are hearing about the love of Jesus while having their practical needs met in unique ways. We recently heard news of how children benefit when the body of Christ links arms -- this past weekend, more than 240 children received a new pair of shoes, and there are 2000 more to give away!
If you own a pair of TOMS shoes, there's a big group of kids in the Philippines who would love to say thank you! Our friends at Convoy of Hope (who have also helped us get nutritious meals to Haiti after a major earthquake devastated the country) made sure the donated shoes arrived for these eager recipients. Take a look at partnership in action!
This little guy could not wait for his friends to get new shoes, so he helped find all the needed sizes!
As so many children wear ill-fitting shoes, finding the proper fit can take time. Here the shoes are lined up so the children could stand next to them to find the right size!
And then the fitting began! The staff team had this down to a science!
One staff person remarked, "It's hard to imagine how important a pair of shoes can be to families who can't afford them. What a blessing!"
Kids young and old were able to receive a new pair of shoes.
We like to call this picture "Happy Feet!"
Special thanks to TOMS Shoes, Convoy of Hope, and the staff in the Philippines who worked so hard to bless the kids in this special way!
To learn more about why shoes are SO important for children in the developing world, read this story. And thank you for the many ways your partnership provides for children in need!
A massive typhoon churned through the Philippines, and our country staff is asking for your prayers.
UPDATE: Our projects received rain but sustained no real damage; most of the storm's force was well south of them. However, they ask for your continued prayers:
"Please pray for these people who lost their loved ones during the typhoon. It will be hard for them to celebrate this special season because of their present situation. There are some who are still missing due to landslides. Thank you so much for your concern."
Typhoon Bopha made landfall early Tuesday morning just south of the island where most of our projects are located. Although spared a direct hit, they are experienced heavy rains.
When it first made landfall, Typhoon Bopha was considered a "super typhoon" with Category 5 strength (roughly the size and power of Hurricane Katrina). Thankfully it has since weakened to a Category 2 storm. Most families in this region of the Philippines live in the most basic of homes with tin roofs and wood slat walls. It’s estimated that more than 50,000 have fled seeking shelter from the rains and mudslides that are common in the mountainous areas of the Philippines.
We’d appreciate your prayers for the safety of the children and their families as this storm passes. To help us respond to crises like typhoons (and smaller yet equally devastating incidents such as medical emergencies) One Child Matters relies on the Children’s Crisis Fund. Your donations enable us to move quickly in times of need. If you’d like to help, visit www.onechildmatters.org/ccf to make a donation online.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We will provide updates as we are able.
As you may have heard in news reports, a large 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippines. The epicenter was on Negros Island, to the southwest of Cebu Island, where many Mission of Mercy programs are located.
Our staff reports that the earthquake was “so strong. Everyone went out of the building to an open space. But everyone is alright.” Thankfully, a social worker was present and was able to provide counseling to children who were frightened by the event.
A dental team is also in the Philippines providing dental care to children in our projects. They experienced the trembler and several aftershocks. They will travel to another city tomorrow and ask for prayers for good weather, as much of the travel between islands involves ferry boats.
We have two very different mission teams leaving this weekend.
A dental team is traveling to the Philippines to provide much-needed cleanings, exams, and other services to our projects there. This may be the first time some of our children have seen an actual dentist. Please pray for a spirit of trust to form between the team and the community, and for an absence of fear for the little ones getting their first cleaning!
THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
On Sunday, a very special team of elementary and middle-school aged kids (and their parents and grandparents) are leaving for the DR. In response to the need in one of the communities we serve, the team raised funds to build a library.
The project expects to use the space to help children (like the sweet little girl pictured above) study and help their parents learn to read and gain new skills. We are quite excited to share more about their trip with you when they return. In the meantime, please pray for their travel and the work ahead!
Your sponsored child may live halfway around the world, but you have more in common than you think in terms of Christmas traditions... especially food! We even included some recipes if you'd like to try something different this year!
This may not make a typical Thanksgiving list, but that's no reason not to be grateful for the way you've helped us improve the lives of children!
The people God has placed in leadership over the projects your sponsored child attends are absolutely incredible. Their testimonies are awe-inspiring. In this post, some of our international staff reveal that in some instances, their heart for this ministry comes from their own experience.