Figuring out WHY GOD Let’s things Happen
It was suppose to be a relaxing Saturday with not much to do. Mid morning we discovered that our ATM card was missing. After searching all over for a long time we gave up and called the bank to report a missing card. We thought ok, that’s done, let’s enjoy the rest of our day. That evening on our way home from our friends house when approaching a very accident prone intersection, we ran into the back of a motorcycle. What an instantly sick feeling! It was dark, and we just didn’t see the bike stopped at the intersection. The driver was ok, but the passenger, his wife, although conscious and sitting up on the pavement looked to be badly hurt. Immediately a crowd gathered and someone called an ambulance and the police. Gary, another missionary living with us on the campus came and took Sarah and the boys home. Pastor Mel, the staff working in our ministry came and helped Greg at the hospital, which was a huge comfort. Thankfully, the woman was ok and was released from the hospital that evening. The chaotic, emotionally exhausting night included being at the hospital to pay for check-ups, X-rays and some precautionary medicine, as well as a long time at the police station. Looking back, although we still question why things like this have to happen when we just want to be focused on the ministry that God has placed us in instead of running around figuring out insurance and repairs for the two vehicles, we can absolutely see God’s hand in the situation. Thankfully Rhea and Henry were not seriously injured. We realize the accident could have been worse in so many ways. Rhea could have died from the impact of our car hitting her and then hitting the pavement, since, as we found out later, she wasn’t wearing a helmet. We could have been hurt. Our vehicles could have totally wrecked. The police officer who handled our case is a Christian and he was very fair, just and considerate of our situation. Also, the couple has been very gracious and understanding realizing it was a complete accident. We covered their medical expenses and helped them in other ways as well, but they also have been generous to us by giving us a gift and treating us to snacks when visiting their house. We have come to appreciate their family, and Sam and Asher like playing at their house chasing the chickens and duck. But the greatest way we saw God working, is when Pastor Mel shared the Gospel with them and they prayed for salvation the day after the accident. Praise God for how he worked in this situation! Gary has suggested that although effective, this is not the best evangelism method. Thank God for how he worked in this situation and all the good we saw come out of it, but Lord, please never again! Please pray for the final details of making claims with insurance, and also that Rhea will have a full recovery (she is still sore, which is understandable considering…).
Honest Hands Ministry Summary
The last semester of Honest Hands was focused on “GO” – preparing the guys to live in Christian maturity and to reach out to those around them with the Gospel. For some hands on experience we had a five day missions trip to Lifehouse Ministry Village, an orphanage north of Manila in January. The students had the opportunity to share their testimonies, lead worship and be involved in work projects such as painting part of the orphanage and digging a fish pond. They worked hard and didn’t complain when they were painting out in the sun, and digging in hard ground, mud and even heavy clay. The students learned what a joy it is to serve the Lord no matter the task, and this helped them grow spiritually.
In our last update we asked for prayer for Jabar, who was struggling in the program. Jabar did not return to Honest Hands after the Christmas break. We recently found out that after he had dropped out of the program he was put in jail because he was caught steeling. We know that our time with Jabar was not a waste. We still pray that the things that he learned here will come to his mind in such a time as this. Please pray that Jabar would finally surrender his life to Christ so that God can continue the work He started in his life.
At the end of March we celebrated the graduation of the eight students that completed the program. At the ceremony, each student gave a short testimony of how God has been working in their lives during the program, and they led worship together. The guest speaker who is now a leader in the church we are attending, a godly husband and father, and is also an engineer, grew up in similar situations as the Honest Hands students, so he was able to really connect, encourage, and challenge them. It was exciting to see each student get their certificate of graduation along with any awards they received. The ceremony was an amazing time of celebrating what God has done in their lives over the past eight months! Pray that what has taken place in their hearts and minds will be a foundation that the guys can stand on wherever God would lead them next. Five of the guys passed the entrance exam into ACTION’s Working Hands program. Working Hands is a 10 month technical training and discipleship program run on the same campus where we live and the Honest Hands home is. If they choose to enter Working Hands they will start in June. Although graduation was a time of celebration, it was also a difficult time for some students because they don’t have much to go home to. Ryan, for example has lived in a shelter for about 7 years. At 18 years old he is too old to continue staying at the shelter. However, his dad has expressed his concern about Ryan returning home. He knows his meagre earnings aren’t enough to provide for everyday needs and also for Ryan to go to school. We don’t know much about his mother since she left her husband many years ago. Ryan has said that he is scared to go back to his family because he is afraid that he could go back to lifestyle he previously had. Thankfully Ryan passed the Working Hands entrance exam so he will be studying on campus. We will be meeting with the agency where he has stayed to discuss what the future plans for him are and how we can continue to help him reach his goals and fulfil God’s plan for his life. As you can imagine, Ryan isn’t the only one in this situation. Actually, almost all of them are in need of help and guidance after Honest Hands. Imagine if you had no parents, or parents incapable of caring for your basic needs, and little-to-no social system that is there to advocate and care for you when you were growing up. Where would you be right now??? God has really put on our hearts that we not only have the task of discipling these young men so they can stand firm on the foundation of Christ (Matt. 28:19-20; Eph. 6:13), but also, we need to be a father and a family to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5-6; James 1:27). Please pray for the guys as they take this next huge step in life with Christ as their foundation now.
What Now In-between Batches?
Just last week our family was able to take a break by spending some time away on a much needed vacation. But the in-between time of the program is not just vacation time. There are a lot of meetings with partner agencies, evaluations, maintenance, preparation, and planning to do before the start of Honest Hands Discipleship Home Batch 11, on June 29. Our two discipleship recruitment camps will be on the weeks of May 18 and June 1. Out of the 20 boys who will attend those camps, we will choose, with the help of the Holy Spirit 10 who are most suitable for the long-term program. Pray for wisdom as we meet with partner agencies, prepare for the camps and long-term program, for the camps, and for the selection of the 10 guys for the long-term program.