Wood Backgrounds

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lourdes' Miracle & Changed Hearts

I would like you to meet Andy. A wonderful addition to the KIM family, serving the Lord here in PI for the second time. His story is full of God's Love and I know you will enjoy it! Thank you Andy for sharing how God moves!

When God first called me to the Philippines, I didn’t really have any clue why he had called me in the first place. I had no idea what was in store for me. I thought to myself, “Sure, I’ll go to the Philippines, play with some kids, put some food in people’s cups, tell them about Jesus, and move along with my life.” Well, as it turns out, God had a plan bigger than anything I had ever imagined…and when I say big, I mean HUGE. This is the story of Lourdes Tanghal, a woman who has forever changed my life.

     It was in the fall of 2013, while I was in the Philippines with an Adventures in Missions Passport Team, that God placed me directly into the midst of a miracle. About 2 weeks into our 3 month trip, my teammate Aaron and I got asked to help bring groceries to a family living in an extremely impoverished community called Lower Manggahan. When we arrived at the home of the Tanghal family, I was already overwhelmed before I had even stepped foot inside. Remember…this was only my second week, and I had never before seen poverty of this scale before. Houses made of scrap wood, metal, and tarps, children walking barefoot through muddy paths covered with garbage and broken glass…I couldn't believe what I was seeing. As I peeked in the tiny house, I saw a woman named Lourdes lying on the dirty floor of her home, surrounded by 5 of her 6 children (2 year old Rica, 4 year old Erlo, 8 year old Jerome, 12 year old Krystel, and 16 year old J.R., who is also special needs). Lourdes Tanghal was paralyzed from the waist down, unable to move any of her lower limbs. Her family barely had any food to eat or money to buy it with, only one child was in school, and Lourdes had accepted the fact that she would either be paralyzed for the rest of her life or she would die. One thing that stood out the most to me was Lourdes’ smile…despite how bad her situation was, she was still able to show happiness on her face.   So we dropped off the groceries, prayed for her, and headed back…all the while my heart was completely broken for this woman and her family.
A couple weeks went by and they were constantly on my mind, I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that I was supposed to do more than just bring some groceries and leave, so I prayed and asked God to tell me if this was something he wanted me to get further involved in. That same week my teammate Charissa started doing a bible study group with some girls from the local community, and I happened to see a list of names and birthdates in her group. I noticed one of these community girls had the same birthday as me, October 18th. This girl was 13 year old Kristine Tanghal…another child of paralyzed Lourdes Tanghal. What are the chances of me asking God for a sign, and of all the other 364 days of the year, Kristine’s birthday was the same day as mine? God was telling me to go deep, and I had no doubt about it.
After a few visits to Lourdes’ home, Charissa and I decided to inform the social workers here at Kids International Ministries about the situation and see what options we had for getting Lourdes into the hospital for treatment. In no time at all there was an ambulance on the way to pick her up. In that one hospital visit, we were able to get her catheter changed, (which she had for nearly a month), have x-rays done, and get a diagnosis of the problem…Pulmonary Tuberculosis of the spine. This is a degenerative disease that destroys the vertebrae resulting in collapse of the spine, fracturing of the bones, and eventually paralysis. Lourdes was already in the worst stage of the disease, and according to research, after paralysis sets in, the chances of recovery are slim to none, even with surgery. Lourdes needed a miracle.  The doctors prescribed a strong antibiotic to help fight off some of the infection, and since the family couldn’t pay 1,000 PHP or about $20 for the medication, I paid for it myself. Later that day I received a random donation for the exact amount. God was providing!  So the weeks went by and after a few more hospital visits and catheter changes, the doctors decided that Lourdes needed an MRI, costing 15,000 PHP or $350.
By now we only had one week left in the Philippines… we were out of time. I couldn’t understand why God would get us this far, and not finish the work he had started. I had hoped and prayed that I would be able to see this woman walk again, but now it was time to go back to the States, and I went back with sadness in my heart. 
     The first 3 weeks back in the U.S., all I could think about was Lourdes, I had told friends about her, asked for prayers, and found a friend from church that covered the $350 cost of the MRI, but there still wasn’t a happy ending to the story, and that wore my patience thin.  Eventually I broke down and emailed the KIM staff, in a desperate attempt to make sure that someone was taking care of Lourdes and her family. They replied and said there was another Passport Team in the Philippines working with the Tanghal family, fixing the house, making hospital visits, and they even got Lourdes in a wheelchair. Once again God had proved his faithfulness! Shortly after, I began speaking with Chris Easter, one of the guys from the new Passport team, and he kept me updated as the months went by about everything that his team was doing with the Tanghal family. Then a day came that I will always remember. I got word from Chris that on his last day in the Philippines, Lourdes Tanghal, the woman who had been paralyzed for nearly 8 months, stood up out of her wheelchair….I hit my knees immediately and thanked God. It was a miracle. Here was the happy ending to the story that I had been praying for!            
     Now here I am in the Philippines, 5 months later, and I get to see Lourdes completely healed and walking, I get to see all of her children going to school, and I get to see living proof of our God’s everlasting faithfulness. When I see Lourdes, I think about Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God had planned this from the very beginning, not just for Lourdes, but for ME. I came to the Philippines to teach others about Jesus, but in the end, it was me that was being taught. Despite her illness, Lourdes had hope, and even in her times of pain and sadness, she always wore the most beautiful smile on her face. I’ve learned a valuable lesson from Lourdes… Never cease to have hope and joy, because our God never ceases to love us.

Monday, June 30, 2014

From Tacloban to Manila

Within just a few days of typhoon Yolanda hitting the Philippines in November 2013, Kids International  Ministries was in Tacloban, Leyte; feeding, housing and loving people in the name of Christ..... and they are still there. The outreach to help people at the time of a natural disaster has turned into a long term, full-time part of their ministry here in the Philippines. Volunteers and staff continue to minister and help rebuild the lives of the people in that area.
If you drive two hours north from Tacloban in Ormoc, Leyte; you will see that Yolanda also destroyed the lives, homes, and the city there. One family was able to make it to relatives in the area of Manila where Kids International Ministries has their ministry center in Cainta, Rizal.  They began to come to the ministry's local church and some of the staff met one of the family members.  From this encounter the staff and family began to establish a relationship. Jackelyn, 17, was soon employed by the ministry as part of the kitchen staff and was also encouraged and supported to attend Bible college here in Manila. Jerome, 15, and Giselle, 9, were granted enrollment in the ministry's school.  Their cousin, Mary Cris, age 22,  also came with the family. She had earned her teaching degree and passed the teaching licensing exam on the first try right before the storm happened in 2013 where Yolanda destroyed everything.  She is now employed by KIM's new Early Learning Center and is a fabulous addition to mold young minds.  Another cousin, Jelly, age 22,  has found employment in a canteen. When they first moved here they were living in a small home up the street from the ministry center, near the Children's Home. KIM has now found housing for this family and their lives are forever changed through God's grace and the support of those that give to KIM's general fund. 
To help support this family and others that need your help, please follow the link below. God is changing lives through the love of His people every day in the Philippines.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Tacloban Experience

Kids International Ministries was one of the first groups in Tacloban after Typhoon Yolanda last November. This past month Ruth finished her work with Habitat for Humanity and wanted to find another way to serve while in the Philippines. She found KIM and jumped right in to serve alongside our workers in Tacloban and was changed by her experience serving on the front lines of this mission. Read about her experience here!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Madi's Moment

Hey KIM friends, 
I would like you to meet Madi. She is an amazing young woman who spent last Fall in PI. Read about her great time below and then check out the pictures of the new construction going on at KIM. 

My name is Madi Bennett and I spent this past fall in the Philippines working with K.I.M. During my senior year of high school I went on a short week long trip with my parents. This was the fourth time I had been to the Philippines, but I hadn’t been back for 5 or 6 years. I fell back in love with the country and people in just these few short days and wanted to spend more time there. I felt God calling me to come back so I decided to take my first semester of college off and live in Manila.

The main things I did from day to day was to go on the feedings and to work with the kids at the Children’s home, especially the nursery kids. I am studying Early Childhood Development and love working with toddlers and babies. It is amazing all the lessons I learned from these kids. They really show you how to love people. One of my favorite things at the end of the day, no matter how horrible the toddlers had been, how much spit up I had on my shirt, or how little sleep I had from doing night shift the night before, there was always one thing that made it all better. Goodnight kisses. The toddlers usually cried and screamed about going to bed, but once they calmed down I always heard, “Tita! Tita! Tita Madi…Madi…Madiii…Titaaaa Madiiiiii!” coming from their room. And all they wanted was a hug and to give me a goodnight kiss on the cheek. They are such sweet children of God.

While living in the PI for those months, I also got to travel to a couple of the other islands. I went with a few other people to Mindanao and was able to be a part of the ministries down there and had a wonderful time. I also had the blessing of being able to go down to Tacloban three weeks after Typhoon Yolanda hit to help feed people. It was an experience that impacted my life so much but is really hard to put into words and explain. God showed me that these people, the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, are such strong people who are full of hope. I got to hear different people’s stories from the storm and pray with them. I hope that I helped the people I spoke with as much as they helped me see God’s love through their experience.

I came home mid-December but had the opportunity to go back for two weeks in March. It was really good to see all the kids and people that I built relationships with in the fall. I have plans to return soon. I don’t know what God has in store for me in the future but I do know that He is not finished with me in the Philippines.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Heart for Missions

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

I'm very excited about this next blog. This young woman has an incredible story about how KIM has had an impact on her life! I'm excited to introduce you to Chandler, an incredible girl close to the KIM family's heart. Here is her story:

When I was in high school the Lord made it clear that He wanted me to serve abroad. By the time I graduated high school I had been on two international missions trips and had fallen in love with learning about and living in new cultures. I loved going to serve, doing construction work, and helping with church retreats, but I longed to serve in a children’s home! I have volunteered in the children’s ministry at my church since I was in 6th grade, therefore; I thought the Lord was naturally leading me to work in an orphanage somewhere (and boy was I wrong!). So I started looking for ministries that would allow people to come and serve, just so I could experience what life working in a children’s home really looked like. To my disappointment, I was struggling to find real options. However, when I was explaining my dilemma to a friend of mine while visiting her in Singapore, she excitedly shared her experience with KIM and put me in contact with Mr. Jeff (who mentioned that I could hop on over for a visit since I was on their side of the world). Unfortunately, my father was not too excited about the idea of his 18-year-old daughter flying from Singapore to the Philippines by herself. However, he promised that he would talk to Mr. Jeff and see if we could make it a family trip later that year. Within a few months my family of five had a trip planned to the Philippines for our Christmas break. When it finally came time to board the plane, I was elated! I couldn’t believe that the day had finally come! Little did I know that the Lord was about to rock my little world and turn it completely upside down.
            A little over 24 hours later we landed in the PI, exhausted, but excited to be there. The next morning Jeff laid out our options of service until we were needed at the children’s home in a few days(our family came to serve so that the house moms could have time off for a Christmas Holiday). One of the options was to serve in a ministry that had only begun a few weeks prior to us landing, a ministry for expecting mothers (which has now blossomed into Hope Alive Clinic). This immediately caught my attention, so after breakfast I made my way over to the clinic area and told them to put me to work. Within a few minutes, Ate Rona was showing me how to work the fetal heart-rate monitor as I sat wide-eyed trying to take it all in. Over the next hour, my life took a huge turn. Seeing the looks on the faces of young mothers who were hearing their babies’ heartbeat brought me more joy than I had ever experienced and it left me yearning for more time with this ministry. For the rest of my two-week trip I spent time with Daisy and the ministry as much as possible, soaking in all the information I could get. As a result my mind began racing with possibilities: Why do I enjoy this so much? Do I need to change my major? Lord, what in the world does all of this mean?
            At the time of that first trip I was a sophomore at Berry College where I was in an amazing college program called WinShape, and majoring in Psychology. Now, here I was in the PI thinking about changing my major to nursing (which is a science major I might add, a subject I have always run away from) and pursing midwifery. I was completely confused! So I began praying and I confided in my mom about these new possibilities, but mostly kept quiet.
As the days passed, I transitioned into our time at the children’s home, primarily working in the nursery. Again, my world was rocked. I fell in love with the 12 kiddos I was taking care of every day. I desired a loving home for each of them, families to give them the one-on-one attention they so desired. The hours in the nursery seemed long at times, but I learned more than I could have ever dreamed about what it takes to be a parent, and all it takes to run a children’s home.
Before I knew it, our time was up in the PI. I left with an overwhelmed heart, knowing that I had to return to hold my babies soon, not knowing what the Lord was going to do with my future, and convinced that my family needed to adopt. When we landed I began preparing to return to my home at Berry and my WinShape “family”, but that only lasted two days. As a result of my mothers prodding, I had to admit that the Lord was giving me a clear command and I needed to follow it. That night I announced to my family that I would not be returning to Berry the next week, I was withdrawing, moving home, and enrolling in a local college to begin nursing school. The next week and a half was a whirlwind but the Lord truly gave me peace that surpassed any peace I had ever felt, gave me the opportunity to find closure with my Berry community, and gave me an amazing class schedule at my new school.
That first trip was in December of 2012. I have since returned three other times; once with my family, and twice leading other people/groups to experience the vast ministry opportunities in the Philippines. I was accepted into the nursing school of my choice on my first attempt and the Lord continues to open doors for me to work with young families as I work on completing my nursing education. I have also gained a huge appreciation of science in general, and I am daily awestruck at how beautifully intricate the Lord made the human body.
Although I never thought I would leave Berry or move back home, the Lord has led me to do both. What I didn’t realize was that He had more than one reason for doing so. Not only did He change my whole career path, but also the February after my families’ first trip, my parents announced that they decided to adopt from the Philippines. Through God’s providence, He brought me home so I could be here to welcome three precious Filipino children into our family, yes three! We are now a chaotic family of 8 and we couldn’t be happier! And to top everything off, these aren’t just any three Filipino children, they are a sibling group that we came to know and love while we served in the Children’s Home the past two Christmases!

My heart is in constant overflow of thankfulness as I look back on the past two and a half years of my life and how much the Lord has used KIM to shape my family and my future. I truly can’t wait to see where the Lord will lead in the next two and a half years!  

I want to thank Chandler for sharing her story! God directs our path and leads us into a beautiful future when we trust completely in HIM! Check back soon to see updates from the NFFCH's Christmas and relief efforts in Tacloban. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"If there is a seed thrown, there will be harvest!"

Kids International Ministries was ecstatic  and very blessed to send a mission team of their own Filipino workers to Hong Kong at the end of July. One of the members of this team, Dess, is a social worker for KIM. Here is his account of this life changing trip. 

Thank you Dess, for praying for God to use you mightily and for sharing with us!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Visitor's Experience

Meet A! 

A is an amazing young woman who spent a month in the Philippines spreading Christ's love to everyone she met. The most amazing part about A is that she became a Christian a little over six months ago, and immediately wanted to share the Gospel. This is a daunting task, considering that A lives in a country where it is illegal to be a Christian, but this didn't stop her from visiting K.I.M and being the hands and feet of Christ. She spent 2 weeks in Cainta at the YMC and then continued 2 more weeks with other local ministries.  A was very nervous about sharing her faith but as you are about to read, God guided her steps throughout her trip. Here is her story of her 4 week missions trip to Manila. 

(Some of the words are abbreviated for A's safety, but are pretty easy to determine.)

      Here's what happened in the amazing one month M trip in the Philippines.

For the first 2 weeks, I was with Kids International Ministry, I took care of the children in the children’s home, I lead their nightly devotions (My first time leading devotions ever!!) I was so nervous, but it went well, because G gave me words to say. I taught them crafts, and hung out with them. I took care of the babies and small children to help their caregiver (nursery workers). In the meantime, I went to another street children ministry in the evenings. Here I lead their devotions as well, bought them a white teaching board (dry erase), pens and inks. The sister (Myles) who takes care of everything in this ministry herself always cooks a meal for 50+children after their devotion every night, so I helped buy food so that they could prepare a better meal for these kids. I went on the feedings as well, to the poorest flooded area, we pr(ayed) with people before giving them food, and then played with them, and sang worship songs for them.

After this 2 weeks(in Manila), I went working with a church under YWAM I lead B study in their club for 4 hours-4 lessons which I learned from a sister in New Zealand! I couldn't believe it was many people's first time hearing those messages and expressions. I joined 2 of their B studies, sharing my testimony. People were so interested in me, they keep asking me how does it feel to be a Christian in C(country)? What is the situation there.....Then I visited a home for Aged people, where I shared my testimony with nearly 100 old people. I didn't have courage to share but I pr every time before I spoke, and the H.S did give me words to say. For another day, I went sharing the G with 4 young people to one of the streets where crimes happen everyday. We approached 10 people, about 5 of them pr to receive Ch with me. The last day I invited some gangsters for B study. They were even using drugs when I was with them, talking to them. I wasn't confident about what I could do for them, because I do not understand a gangsters life and how they feel. Amazingly, during our B study, I was able to answer their questions well,(one guy mentioned that he can't feel G's existence, I had a ball pen, so I told him that we can't see the pen point because of the pen cover. We can't feel G because our sins covered us, separated us from G. I heard about this explanation in a B study, I didn't know that I remembered this. haha Guess you will never know when you can use this to bless other people!  In the end of that B class, 4 gangsters pr with me to receive Ch. I'm not very confident if they really meant it, because it seems so easy for them to pr with me....:( 
     As you can see, this is an amazing week of experience for me!! I feel part of their family even it's only one week. 
    For the last week, I went to CEBU with the same P.I met many people there. They are going to different countries after this training. They all asked me many questions about how does it feel to be a Ch in C(country), what's the situation there right now...haha There was one older sister, she told me that she was one of the first person who smuggled B(books) into C(country). It was a easier week because it was just training every morning. I spent the rest of time learning violin! I had 4 lessons, and I could play 5 songs out of it! haha I wish to continue learning the violin soon.

Thanks A for sharing your adventure in the Philippines! Check back next week for more news from Manila and a recap of K.I.M's first ever mission team and their trip to Hong Kong!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
English Standard Version, Acts 1:8