Although there are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, most of its 100 million people are concentrated on 8 main islands. The northernmost, main island of Luzon is where the capital city of Manila is; and is where we base our outreaches. The Philippines is like our second home because it was the first Asian country we ministered in over 25 years ago, and because the people are some of the most friendly you will ever meet!
In 2009 Vessels of Mercy took a small orphanage named Kalinga at Kanlungan under its wings when the current administration was unable to continue. The building was small and the regulations were increasing, so when the opportunity came a couple years later to merge with another orphanage that had a bigger facility and additional staff, we were thankful. Our 10 kids and their caregivers moved to join Kids International Ministries at New Faith Family Children's Home. The children are flourishing there, and it is a joy to see them growing into all God has for their lives!
Baguio Deaf School:
Due to some family circumstances, God began opening our eyes to the needs of the deaf in 1997. It was around this time that we connected with the Baguio School for the Deaf which worked with deaf children in the north. The school continues to press on, and it is a tremendous testimony to have some of the former students working there as teachers! Through the years we have regularly supported them with volunteers and finances.
One of the ways we try to maximize and multiply our impact is by ministering to Pastors and leaders. Regardless of what takes place in world events, they will be here to carry on the work of the Kingdom. Our strategy is to conduct two, full-day seminars that are targeted in key locations. We generally hold the seminars at the end of February when weather interference is at a minimum.
Another way we can strengthen churches is to strengthen the lives of the families in the congregation. Over the years we have helped sponsor many different projects from mushroom farming, fish ponds, raising rabbits and turkeys, to growing vegetables. We have also been involved in projects that involve handicrafts that can be accomplished in the home for those in urban areas who do not have the land or space to grow things.