Since I`ve been home…

Since I have been back in the United States, college and other activities have managed to consume much of my time.  By God’s grace, however, friends have listened to my stories and have begun looking for ways that they can help. 

Because other members of my church have also voiced a desire to become more involved in reaching out globally, our pastors recently hired one of the church members to work part-time as a mercy ministries coordinator.  I have been able to talk to him and his wife about my experiences in the Philippines, and they are currently exploring ways our church could support the orphanage.

I was also able to collect many items that we sent to the orphanage this past Christmas.  By the generous donations of families in my church, we were able to send approximately 250 articles of clothing, 250 books, a sewing machine, 2 boom boxes, a webcam, some kids CDs, a couple of sermons on CD, some cassette tapes, 17 backpacks, a few toys, including a toy cash register, and some other miscellaneous items.

Lee sent me this message after they received the items:

“Ariel, I just wanted to thank you and the Church immensely for sharing such a great treasure with us. You cannot imagine the joy in my heart to receive so many good teachings and good Christian books, as well as music and clothing. The kids really love the music. All the kids including most of the high school students can’t leave the cash register alone. They are constantly calculating on it and exploring its parameters. Thank you so much and God bless. We all together will be reaping from the treasures you have given in love…”

And then later she said,

“You might like to hear that the kids used the register to calculate their averages this second semester. Nearly everyone’s grades improved… Marwen was sharing with Pastor Alan how before coming here, he used to be a terrible student, constantly skipping class. Today he is first in his class.”

The month after I came back from the Philippines, the senior pastor of His Dwelling Christian Church in Cebu City (Cornelio Ebo) came to the United States with his wife, Nadine, and son, Carlos, so that he could attend a pastors college for ten months.  During the first few weeks they were here, before they were given a car, I drove them to the store and showed them around a little bit.  It was so much fun!  In the fall, I took them to an autumn festival in Western Maryland.  It has been really entertaining to watch them experience fall and winter for the first time.

Eating Filipino food with Carlos and Ate Nadine

This upcoming Sunday, they will be attending my church.  I’m going to introduce them and tell the congregation a little bit about my experience in the Philippines and thank the church for their donations.  Then after the service, Pastor Nilo and his family are going to the mercy ministries coordinator’s house to tell more people about his ministry in the Philippines. 

I am excited to see how God will continue to work in the Philippines and bless everyone there.  Please pray that more people would be able to partner with the church and the orphanage.  I would really appreciate it if you did.  (And maybe you will be able to donate or serve there, too.  A little help goes a long way.)  And thank you for reading my blog!  God bless you all!

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I am a college student studying English and Communications, and since I was very young I have felt that God may be calling me to take hold of the education my loving family has provided for me, the truths God has shown me, and the freedoms America has given me to craft them into something that will bring tangible relief to the world’s many impoverished citizens and tell them about Christ.

I met Matthew and Lee Dwinells while volunteering with my church at Rancho 3M in Mexico and have followed their journey to the Philippines while praying that I might find some way to help them. After a few failed attempts to obtain grants, my friends and family were very generous and donated money so that I could go serve at the orphanage. I received encouragement and help from various professors, and Dr. G very kindly created this website for me to update while I am there.

I am excited to see how God blesses the faith and support of the many people who have helped launch my trip. I pray that even just a few people will gain a better understanding of life in the Philippines and that through this endeavor the children at the orphanage will grow physically and spiritually. My upcoming adventure is a great unknown to me, but I’m sure God will use it for good.

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing,”
Deuteronomy 10: 17-18.