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Tuesday, 04 November 2008 18:00

Risen Savior Missions

October Newsletter 2008

 

Dear Missionary Friends,

Barbara and I, along with Ms. Cathy Crea and Fr. Victor Valencia, just returned from the Philippines after a 20 day food mission tour. We were gone from September 22 through October11. All of us returned home safely and are in good health, but I don’t think any of us will have the same outlook on life ever again. We all are just emotionally drained from the poverty we witnessed after seeing too many starving children. In fact, after returning home last week, my wife is having occasional nightmares about what she saw. I don’t think we will ever forget the several thousand families trying to survive in their 10’x12’ shanties in the dismal slums.

 Many families have five children or more crowded into their small spaces. There is no electricity, bathrooms, indoor plumbing and very little light. Because there is a lack of fresh air movement, there is an awful stench that these people must live with every day. With a nation having 40 percent of their population being 15 years old or younger, it is hard to see so many helpless innocent children living in these conditions.

 

We traveled 20 days during which we had flights, rode on ferry boats and drove over a multitude of paved and unpaved roads. Many of these roads were actually rough mountain trails. We were only eight degrees north of the equator so the humidity was high with temperatures in the high nineties. My wife, Barbara, experienced her first outrigger canoe ride on the Pacific Ocean. Of course, there were no life jackets! We visited over 30 different feeding sites including a few that were very primitive mountain villages. We saw thousands of hungry children both in areas where we are shipping food and areas where we hope to ship food in the future. In the places that were not on our feeding site list, hungry children hoped we would add them to our food list and send them food. They were also curious to see what Americans look like. In the areas we are sending food, some of the children were only able to have a tiny meal of either a quarter cup of food or a banana. Some children were only eating once every other day. Because of their starvation and malnourishment, the children could not handle eating any more than that or any oftener because the size of their stomachs had shrunken so badly.

High among the beautiful mountains and tropical villages on the different islands, we experienced being observed by the Muslim Independent Liberation Front (MILF). We also traveled through New People’s Army (NPA) territory. Both of these armies are considered to be terrorist organizations by the Philippine government. Upon arriving back in Manila, we learned that five Christian Children’s Fund volunteers had been taken captive by the MILF on the island of Mindanao. They were being held for ransom. Three of them had been released. The fate of the other two volunteers was uncertain. Their captors were no longer asking for ransom money and the authorities had lost contact with the MILF kidnappers. Please pray for them! Risen Savior Missions is delivering food to two dioceses on that island but, for the next few months, I plan to stay away from this dangerous situation. Right now there are 500,000 people displaced from their homes on Mindanao because of the government’s war against these terrorist organizations. I talked with an American paratrooper who was on our flight back to the US. He told me that several US troops were there helping the Philippine government as military advisors. He confirmed that it was unsafe for us as civilian missionaries to travel and visit our feeding sites on the island. Unfortunately, we will probably not go back there to visit because of the situation. That breaks my heart because so many people are starving there. Please pray for them!

 

However, by God’s grace, the islands of Leyte, Albay and Catanduanes have whole villages of children that are healthy. Praise God! We are shipping food donated by the NGO, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) on a regular basis to these islands. In some of those villages, 300-500 children joined together in one voice to give our food inspection team a rock star welcome with drums, song and dance. When General McArthur returned to the Philippines during World War II, I doubt he received as glorious a warm welcome as we did from these Philippine children. We were only 10 miles from Red Beach where he landed many years ago. In another village, little children lined the village trail for blocks waving tiny homemade flags to welcome us. They chanted our names as they swarmed all around us. It was overwhelming, amazing, embarrassing and wonderful all at the same time! We know Jesus is truly the one who deserves all the credit, honor and glory. Next year we hope Risen Savior Missions will be able to send more food to these little children.

 

We are trying to expand our feeding program to at least 50 sites at a time so we can save more children. To accomplish this, we are rationing the vitamin-packed food. The children receive the food for three to four months, three times a week. Each child receives one cupful a day. This program reverses the malnutrition in all of them. Once the children are well-nourished at these sites, we move on to the next 50 villages to care for those starving children. But, that is what keeps us going in our struggle to find the financial resources to pay for shipping the food to the starving children of the Philippines. The hopeful faces and the gaze from their beautiful brown eyes remain with us always after we have returned home to the USA. Our job is to keep the proper focus on this mission work. We must remind ourselves daily why we do what we do. Our mission work is not about ourselves, but about the beautiful, loving and innocent children who need our help. We need to buy this generation of children some time with this food. Help us do that. If we do, they will be able to help themselves and their country later on in life because they are so loving, intelligent, hard-working and goodhearted.

 

My dear missionary friends, I would like to ask for your help in sending more food to these children. I have a few suggestions as to how you can do that. Please do whatever you are able to at the moment on behalf of these malnourished, Philippine and Christian children.

  1. Pray. It is the most important thing you can do to help them.

  2. Donate money. A $10 donation will pay to ship enough food for two children. Donating $100 will ship food for 20 children and $1000 will ship food for 200 children. The donation amounts stated are for an entire year’s worth of food!

  3. Volunteer.

 

Jesus said, “What so-ever you do for the least of my children, you do unto Me.”

 

Your brother and sister in Christ,

Jerry and Barbara


 

Donate Here

This donation will be used to assist Risen Savior Missions in their efforts to relieve the starving and malnutrition of children in the Philippines. You may mail a check to:..................................................... Risen Savior Missions....................... 14533 Eureka Court........................... Apple Valley, MN 55124...................... or..................................................... click on the "Donate" button to pay with Paypal or credit card.



Our Partners

Feed My Starving Children

 

Impact Ministries International

 

hapag asa

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