Our family moved to the Philippines in September 2001. Since then we have lived mainly in Metro Manila, but besides working in the metro area we’ve conducted mission projects and disaster relief in Dagupan, Infanta, Camalig, Hagonoy, Angeles, Tarlac, Famy, Paete, Baguio and on the islands of Mindoro & Cebu, Catanduanes, Leyte etc.
Our focus for over 15 years has been helping poor schools with Christian educational materials teaching scripture memorization, morals and English language and reading. Up to now we’ve been able to help around 400 schools. We’ve provided several thousand children with school supplies on a yearly basis. We work primarily with Day Care centers for younger children, but have also done projects with Elementary schools.
We had been doing a counselling program for recovering drug addicts and juvenile delinquents at the Paranaque Anti Drug Abuse Center from 2002 to 2012. Since 2012, we have held regular seminars and bible studies with 60 to 100 women who are sheltered at the haven for women. We coordinate with other missionaries to help at the prison for women, the children’s cancer ward at the Philippine Government Hospital, Homes for the elderly, several orphanages, etc.
Although not our main focus, because the Philippines is geographically situated in an area which experiences over a dozen typhoons (hurricanes) every year, we make an effort when possible, to bring food, clothing and supplies to those who are most affected by these calamities. During the years of 2020 and 2021, we did 12 such missions bringing aid to around 3,000 families. During the Pandemic we had regular feeding and food distribution activities on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, helping 100 to 200 families or 150 to 200 children each time.
We encourage our friends here to form Bible study groups with their colleagues and we then lead them through a course called the 12 foundation stones. We currently have three groups and over the last several years have had around 30 graduates from the course. We have tried to focus on training our children in the Bible and missionary work, and often include our children in our activities as much as we can. It’s our hope and prayer that our children will continue to spread the gospel in some way, and that some may dedicate their lives to missions. We meet people on a daily basis in their homes, places of work etc in order to pray with them, give counseling, and share God’s Word.
Both Maria’s and my parents were missionaries in Asia, and we have both lived in several Asian countries over the last 30 years, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan, Thailand and now the Philippines. Our parents work and their sample of dedication to Jesus was a strong influence in both of our lives and an important reason why we’ve decided to dedicate our lives as missionaries.