It’s been a busy and fruitful few months. God continues to pour out His love and goodness upon the people. As you read this update don’t forget to click the links to check out the photos.
21 Day Fast
Midway through March Hands of Hope Churches embarked on a 21 Day fast. The majority of people had never fasted so, prior to its commencement, we dedicated 3 Sundays to teach about fasting, prayer. We also talked on the focus or purpose of the fast which was, to have a greater revelation of God and His goodness in our lives. Leading up to the fast, and understandably so, there was a mixture of both fear and excitement from the people.
However, the number of testimonies during and after the fast made their sacrifices all worthwhile. Many shared how God spoke to them, how they felt His presence in fresh ways (the Holy Spirit seemed close at all times), some experienced restoration in family relationships whilst others experienced God’s provision in new ways. God revealed His nature and character through tangible actions - God is good.
As an organisation we believe the role of any foreign missionary is to train and support the indigenous or native people in evangelising their own peoples. Local Filipino's trained and equipped will always be a lot more effective evangelists than most foreign missionaries. This is why we get excited when we see people from our churches, sharing their personal testimonies, performing dramas, dances and leading worship. We witnessed all of this at our 2018 Easter Outreach in San Manual. One amazing lady stood up and shared how she had stopped drinking and is no longer hiding or taking the kids school money and using it for gambling. She continued to share how she prays for her children and sees God touching them when they are sick. It's like "wow!!" God is doing some amazing things here. Click here
to view photos.
HOHFA Graduation and Moving-Up Ceremony
Kinder Government Recognition
The 2017-18SY has turned out to be a significant year. HOHFA Kinder received its government recognition and now this paves the way to have our Grades 1-6 recognised. Government Recognition basically means we don't have to keep applying to the Philippines Department of Education for yearly permits.
On April 13 we not only held our normal end of school year Moving-Up ceremonies for Kinder and Grades 1-5 but we also had first Graduation Ceremony for Grade 6. Seventeen happy students received their rewards, ribbons and well deserved graduation certificates. They will be missed but we are looking forward to following their progress closely. Click here
to view photos of the graduation and moving up ceremony.
During the last 3 months we have made a number of improvements to the HOHFA campus by adding two additional classrooms, covering the cooking area, improving drainage, flattening out the sports field (getting ready for soccer and cricket) and improving the entrance. Click here to view photos. We are now currently focused on training and improving our teaching staff as we have 4 new teachers joining our school. We have also enrolled our head teacher, Jervy, into summer school to begin work on his masters. Click here
to view photos
We are excited to share the news that Norlyn, a YWAM graduate who has been working with us for the last 6 years, has married a lovely Canadian guy whom she met around 18 months ago. On Sunday the 22nd of April we all headed off to Mindanao to help them celebrate their wonderful beach wedding.
Joseph continues to amaze us with his musical abilities. He is now learning the electric guitar along with the bass and drums. Jenny is now in NZ starting a locum in Rotorua. Joseph and myself will follow after his classes finish in June.
If you are on facebook or skype please add us as we would love to keep in touch. Also, don't forget to check out our blogs as we will be updating them regularly and remember to click the links in the header of this newsletter to find out more about us and how you can be involved. Once again, thank you for your love and partnership.
Love and Blessings
Duane, Jenny & Joe