We have been in the Philippines for just over three weeks now, working with three different Nehemiah houses on the island of Mindanao. These houses were started by an American missionary who, during his DTS was told very clearly by God that when he went on his outreach he would not be returning home. These houses all hold between 5-15 girls between the ages of 9 and 18. All of these girls have been brought here to protect them from abusive situations at home. They typically stay 1-2 years here as the staff work on their court cases to prosecute the abusers. The girls only return home once it is safe for them.
Everyday we wake up and host God Special time with the girls (a short devotional), then after breakfast we pray and walk them to their schools. During the day we help do random chores and cooking around the house and then we pick the girls up from school and play games or hang with them as they do homework. The evenings we have either a bible study, worship, prayer time or family night. The last house we were at we helped tear down their old fence and carried sand, gravel and bricks to the back yard to prepare for the contractors to build a new one. My birthday/New Years eve was spent doing fence stuff in the morning, having an open air (doing skits, songs, and preaching the gospel in a public area) and then getting to lead worship right before we ate a huge feast at midnight. It was such a fun day and my team and all the girls here were singing happy birthday to me all day loooong.
As we wrap up our time with this ministry I am feeling so grateful to have gotten to meet all these amazing girls and hear snippets of their stories. Because of their strength and joy it is easy to forget why they are here in the first place.
At random times the girls would open up about their abusers and about their families, and the more stories I heard the more I questioned the sanity of this world we live in. I would look across a joyous game of cards with these beautiful girls and think how dare any man ever hurt you. I dont understand that kind of evil at all. But I do understand that Gods heart for justice is so very enormous compared to mine! And thats why God called one man twenty years ago to leave his home behind, move to this nation, and start a home to protect at least a few of the least of these from such injustice ever happening again. Our team has been so blessed to get to be a part of these girls lives and seeing what the gospel looks like for them. Please continue to pray for us as we travel next to Olongapo.