Hope you all are having a great start of the new year! I have anticipated that this year will be filled with reconciliation and healing for me personally and I hope for you as well. We have been partying it up Filipino style with plenty of food, games, and dancing. We were blessed by our pastor and they rented out a resort for us to take everyone from the base to like they did the year before. Each disciple, child, volunteer worker, and staff had to perform something as a group. My group did a silly spoof of “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler where I was the girl desperately looking for a man of my dreams only to be disappointed by weirdos (aka the staff dressing up as questionable men) until I found my Mister Suave. In reality its Jesus, our ultimate Hero who does the rescuing!
My camera is currently in the repair shop cause it got dropped.. so I’ll just have to steal other people’s cellphone pictures and facebook photos.
We had a team from Kona, Hawaii with us and evangelism has been a blessing to be consistent in followup ever since we did the Logos Hope Event for the bar girls. I met a girl named Jasmine in one of the bars and she wasn’t able to attend the event. She shared how she desperately wanted to get out of the bar scene and you could feel her sadness as she explained her situation. Then a couple of weeks later I texted an invitation to joinchurch with us and she told me that she had quit 2 weeks ago probably right after I met her. She wanted to bring a friend along who had also quit along with her. When they arrived they came in during the sermon. They looked even more innocent than they did in the bars without all that makeup and they most likely weren’t even 18 years old like they have been saying. Afterwardsthey told me how they were used to attending mass and said how different it was. They didn’t own a bible so thankfully I had just gone to the Christian bookstore and bought a few bibles since many girls have been requesting for one. So I invited them to the base and they got to meet the girls and turns out one of our disciples, named Palma knew one of them as a neighbor and her ex-boyfriend’s cousin. Palma remembers her as a little girl back in the day and was shocked to hear her working in the bar. She found out they were only 14 years old with a fake birth certificate. Palma could relate and her heart went out to them since she started working in the bars at 15 years of age, using her sisters ID to get employed. Sad to say that they went back to working in the bars but we are to continue to follow up on their progress. The great thing is that the bar we have been going to has many girls who are searching for another job. There has been talk of them seeing if they can find work in a factory.
Many of our disciples have been popping out babies.. we just had another new addition in the family. 3 babies in the last 2 months! May God provide us with another building or an expansion to house more girls caught up in prostitution..
We got permission from a bar where we used to host bible study to start again in their newly built bar that’s just across from the old one. The old lot has been torn down to build a new bar. As usual we had the team do worship, share from the word and then we had one of our girls share her testimony of being rescued from the bars. 2 girls responded to receive Christ and we got to pray over their prayer requests.. they came along as well as another girl with her 2 kids to the YWAM base and sat in the teaching that the team was doing. The topic was on “Hearing God’s Voice” a class that was taught in DTS for a week or so.. Then we had a time to apply that and prophesy over one another what we feel that God wants to say that that person. We each shared about the individual and then had a chance to receive a word. It was very encouraging and I had the same things spoken over me before in Canada. Even the bar girls joined in doing the encouragement!
I recently met with a lady named Melinda who was referred to me by my friend in YWAM. Melinda was a bar girl years ago and has a crazy amazing story of redemption as her testimony! I was so encouraged by her and she has been ministering to bar girls for 8 years in her church. She told me how the Lord answered her cry and used a customer to bless her by providing her everything she needed without strings attached in order to leave the bar. He now goes to her church and is responsible for 90 percent of the funding towards the Haven of Praise church in Barretto. It is located right on the bar strip above my friend’s livelihood program for sewing, which can offer the girls a job skill they can learn within a few months.
Last Friday My co laborer in Christ and I went bar evangelizing and we went to visit a former mamasan named Sylvia, whom I met about 7 months ago. She stopped working recently and has stayed in bed cause of her sickness and reading her bible and devotions that I gave to her. We used to go to her bar all the time and she welcomed us in her house for bible study with her girls. But because of the bar owner change its been harder to get in and she tried to work in another bar but there would be excuses as to why she wasn’t getting paid. In reality, it was the Lord’s doing to not have her work in the bars anymore.. Sylvia even told us that normally she would be full of energy to find a job and the money would drive her to work but lately she’d feel lazy and even tired to get out of bed. She knew that God was causing her to be that way.. I added that it was because of constant prayer for her. As she was sharing her many stories of God’s miracles in her life, we saw how she was being used by God to reach out to the girls she would work with. She had a mother heart of God and would encourage the girls to have a better life since she used to be in that situation herself. Perhaps one day I can share her testimony when she is more mature in her faith..
We prayed for her asthma and blood pressure to be healed, as well as providing her with medicine. Sylvia had been praying that although she would only take half of her medicine she believes the Lord sustained her still. It helps clear her breathing. Her relative was visiting so we all joined hands in prayer and invited them to come check out the church with us. It was last Sunday morning when we attended and Sylvia showed up with her cousin, who was also seeking for more faith in God.. I could tell they were moved by the Spirit. Even Kris, (the bar girl who came to bible study and YWAM), woke up late came towards the end of the service while she was feeling sick from her anemia. Please pray that the Lord would heal her as well..
It was exciting to connect Melinda, the redeemed prostitute to Sylvia and Kris because in the end we all need each other to encourage and help shoulder the burdens we have for the girls.
May you all have the best year ever and trust that there is more blessing to come! The Lord has started the healing process in me to let go of the past to make room for what the future holds. I’m excited to see what new possibilities spring up and hope you are too.
God bless and expect the very best!