Do You Have A Heart For The Poor?
After serving as the pastor of two churches in Northern Arizona for 14 years, we began to pray and ask the Lord where He would next have us serve Him in Ministry.
Marissa being from Cebu in the Philippines, we planned a trip home to visit with family and friends for the Christmas season and new year. On a five day trip from Cebu to Bantayan Island we had the opportunity to walk amongst the people of Bantayan Island and get to know them and see what their lives were like.
On one particular day, we met a family in one of the many small fishing villages along the beaches of Bantayan Island. Three petite mothers approached and began to talk with us as if they had know us for years. Holding in their arms their tiny babies, ever smiling with eyes full of light and life, I began to look just past the shoulder of one of the women standing in front of me.
What I saw shocked and stirred my heart as I have never felt before. A small home made from the elements of the island. Coconut palm fronds covered the nipa hut roof. Woven strips of palm and bamboo made the walls. A dirt floor, no windows and the sight of an outdoor cooking area with the smell of burning coconuts rising into the air.
I felt a swell of emotion within my heart that I recognized as the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me. “Help Them…” I began to tremble and then weep. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a few old and tattered Philippine Pesos. I whispered into my wife’s ear if it would be alright if I gave each of the three ladies standing before us some of our money. She nodded her head as we both looked back into the faces of the women before us.
As I handed the tattered and faded paper money to each woman their faces lit up as if they had just been given a great gift long hoped for. They humbly bowed their heads in acknowledgment and moved their lips in unrecognized words that I knew meant “Thank You”.
I motioned to my wife that I was going to walk a few steps away from those who had gathered to meet us. The tears now flowing uncontrollably, I stood still waiting and pondering what had just happened.
The people of the fishing villages were unlike any that I have ever met before. They had so little as they were living in object poverty. In spite of their state they had such a beauty of soul and a joy within that I had not seen before in a human being. Despite having so little I wondered at their humility, gentleness and obvious love. How could someone with so little have such a beautiful spirit?
Once again I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say to me “Didn’t I tell you Blessed are the poor for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven…”
These dear souls had no natural barriers to their heart that people with material possessions have. They were not burdened with worries of gaining, keeping, or losing. Their lives were simply lived moment by moment, trying to care and provide the needs of their children and family members. These beautiful people have open hearts because they have not been closed off by the callousness of the world.
I realized at that moment that we had the power to help these precious people to live better lives. Although we were not wealthy ourselves, we had resources far beyond anything they would ever have. We had the power to supply the precious blessings of food, clean water, shelter, clothing and medical needs they needed so desperately. It wouldn’t take much to bring the basic necessities that would allow them to live better lives
Having such beautiful and open hearts I understood that when we began to tell these people about God’s great love and how He had sent His Only Son to die for their sins, they would respond with eagerness.
Unlike those who have grown up in a world where the pursuit of material possessions are the constant goal, these dear people had no barriers or distractions. All it would take to reach these people for the Lord would be to love them and become their friends. To give a few basic necessities of life— freely and with no expectation of anything in return. To show the Love of God by meeting their practical needs and daily requirements. This is how the Gospel of Jesus is best communicated to people.
I registered bantayanisland.org as a travel information web site to give important facts about the island, the resorts, hotels, and other facilities so that people around the world could learn about this beautiful island. More importantly, the incredible people who live here and how desperately they need our help.
Marissa and I have been blessed by the Lord financially so that we do not need to ask for your help to provide for our needs. We come to you here on this web site to ask you if you might consider coming alongside us to help the people of Bantayan Island to have better lives. If you have a heart for people and an inner sense that you should use your resources to touch other lives, then perhaps you will be led to help us in our work here.
We do not receive any money from this web site for us personally. We do not ask for a fee to partake of the information on this web site that hopefully will allow you to choose a resort and pick a travel date to visit the island.
All of the information that we place here on this web site is yours for free and is to be used by anyone who would like to find out more about Bantayan Island. The advertising that you see on this site helps pay the cost of maintaining the web site.
If you come to bantayanisland.org, and learn about the plight of the people on the Island and feel the same sense of urgency that I felt as I walked among the people, you can help us in a variety of ways:
First we need your constant and fervent prayers for wisdom, guidance and direction in how the Lord would have us help these precious people.
Second, you can come to Bantayan Island for a visit and to see the people for yourself, and do so with an open heart that perhaps the Lord would also move you to join us in this important work.
Third, you can give of your financial resources to allow us to buy rice, meat, fresh water, clothing, and provide the medical needs of these humble people. We need to rebuild their homes that were destroyed in the Typhoon’s of 2006 and 2013, many of which have never been repaired. It will take hundreds of thousands of dollars to make this possible. With the compassionate help of many we can make this a reality for these deperate people.
Together, we can feed and cloth a single family for an entire month for just $50.00. A new Native shelter can be built for about $2,000.00. We can take care of the medical needs for a family for less than $100.00.
Thank you for taking time to learn about these wonderful people, their lives and their needs. Marissa and I pray that your heart has been touched by their story and that you will find it in your heart to help them.
In ministry to the People of Bantayan Island,
Pastor Rob and Marissa
To Make a Safe and Secure Donation to Teach The Word Ministries, the Foundation who provides for the needs of the People of Bantayan Island, CLICK on the link above. You will be directed to Paypal where you can make a safe and secure donation that you can afford. Thank you for your Love and Help in providing the resources needed to meet the needs of these deperate people on Bantayan Island.
THE FOLLOWING 8 MINUTE VIDEO TELLS THE STORY OF HOW AND WHY WE WANT TO HELP THESE PRECIOUS PEOPLE…