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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
1st Jan 2016

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January Newsletter 2016

JAANA'S PHILIPPINES TRIP REPORT

In late November / early December 2015 I was granted the opportunity to get more familiar with what Hosea Ministry does on the island of Mindoro. I had read Anne's newsletters and trip reports but it was only by actually being there that I grasped the huge impact that Hosea Ministry has had in Mindoro through all the schools and churches that it has established. The school foundation celebrations that I attended were particularly moving. This trip was for me personally a deep immersion into the riches of God and into a world that previously I had only dreamt of. I fell in love with the beauty of the island, the simplicity of life there and the openness and genuine love of the local people.

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Foundation day

During the visit one bible verse became especially relevant to me. John 3:8 says “The wind blows where it wishes and you can hear its sound. But you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with every one that is born of the spirit.” The wind of the Holy Spirit is certainly blowing through Mindoro Island and its people. Once a year Hosea Ministry schools organise a special event to celebrate their founding, held at the end of November. The event starts with a parade through the city centre to the celebration venue. We were privileged to participate in two such annual extravaganzas. In one of them the schoolchildren made their own declaration of faith at the end of the celebration. It touched my heart to hear one child lead as the whole group recited from memory sentence by sentence this wonderful statement of the faith of the school, in front of the large audience.

The local civic leaders were present as honoured guests and they delivered their own speeches praising the work that
Hosea ministry was doing. The children and their mothers gave their own performance consisting of worship songs and dances, specially choreographed for the occasion. Their joy and the presence of the Holy Spirit were really tangible. It is clear that the wind of God has started to cleanse the land of Mindoro as you see children and mothers together offering their heartfelt gratitude to Him.

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A dance performance

In every church we visited we felt the fresh touch of God's Spirit, There was such passion evident in the work of the church pastors and schoolteachers and their commitment to their ministry was a joy to see. Similarly it was such an encouragement to find every congregation that we visited so genuine and exuberant in their worship and praise. Circumstances there are totally different to what we have here in Finland. For example new churches gather in huts, either big or small, with usually just a dirt floor. The temperature inside rockets and to us Finns it becomes almost unbearable, well beyond our comfort zones. Rather like being inside a sauna for several hours without a break. But when the worship started and heaven opened, even I forgot my physical discomfort as the Holy Spirit filled the room and everything seemed possible in Him.

We visited Cabacunga Hosea Ministry church led by a pastor couple named Muleta. We blessed and prayed for them in their work as Hosea pastors while we were there The church meets in a simple open area shaded by a tarpaulin, As soon as the meeting started I recognised great joy and expectancy among the congregation of what God was going to do in that place I had a word of prophecy for the church that new wine would be poured out there. People are going to flock there to drink this new wine and because of the joy in this place through God's blessing. (John 2:1-8)

The Gamot tribe in the mountains was one of the last stops of our journey. The church there had waited quite some time for us to arrive and they were unsure if we would come because the roads were in such a poor condition from the recent rains. We gathered in a hut that also doubled as a school. Iit was so full that some people were left standing outside through lack of room inside.

During the worship as I looked around and took in the combination of very primitive conditions and people so hungry for God, I sighed to Jesus a prayer with somewhat limited faith asking Him to come down and touch these people. Immediately I heard Him say to me “I am here already. These are my people and I am amongst my own ones”. He Himself went around the room touching them all, both children and adults. The work of Hosea needs your support – both prayers and financially. With just one single
euro you can buy a pair of sandals for a person living in extreme poverty.

With blessings,

Jaana Jukarainen

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A slum village in Aroma

MINISTRY TRIP REPORT FROM HANNELE AND NEA

We are really grateful that we had the recent opportunity to travel as part of Anne's team to the Philippines on a ten day trip. We were able to see for ourselves what Hosea ministry does there and it was such a joy to understand that Hosea's goal is to win people for Christ as well as carrying out humanitarian work.

The primary focus of the ministry is in helping poor slum children. This is done by setting up pre-schools which enable children to get a good free start in their education. Part of the agreement with parents or carers is that the children get a free education while the adults are required to attend church on a weekly basis.

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Water buffalo transport Seija-Ritta, Jaana ja Anne

This mission work has born good fruit with many coming to Christ. This has brought a fresh purpose to many lives, with parents starting to take better care of themselves, their family and their surroundings after becoming believers. The parents are very enthusiastic both about the education their children are receiving and what the churches are doing. One of the first places we visited on the trip was the Montalban school and church, on the outskirts of Manila. The building was full of children and adults and it was very hot. All of them were worshipping God enthusiastically and it was such a joy to see how hungry they were for God's transforming power to touch their lives. Their Heavenly Father has blessed the church with a good pastor full of the fire of God.

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A journey to the Gamot tribe area

After a couple of days we continued our journey to Mindoro Island where we spent a little less than a week and travelled around almost the entire island. We visited six schools and several churches and the impact of Hosea's ministry was evident in every place. God has put in place exactly the right teachers and pastors with a real heart for slum children and for winning souls. The work done over the years has built up and is being carried forward by the local believers, with Anne's role as director being very important in supporting the teachers and pastors.The ministry of Pastor Sonio and his family has been a tremendous blessing to Mindoro Island and God has blessed them with wisdom and understanding in their leadership.

The pastor showed us the plot of land adjacent to Mamburao School where a hotel is being built. The idea of the hotel is to bring jobs and to make Hosea ministry schools more self sufficient. All the time there are requests for more schools to be built in various villages but this is quite a challenge for the local believers as they have little money and there are only so much external funds to go round.

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Gamot tribe children are praying

Overall the trip was great and it really stimulated our thinking and touched our hearts. The local people demonstrated much friendship and love towards us. The children showed much respect to us adults and were keen to get us to bless them. Now we look at Hosea's ministry work from a very different viewpoint than before: the trip opened our eyes to see how much the slum families need God in their lives. We Europeans have such an opportunity to provide funding for hundreds and thousands of children to have a proper start in their education and for whole families to discover God's transforming love in their lives.

Blessings,

Nea & Hannele Reis



Mangyans had bravely formed a choir and even composed a song. We have now more than 40 adult students in the school, their ages varying from young to old. They told us that they were now able to vote for the first time in the elections. Earlier they had had to give their voting slip to others to fill in, without knowing what they wrote in them, because they could not read or write.

When the Mangyan students were singing their song, I was standing in the back of the church. Suddenly I noticed four small children hiding between benches. Our teacher said that they were our students, and she then went and asked why they were not among the other children. One of them explained with tears, that they were so hungry that they could not go to sing. I was so surprised to learn that they were already 6 year olds, even though they looked more like 2 year olds, skinny and bony small children. Nheng commented that this is due to malnutrition, which is the reason why all these tribespeople are so small: their continuous lack of food stunts their growth. We brought a 40 kg bag rice with us and also other foodstuff and fed them all after the meeting, thanks again to the donors! We made so much food that there was enough for evening meal as well.

Last spring Hosea organized a medical mission for the Mangyan tribe. We also left some medicines with the local Pastor, so the tribespeople could be given help later as well. The Pastor said that some Mangyans come even at night begging for help in their desperation. Also some people from other tribes turned up for medicine and were given some, for it is hard to turn desperate people away without help. Now we are in the process again of collecting funds for another medical mission, which should happen sometime next year.

While we were in the Mangyan village, I recognised that most of them were walking bare foot again. I wondered what had happened to all those sandals which had been donated for them a year earlier. The Pastor laughed and explained that the Mangyans have a peculiar walking style, they step heavily on their heels and that wears out the heels of the shoes very quickly. That means that they will need a new pair of sandals every year. One man had a good pair of sandals slung over his shoulders, so I went and asked him why he didn't use them. The man replied: “I don't want to use them as they would wear out. When they hang on my shoulders everyone can see that I have shoes.” So this man had still good shoes, while others had worn theirs out”¦ Now, who is the wise and where is the wisdom here?

We also distributed a bag full of clothes. Birgit and Ulla went to buy some more and as always the Mangyans put the new clothes on top of their old rags. They can't see any reason why the old clothes should be taken off, so they carry their whole wardrobe with them all the time. The same clothes are worn day and night and the extra clothing keeps them warm at night on the mountains. The price tags are also left on, so everyone can see they are new clothes.

Hosea's second fishing boat is now operating on the eastern side of Mindoro Island (Oriental Mindoro) where it is manned by our Mangyan pastor, thus serving the Mangyans also. There are more fish now on the Oriental side of the island because big Indonesian fishing trawlers have appeared close to the Occidental Mindoro shores (the western side of the island). Occidental Mindoro is facing the open ocean, so Indonesian factory ships come close to the shore and take in all fish, big and small, diminishing the fish population. Locals usually fish with spears, sparing spawning fish for reproduction. They understand the laws of the nature and know that spawn fish are needed to keep fish stocks -- you cannot empty the ocean of fish. Local small fishing boats can't drive away large foreign fishing vessels, so locals are deprived of their fishing livelihood.

The Hosea Filipino team want to send their heartfelt thanks to all the supporters and prayer warriors. They and also our students keep praying for you. They understand that it is because of you, your prayers and your donations, that they have this wonderful opportunity to get an education and thus a good start to their lives. It was really great to meet some of our very first students, the ones with whom we started this ministry in the Philippines. It was so wonderful to see the fruit of this work. Many parents are also saved as they attend our weekly Bible studies.

Great blessings from the islands,

ANNE

 

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