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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
March 2021

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Hosea Newsletter March 2021

Greetings again with fresh news from the Philippines.

The Hope Tribe

I am pleased to tell you that our Hosea schools on the Hope Mountain for the tribes people there are doing very well. Hosea pastors from different parts of the island travel there regularly to preach the gospel and to lead Sunday meetings. We have schools for other tribespeople in different parts of the island, not just the Hope tribe, but I'm going to tell you more about this tribe because they are the most primitive and isolated tribe that we are ministering to. Their natural vocabulary was very limited so they had to learn the names for common objects as a starting point. A cookery training school has been held for the women from the tribe: every morning school pupils are supplied with a hot cooked breakfast that these women have been taught to prepare. Local materials were used to construct the school and the church buildings.

New school desks have been provided for the pupils too. In addition we have purchased water containers, cooking equipment and sacks of rice. The tribeswomen waited in the valley to receive these provisions and they then carried them up to their settlement on the mountain. You may wonder why it was the women that did the carrying … well it is they that do the hard work in this tribe - quite a shocking thought for Western women!

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Distributing food

The Hope tribe looks after a small orphan boy who they found in the jungle. His foot was severely injured through contact with some sharp object which pierced through to the bone, and he was in a completely hopeless condition. Because of his young age he was unable to to tell his rescuers how he had injured himself and how long he had been there alone in the jungle. But he swiftly got accustomed to the tribe's lifestyle, even though his past was a mystery. The whole tribe took him in as their own. I am particularly happy that this little boy has accepted Jesus as his saviour, along with several other members of the tribe. It is sad to say that many tribes often reject unwanted children -- if twins are born, one will sometimes be left in the jungle to die because there is not enough food to go round.

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Village of Aroma                     

The children on Hope Mountain had no playthings and when we brought toys for them, it was exciting to hear of the boys' reactions in particular -- they grabbed the toy cars even though they had probably never seen a car in their lives. So much for gender differences!

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Giving shoes to tribes

To reach the tribes village it's necessary to walk for four hours up the mountain. We were pleased to provide a solar panel for the village to give light in the evenings, thus preventing the people from stumbling around in the dark.

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Hope village school

Mamburao

Revival is happening in Mamburao, the capital city of Mindoro island, and also in several other churches around the Island. Three meetings are held each Sunday and in addition the young people have their own meetings. Sunday schools take place as well as separate children's meetings. The bible study groups at Aroma School are full and more people are coming to faith regularly. We have been allowed to keep our schools and churches open even though there are quite strict quarantine regulations operating on the island.

Similarly Hosea team members are allowed to travel on the island because they are distributing food to children and poor people, and of course they can preach the gospel at the same time. This is quite a privilege because there are strict prohibitions on travel even for the local three-wheeler taxis. But local officials understand that we are providing help that they are unable to give.

The island has been free from coronavirus for almost a year but recently the situation has changed and now the whole city of Mamburao is under severe lockdown with people being compelled to stay at home. Even so, our Mamburao church has been allowed to hold meetings and to function normally. Our young  pupils have stayed healthy -- which is a miracle because in slum conditions all the residents live very closely together. Often a large extended family will all be living in the same hut so it is impossible to avoid cross-infections. I really believe that God has provided a wall of protection around Hosea. The Mamburao congregation meets at 5am each morning to pray and of course God's shield of protection is an answer to your prayers too.

A recent typhoon severely damaged the front wall of Mamburao School but thankfully it was repaired before the lockdown was announced. Not a single one of our school teachers or church members has contracted the virus, even though they haven't been vaccinated yet.

So we have managed to achieve a great deal within a short period of time. In summary:

- We have given 500 students from the Jabat tribe teaching materials for one year and we have founded a school and a church for the Hope tribe. No one had preached the gospel to either of these tribes before we reached out to them.

- We have managed to keep our schools and churches operating and at the same time fed thousands of hungry people.

- God has given us revival.

- A church building has been constructed in Talabaan.

- Our Mamburao church has grown tremendously.

- We have managed to rebuild the  front wall of Mamburao School.

- Our hotel would be ready for occupation and to train young people in the hospitality sector but coronavirus has prevented its opening.

- There is revival amongst the young people.

- We have opened new areas for preaching the gospel.

- We have overcome the aftermath of four typhoons and floods which decimated the island and volcanic ash problems.

- Hosea has survived the terrorist war which raged on the island.

Although we have managed to overcome the difficulties of covid-19 restrictions we really do not need the latest outbreak of the virus -  it really does start to be too much.

Thank you for your prayers and for your monetary gifts -- they have really hit the targets for which they were intended. Blessings to you all. May God bless each one of you according to His great mercy.


With blessings from all our Hosea members

Anne

 

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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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