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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
30th Nov 2014

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Newsletter November 2014

Greetings To All Our Friends!

Once again it looked like we and a super-typhoon would arrive in the Philippines at the same time. Typhoon Nuri was ready to hit the islands but then it became stationary over the sea to gather more strength, and suddenly it changed course towards Japan. A huge thank you to all who prayed for us – I believe that intercessory prayers were the reason why the storm didn't cause more havoc but changed to be a tropical storm upon the Bering Sea. Typhoons are unpredictable but a complete change of direction is rare. This time it really was a great protection, because the last super-typhoon Haiyan caused enormous damage and suffering. Many people are still living on the streets and scavenging whatever pieces of material they can find to build some kind of shelters.


Many families lost their fathers and also work places were destroyed. The responsibility to find food for the family was left upon the mothers in a country where there is not enough opportunities to work and where social services do not exist. Because the children need food, prostitution has often been the only way for the lonely mothers to get some income. This is a well known public secret which is denied by the authorities, because there is nothing they can do to help. This is really a heartbreaking reality but nobody condemns the mothers because their desperate situation is understood by all.

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The car donated to Hosea

November is still typhoon season but we had favourable weather and travelling was helped by Hosea's newly acquired 2007 model Mitsubishi Adventure diesel car. The previous owner had driven only 60 000 km with it and it is in brilliant condition. A massive thank you to all the car enthusiasts in Finland and all other supporters, by whose donations we were able to purchase the car! We got the car just before our trip and it made many things possible which we could not have managed to do without it. Pastor Sonio has not stopped smiling, he is still stunned by this answer to his prayers, even when they were spoken secretly, just to the Lord. How much easier it is now to preach the Gospel on these islands!
Our first trip with the new car was from Manila to Montalban visiting our newly established Hosea church. It started five months ago but is growing rapidly. Church members were so excited about our coming that they had taken leave from work just to see us at the church. Wouldn't be great if this kind of enthusiasm was seen in westerner countries too”¦ We arrived one hour late due to Manila traffic jams but people waited patiently, confident that we would come as promised.

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Ulla and Birgit

Hosea school students

During our visit one more church was birthed. Now we have six Hosea churches in addition to the schools:
1. The main church in Mamburao
2. Mangyan church in Bulalacao, grown by hundred members in a year
3. Mantalban church in Ritzal
4. San Vincente church in Sablayan
5. Church in Talaba'an
6. Church in Kastila.


Our schedule was hectic. The Foundation Day ceremonies had been divided into three different locations because there are so many people that we cannot fit into one hall in one go. The school kids yet again did some fantastic performances. Every year the celebrations start with a march through the city and this year we were honoured by the owner of Mamburao's airport who came with his brass band to lead our parade, because his child attends our school. The pilots had formed a band in which the captain of the flying school played trumpet, and others played their saxophones and drums. It couldn't have been any better as we marched through the city with students and parents, advancing to the city square with much noise and fanfare.

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Armoured vehicle

There was one unexpected surprise in the middle of our march when two armoured army Humvees joined our parade driving in front us. I wondered where they came from and why, as it is not usual to see armoured vehicle in the city. Even Nheng said that she hadn't seen them in Mamburao before. Soon it became known that these soldiers were returning from a mission in Palau, 30 kilometres away. Rumours were that NPA terrorists had kidnapped the town mayor and two policemen, so that was the reason for the tightened security in the area.


The NPA is known to take justice into their own hands when things go against their plans. Poor people also turn to them for justice, if there is no other avenue to get it. The NPA usually sends three warnings to quit and move out and if the warnings are not heeded, the destination is the cemetery. Usually their warnings work, but for some reason we had to experience this, somehow I never manage to make my travels without some crisis situation or other. Crises seem to be attached to me, otherwise things would be too easy. Military checkpoints were also increased on roads for added safety and armed soldiers were placed here and there as a warning to any possible unrest.


We also rejoiced in Bulalacao's humble church with the Mangyan tribal believers. Team members Ulla Kilpiö from Finland and Birgit Majoinen from Australia were deeply touched by these native people, whom they saw for the first time. They have promised to write down something about their experiences and we will send these in the next newsletter. Many thanks to Ulla and Birgit, they did great job and were wonderful travel companions to me. They adapted so well in all situations we faced during our journey.

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Montalban members

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.

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Hosea Mangya church Feeding the local children

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?

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Preparing food for the locals

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



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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