youth retreat in the province


Youth retreat group photo


After the city tour, Leah and I joined one of the lawyers from our office and headed out to Batangas a province south of Metro Manila to speak at the opening session of a youth retreat.  Once we got out of Manila, we made a pit stop for some authentic Filipino cuisine, a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries, and then we started our journey to the province!

It took us about two hours to reach our destination, but the scenery along the way was well worth it. For the first time since I arrived, I saw grass and trees in all directions; we even saw a few mountains in the distance.  As we traveled down the highway, I spotted a few cows grazing and acres of sugar cane- two things that make me think of Mississippi.

After the beautiful drive, we arrived at the retreat center, and the pastor and a few other church workers greeted us. The service began with beautiful worship music led by the youth. The IJM lawyer that invited us to accompany him spoke first. He spoke to the group in Tagalog, but the pastor’s wife sat between Leah and I and quietly interpreted everything that was said.

This Filipino lawyer encouraged the youth to realize their potential and the plan that God has for their life. Since our organization focusing on the issue of injustice, he continued to challenge this group of teenagers to realize that God’s people are his plan for confronting the injustice and darkness in the Philippines and the world. He challenged these Filipino teenagers to stay in the Philippines and look for ways to be a light in a dark place.

As he spoke to youth from the same province he came from, I was challenged by his desire to serve among his own people.



7 thoughts on “youth retreat in the province

  1. I love that I can pull this up at school and share it with my children! Love you and so glad to “see” you in the pics!!!

  2. Hope, enjoy what God has placed in your life at this time. I am glad you and Leah, can see some beauty of the country. And not just focus on the bad things. I am still prayin for you and Leah. LOVE DADDY!!!

  3. Went to fair with your mama last night..had a good time..So glad you are seeing other parts of the phillipens and metting others that love the Lord is so great how our God has so many children and yet loves and cares for them all..have a Blessed Time and we love ya..Mama Big and Ddaddy

  4. I would love to see what you are seeing. Thank you for the descriptive writing. May the people of the Phillipines continue to be exposed to the one true God! I love you!

  5. hey hope hope youre having a good time in the philippines!i have raised 88 dollars for T.O.H,i love helping you with your mission!

  6. Hope, thanks for taking the time to do this blog, so awesome to see how God is using you. We are trainng Rena at the BSU in Ellisville on Tuesday, am so excited to see what God is going to do through this. Stay in touch and pray for us, God is speaking to me very clearly on some restructuring of Passionate Harvest. We are headed to the NW next weekt to teach at the Luis Palay conference on Evangelism and I am so pumped for it!
    -Mark (The coffee guy)

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