Since arriving in Manila, I have been blessed with wonderful friends. God has definitely created a community of internationals here in Manila, and I it has been so amazing to meet people from all over the world who are serving in the Philippines.
The latest addition to my growing list of friends here is Ziwei (pronounced Zeeway). She is here serving with an organization called Samaritana, a ministry that helps women leave prostitution. I am so impressed with this ministry because they literally meet the women where they are in life by going to where they work, the bars of Metro Manila.
“Inspired by Jesus’ example, Samaritana reaches out to modern-day Samaritan women. By offering them community, friendship and accompaniment, these women are also slowly freed up to be who they truly are, as people loved just for who they are, regardless of their backgrounds, and valued for who they can yet become as they begin to trust in themselves and others and as they renew and pursue their dreams and aspirations.” (taken from Samaritana’s website)
Ziwei, who has been here for over a year and has an impressive grasp on Tagalog (Filipino language) invited us to come and visit the Samaritana ministry house to celebrate her birthday with several of the women that Samaritana works with on a daily basis.
We spent an afternoon touring the facility, getting to know the women of Samaritana, and cooking a birthday cake for Ziwei’s party. Our day with Ziwei was an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse of the work that is going on all over Metro Manila.
Finally, our visit to Samaritana was a refreshing reminder that God desires to use His people to rescue and then transform those who find themselves in the most hopeless of situations.
If you want to learn more about Samaritana and the work that they do among Filipino women, please visit their website: http://www.samaritana.org/