The past two months have been slow and busy at the same time. It has been a lot of waves of busyness if that makes sense. So, I’ll just give an overview of what’s been going on.
In June I was able to visit Malaybalay again. I had not been able to go down for almost a year and a half and it was SO good to be able to visit my friends there, eat all the amazing food that I have missed so much and enjoy the cooler weather and mountains. I was even able to see many of my students and their parents from Paglaum Learning Center. I was there for my goddaughter’s first birthday and dedication. This was particularly special to me as I was not able to be there for her birth due to how unsafe Mindanao was last year.
At the beginning of July, we took a trip to Cebu. I had never been before, so it was really exciting to visit a new island here in the Philippines. While I was in the States a few months back, I was able to get connected with a therapist who works with children who have been affected by trauma. She lives in Cebu and I really wanted to meet her and learn from her. Candace, my roommate/co-missionary, and I thought since we were going all the way there to visit her, we should utilize this trip to see other organizations and learn from them as well.
We were able to visit and talk with three other organizations while we were there. One was a children’s home that has their organization set up in smaller foster homes, another takes care of girls rescued from online sexual exploitation, and the other works on the preventive side of online sexual exploitation by educating communities, teachers, families, and children. We learned so much and each organization gave us ideas and advice as we start a ministry for helping girls who are aging out of the orphan system. Cebu is known as a great vacation spot, so we took some time to island hop and enjoy the sand. My friend Jonah and her daughter, Eliana (my goddaughter) were able to join us on the trip which made it extra special.
We were encouraged by the new connections we made in Cebu, but we have been specifically praying for more connections here in Manila closer to where we live. God has continued to answer these prayers by giving us multiple connections close to us. We were able to meet with the director of Philippines Without Orphans and it was so encouraging!
Their organization is connected with many people all around Manila and had many ideas for us and people we should meet and learn from. They are connected with about 30 foster families and when the director found out I am a TBRI practitioner, he was thrilled! This is another thing I have been praying for, that my training in TBRI can be used to help those that are serving children that have experienced trauma and doors are starting to open up to do so! One of the foster families they work with has a 7-year-old son they are in the process of adopting and need some help figuring out how to help him the best. He has multiple special needs which will be challenging but I met with the family a couple days ago and they are eager to learn and I am looking forward to getting to know them and their son as I train them. I will also be meeting with the other foster families that Philippines Without Orphans works with this weekend at a get-together and they could potentially be more families that I can help train in TBRI!
I also moved in July. My roommate, Candace, and I have been house hunting for months trying to find a house that met our needs. Houses kept falling through for one reason or another, but we finally were able to secure our new house and can see now what the Lord had planned and why all those houses would not have been as good as the one we have! It has required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears…and a lot of love put into it since it is older and a little run down, but it is getting there slowly. After three weeks of renovations and painting, we were able to move in last week. This house has the potential to be an amazing place of ministry. We wanted to find a house big enough to, in the near future, accept girls who are aging out of the orphan care system and have no family or support system in place to help them become independent adults. And this house has great potential to do this! I will write a blog soon going into more detail about this new ministry.
I have been doing a Bible study over the book of Ezra and the Lord has really encouraged me daily from this study. It has helped me to be able to enjoy the times of waiting (always been a struggle of mine) and also embrace the victories, even if they seem small now, because I know He has great plans in the near future for my life and new ministry.
These are some of the things I would like to ask you to pray for. I have been experiencing a pretty bad flare up with my autoimmune stuff so it has been a painful and exhausting couple of weeks so prayer for my health would be appreciated. Please pray that I can help this new family be able to connect more with their child and give them encouragement. Our new house has a few renovations left, so pray that there are no issues with that. All the paperwork needed to take steps towards starting the new ministry is a lot of work, so pray that goes smoothly.
For those who give financially, I am officially switched over to Agape Impact Ministries. I am trying to get all of my monthly donors transitioned to give through Agape in the near future. To donate, go to https://agapeimpactministry.com/how-to-help/donate.html and fill out the needed boxes. Make sure to selected Madison Bennett under the ‘appropriate my gift to’ spot.
When you switch over and if you have already been supporting me through Kids International Ministries, please notify me so I can have that donation canceled. Please email me if you have any questions about this process and I would be happy to help!
Thank you for all the prayer and support you continue to give me!