I have some exciting news to share that I briefly mentioned in my last blog and that is the opening of a new ministry, The Mango Home, which will help girls who are aging out of the orphan system here in the Philippines.
In the Philippines and around the world, children who age out of the orphan system, whether from foster care or orphanages, have everything against them. These children turn 18 and are expected to be able to provide for themselves and turn into adults overnight. But the reality of these children is heartbreaking. There are no statistics specific to the Philippines but a study done in Russia and the Ukraine by Heart for Orphans says that for children aging out of the orphan system:
- Only 27% will find work.
- 30% will become addicted to drugs.
- 60% of the girls will become prostitutes and/or sex trafficked.
- 70% of the boys turn to crime.
- 10% to 15% will commit suicide.
These statistics are overwhelming. I have worked a lot with teenage girls living in children’s homes and orphanages and it breaks my heart to imagine those girls becoming a part of these statistics.
The Lord has put teen girls aging out of the orphan care system on my heart and he connected me with my friend Candace who has also felt the Lord putting the same on her heart. Once we both learned of our shared dream, we could not deny the Lord’s hand working in our lives. When we brought up the idea to our new organization, Agape Impact Ministry, they immediately said yes.
The Mango Home will be a small family home for girls aging out of children’s homes and orphanages. Our goal is to provide a family support system where each girl will be loved, cherished, and know the love of her Heavenly Father. The home will be a place to help prepare these girls to become independent adults through counseling, education, life skills training, and spiritual mentoring.
All of the girls who join The Mango Home will have come from hard places, so counseling will play a big part in their lives to help them heal. I will be able to use all of my TBRI training that I received through TCU to help make the home a healing environment but we will also provide weekly counseling.
Education can change a child’s life so we will provide opportunities for each girl to be able to complete high school and hopefully college if they are able. For the ones that struggle in school, we want to enroll them in trade school or livelihood projects so they will be able to provide for themselves and their family in the future.
Children that grow up in institutions like children’s homes and orphanages often are not prepared with basic life skills to be able to transition into adulthood successfully. At The Mango Home, each girl will learn basic skills like cooking, cleaning, budgeting, grocery and market shopping, using public transportation, and all the other skills they will need. We are praying that we will be able to establish a staff of Filipino women who will play a big part in teaching the girls these skills.
The most import focus at The Mango home will be sharing Jesus’ love. Our core vision and my prayer is that the young women living at The Mango Home will recognize their worth in Christ as beloved daughters, so they can grow into strong and dignified women of God who do not need to fear their future. (Proverbs 31:25) I want each girl to know how precious she truly is and how much her Heavenly Father loves her. Through spiritual mentoring, I hope each girl will be able laugh without fear of the future because she will know how great her God truly is.
Time-line wise, we have submitted our paperwork to become a legal incorporation in the Philippines and are preparing all our documents needed to become a licensed home by the Department of Social Welfare. We are also getting the house set up and preparing to take the first girls in around March or April of 2019! I am so excited and nervous but I know this is the ministry the Lord has been preparing me to do over the past few years here in the Philippines.
Praises I would like to share:
- I got the news that my missionary visa has been approved!! I have been waiting for this for so long and it’s finally approved!
- We found a paralegal who will be able to prepare all our legal documents so that they are done properly. She seemed really sweet and after our second meeting with her, we found out she adopted her two daughters. It is just cool to be able to hire people to do something necessary for the ministry but know that they also have a heart for what we do.
- I was able to finish training Mateo and his family in TBRI. I have seen a lot of improvements and it has been such a good opportunity to use my training to help educate and fellowship with this family.
- I have been asked by several organizations to work with them to implement TBRI.
- We have the opportunity to do some outreach programs with teen girls living in government homes. We’ll start with doing fun craft projects and see what other ways we can help. This will be a great way to develop relationships with government social workers who will be able to help advocate for us getting our license and potentially see if any of their girls would fit into our home.
- Please pray for the girls we will be taking in. We do not know which girls will join The Mango Home but pray for them and for me and Candace to be prepared to serve the with whatever needs they will have.
- Please pray for my health as I am still not feeling great most days.
- Please pray for me as I will start fundraising for The Mango Home when I am back in the States in November and December. It is a big hurdle to tackle. Between tuition, counseling, staff salaries, and day-to-day expenses, the Mango Home is going to cost a pretty penny monthly.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support!