Archives For Philippines

Twenty-five years ago, Analyn Saturnino’s world crumbled around her.

While pregnant with her first child, Analyn began to experience arthritic pains throughout her body. Her baby boy tragically died only seven months after being born, and as she mourned the loss of her child, Analyn’s physical pain grew worse. Her condition soon rendered her permanently dependent on a wheelchair.

Overwhelmed, Analyn remembers crying out to God in a moment of Job-like despair, “Why do you torture me like this? Just take me.” Continue Reading…

In 2020, the HOPE network continued to serve men and women in the world’s underserved communities. And no part of HOPE’s work or operations was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite all these challenges, we still felt God’s faithful love and compassion toward us, our partners, and the families we serve.

In the last year, we’ve shared a few of these stories of challenge and resilience, along with insights into HOPE’s work and the communities where we serve. We hope that you’ve been encouraged, challenged, and inspired in your own life to grow in faith and service to the Kingdom.

In case you missed any of these insightful and inspirational stories, here are our five most-read posts from 2020: Continue Reading…

Leah Reyes

Starting out as small business owners, Leah Reyes and her husband relied on an unstable income to meet the needs of their young family. And even as they gradually grew their tricycle transport business, they could only employ a few neighbors from day to day. They needed larger loans to invest in greater community impact.

INCREDIBLE GROWTH

In 2006, Leah took her first loan from CCT (the Center for Community Transformation), HOPE’s local partner in the Philippines, to help her scale up her transportation business. Since that time, she has added a line of trucks and buses and expanded into managing a grocery store, a cooking gas business, and a large logistics operation. With later loans, she even purchased a cargo ship to transport agricultural supplies to the small island she lives on. Continue Reading…

Update (1.31.2020)—This morning, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE’s partner in the Philippines, shared an encouraging update on the situation involving the Taal volcano:

“Praise God that the Taal Volcano’s status has been lowered to Alert Level 3. … Indeed, the Lord hears our every prayer!”

Continue Reading…

By Malu Garcia, Savings Group Program Training Specialist (Philippines)

Several months ago, I joined a savings group that meets in an unusual location: a cemetery.

Since the 1980s, a growing number of people have chosen to live in the Cebu Chinese Cemetery—now totaling more than 100 families, some of whom have even given birth to their children in the cemetery. Some have transformed covered tombs into homes by hanging tarps for privacy—meaning that the gravestone serves as their table for meals and their bed at night. Others sleep on uncovered graves—no roof over their heads, no privacy, and no protection from animals. Some of the tombs are open, meaning that the relatives of the dead person have removed the bones and transferred them elsewhere. Near some of the oldest caskets, pieces of bone are littered on the surrounding area. The children run around these tombs as though they were in a playground. The young people and adults play cards over the tombs. I wondered where they take a bath, where their toilet is, where they wash their clothes.

To me, the heaviest part of their situation is that they expect to live out their entire lives in the cemetery. They have stopped dreaming of owning a proper home someday. But I believe that it is not God’s design for people to live with the dead; it is God’s design for people to be able to dream of more for their lives. He wants people and communities to flourish and experience Him.

Continue Reading…


Each year, HOPE celebrates clients who demonstrate our values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award winner. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of Andonie, this year’s winner of microfinance programs!

A member of the Mandaya tribe, one of nearly 200 indigenous people groups in the Philippines, Andonie Digaynon grew up in a culture where education wasn’t highly valued. Not only was the school a long, difficult walk from his rural home, but his family needed him to help earn money. As a result, Andonie dropped out of school after the second grade.

But Andonie hasn’t let his limited education hold him back. Continue Reading…