Archives For Philippines

Lina Feria never imagined that her small business selling homemade snacks could grow into a flourishing general store. Yet her story testifies that God can use small loans and persistence to transform a business and a whole family. 

Building a business brick by brick 

When Lina first decided to become a member of The Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE International’s partner in the Philippines, she was selling traditional rice cake snacks (called kakanin) that she made at home. 

Although she was not a Christian then, Lina joined CCT because she was curious about their Bible studies. As she got to know staff members and read the Word, she slowly began to learn more about God and eventually gave her life to Him.   Continue Reading…

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…