South East Asia (Tacloban City)
Having a history connected to the story of the Garner family, a team went to the Philippines in the summer of 2006 and began reigniting old relationships established by Mike & Trinidad during their time as missionaries in the '80s.
The initial team drove a bus from the top of the islands all the way south over the course of about 21 days.
The team also developed new relationships over the years as they served on the islands of Luzon, Cebu, and Leyte.
Working with people in a diversity of situations including prisons, labor camps, the sex slave industry, indigenous villages and slum areas, they learned a lot about how to responsibly approach the region's issues.
The Garner family's relationships and history took the team to the islands of Leyte (where Trinidad's family lives), Cebu (where they had good friends) and Luzon (where Mike & Trinidad met).
Mike and Trinidad met in 1976 in Olongapo City, and have since lived there for years at a time and trained several development workers in the task of human development, including working with sex slaves.
Mike & Trinidad shared missiological approaches with the team, based upon their experience over the years. Intensive summer courses abroad were conducted from '07 - '10.
Teams on the ground learned how to serve slum communities, counsel trafficked women, aid fatherless children, and address the overwhelming issues of street kids and the displacement of indigenous peoples.
About three weeks before the devastating Hurricane Haiyan (Yolanda), the South East Asia team made the island of Leyte their hub location in the country. The unfortunate event confirmed for the team the need for their presence in that part of the country.
Considering the necessity for development organizations after the important work of relief is done, our team is committed to helping the island find a sustainable future. We have since had two special relief teams, a reconnaissance team to purchase land, and have been solidifying a rebuilding strategy.