Re-building Community in the Philippines

Team of Four Travels to the Philippines to assist in the renovation and opening of a Community Center in the midst of Tacloban, just 2 years after the super typhoon. 

Left to Right: Brett Madron (Director of G.O.D. South East Asia), and SEA team members Ty (baby Elsie) and Meg Mathews, and Jason Carpenter.

On November 29th, a team of five (myself included) will depart for a three-week intensive trip to Tacloban City, Philippines.  Our main objectives include setting up our new community center, facilitating a Bible conference for college-aged youth, and encouraging our full-time development workers on the field.

The Tacloban Youth Empowerment Center is a rented space that we will be turning into a community center.  Clark Miller will be the director of this venue, with the assistance of our newest employee, Jovic Roldan.  During this trip we will complete renovation on the building and assist Clark and Jovic in setting up our educational outreach programs to be implemented in the year ahead.

Our first formal event in the building will be a Bible Conference for more than 30 guests. We are excited to teach young adults who are hungry for the direction God’s word provides.  All participants will also be involved in service opportunities in the surrounding area. Brett, Ty, Meg and I will all be teaching and facilitating discussion groups over the course of the action packed three-day bible conference.  We hope that the seed of God’s Word, planted in the soil of these young people’s hearts, will produce fruit in the form enthusiastic service to the Lord in the midst of their community. 

When we met Jovic in 2007, he was working at a local dumpsite scavenging through waste materials to find recyclable material for a small wage.  Jovic stood out as a source of energy and joy for those around him. Within just a few years, Jovic became a consistent helper in our work in the Philippines. We are happy to now have him as part of our team! 

While it is important we spend time ensuring the Community Center is conducive for ministry, the most valuable effort we will engage in this trip will be ensuring unity between our team in the U.S. and our team in the Philippines. Clark and Rina have been faithful servants to the Lord and our organization for years.  We anticipate wonderful times of fellowship during our stay. We are also excited to spend time with our newest employee, Jovic, inspiring him with vision for what we want to accomplish as a team.  On a more specific level, we will be helping him understand his role and responsibilities in the newly developing community center.

As a result of the Typhoon, 90% of the homes in coastal Leyte were "significantly damaged or destroyed." Read more. 

This November marked the two year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history.  This storm killed at least 6,300 people in the Philippines and wreaked havoc on the already vulnerable population living in Tacloban City.  The consequences of such a major weather event are still unmitigated in the lives of those living in Tacloban.  Our organization decided upon Tacloban as our center for operations just weeks before the typhoon, and we feel the weight of responsibility to help those affected develop long-term sustainability in its aftermath.

Our community center is a place for lives to be rebuilt, long after most relief organizations have moved on to another global disaster. People in the area are far from recovered, and the effort needed in counseling, education, and sustainable solutions to poverty is immense. Our team is committed to make a substantial impact on the needs of those living in Tacloban.  Please join with us in prayer for this team.  Stay tuned for regular updates on our social media platforms, including this website!

To contribute towards supplies needed for our Bible Conference and Service Week, view this page