Our Last Week In The Philippines

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The time has gone by so quickly! Right now the team is at the street ministry in Butuan, sharing with the children and parents. Most of the dads do not come as they are in jail or are not part of the family. But we have a great time sharing with the moms and children. So far, we have been able to share with over 1800 people! They are providing dinner for us tonight also.

The project has been going well. We have completed pouring the steps up to the House of Prayer at the top of the hill. Everyone has been able to put their name on a step so that they can remember us here. The trusses are up the hill and we have two more to set. Then the roof will go on. The walls are blocked up about 1/2 way, which will give room for the air to come through. We have three days of work left and hope to get it done. Pray that the rain stays away so that we can get the project done and so our clothes can dry!
Friday we went to the Bohol Sea and swam at a private beach there. It was cloudy and we had a little rain, but it was beautiful and no one go burnt since it was overcast! There were only a few other people there also. We had a lunch prepared by the BMW students and staff (rice, noodles, fish, pork and cookies). It was wonderful! We came back in the afternoon and practiced our presentation for Sunday. The BMW students requested PB&Js so that is what we had for supper as well as popcorn, watermelon and noodles!
Saturday we worked in the morning and then went to three different villages with the students for their ministry. Today, Sunday, we went to a church over the mountain and shared puppets, drama and music. Following the service the pastor gave us some boiled bananas, sweet potatoes and watermelons. I’m sure he was not able to “afford” it, but he was very gracious to provide it for us and we were blessed.
We have stayed healthy overall, but a few have come down with colds. We pray that they will be cleared up before we leave for Hong Kong on Friday. We hope to be in town one more time before we leave on Friday morning to send a final report from the Philippines.
Thank you for your prayers.
Melissa Pound: I believe that God has opened my eyes to see that there is more to life then the average day at home. We have been able to minister to over 1500 people. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which stengtheneth me.” has really helped me during our work part of the mission trip. It pushes me up the hill, one step closer to finishing our project. It made me realize that pain is only temporary. God willing, many people will be able to benefit from the prayer center.

Colton Kostner: This summer has made me more aware of the people around me and their living circumstances as I go home to my air conditioned house, TV and internet. There are still people who don’t have that here in the Philippines who will probably be like that for the rest of their lives…and they are happy without it.
Hannah Sessink: Teen Missions has helped me tremendously in my walk with God. Before this summer, I wasn’t very close to God and was a typical teenage Christian. Now Teen Missions has shown me through devos, memory verses, and the classes and group discussions how to be a real Christian and walk in the same pace as God. So slowly I am making adjustments in my life and getting in the same pace as God.
Victoria Blackman: I have learned so much since coming to TMI. I’m used to being in control of my life, deciding what I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it. I quickly learned at Boot Camp that you don’t really have choices. You have to trust God and lean on Him more than ever before. I’ve grown so much spiritually because of this. I’m so thankful for all this trip has taught me about truly surrendering control of your life to God.
Caleb Portanova: Being on this trip has already taught me many thins. One of these things is that being away from home and comforts of my home really helps me to realize how good we have it and it helped me to understand how these people live in their country.
Courtney Franco: So as far as learning new things, I’ve really been pushing myself to work hard even when I felt like falling down the hill we had to climb every day. The Lord has pushed me to do more than I ever have, so yea. I can’t wait to go home and set new goals for God’s plan for me.
Sam Everson: Ever since I came to the Philippines, I learned how to stick it out with God’s help and couldn’t really trust my own strength. I learned a lot about having patience with people on the job, but I’m glad I’m coming home to try out my new techniques like not trusting on my own strength, but on God’s and having more patience with people,
Jack Valkema: During my stay at the TMI base in the Philippines, I’ve learned that it’s better to rejoice in the Lord at 4:30 in the morning when we wake up than to drag your feet and complain. There is no point in having a bad attitude all day when we have so much to be happy about. Waking up every morning, knowing that you have a loving Savior, should put a smile on anybody’s face, no matter how early in the morning it is! Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always.
Wynter Hilbun: While I’ve been in the Philippines, God has taught me that I am to be content in all things no matter what the situation is. Through this entire month, God has really shown me all I have to be thankful for, but even if I do not have these things, He will always supply my needs.
Adam Smouse: Four score and about a month ago…I have traveled from Orlando to LAX in California. We went to In ‘n’ Out Burger…It was a blessing, good food, but this was just the beginning. God changed me through the things at home. I took advantage of my belongings. I also in Boot Camp was changed and cleansed spiritually after hearing Josiah’s message and I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ. After I was in the Philippines I was blessed by the joy on the street children’s faces and their love for God. Also I was humbled by the poverty and the work we are doing.


  1. Isa, we are praying and so proud of the way you have been a wittness. Can’t wait to see you soon. Know that the Matias family is parying for you and the church. Love Papi!!

  2. Hi! To all of the team! So proud of all of you and your hard work! God is so good and what a wonderful testimony your team will carry! Matthew, I miss you and cannot wait to see your smiling face!! God Bless you!!

  3. Aunt Terri Smouse

    May God continue to bless the Philippines team!
    Safe travels home!
    Aunt Terri

  4. Aunt Terri Smouse

    Hello to Adam Smouse and his team. I am so proud of you Adam! May God continue to bless you and the team. I know that He is using you all in mighty ways.

    Safe travels home!
    Aunt T.

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