October 5, 2018
New Found Joy – Philippines

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific, with a population of approximately 102 million. Hard working Filipinos remain poor because of corruption and political oppression. The average yearly income is $3,470 a year as compared to American’s $59,855.  It is uncertain what the income might be for those living in the Bacoor City slum areas outside of the capital city of Manila where most are uneducated and unemployed. This is where Song Ho Kim has dedicated his time, energy, and love to the people living in the most undesirable and indescribable conditions. Many who have existed with no hope have heard the “Good News” and now have a new-found joy and a hope for tomorrow.  Church plants and internships, the Boat Kid Club, the feeding program, Mommy Baby Program, and house building projects are instruments Song Ho has utilized to begin to meet the needs there.

Song Ho Kim began planting churches in the slums four years ago. Today there are four churches with over a thousand people attending.  Four interns from a local college spend the weekend with Song Ho and his wife, Lisa, and travel to all four churches performing in the praise band and preaching.  These efforts have resulted in approximately five hundred people being baptized! Now that is amazing and it’s obvious God is working through these leaders to save souls.

At the end of each service the Mother Leaders in each church serve a meal that they prepared ahead of time. Now this is not a three-course meal an American would expect. It consists of a small paper bowl of soup, but everyone is happy. If you don’t know where your next meal is coming from or when you will eat again you learn to appreciate what you have.

The Boat Kid Club was established to help the children break the seemly endless cycle of poverty by providing them with clothing, education, access to medical care, food, and spiritual guidance. Since there are so many children needing help, only one child per family is eligible to participate in the program.  To receive this assistance, the child must attend worship service and school on a regular basis.  Song Ho has noticed that helping one child has resulted in encouragement for the whole family. A small bag of rice feeds the whole family several meals and the spiritual blessings are shared as well.  The thirty dollar a month donation that might mean an American family would eat a meal at home instead of at a restaurant means so much more than that to a family in the Bacoor City slums.

The church has become the hub of activity and life has become brighter here. The conditions are still deplorable, but the people are learning to depend upon Jesus for all their needs. If only those of us who have so much could learn this same lesson, we would never have to worry about tomorrow.