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Back to Manila

January 6, 2017

Hard to believe it’s been a year since my last update. A lot has happened this year, which is why I spent more time living it than writing about it, but as I’m arriving back in the Philippines at this moment, it’s clear the story must continue. 

After returning home last January, Dr. David Ahearn from LaGrange College, Bill Duncan from (the church formerly known as) Druid Hills UMC, and I vowed to continue working with KKFI to further develop our bridge partnership with the United Methodist Church in the Philippines. It was clear after last year that the most efficient and transformative way we could help was to spread the word about sponsorships to get more kids into school. When Filipino children get scholarships, they’re more likely to stay in school, gain an education, receive the nourishing meals that help them focus and grow physically, and avoid the dangerous work of trying to make money for their family by sorting through garbage for something of value to sell, or worse, selling their own bodies. 

We have worked to continue our relationship with KKFI in Manilla by staying in contact and working together on their sponsorship brochures and creating a General Board of Global Ministries Advance number that directly supports KKFI. The more directly we can send funds, the quicker it goes to help transform the lives of Filipino students. It has been long and slow work, but progress is being made. 

I was thrilled when my new church (yup, I moved churches this year…getting reappointed as associate pastor at Peachtree Rd UMC in June) agreed to sell “gift cards” at their annual missions fair. The purchase of these cards supported scholarships for elementary, high school, and college aged kids in the Philippines. With the church’s generosity, we raised $750 to support 20 elementary/high school students and 7 college students for a month. That includes transportation, high protein meals, and school supplies or uniforms needed to help the students succeed. What’s even more amazing is that every dollar raised is being matched by a generous donor from David’s church, which doubles the number of students being helped. 

Today, I’m excited to return to Manila and KKFI to reconnect with friends made and meet new faces along the way. My hope is that by sharing stories and bringing my readers along on the journey, even more people will gain a heart for supporting the ministry of KKFI and the amazing people in the Philippines, so more families will be able to break the cycle of poverty and dream of a future they never thought was possible. 

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