I grew up in Winkler, Manitoba where my wife, Lynn, and I enjoyed the first seven years of our marriage before moving to Three Hills, Alberta in 2010. We have three young, beautiful children. I spent most of my professional life working in the digital media industry, specifically in the areas of web development and video production. I am currently studying at Prairie Bible Institute in the Pastoral Program and doing an internship in the President's Office at Prairie.
A week ago, we landed in Manila, and now we are departing. The week has gone by really quickly. It was packed with emotional highs and lows as we witnessed the faithfulness of God and the great needs that exist here. It is really hard to spend a few days getting to know the people and just leave suddenly, knowing that there is so much work to be done here.
I captured a whole bunch of photos, which I have been posting here and on the Work of Your Hand Facebook Page. I’ve also captured a fair bit of video, some of which I have compiled into a short video. These are simply a few highlights of the sights we saw in Payatas. There is much more footage to go through and edit, but I wanted to just put something quickly together so that you can see what I’ve been up to. Unfortunately my internet connection is too slow to upload a high definition video, but I’ll put up some HD videos once I get home.
Day 3 in Payatas was filled with the overwhelming feeling that I need to help these people. But I also know that I can only do so much. I did what I could to help, but I pray that God will provide many more people with a burden for Payatas.
There are some really amazing people living it the community of Calamiong in particular. The most encouraging thing to me is the work Pastor Julius and the other leaders of his church are doing. One of the leaders is a student who is attending university for business entrepreneurship (marketing) under a full scholarship. We went to see her house and I got to know her a little bit as we visited throughout the day. I was really happy to see how Pastor Julius’ church has ministered to this young woman so that she was able to develop her gifts as a leader, and how she has been faithfully serving God in the church and in the community.
Please join me in praying that more young people in Calamiong will have the same opportunity as this young woman. They are the future of the church and have the ability to transform their entire community. Pray for Pastor Julius and his church, that their influence in the community will increase and many more will come to know Jesus.
After a day like today, it is hard to know what to feel. In one minute we are celebrating with the Work of Your Hand artisans, and in the next we are visiting the most devastating place I’ve ever seen.
I’m going through and editing some of the photos I took in Payatas, and I’m overwhelmed with the images I captured. When I was there taking the photos, I was focused on the task at hand. Now that I have time to look at them, I can’t help but cry for the people who are unable to break free from this life.
But, there is hope! There are faithful Christian men and women living and working among these people. Some of them grew up here and have worked in the garbage dump site. Please pray for Pastor Julius and his church as they seek to bring hope to Payatas. If you can, support their ministry buy purchasing Work of Your Hand products, some of which are made by talented men and women who live in this area.
Here are some photos from the Payatas dump site area.
We left Calgary at 10:00 am on May 9, and have been traveling for a total of about 17 hours so far. The flight from Vancouver to Seoul was over 11 hours and we were flying with the movement of the sun, so while it feels like I should be going to sleep, it’s actually 6:45 in the evening. The sun will not set here for another hour or so, and by the time I get to sleep in Manila, I will have skipped an entire night, having been up for 26 hours straight.
Please pray for a good night sleep (I should be sleeping by 10:00 am Calgary time), and that I will have plenty of energy to get some filming done on Saturday. We will be starting by visiting the community of Payatas, which is the main area for garbage disposal for Manila. I will be meeting some of the artisans who create the products sold by Work of Your Hand in Calgary.
Below is a panoramic photo I took while waiting for the transport train in Seoul to get us from one terminal to the next.
Spring is finally upon us, which means it’s time to go hiking! Our first hike of the season was at Elbow Falls, which is a beautiful picnic area in Kananaskis. It was great to have my parents with us on this day.
I thought a song titled God’s Great Dance Floor was appropriate for this video. The mountains of Alberta is indeed a great place to enjoy God’s creation.