Archive for the ‘bring hope and a future to street kids’ Category


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You’ve heard the song, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” Then there is the one of the little boy who wanted Christmas shoes for his dying mother.  Recently we asked the kids to make a list of one thing they wanted for Christmas.

Most of the boys asked for remote control cars and game boys. The boys who asked for the later voluntarily exchanged their wishes to a more reasonable gift after researching a few prices.

Freddie’s wish was that he could go home to Bohol for Christmas and spend it with his family, (approximately a two-hour boat ride away) .  Some of the girls asked for a pair of sandals.  Angelica wished for a pink dress.  But, more than anything, she wished that her sick mother would get well.  Joseph asked if we could give a job to his mother for Christmas.  In addition to a pair of sneakers, Romar thanked God for the multi-passenger vehicle recently donated to us, for Daddy Matthew and I and, lastly wished God’s blessings on us.

Cyril understandably asked for a big house.  (Currently there are 32 of us living in a three bedroom house, including staff.)  We endeavor to believe God for a miracle, quite a big miracle in fact.  We are praying for an existing property known as Psalm Base where we would be able to have separate housing for the boys and girls and eventually separate housing for staff as well, once renovations are completed.

Though I share Jessibel’s story last, she was actually the first to respond. Her big brown eyes were full of sorrow.  Her bottom lip protruded as she headed for her bed.  I called to her several times, but she failed to answer.  She buried her brown-skinned face in her cushion as if without hope. After several minutes of reflection, she mustered up courage, arose, came to my door and said, “I want my friends to come to church and meet Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.”  She then gave me a list of children‘s names, most of whom she met while serving at the feeding program we conduct behind her school .  Week after week, Jessibel invites and brings a handful of her friends to church.  (She is the one holding the hands of the little children in the picture above.)  I admire her great love and compassion especially in light of her own present crisis. Jessibel’s parents are about to get evicted out onto the street.

The government housing (if one could call it housing), they are living in, is about to be demolished. Jessibel was overcome with grief and cried uncontrollably when she first received the news.  And yet, remarkably her Christmas wish was not for herself or her family.

Like Jessibel, the hand of poverty was heavy upon me at the age of 13. My father sold our house to the bank for $2.00 in an effort to avoid foreclosure.

God sovereignly rescued us through my loving Aunts’ generosity.  They opened their homes to us, gave us food and a warm place to lay our heads at night.  Because of their love, the chain of poverty was forever broken for us.

Yet I am greatly humbled by Jessibel’s testimony.  My Christmas wish that year did not consider the needs of others.  But by God’s grace, He matured and transformed me into the person I am today.  Now we house, educate, clothe and feed 27 children, many of whom once lived on the street and all who come from abject poverty.

I can hardly imagine what God will do in the life of Jessibel as she matures. It is Matthew and my desire that Jessibel would be the first of many children who would desire to affect the lives of future generations for good as long as the Lord tarries.

We pray you all have a blessed and merry Christmas.


Why Require Unregenerate Children to Act Like They’re Good? :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library.
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From the topic: Parenting

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One Generation Shall Praise Your Works to Another
Education for Exultation: In the Next Generation

By John Piper March 19, 2000

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Psalm 145:4

One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.
The Responsibility of Each Generation to the Next
It is the Biblical duty of every generation of Christians to see to it that the next generation hears about the mighty acts of God. God does not drop a new Bible from heaven on every generation. He intends that the older generation will teach the newer generation to read and think and trust and obey and rejoice. It’s true that God draws near personally to every new generation of believers, but he does so through the Biblical truth that they learn from the preceding generations. The Spirit comes down vertically (you might say) where the truth of God is imparted horizontally.

But there is another reason that Psalm 145:4 is so relevant to our theme this morning. Not only does it speak of the imparting of truth from one generation to another, it speaks of a certain kind of imparting. It is an imparting with exultation and for exultation. Notice the words. It does not say, “One generation shall merely teach Your works to another.” It says, “One generation shall praise Your works to another.” Praise is exultation in God. The education of the next generation must not only aim at exultation, it must involve exultation.

Teachers and parents who do not exult over God in their teaching will not bring about exultation in God. Dry, unemotional, indifferent teaching about God – whether at home or at church – is a half-truth, at best. It says one thing about God and portrays another thing. It is inconsistent. It says that God is great, but teaches as if God is not great.

Psalm 145:4 shows us another way: “One generation shall praise Your works to another.” Let praises carry the truth to the next generation, because the aim of truth is praise. The aim of education is exultation. So let education model exultation in the way it is done.

“Infatuated With the Kingdom”
Now let me build a bridge from last week’s message to this one. I said last week that our aim in the coming decades will be to breed children and young people here at Bethlehem who are radically surrendered to Jesus and radically committed to his cause of world evangelization. By “radically committed,” we mean so deeply committed that no price is too high to pay to follow Jesus wherever he leads, no matter how distant or how dangerous.

One of you sent me a quote from Jim Elliot’s journals to underscore this aim and say amen. At age 22, Jim Elliot had a promising ministry in front of him in the United States. He probably could have been a very successful pastor or evangelist or teacher. His parents were not very excited about his call to go to the Quichuas in South America. They wrote and told him so. He answered bluntly.

“I do not wonder that you were saddened at the word of my going to South America,” he replied on August 8. “This is nothing else than what the Lord Jesus warned us of when He told the disciples that they must become so infatuated with the kingdom and following Him that all other allegiances must become as though they were not. And He never excluded the family tie. In fact, those loves that we regard as closest, He told us must become as hate in comparison with our desires to uphold His cause. Grieve not, then, if your sons seem to desert you, but rejoice, rather, seeing the will of God done gladly. Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said that they were as an heritage from the Lord, and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly – all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.

“Give of thy sons to bear the message glorious, Give of thy wealth to speed them on their way, Pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious, And all thou spendest Jesus will repay.”

(Elisabeth Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot, [New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers: 1958] p. 132; hymn quote from “Oh, Zion Haste”)

That’s what Education for Exultation – in the Next Generation is about: to breed that kind of child and teenager and young adult. Where will they come from? That kind of 22-year-old doesn’t grow on trees. Where do they come from? That is what I want to talk about today.

The answer is that they come from God. God makes hearts like that. And he is sovereign: he can make such a heart in a dysfunctional family and a failing church. But that is not his ordinary way, and it is not the way he commands. His ordinary way is to breed hearts like that in God-exalting families and in churches where “One generation shall praise Your works to another.”

Notice one key word in Jim Elliot’s explanation to his parents. He said, “[Jesus] told the disciples that they must become so infatuated with the kingdom and following Him that all other allegiances must become as though they were not.” Why the word “infatuated”? Because Christianity is more than right thinking about the kingdom. It is also right feeling about the kingdom. It is right allegiance to the kingdom. It is not just education about following Jesus; it is exultation in following Jesus.

That’s the link with Psalm 145:4: “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and declare your mighty acts.” What we want from the next generation is not just heads full of right facts about the works of God; we want heads full of right facts and hearts that burn with the fire of love for the God of those facts – hearts that will sell everything to follow Jesus into the hardest places of the world.

Convictions That Shape the Way We Educate
So how shall we do this? How shall we do education and exultation for the next generation at Bethlehem? I’ll mention three convictions or principles that will shape the way we aim to shape children and young people. I will try to show Biblical texts that support these three principles. Psalm 145:4 gives the overarching aim: “One generation shall praise Your works to another.” These other texts tell us how.

Parents Educate Their Children

Foundational to all our ministry to children and young people is that God’s ordinary way of shaping children into radically committed, risk-taking, countercultural, wise, thinking, loving, mature, world Christians is through parents who teach and model a God-centered, Bible-saturated worldview to their children. Why do we start with that conviction? Because Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says,

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (See also Deuteronomy 11:19)

Centuries later, Asaph says in Psalm 78:5-7:

[The Lord] established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, That the generation to come might know, Even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments.

And in the New Testament, Ephesians 6:1-4 says:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The Biblical pattern is for parents, especially fathers, not to relinquish their role as the primary teachers and shapers of their children’s mind and heart – not even to the church. The Biblical pattern is for parents to impart to their children a God-centered, Bible-saturated vision for all of life. Education for Exultation is not primarily a vision of how to replace parents with church, but to restore parents to their God-ordained role. This is one reason why David and Sally Michael are called Pastor and Minister for Parenting and Children’s Discipleship, not simply Pastor and Minister for Children.

That’s principle #1: Parents educate their children.

The Church Is a Partner With the Parents in Educating the Children

There are lots of reasons why this is important. Practical ones include the facts that 1) some children don’t have believing parents; 2) some single parent homes are so stressed and overworked that they need all the help they can get; 3) there is a whole range of competencies in moms and dads that may need supplementing in the world the way it is (if not the way it should be); 4) even the best home-teaching will benefit from reinforcement in a corporate setting; and 5) some aspects of God’s character may be caught better in a larger corporate setting than at home.

On this last point consider Deuteronomy 31:10-13:

Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. “Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the LORD your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” (Emphasis added)

Notice those words in verse 13, “Their children who have not known . . .” Does this mean that Moses assumes that fathers will be delinquent, and a corporate gathering every seven years will make up the difference? Probably not. Rather, it probably means that there are some things that are going to be picked up and seen and felt in this kind of gathering that would not ordinarily be picked up at home. Peter Craigie takes the meaning to be that

The function of the ceremony would be educational. . . . The younger generation, however, would learn for the first time the full meaning of the covenant (v.13). Although they would know about it beforehand, its significance would dawn on them fully only as they left their homes and villages and heard the public reading of the law in the presence of all Israel (cf. v.11). (Peter C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy, [Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976], p.371)

One lesson to draw from this is that church education can be an important supplement and reinforcement to what parents do at home. Therefore partnership between parents and church is the image we see for Bethlehem.

There is a pointer in the New Testament that the Jewish people did not understand the passages about home teaching to rule out the supplementing of education from others who have a special expertise. In Acts 22:3, Paul was making his defense before the Jews, and said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.” Notice the reference “educated under Gamaliel” – literally “at the feet of Gamaliel.” This was the usual place for the younger students of a gifted rabbi to sit as they were instructed. This does not mean that the parents were delinquent. It means that when we say parents have primary responsibility to shape their children’s mind and heart, we don’t mean that they cannot or should not avail themselves of gifted teachers to supplement their own efforts.

So principle #1 is: Parents educate their children. Principle #2 is: The Church is a partner with the parents in educating the children. And now principle #3 . . .

The Church Helps Equip the Parents to Educate the Children

When children grow up and become adults, they don’t cease to learn and grow – at least they should not (see 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Corinthians 14:20). And as some of them move toward parenting and teaching children, they must continue to be taught and shaped Biblically, and the church has a high calling to see this happen.

Moses says to the people (in Deuteronomy 4:9), “Give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” First, Moses must minister to the people and they must give heed to themselves and their own souls. Then they will be able to teach their children.

So in the New Testament, Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-12, “[Christ] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” Pastors and teachers equip the saints to do the work of the ministry – the ministry of parenting and the ministry of teaching Sunday School and Kids’ Connection and a hundred other ways to nurture others, young and old.

Which means, in summary, that Education for Exultation – in the next Generation is three things: 1) parents educate their children; 2) the Church is a partner with the parents in educating the children; and 3) the Church helps equip the parents and others to educate the children.

And if you have eyes to see, you will know that in this last point everyone is included. The church that educates only children with Biblical truth will get shallower and shallower and shallower, until the reservoir of Biblical doctrine is so small that no one can drink there and find the words of life. And where there was perhaps once a robust Bible-teaching, Christ-exalting, mission-minded church, there is now only a Bible-neglecting, God-belittling, social Christianity.

To guard against that, and to keep the reservoir of truth and doctrine full and deep and pure enough to drink – for all ages – is the aim of Education for Exultation – in the next Generation. I hope and pray that you will be part of it.

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© Desiring God

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org HomeResource LibraryStoreEventsBlogAbout Us© 2010 Desiring God

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By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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Matthew and Lee 2009Matthew and I both felt the call of God to missions early in our Christian walk over 25 years ago.  Matthew specifically felt the call to serve in the Philippines.  Ever since then, God has been laying the foundation, preparing our hearts and opening doors.  Our desire to reach the lost with the undeniable truth of the gospel grew in intensity after our visit to Makati City in Manila in 2003 when our son, Christopher married.  When we wandered down a side street in search of the street market and great bargains, we could not help but stumble over the feet and even legs of squatters who camped on the outside walls of the Catholic church, or the little boy who stood behind us patiently at McDonald’s until we offered him a bit of money, or someone shooed him away.  As we battled to discern who was truly in need and who was the simple beggar, God planted a seed of passion in our hearts we found we could not deny.  In the span of time since then we sold our house, Matthew’s business of more than 20 years and joined the Rancho 3M staff to work in the office at the orphanage and teach English.  God in His marvelous grace continues to grow us in humility and wisdom.  

When we first came to Rancho 3M we committed to two years but felt we would probably stay three.  We came with the understanding that God had placed a call on Matthew to serve in the Philippines.  And, for that reason the director of the orphanage, Dean Adamek had been preparing and training us just for that purpose:  to run an orphanage in the Philippines. 

 Upon our arrival, in Guadalupe, we immediately joined the local Sovereign Grace church in El Paso, Vista New Life Church now known as Cross of Grace Church.  The trip from Guadalupe, Mexico to El Paso is about an hour.  As part of the body at Cross of Grace Church we became acquainted with Tony Walsh who is in charge of outreaches to the Philippines and provides solid Biblical training to those pastors and wives who desire a better understanding of the Gospel.  We spoke with Tony during one of his visits and shared our desire to serve in the Philippines. 

 Approximately two years after our first meeting Tony, he put us in touch with Pastor Cornelio Ebo and His Dwelling Christian Church in Cebu City, (the Visayan Islands where Lee’s grandfather was born and raised).

 Working at Rancho 3M caused our desire to reach people with the gospel to grow to such extent that we attended evangelism seminars, we read our bibles and books on evangelism. More importantly we prayed that God would use us and that He would touch the heart of the children there.  We used times of discipline to point to the great mercies of God, to alert the children of our state of depravity in terms we could understand, we’ve pleaded with them to cry out to God and have prayed with them regularly.

 We have seen the lives of many children change as a result of the concerted efforts of the Rancho 3m staff.  One only had to look into the eyes of a child whose life has been dramatically changed to see the marvelous hand of God.

 Once, after reading 1 and II Kings and feeling heartbreak after heartbreak to have learned of one who would follow hard after God, but then his sons did evil in God’s sight.  This scenario was repeated time after time. Though we would find one faithful before God who accomplished great things in His name, time and again their sons would turn out evil beyond imagination.  So when we pondered how only in the time of one generation the zeal for God could be completely lost we were saddened, almost distressed.  But all the more we sought and continue to seek for better understanding of the word of God and the Gospel and, to understand God’s people and how better to serve them because it is God’s will that all people would be reconciled to Himself.

It was our impression though, that if the Philippines was where God indeed wanted us to serve, that the opportunity would arise out of our relationship with Sovereign Grace Ministries and that the ministry must be an extension of a local church body in the Philippines.  This criteria has been met:

  • We are coming alongside a church that already has a relationship with Sovereign Grace and in fact, Pastor Cornelio will be attending the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College in Gaithersburg this September. 
  • We met Pastor Cornelio through Tony Walsh who ministers to a team of pastors there, Pastor Cornelio included. 
  • The orphanage is an extension of Pastor Cornelio’s church: His Dwelling Christian Church.

 Our burden, our desire is: to see generation after generation living for the Glory of God, obedient to faith in Christ Jesus, who in turn will bring up generation after generation of children who are faithful to God’s calling, who bring glory to God with all of their hearts with all that they do, as long as the Lord tarries. And, it is with this hope, this vision that we go to the Philippines.

Please prayerfully considering supporting our cause or making a donation by searching me by name, “Dalisay Dwinells” on facebook and joining our cause: . Donations are accepted online at: