March 16, 2014
A Report of Our February 2014 Visit – by Mark Jantzi
Our two week February visit to the Butuan City area of Mindanao Island this time follows a flood that inundated the area a few weeks earlier, possibly one of the worst of their known history. When we left our homes on the 18th of February, we were not sure what we would find on our arrival, or whether we would be involved with the cleanup or not. But they are a people who live simply and they also recover quickly. In order to give a more comprehensive view of our visit I have asked the team members to share in writing what they saw of our visit.
George Herrig Writes
We have just returned from our mission trip to the Philippines. Our team consisted of Mark and Rita Jantzi, Mark Giegerich, Jim Cassell, Susan Herrig and myself. So much has transpired in the time that we were there, it is hard to put it all down on paper. I will try to at least give a summary.
At the start of our time we were involved with a 3-day Christian conference during which nine people came forward for salvation and many rededicated their lives.
The second part of our trip was dedicated to three days of meetings at the Bible school in Jabonga. This is our fourth year of laboring there. We had an excellent time with the students at the school. There has been a great triumph in their growth and maturity. We were very blessed by the outcome of the Bible school meetings.
The third part of our trip consisted of working with the KMMS Children’s school. The School is in its fourth year of operation and at present consists of 95 children with a staff of eleven. This year added a new principal that is required by the government. Marissa, the new principal, came to us with much expertise in helping schools maintain the standards required by the government in the day to day operations. We are most pleased with the growth and stability that the school is making. We have an excellent staff that works diligently to meet the needs of our students as well as their parents.
It has been a marvelous thing to see a church birthed from the establishment of the School. When the school first started, its purpose was to make it possible for the most disadvantaged children to have an opportunity to obtain a quality education with a Christian perspective. Through that opportunity for families that could not afford schooling, many mothers and fathers have accepted Christ in their lives insomuch that a church fellowship now operates each Sunday ministering to this newborn church. There is a remarkable change in particular in the lives of these mothers. We truly share with all those who are sponsors of the children and contributors to the support of the school that your funds are being well spent for this great work. The parents are very thankful for providing for their children. They expressed it to us over and over again throughout our time there.
Mark Giegerich Writes on the KMMS School and the Bible School
Our time in the Philippines has been very productive as well as very precious. It had been 5 years since I have last been there. Seeing the growth there is, to say the least, tremendous. The school is doing very well, but not without its many needs. There are currently 95 students from kindergarten to 3rd grade. Next school year will add a fourth grade, bringing in additional students into kindergarten. Mostly the children are indigent and wouldn’t be able to afford this for themselves. There is a weekly feeding program currently in place that provides a healthy meal for the students. These are children that often times do not get their basic nutritional needs at home or go without meals due to parent(s) not having the means to provide at home. I also did notice that many children also suffer from much tooth decay as they lack in both nutrition as well as any basic knowledge of dental hygiene. This is something we would like to implement as well in the near future – some form of dental instruction as well as providing toothbrushes to the families. The school has also birthed a fellowship with some 35 parents or more getting saved. Seeing the kids firsthand and their eagerness to learn the gospel, opens up quite a potential for the Philippines. When I consider the impact it will have on a nation, I want to be involved as best I can. I encourage all who are reading this to consider either sponsoring a child or getting involved with the feeding programs or possibly both.
We also visited Bro. Edmar, his wife, and the Bible school they oversee. We spent three days there and had 2 meetings each day. There are approximately 15 students and maybe 7 or 8 former students who help staff the school. I was really amazed at their knowledge of the Bible as well as the Tabernacle of Moses. Bro. George brought a model of the tabernacle for them to make. He gave it to them late one afternoon, and by the time we came back the next morning, they had it already completed. All in all, I believe our investment in the Philippines is really paying numerous dividends in the lives of so many different ones who are being impacted. Again, I encourage each one of us to pray as to what our part might be in all of this. To see how they live in comparison to us is really an eye opener. So many needs and yet such a love for God! There is much we can learn.
James Cassell’s Observations
I praise God for the opportunity to participate with the Team Philippines 2014. My first observation was the labor of love and diligence that has gone on for the past 7 years to lay a very good foundation!
I was blessed to see how efficiently the school operated. Everyone worked like a Swiss watch with their area of responsibility. The children are most precious and it is an honor to be a sponsor.
George Herrig’s Report on the Flood Relief
As many of you know back in January the Butuan area and Mindanao Island experienced a tropical depression that brought continual rain for 15 straight days. Out of that depression resulted in a flood on the island that affected many of the brethren, the children’s school and all of the families that attended the school.
We had sent out a need to all of you in late January and the response in the USA and Czech Republic produced an amount of $5,580 to be taken to help those who were affected there recover from the flood. A detailed list was put together of the losses by the school, its staff, the children’s families and the brethren that we are working with. From that list we were able to distribute the money to all those involved who were affected by the flood.
Through the money that was taken for the Philippine Flood relief, we were able to give financial support to 126 families. 70 of those families have students at the KMMS children’s school. The remaining 56 families were brethren from various fellowships that we labor with who were directly affected by the flood. Of those families, many of them lost wages. They lived on just a watery rice soup in order to survive during the time when they could not get out of their homes. We were able to give funds for the rebuilding of 5 homes and cottages that were completely destroyed by the floods. Twelve families were reimbursed for partial damage to their homes and destroyed appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators. Money was also supplied to replant a rice field that was completely destroyed. One fellowship lost their amplifier, speakers and chairs through the flood so funds were given to replace them. In addition, 750 dollars was donated for the repair and painting of the school and its furniture that was affected by the flood.
All in all, $5580 was donated to the Philippine Flood Relief and $5581 was distributed out to minister to the needs affected by the flood (more than 100%). Praise the Lord!
A Few Testimonies
Merlinda, KMMS President writes: I praise and thank God for the Team Ministry for working your labor of love within this 10 days ministry. Cherry, the school Administrator, and I have started to distribute the money on Monday and they are so thankful; many mothers were surprised to receive the relief help from the flood.
Allan, the Guidance Counselor writes: Everybody here in school was so happy after they received the blessings. These four families (the first visited at home after our departure) extended their undying thankfulness for the support for their families. They hope that you are always blessed by God so that you continue bless them also. Personally, I am amazed of what are the reactions of the parents after they received it; some parents made to cry for they didn’t expect that they can receive any help from you.
There is one more testimony from Susan Herrig. It can be found at
Some of the mothers said that during the days of the height of the flood, they were unable to leave their house. Those employed were unable to go to work for about a week. They subsisted during this time on a watery rice mix.
We, the team (Mark & Rita, Jim, Mark, George & Susan), want to personally thank everyone that gave for this important need. Every dollar that was given went directly to our brethren there in the Philippines.
May the Lord bless each of you abundantly for your obedience in your prayers and giving on behalf of the work in the Philippines.
The Ministry Team