'He makes things different'
'Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.'
We are thankful for all that God has been doing in the ministry in Angeles over the past year. God has started to build the ministry in Angeles even though there is currently no full time staff there. At the beginning we just started doing prayer walks and evangelism while cultivating the land and digging into the heart of God for that city. As we have done this, God has started to show us his heart and give us a passion for what is to come. We are looking with expectant eyes for how he is going to carry on building the ministry there. We have started to host teams even though space is very limited, so they really get a taste of outreach. And we are thankful that teams have been willing to go, despite the lack of space! With the teams we have really been able to build relationships with the girls and have held Bible studies with them. However with the last team no girls turned up to our planned Bible study. We know that the enemy tried to discourage and stop us, but with this team God really opened other doors for us to do new things. We were able to minister to the young people and children in the park and we are starting to be known in the neighbourhood. We were also able to do worship in the middle of the red light district and also we wrote truths of God on the ground with chalk. We could really sense a shift in the atmosphere while declaring who God is, and it really created curisoity from the people around when they heard and saw us. We are thankful for the favour that God gave us, from that we really feel that the enemy was shaken when we really stood on the truth of who God is and declared it in amongst the darkness of that street. We pray that God will continue to work in the hearts of those who were curious and that we met. We really believe that seeds have been planted and one day it will bear fruits for his glory.
One of the team has given a testimony of her time spent in Angeles:
'When we had the opportunity to go to Angeles City I knew we had a whole new world to step into. Some of the bars stood stories high, filled with hundreds of women, and customers putting a price on how much their time was worth. It was challenging, but having God's hands entirely around my mind, body and spirit, showed me a whole new understanding of Romans 8:37 and that 'we are more than conquerors.' Every time we went onto Walking Street, God showed up in a whole new way. Having Mirabel and Lisa always pushing us made a huge impact and God really stepped into our ministry. Chalk evangelism and worship in the street really shifted the atmosphere when going into the bars. Dragon Bar was the first one I walked into and right away God started working. Conversation in Angeles was unique and sometimes more challenging, but God really designed our divine appointments.'
Looking to the future, this year one of our staff aims to move full time to Angeles around April or May with her children. We really pray for a big house so that we can host teams and visitors, and the house will be open also for the girls who are willing to have a new life. We see it as being a drop in centre, somewhere the girls can always go and feel free to rest. Our heart is to influence people around us, even though our focus is the red light district, we don't want to be limited to only that. We want to get God's heart for the whole community. We have been able to connect with one of the local churches. We want God to write his own story and not go with our own plans and ideas. So far our focus is to invite more people to come here and work, full time staff as well as teams and visitors, we really want to encourage people to come and work with us and sew into the ministry in Angeles. We have an a plan to set up a coffee shop in the future, but right now we are setting it aside to build a team. The ministry is a part of YWAM Olongapo, but we really want to see it claim its own identity and rise up and take its place.
This ministry has been started by faith, we currently have no monthly supporters, we have just been relying on one time gifts, but are really thankful for how God has provided so far. However, for us to really start things there full time we are looking for people to really stand with us in prayer and finances. We are really starting to see how God's visions are starting to come to life and we really encourage you to be a part of his work. We welcome everyone who is willing to work with us, either a doer or as a sender. We want to have a body working together for his kingdom, no matter where you are, but with one purpose to see his kingdom come.
Please pray with us as we begin to step out into this ministry. Pray also for wisdom and understanding as we continue to seek his will. And also pray for God's favour and provision for the continuation of his work in Angeles.