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Is There Hope for Payatas?

Is there Hope for Payatas?

The land of Payatas is so far physically and even further emotionally from where most people reside.

It is a place of steaming trash, foodless shacks and children begging for their needs.

When I first came here it was to marry a local girl and to return home. Yet when the Holy Spirit showed me the poverty and despair I was curiously drawn to the people here and at that moment, knew my return was imminent.

Flash forward seven years:
(The time of God’s will for our return.)

We opened up two separate Bible studies in squatter homes and in three months we had rented a building.

We were on our way to ministering hope to the hopeless.

My wife and I would have to literally wash the children’s feet, legs, arms, hands and faces as they were filthy dirty from working among the garbage.

In the children’s mind, if we gave them a piece of bread, it was worth coming. They needed food and clothes, that was obvious but what they did not realize, but got anyway, was love and plenty of it.

We taught them the word of God and told them that they could say as Paul the apostle had said, “Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ”

I had to remember not to wear white pants to Church as the children would hug us and the multiple dirt marks on our clothes was the sign that let us know that they loved us. It was no longer the bread that sustained them but the love.

Flash forward three years” One of my supporters writes that our children look so clean and neat and have nice clothes. ”

Welcoming the Children

Welcoming the Children

Flash forward last week: I submitted a request for a grant to buy a van to transport the children back and forth. There are kidnappers roaming the streets and actually stealing children. The parents did not want the children to attend the two evening services because of it but I told them we would pay their fare and it was okay.

So like I said, I requested a grant and one of the questions was how do I measure the success of our program?

Hmmm? I had to think about that. We started with many children about 5-10 years old and now they are ten to 15.

I started to think.

Then I realized. Sometimes you do not notice results as you are in the middle of it. You think to yourself, Am I making a difference? But our supporters knew. One said the kids are so “clean and neat”. That’s because we taught them to always look their best. They had nice clothes on. That’s because of those who sent boxes and boxes of used clothes. They looked well fed because we fed them.

When we first started, these childrens’ high hopes were to get jobs on the garbage trucks.

Last week we had a couple of students from a nearby University who had asked to come to interview our kids as they were doing a thesis on poverty…
When they finished they told us they were overwhelmed by the fact that these children aspired to be doctors, lawyers, teachers,police, nurses and so on. They also said when they were asked about their home life they answered by saying it was very important to obey their parents and to help around the house as that behavior helps the family to live well with God.

I am proud to say that is a great, measured improvement. Unfortunately, the interviewers will only get those responses from the kids who attend PBC. There are so many more who need hope like our kids have.

One other question I was asked and I forgot the exact wording but it had to do with how much money would it take to achieve our goal.

This is another hard question to answer because you see, we work with maybe 100 children and do very well but our goal is to affect all of the 220,000 families in Payatas.
So, with no additional money we will do what we have done and with additional money we will do more.
You take it from there.

We recently received the response for the requested grant.

Dear John,

Thank you for your recently submitted Letter of Inquiry (LOI) for TTT Payatas Kids to the xxxxxxxxxxxxx Foundations. It was a blessing to hear of the work you are doing. However, after careful review, we have determined that this project does not currently match our giving priorities. Since numerous factors enter into our selection process, we cannot easily explain why a particular project was turned down. Here are a few words of general explanation that we hope you will find helpful:

Our primary focus is on projects in unreached or under-reached parts of the world in order to see the Great Commission fulfilled. As we choose between such opportunities, we primarily fund national models that are reproducible without Western leadership or significant investments in infrastructure. Since the majority of our funding is international, we are even more selective when choosing projects within the USA. Both internationally and domestically we look for projects with the greatest potential for maximum continuing impact across organizational, denominational, and geographic lines.

Frequently a project fits our criteria quite closely, but we conclude that our foundations are not the most appropriate funders. We believe it is often wiser for ministries to seek support from individual givers who are more likely sources of continuing financial support. It’s also difficult for a foundation or trust to provide the prayer support and oversight that individuals with a close relationship can provide. Such supporters can become an organization’s most effective advocates, inspiring others to join them.

I am sorry that we cannot give you more detailed feedback regarding the specifics of your request and our evaluation process. Please understand that due to the volume of LOIs we receive, we need to make difficult decisions and cannot assist all the wonderful opportunities presented to us.

We do wish you the greatest success.

I removed the name as to not embarrass anyone. You will see by their letter and my response how they never even looked into who we were.

My Response:
Dear Ms xxxx,

Thank you for your quick reply. Although the result doesn’t please me, I am resigned to the fact that your approving or disapproving our request is ultimately in God’s hands and not your own.

I am a bit confused concerning two of your statements. The one was where you said, ”
Our primary focus is on projects in unreached or under-reached parts of the world in order to see the Great Commission fulfilled.

I am confused because no one comes to Payatas. With a 89% unsaved population and the remainder consisting of various religions, Christianity is probably less than 1 &1/2 %. Unreached or under-reached persons will probably resemble the same percentages.

You also said: “Since the majority of our funding is international, we are even more selective when choosing projects within the USA.” You stated we are even more selective when choosing projects within the USA as if you believe we are located in the USA. Although our 501 3c Organization is based in the USA, the work is being done in the poorest area of the Philippines, We take no salaries and we live very humbly.

It seems like my request was not looked at too well.

As I have said, God is in control of the outcome yet  I would have felt much better had I thought you looked into who we really are.

Most of those with the money give grants to people with a name. I guess it looks better for them if they support a multi million dollar organization with high overhead than a no name with practically no overhead.

Here in Payatas, the people are hurting more than in Africa or other places who have rock bands and leading evangelists to champion.

Needless to say, God is in control and all this will show His glory even greater!

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