Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Are we Crazy?

Yes, yes! We're ABSOLUTELY crazy! Anyone who would leave 2 great jobs, our first home and the best friends / family - to go live in a 3rd world country is CRAZY! And we love it!

Why did we decide to pick up our lives and move them half way across the world? (it really is half way - the Eastern plane ride takes one hour longer than the West plane ride).

Our crazy decision was inspired by the following goals:
  • Grow together
  • Grow with God
  • See the world
We're excited. We're ready! We're moving to Manila, Philippines on January 26th, 2008 - and our hope is that you follow us via "Thrilla in Manilla".

Why Philippines?

We're moving to Manila, Philippines for 9 months to participate in the long-term service work by a team representing the Philippines, America and England.

We have been blessed to have been able to participate in a few service projects throughout our lives thus far. We've learned through those experiences that we have developed a passion for participating in service projects and that being involved in service work is something that we want to do for the rest of our lives. One of the aspects of service work that we want to experience in our lives together (before we settle down, have kids, etc.) is international service work. From a prior mission trip in college, Mary was introduced to a non-profit mission organization called 'International Teams' or 'ITeams.' ITeams, headquartered in the US, connects long-term mission groups in countries all across the world with people looking to do short-term work (under one year), like us. There is a group in Manila, Philippines that is doing some great things and we got connected. We ultimately decided that it was now or never for us to do this, so we're moving to Manila and joining the team for 9 months.

Ministry Details

Youth Rev:
  • Youth Rev is a once-a-week, whole-day activity that is designed to help youth and youth leaders develop their leadership capabilities and ministry skills. It aims to meet their 4 universal needs, namely: (1) Strategic Training; (2) Access to Quality Resources; (3) Relationship & Community (the need to belong to something bigger); and (4) Mentoring & Coaching.
Windows YP:
  • Windows YP is an annual youth missions conference that aims to bring awareness, stir-up interest, equip, empower and challenge the youth to participate in missions. Aside from the divided workshops for youth ministry enhancement, the conference also includes plenary sessions led by anointed missionaries and visionaries, Filipinos and other nationalities.
Touch Trips:
  • Twice each year, we set-up local and foreign short-mission exposure trips giving young people the opportunity to put into action what they have learned. Our vision is to gather young people from different parts of the world to do mission in one particular place. So far, we have seen Filipino youth working hand in hand with young people from Canada, USA, UK and Australia.
Mercy Ministry:
  • Together with his wife Gila, Pastor John, also an IT Philippines missionary started the Mercy Ministry. Their only desire is to help street children find new life and hope in Christ, especially those who are abandoned by their families, abusing solvent and the homeless. They set-up programs that aim to bring about total transformation. These programs include feeding, youth camps, sports and technical training, just to name a few. Many are surrendering their lives to Jesus and some even went back to their family to be reconciled.
Cavite City Dumpsite Minstry:
  • In partnership with a local church in Cavite City – Jesus Christ Our Beloved Savior (JCOBS), we are ministering to the children, the youth and their families who are living in the Cavite City Dumpsite through a weekly feeding ministry, educational assistance program and livelihood program.
Batang Krayola (Tagalog for: Children [Batang] and Crayon [Krayola]):
  • Each week, about 250 children are fed and taught the word of God through Bible Stories and recreational activities which largely involves the used of crayons and coloring materials. The ministry’s main aim is to help, train, and equip street children so that they will become productive members and great leaders of their home, society, and the world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Support Us...

We'd love to have your prayerful, thoughtful, and/or financial support.

To support us financially:
  • One time donation -
    • Credit Card donation
    • Check donation
      • Please make the check payable to International Teams
      • Please indicate 'Andy Thomas' in the memo line
      • Mail to address below:
        • International Teams
          Attn: Receipting Dept.
          411 W. River Road
          Elgin, IL 60123-1570