Volume. XXXI, No. 5
Saturday, 06 August 2016


The House of Hope Ministry in Cebu, Philippines


The House of Hope is a non-profit Christian drug rehabilitation centre established 19 years ago. It is registered with the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and accredited by the Department of Health (DOH). They offer drug addicts a one year program to those who desire to rid themselves from the bondage of addiction. The one year program is a strict daily routine and revolves around:
Physical Therapy – through detoxification, proper nutrition, physical exercise and other sports activities.
Social Therapy – the reintegration to family and community by providing support groups, counseling and personal growth workshops.
Work Therapy – providing vocational training and instilling the sense and value of work through different income generating projects.
Spiritual Therapy - spiritual renewal through Bible study, daily devotion and worship, personal quiet time and a closer relationship with Christ.

The daily life of each resident revolves around a strict timetable from Monday to Friday as follows:
0600 – 0630:    Wake up and wash up
0630 – 0715:    Quiet Time / Small Group
0715 – 0830:    Morning devotion and Bible
                          study
0930 – 1145:    Work Therapy
1200 – 1300:    Lunch and Siesta
1300 – 1600:    Work Therapy
1600 – 1745:    Exercise and Recreation
1745 – 1900:    Dinner and TV
1900 – 1930:     Fellowship Time
1930 – 2030:    Personal Quiet Time and
                          Bible Study
2030 – 2100:    Quiet Time before lights off

I visited the House of Hope twice over 18 months. I have to honestly say that my initial meetings during my first visit were tainted with much prejudice and fear.  It is after all quite threatening to be in an enclosed and walled secure facility and in the presence of 30 over men who were trying to rehabilitate from their addiction to drugs. The drug that they were addicted to was Ice (Crystal methamphetamine) or locally known as “Shabu”.  I am sure that some of the residents would have had violent pasts and many have been abused because of their issues with ice. I turned to the full time staff for some reassurance for safety but instead found that all the staff members I met were previously drug addicts themselves. But as I fellowshipped more and more with them, the barriers I had put up all around me were broken down. Language is important in knowing people and in this case, we spoke a common language – English. I could have deeper and more personal discussions with the residents of the House of Hope than for example when I visited Vientiane Laos and tried to get to know the local people there. I thank God for placing me amongst drug addicts and giving me a conviction to visit them again in May. I am proud to claim that I count more than 40 former and rehabilitating drug addicts as my friends and as brothers in Christ.

One observation I have is that the House of Hope is not endowed with much funds or large buildings. They do not own the land that they reside in, but rent it from a Cebuano from another church. On this land they have build their chapel, kindergarten, office, dormitories, kitchen, gymnasium and workshop. Some of their walls are just plywood lined and painted. But they have done much with the little resources that they have.  By God’s mercy and His grace they have been enriched spiritually. Many have come to Christ and lives are evidently restored, renewed and redeemed by His hand. If you meet the staff and part time volunteers you will find that the pastor, preacher, counsellors, administrative staff are all former drug addicts. Out of a cohort of about 40 men, there are currently at least two who are studying at the local Bible college. One is studying for his Masters degree.  The word of God has touched their hearts and from knowing about God through their daily bible studies, messages and quiet time, many I would say know God as they build on their personal relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Academically and in their occupations, some have more than made good on their past wasted lives by becoming for example, teachers, lecturers and lawyers. Many have rebuilt their relationships with their families and some marry. You may see some of these families worshipping at the House of Hope on Sundays. In the area of physical health, God enabled the House of Hope basketball team to win the local championship in Cebu. With the prize money, I am told, they treated themselves to chartering a boat for island hopping around Cebu. Some run the marathon for fitness. There is even someone in the House of Hope who runs the Ultra-marathon which is a punishing 100 KM run. This particular man did the run in 19 hours. Then there is also a sprinter amongst them. He works at the House of Hope delivering filtered water to the community of ex-residents and friends, providing some profit to fund the programs at the House of Hope.

Should you visit the House of Hope? I would say if God gives you that opportunity, take it. Often we hear that on mission trips the visitors are ministered more than the people whom they visit. At the House of Hope you can use your time profitably to enhance their lives spiritually as much as they do yours. Men have opportunities to teach at their daily Bible studies, preach, play games with them or help in the building maintenance. Women have opportunities to teach at the kindergarten and bring God’s word, to both the children and to the mothers who wait at the kindergarten. Food can be prepared to feed the children once a week or more if you wish. There may be opportunities to have some music programs or even organize some items of praise with their music director who plays and teaches several musical instruments (piano, violin and guitar), and is a university graduate in orchestral conducting.  If our Church should organize a trip to the House of Hope, they have requested for a small group to ensure that for the short time spent with them, we are effectively used.
Indeed visiting the House of Hope brings Proverbs 3:5-7 to the forefront of our understanding:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

Finally, I would like to share a testimony of one of the staff and ex-residents of the House of Hope with you. May the Lord touch your heart as you read his testimony:
My name is Neil Caintic, 33 years old and a former drug addict. I started using prohibited drugs when I was only fourteen. Curiosity led me to my first taste.  Little did I know I was being led into a trap – one that seemed to have no escape.

As a child I grew up in a broken home in the Philippines. I tried to find my own way in life. Residing in an environment rampant with drug abuse, I learned many bad habits. Cigarettes and drinking alcohol eventually led me to illicit drug use. I always wanted to ‘fit-in’ with those around me and get along with the people in my neighbourhood. I had dreams, hopes and plans but with my drug affected lifestyle I barely managed to finish secondary education. It took me six years to finally graduate from high school.

As the years passed I became a drug addict, I succumbed to all forms of sin and was now a menace to society. Early use of Marijuana led to “shabu” and all other prohibited drugs.
I had a relative who was in the business of selling Bonsai plants. She had a customer, a Singaporean, who was involved with the ministry House of Hope, a Christian Drug and Alcohol Rehab centre. She introduced me to the customer and by God’s perfect timing I entered their one year program voluntarily in 1998. Everything went smoothly during the year of rehabilitation. Broken relationships with my loved ones were reconciled. However getting to know Jesus Christ and having a personal relationship with Him was the greatest thing I learned. I was born again.

I encouraged people telling them the good news I had heard. But secretly I was still sinning! I was lying, gluttonous and coveted many things. Lust and pride seemed to always be present and often I fell to their allure. When I left the centre I returned to my old ways and within two years was worse off than before – sevenfold!

I readmitted myself in 2001 and this time poured out everything to the Lord. Disappointed with the past, I left it behind and pressed forward to what was ahead. God provided people that would inspire me and helped me get back on track. Through the Bible, they helped me grasp again the truth and brought back the joy of my salvation. Psalm 84:10 states “Better a day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of the wicked”.

I finished the program in 2002 and had a burden to help others who had fallen to the same plight as me. I became a volunteer in the organisation. The Lord has been faithful in answering my prayers all these past years. He has enabled me to stand firm from temptations through the Grace of Christ.

Today I am the Liaison Officer of the organisation and a full time staff member and mentor. Usually I have between seven to ten men under my care. I thank God in Christ for His mercy and His gift of salvation given in Christ – His Joy is my strength.

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Bros Sung Hyun Ma & William Song; Sis Ashley Chia. Helpers next week: Bro Benjamin Wong; Sisters Amy Han & Bernadette Ng.
*ACM: All member expected to attend. Please come at 7.15pm for roll-taking so meeting can start on time. If unable to attend, please obtain proxy form on the foyer or from Dn Colin Gan. No verbal proxies accepted.
*Candidates for 8th Session Election: Pastor Ki; Elders Michael Lee & David Yeo; Deacons Colin Gan & Wai Kin Wong; & Bros Boong Atijatuporn, Sung Hyun Ma, Raphael Ng, Aaron Tan & John Wong.
*No Neighbourhood Bible Studies this week.
*Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study will begin on 10 Aug.
*Working Bee will be held every Saturday from 13 Aug until move to new rectory is finished.
*Groups/Individuals rostered for Sanctuary Setup at Bible College SA are requested to set up by Saturday evening.

Praise and Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Deaconess Purdee Yeo (Adl) & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in the  past week.
Fruitful Kenya missions– Deaconess Purdee Yeo & Sis Sarah Carpenter.

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore) & Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Grandpa Ki (S’pore).
Special Prayer: Those in affliction.
God’s comfort for Bro Edwin D’Mello & family.
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Cambodia Missions
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.
Future ministry at Hope BPC: Bro Kevin Low & family.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.
Journey mercies: All those who are travelling during the school holidays.
Safety in final weeks of pregnancy: Sisters Maritas Mangco (HoH, Cebu) & Emily Zhang.
God-honouring & smooth ACM &8th Session Election.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
God’s guidance for settlement of new church property. Announcements

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063