Desiree’ Shaw recently traveled to the Philippines where she and 10 other team members from the Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship at Conway and Pauline Missionary Baptist Church in Monticello worked with Proverbs 22:9 Ministries and Good News Christian Fellowship Church to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the Filipinos. This is her account of the trip.

Evelyn Salvador-De Rueda founded Proverbs 22:9 Ministries to provide a feeding program for underprivileged children in the Philippines. Evelyn was raised in extreme poverty in the Philippines. She was six years old before someone gave her a toothbrush and toothpaste. She knows what it is like to go to bed hungry and have nothing to eat the next day. This is why she started Proverbs 22:9 Ministries.

In July of 2011, Proverbs 22:9 Ministries became a ministry of Pauline Baptist Church and began a partnership with Good News Christian Fellowship to start a feeding program in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. In

January, 2012, a second feeding program was started in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, in partnership with Grace Community Christian Fellowship. Additional feeding programs have been established in Maburak (village outside of Gapan) and Bantug Norte in Cabanatuan City with satellites in Mabini Extention and Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. The team helped with the feeding ministry in five communities. She helped serve well balanced meals and dispense liquid vitamins to the undernourished children. The children are fed every other day for a total of three meals a week. Many of the students skip a couple of hours of school in order to receive a noon meal. The team interacted with the children as they sang, played, danced and listened to Bible stories.

They also attended to their personal needs such as brushing the hair of the children and clipping their finger nails.

When we flew to the Philippines, each of us claimed a suite case filled with supplies purchased by Proverbs 22:9 Ministries. We distributed hygiene items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes to the children. We also gave the older ones school supplies such as pencils, erasers, and crayons. They were very excited that they would have these necessary items for school. The kids who came for the free meal were bare foot or else had shoes that were tattered and falling apart. One of the local ladies had previously measured the feet of the children who came for the free meal and who attended a nearby school. She purchased shoes for them which complied with the school dress code. I will never forget the look on the faces of those children when they tried on their new shoes. They were so excited.

The mission team also went to a local hospital where they gave assistance to both the patients and family members who were waiting to see their loved ones. "Food is not a service provided by the hospitals, so we gave the patients a supply of groceries that would last two or three days. These items included Ramon noodles, crackers, and soup which were easy to prepare. The hospital also did not have waiting rooms so the visitors waited outside in a rudely constructed shelter or in the shade of nearby trees. They sat on the ground and had no facilities for cooking. We prepared and distributed meals for these weary individuals.

In addition to attending to the physical needs of the people, we endeavored to meet their spiritual needs as well. Bibles had previously been ordered and were printed in the native language of Tagalog. As we canvassed the street, we gave a Bible to people we met and with the aid of our interpreters we verbally gave them the gospel. We also went door to door spreading the gospel and handing out Bibles. These people were leery at first because it is so uncommon to be offered a free gift. But when they realized we wanted nothing in return, they were very receptive to us and our message of salvation.

One day the team split up. I was one of the team members who visited the Home for Girls. This is a place where girls who are abandoned or abused go for refuge. We shared the gospel and provided each girl with hygiene items.

It broke my heart to hear their stories. Some of our team had an opportunity to witness to inmates at a prison. They also were able to provide the prisoners with Bibles and hygiene items. The inmates were very receptive to the message.

While we were there, the Good News Christian Fellowship Church presented "The Jesus Film" which had been translated into Tagalog. The Jesus Film Project is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Its website indicates that ‘since 1979 more than 200 million men, women and children worldwide have indicated decisions to follow Jesus after viewing the film. Based on the Gospel of Luke, the "JESUS" film has now been translated into more than 1,160 languages, with new languages being added every month.

I am so thankful that God would allow me this opportunity to help in this great harvest. The people we stayed with and worked beside were very hospitable and did everything they could to make the common mission of furthering the Kingdom of God as well flowing as possible.

Experiencing this mission trip made me realize how very blessed we are to live in the United States. Most children have access to at least two meals a day through school lunch programs. As I saw firsthand, this is not an option for children living in third world countries. The World Food Programme has determined that one in seven people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight.

It also concludes that under-nutrition contributes to more than one-half of the 9.7 million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries. This means that one child dies every six seconds from malnutrition and related causes. This is why organizations such as Proverbs 22:9 Ministries are so important.

If you would like to know more about this ministry, you can contact Proverbs 22:9 Ministries in care of Pauline Baptist Church PO Box 299, Monticello, AR. They can also be found on Facebook.

I would like to thank those individuals who financially supported me on this trip. I would especially like to thank everyone who prayed for us.

Desiree’ currently lives and works in Conway. She is the daughter of Yota and Leonard Shaw of Strawberry. She is a 2008 graduate of Hillcrest High School in Strawberry and a 2013 graduate from UCA with a degree in Bio-Chemistry.