When VMC Missionaries, Gordon and Grace Griffith, moved to their current residence in the Philippines, they had a heart for the large group of people living "over the wall" from their home. The Wabe Community , as they are known, are a group of squatters living on the adjacent land in make-shift dwellings. The community is permeated with heavy drinking, drugs, promiscuity, abuse and other crimes and negative behaviors. It was heart-breaking to witness all that was happening, especially the neglect and abuse of the kids.
After much prayer, Gordon and Paolo, a ministry partner, entered the Wabe community and met the only two Christians (at the time) who live there. Ate Ging and Christian, brand new believers themselves, had already been praying that their neighborhood would be reached for Christ. And so began, "Over The Wall Ministry."
The first two opportunities that were launched were for children and youth. Gordon and Grace opened their home for weekly Youth gatherings. The Youth heard testimonies about the difference Christ makes in our lives and studied the Bible, the Word of a Heavenly Father who loves them unconditionally. A number of them responded to the salvation message and were baptized.
The Children's ministry meets every Sunday afternoon and has been named, "The Power Club." They play organized games, have snack (a real treat, because they are malnourished), engage in interactive Bible stories, share prayer requests and pray with leaders. The prayer requests often reveal the tragedy of the conditions in which they live. The children also are encouraged to memorize Bible verses and those who do are rewarded with coupons to spend at a monthly gift shop. In April, Ventura Missionary members lavished Gordon and Grace with items for this gift shop, along with a lot of other resources for Over The Wall Ministry and sent them with a VMC team of five who traveled to visit them and lend support. They were overwhelmingly grateful for this church's partnership in what they are doing to advance the Kingdom among the poor and marginalized on their island in the Philippines.
As a result of the change in the children and youth of the Wabe Community the adults have also become interested in the truth of the gospel. These same adults were completely opposed to the presence of the "born-again, born-agains," as they identify Christians with disdain. Consequently, a women's group, a men's group and a few couples' activities are taking place, and men and women are finding Christ as well and beginning to serve and take on leadership roles. Each beautiful story is fascinating and could have only been written by God, but a little three-year-old girl from the community may have stated it best. A few months ago, Grace says, "While we were waiting for the others to show up for Power Club, we asked her if she remembered any of the verses we'd been teaching them. She was very excited to recite this verse, 'A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows, is God in His holy dwelling.' Psalm 68:5"
To learn more about Gordon and Grace's ministry in the Philippines, like their Facebook Page and/or email Gordon and ask to be added to their update list. To give, note "Gordon Griffith" in the memo of your check to VMC or bill-pay through your bank.