Tag Archives: Faith

Philippine Youth Ministry GOFUNDME

My brother and his wife work with a ministry group in the Philippines and have done so for many years.  Matthew has taken each of his children on two separate occasions to help move, build, support, preach, teach, comfort this family.  If you feel so led, please pray for the ministry and if possible make a monetary donation to help them proclaim the message of Hope and Salvation.

Note from Matthew:

The Short Story

Our friends in the Philippines are in need of funds to construct a permanent home for their student ministry and their residence.  We believe $5,000 USD will purchase a lot and get a basic structure in place. Our family will match up to $2,500 of funds raised through this GoFundMe campaign and personal connections.

The Full Story
Hi, we are the Penn Family in Missouri.  My wife, Shawna is an elementary music teacher and I run a web development company, PennDev, and have been in youth ministry for 20+ years.  Through my business, I’ve developed a small team in the Philippines — one of the guys has been with me for more than 10 years and they really are part of our family.

In 2014, in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, I hopped on a plane and my team traveled with me to Tacloban to be part of a relief mission.  My friend’s youth pastor, Orland, accompanied us.  I’ll never forget the time we spent serving together!
44916076_1583804995553636_r.jpeg(Above is the current location of the mission.)

Since then, I have followed Orland’s ministry as he was married to his wife Joy, and moved into a new area to be part of a start-up mission in Mahayag.  They are doing tremendous work in the community, as my son and I were able to witness in person this past December 2018.

Orland organizes a youth basketball team. It’s more than a team. It’s a family. Using basketball as the centerpiece, these young men train, compete, fellowship and worship together.  And Orland is able to speak God’s love into their lives day after day.  

The week that I was there, we gathered  a few times at Orland and Joy’s home, which is also the base of their ministry.  My son and I got to watch, firsthand, as these students poured in to take part in the ‘family’ activities. They treated us like family.

44916076_1583802142210575_r.jpegAbove – Orland and his team ready for a big game!

The basketball mission is just one aspect of their work.  Joy opens their home up for tutoring and ministry specific to young girls. They reach out and support local police officers. And they are in the prisons serving meals and offering encouragement.  Their small, home-based church has tremendous, wide-reaching impact! Currently they are reaching more than 60 young people every day. They are literally bursting out of their home!

44916076_1583802175860558_r.jpegAbove – Joy leads a tutoring and children’s mission

Recently, they have been given notice by the landowner that their lease will not be renewed and they will need to move out this year.  It is here where I hope my friends and I can step in and assist. Orland was able to raise local funds to purchase one lot in a nearby neighborhood. A $5,000 gift would be enough for them to buy the adjoining lot as well as build a shell of a building for them to start working and living out of.

Our family is going to help. No question! And we would like to invite you to join us. We will match, dollar-for-dollar, up to $2,500 in this effort. If more than that is raised, the funds will go towards finishing the inside of the structure.  I promise that 100% of the funds will go directly into this mission.  In fact, I will personally visit (at my cost) to lend a hand in the building effort!

What will your donation mean?
Bottom line, your small donation will go extremely far!  You will  be helping secure a permanent home base for Orland and Joy’s ministry.  Your donation will help them continue to reach young people in the Mahayag community for Christ and breathe hope and encouragement into their lives.

How exactly will the funds be used?
1)  We will purchase the 2nd, adjoining lot. This will allow Joy to offer additional educational space and future growth.
2) Construct the initial structure. Four walls and a roof will give them the framework they need to start their dream, as well as raise further local support.

What if extra funds are donated above the goal amount?
I will work personally with Orland and Joy to identify the greatest need when and if this happens. Most likely, additional funds would be used to help build out the structure and provide furnishings.  But, we certainly don’t want to assume anything. Additional funds may be of greater use in another aspect of the ministry.

How soon do we need the funds?
In a matter of months. The landowner is being somewhat flexible, but Orland anticipates that they will be forced to relocate at some point this summer.

Where is this project? Here is an exact location of the lots where we would like to build. Google Map Link . Below is a photo of the empty lots and a parcel map of the neighborhood (it has great access to a major road!).
44916076_1583803917498377_r.jpeg

44916076_1583804007573065_r.jpeg
Why am I passionate about this cause?

As a veteran youth minister and volunteer, I love seeing others who are doing what they can to reach the next generation for Christ. This ministry is authentic.  They are putting skin in the game by opening up their home and lives to the students of their community.  I want to be part of that!

44916076_1583804314459734_r.jpegAbove – my son and I (white guys in the back row!) with Orland’s group.

44916076_1583805626556390_r.jpegAbove – Joy, Orland, myself and my son Geoffrey at their home in Mahayag.

Thank you so much for reading about our cause. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions.

Matthew & Shawna Penn

Organizer

Matthew Penn
Organizer
Mexico, MO

https://www.gofundme.com/f/philippine-youth-basketball-mission-building-fund?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet

https://www.facebook.com/donate/1326060327581430/1326068380913958/

Milk Run: Mediator (Esther 4:12-14)

Shabbat Shalom!

Enter Wonderland

This is one of a series of posts called Milk Runs which are intended to provide short, clear teachings from the Bible and their application for Christians.  For more information about the series, please see the explanatory post.  Now to the regularly scheduled programming:


When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:12-14 (NIV)

The book of Esther is a little strange.  It starts with some background info that tells of King Xerxes wanting to show off his queen, Vashti, and…

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Milk Run: Trust (Joshua 14:9,12)

Shabbat Shalom!

Enter Wonderland

Image courtesy of Sarah Wilson, Sarah.Anne Photography

This is one of a series of posts called Milk Runs which are intended to provide short, clear teachings from the Bible and their application for Christians.  For more information about the series, please see the explanatory post.  Now to the regularly scheduled programming:

“‘So on that day Moses swore to me, “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.” … Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day.  You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.'”

Joshua 14:9,12 (NIV)

The above is a quote from the appeal Caleb, son of Jephunneh, to Joshua to receive…

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What is a Milk Run?

Shabbat Shalom!

Enter Wonderland

If you’re reading this page, you’ve likely seen at least one of the “Milk Runs” posted on the blog, and more than likely you’ve wondered at the name.  Each post contains a description of the purpose of the series, in that they are regular posts designed to provide short, clear teachings from the Bible and an application for Christians.  But why are they called milk runs?

The answer can be seen in  1 Peter.

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. … Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 1:23; 2:2-3

Throughout the New Testament, we see an image of Christians that receive new life, being born again in the Spirit through faith…

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Which Flag Do You Wave? — Enter Wonderland

“You carry two flags. Over one shoulder is the American flag, over the other is the Christian flag. Which do you wave?” – Dr. Alan Kemper A few weeks ago, my best friend and his older sister were arguing about whether immigrants should be expected to assimilate to American culture. The debate was well-fought […]

via Which Flag Do You Wave? — Enter Wonderland

What I’ll Say to my Children if I’m Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s

oh, dear, so well said.

God's Grace and Mom's Alzheimer's

I was skimming some other dementia blogs lately and a reader had written in saying, that though she felt guilty about it, she wished her mother would die in her sleep and not have to continue living through the pain and indignity of dementia.  I’ve heard others say things like, “I’ve told my kids if I ever get Alzheimer’s just shoot me.”

I understand where these comments are coming from, but they make my heart heavy.  I feel like these attitudes devalue my Mom’s life right now. Even though they are not specifically referencing her, they are in effect saying that people like her are better off dead. It is hard to see Mom changing and confused and upset. But she still has sweet times of love and joy, too.  And God still has a purpose for her life.

He is growing our patience as we care for her.  He…

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