TondoTondo is a district located in Manila. It is located directly around the Manila harbour. The population, is estimated at over 600,000 people, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Smokey Mountain is a former garbage dump, which has become green from the growth of uncultivated sweet potatoes. To this day, many people earn their living through from recycling garbage.
The Vision»How did it all start?« A question often asked when we share of what we are about to do. Sometime during the September of 2016, we were invited to join a corporate outreach to Tondo. I was not one of the people going, but that was our start. Something touched our hearts in such a way that we knew we had to come back. In December we went again, with the first experience still heavy in our hearts. We had organised a small evangelistic crusade on the Field of Dreams, next to Smokey Mountain. Several of our staff team felt a burden for the people there, which we could not ignore. We particularly felt the spiritual need. We started going there monthly, with two priorities: To share the gospel, and to worship Jesus in all kinds of different places. From our first base there we walked many kilometers, looked into many places, and explored everything which we saw or sensed. We stopped for the one who was alone, the old man sitting on the sidewalk, the mother carrying her baby, and the group of bored children. It quickly became clear that God’s heart is in Tondo and that God wanted to have us there.
We understand that God wants to transform all of Tondo. Isaiah, chapters 60-61 have become key passages of scripture to us when searching for God’s intentions:
Stench to fragrance
Violence to peace
Curse to blessing
Poverty to wealth
Oppression to freedom
The word of our testimonyRuel Dela Cruz has walked the most in Tondo. He has shared his testimony countless times and hundreds got saved by the power of God. He doesn’t get tired of worshipping in dark street corners and dirty seaside locations. His love for the people and place keeps growing.
He tells us about his experience in Tondo: »The very first time I was there, God showed me that Tondo is full of precious treasures: people! After two years, it is still the same. The people’s souls are still ready to be harvested. When I was young, I learned to be a fishermen and so learned different methods of fishing. All the methods have one thing in common, though: You always go where the fishes are.« God is calling together a team, and he is not looking for the perfect, capable, or well educated. God is calling people who are willing. Trust God and don't think that other are better suited because they have the qualifications. I have always been touched when people share their testimony and live their story. Through God's love and compassion they start sharing and reaching out to others. God’s heart wants nothing but to reach out to all those who are lost. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. Ruel and Jackie Lou will move to Tondo with their three children and a full-sized team.
Please pray with us, as this is a new big step. Pioneer situations are often attacked and challenged. We need an army of prayer warriors backing up this ministry. So it will unfold the way God has planned for it.