James Santos is one of our long-time staff at HELP Philippines in Manila. He is in charge of evangelistic outreaches to the city as well as for THE ROCK – our drop-in center for street kids and the poor living in the streets. Furthermore, he and his wife are leading the Youth House – a community that takes in young people. James harbours a deep love for the people in the streets of Manila. “My heart is burning with desire to lead more people to Jesus and to watch the love of God and his supernatural power transforming them from the inside out!”


Free ... and called!

It was 20 years ago when I first came to the Set Free Center (HELP’s drug rehab center) in Manila. Despite coming from a wealthy family, I was caught in drugs for many years: I took amphetamines, drank alcohol, was into sex, violence, gambling, I was a thief, and sold weapons ... I was literally in bondage and had now power to become free out of my own strength. There were nights when I had one nightmare after the other! I was afraid to have to die and to go straight to hell. However, when I called upon the name of Jesus in these situations, I felt that Jesus had forgiven me and he brought peace to my soul. There was hope and a true desire for transformation.

That was my condition when God led me to the Set Free Center. At the age of 25 God saved, delivered, healed and restored me, and by God’s grace he gave me new life. He helped me to make amends for my many offenses, I even finished my studies ... and then Jesus called me to take the Good News to the poor, broken-hearted and lost! God has blessed me with a wonderful wife who is also on staff of HELP Manila. We are having three great kids. Throughout the years God has never failed to provide for me financially and beyond!


THE ROCK

THE ROCK is a place in the city that we open four to five times a week to the poor living in the streets and people from the surrounding squatters. Every time we are seeing 50 to 70 children, youth and adults going in and out to eat, take a shower, exchange their dirty for clean clothes, to play, talk, to take a nap and get basic medical treatment. Through all of this God is revealing his love to them. Of course, we introduce them to Jesus, too, by talking to them one-on-one, through teaching them from the bible and through our services – the ROCfests – that we celebrate twice a month.


Miracles at THE ROCK

A lady who used to visit THE ROCK off and on, was deeply touched by God during one of our ROCKfests. While we prayed for her the Holy Spirit transformed her heart. She accepted Jesus as her Saviour and right away she got baptized with the Holy Spirit and started to speak in a new tongue. Shortly after this experience her grandchild fell seriously sick. However, she didn’t approach us for any help, but went straight to Jesus and poured out her need before him. While she was praying, there was a knock at the door. A lady was standing outside and gave her the money for her grandchild’s treatment. The next day, the little boy was perfectly okay! Her husband who has never come to THE ROCK before, suddenly turned up and asked what happened to his wife. She was so changed – instead of gambling she took good care of the children. God also touched him in his heart, and just a short while ago both of them got baptized in order to seal their newly found life with Jesus.
For more than one year we have been praying in the city. The square where we used to pray was situated right at a main road with lots and lots of traffic. Every day we had to pass this place - it was a stinky, devasteded place where even some very poor people used to live spending their lights lying on cardboard. This area has been known for drug dealing and prostitution. In the beginning we only swept the garbage off the pavement and filled a couple of garbage bags so that we could actually set foot on the place and worship Jesus in the midst of this chaos.

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Often people passing by in their cars and by-walkers would watch us. The presence of God was strongly tangible every time, and we declared many prophetic words in faith over this area. We exalted Jesus as the only King of all kings. Then heat and the rainy season came and we had to meet in other places. However, one day we passed this place by car and saw with our own eyes what change had happened. The city council cleansed it and painted it in white. Every pedestrian enjoyed the sight of this place now when passing by ... and we are determined that worshipping in this place added to the change, too.
     
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