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Growing Deeper…Growing Wider

April 2, 2014

Transforming Lives and Communities Through Sports LET HOPE ARISE IN TACLOBAN CITY

! ! ! ! ! ! (top row L to R: Katie Campbell, Bethany Fletcher, Kelly Campbell; bottom row L to R: Chris (AIA Philippines Superman/volunteer), Totie Andes (AIA Philippines director), Shannon Hybl, Stephanie Tan, Andrew Eppes, Josue Ramirez) This picture was taken in one of the schools that was totally destroyed by the storm last Nov. They resumed classes last Jan. Thank God for UN and Red Cross who built temporary classroom for them. The school kids had a great time playing, learning sports and hearing God’s love and forgiveness with us.

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Growing Deeper…Growing Wider

April 2, 2014

Please read what our teammates from the US learned through their partnership with us here in the ministry: We had a long, exciting, exhausting, life-changing, eyeopening week in Tacloban. There are so many stories to be told and moments to be recounted. The week consisted of sports clinics, partnering with our sister ministry GAiN, spending time with the athletes at Leyte Sports Academy, precious times with our team pushing each other to Jesus and growing each other, and just helping to bring joy and healing where we could. It was such a special week that surpassed all expectations. God was working so powerfully from the moment we landed in the Philippines. One of my favorite moments was when a guidance counselor at a school was introducing us before we ran a sports clinic. This is what he said to the students: "We are no longer victims but survivors. Victims have no hope, but we have hope. These friends are here to teach us new sports to help our healing process. We do not want to forget what happened but learn to move on. We are survivors of Yolanda." What powerful words. On Monday, we all left for our separate destinations, some going home and others going on to other countries. The seven of us team members left the Philippines changed from a week ago. It's hard to describe the devastation and destruction that we saw physically, emotionally and spiritually. But the brokenness was met with resilient hope and joy. We are so thankful to have been a small part of healing for Tacloban and the surrounding cities. Our only desire is that being present in times of trial pointed God's beloved children in Tacloban to the only One who can give eternal hope and love. Stephanie 

"This trip to the Philippines was breathtaking on so many levels. From day 1 to the last day my heart was violently dealt with by the Lord all week. He had work to do in me.  But that work started many years ago. Shortly after I saw the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, my heart was burdened for those who encountered significant disaster. This trip to the Philippines was a culmination of the call that had been on my

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Growing Deeper…Growing Wider

April 2, 2014 many years. Arriving in Tacloban with this team was sort of a dream until reality hit after seeing the wake of Typhoon Yolanda. This storm shredded this city and left massive holes in the landscape and in hearts. Families were taken. Homes were annihilated. Boats were transplanted on shore. The scene was heavy. Our team however was ready the task, and despite the shock and awe, God helped us hit the ground running. Through sport clincs, food distribution, and some group time with local middle and high school kids we truly helped bring God's presence to those who were not experiencing it.


"God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit" David writes. That verse rang so true while we were there. We saw God comfort kids and bring them joy almost without hesitation. Most kids competed at first with backpacks on as they had just come out of class. Hope is rising in Tacloban.


 One of the more sobering memories of the week for me was visiting a mass grave and makeshift morgue the last day in Leyte. We so often have our world and culture today hide death, making it seem like a distant reality. But this visit to this place made it seem very real. The smell of death permeated the air. It was so pungent that our team had to cover their noses with their shirts and even with that we could only stay a couple minutes because it was so tough to see and smell. But seeing death made me also see my life and the opportunity I still have to make a difference for Jesus. By his mercy I am still here and I want to make the most to life a life worthy of his death for me. May you also life a life taking advantage of every opportunity to make an eternal difference in our world."
 -Andrew

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Growing Deeper…Growing Wider

"

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April 2, 2014 "The week and Tacloban were amazing for me. I have wanted to go to an area of devastation for a while to help with relief work. I can't imagine how badly these people were hurting. We were able to bring a moment of joy through sports and to give them hope for the future because of Jesus and what He has done

I can't even explain the amount of devastation we saw, but I know that God had us there for a reason. It was really cool to see how Totie Andes (AIA Philippines director) loves the people of Tacloban. The athletes at Leyte Sports Academy, where we were hosted all week, work harder than most athletes I know...they woke us up at 5:30 every morning because they were lifting weights. On the last evening, we had a large celebration dinner with all the athletes. They don't usually get large meals or even eat til their full most days, so that was a huge blessing to them."
 -Katie

! "Oh, Tacloban. Well, the week in the Philippines was not what I was expecting.  I had it in my head that it was going to be this epic, world-changing trip. But the trip, for me, was about moments. Moments with that girl who is standing by herself and letting her feel known, moments "

a town devastated by the storm and feeling the weight of their brokenness, moments laughing with Steph, Katie, Kelly, and Shannon on the bathroom conditions, moments seeing precious, smiling kids running after our group and following us everywhere, and moments on the beach

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Growing Deeper…Growing Wider

April 2, 2014

on our day of rest worshiping Jesus with freedom and anticipating His return.
 God allowed me to connect with a few girls every school we went to. These girls loved life and had hope despite their surroundings and circumstances. Each of them had a story about how they experienced Yolanda. The whole trip I tried to think how I would have reacted to the storm and how I would feel after and I could never imagine it. The Filipino people have experienced so much oppression throughout their history from Spain and Japan to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanos yet they smile all the time. On the way home I was thinking about why God allowed me to grow up in America in privileged conditions and why he allowed the people I met in the Philippines to grow up there in those conditions. Yet He equally loves each of us and has the best for us? I can't wrap my mind around it, honestly. One huge thing God convicted me of is that I haven't been faithfully praying for the Filipino people like I should. Especially now after seeing their brokenness I have to be praying for them."
 -Bethany

" 
 "This was probably the hardest mission trip I've ever been on due to the devastation Tacloban has seen due to the typhoon. There is heart wrenching devastation and loss in this community! But I feel that the town and people have hope...hope for a future, for restoration and hope in God. I was amazed at this.
 The kids who came to the sports clinics were able to forget for a moment what they have been through and laugh and be active. When we first got there, I just wanted to get our hands dirty and help with the cleanup - but I realized that being with the kids and playing sports with them was just as important. We got to help them feel like kids again.
 The AIA staff are doing amazing things in the Philippines and I'm so happy Totie let us be a part of it at the Leyte Sports Academy."
 -Kelly 5


Growing Deeper…Growing Wider

April 2, 2014

! There are so many more pictures and memories to share from our amazing week in the Philippines. Here are just a few. Please continue to pray for Totie and the AIA ministry in the Philippines, for healing for the people of Tacloban, and that hope would continue to arise from a city that is desperately crying out for their Savior.

 

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Growing Deeper…Growing Wider

April 2, 2014

! !

There is   a   lot   of   improvement   now   in   Leyte   a4er   5   months.   The   roads   are   passable   to   vehicles,   cleaning  up  opera=on  are  doing  great,  building  temporary  schools  are  doing  well,  the  residents   are  building  and  repairing  their  houses,  many  are  trying  to  rise  up  from  the  calamity,  churches   started  to    go  back  to  their  regular  ministries  but  s=ll  there  are  many  people  who  are  hoping  for   relief   goods   and   provision   to   build   their   houses   and   communi=es.     Leyte   needs   more   help,   others   said   that   it   will   take   2   more   years   for   this   province   to   comeback   again.   The   people   need   jobs  to  earn  money  for  their  daily  needs  and  sustenance.    

!

I talked  to  some  guys  there  and  told  me  that  many  of  their  children  are  s=ll  having  trauma.  We   need   more   chris=ans   who   can   minister   to   the   survivors   who   are   having   trauma   and   needs   spiritual,  emo=onal,  physical  and  psychological  healing.  Please  pray  that  we  can  help  con=nue   to   minister   to   the   people   there   holis=cally   as   God   provides   resources:   manpower,   tools,   and   finances.  

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We appreciate  your  partnership.  Con=nue  to  join  us  in  prayer  and  in  giving  as  the  Lord  Jesus   leads  you.  

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Together we  can  help  fulfill  the  Great  Commission  through  sports,  

Jose “ To=e”  Andes  

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You can  visit   hMps://give.cru.org/give/View/2390022?pp=   For  Canada,  please  call   1-­‐855-­‐722-­‐4483.  Our  account  there  is:  To=e  and  Lucy  Andes  200700.   aiaandes@hotmail.com    40  Scout  Borromeo   Quezon  City,  Philippines

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Athletes in Action in Tacloban  

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