Giving Back is the heart of our organization’s values. In the spirit of serving and helping others, each year our team travels to the Philippines to assist the local street children in support of our friends at Frontline Ministries. The updates posted on this page are direct from our team in the Philippines! Be sure to check this page frequently for photos, videos, and insights of this Giveback!
In January 2019, after wrapping up Reveals 2018 Fiscal year we donated a significant portion of our “Give Back” commitments to building the new school in the Philippines. This is a key strategy in breaking the cycle of poverty in the Philippines. The vision of Face the Children (a Frontline Ministry program) is to give abandoned or abused children an opportunity for a life of dignity, love, education, and opportunity. Read more here!
July 20, 2019: It is time again for the annual trip to the Philippines! This year Reveal has three members joining the Phillippines community, Martin Rowan, Sandy Rubin and David Morin. Unfortunately, the flight out of Chicago was delayed four hours due to technical difficulties and storms and missed the connecting flight on Tokyo but they had the plane rebooked for the next day! The team arrived in the Phillippines at 1:30 pm along with a 2 hour and 30-minute bus ride to the frontline ministries with a total travel time of 42 hours…
July 22, 2019: A busy couple days. Sunday started early with a beautiful Church service in San Pablo City, then later again in Atisan (a mountain community). Next day started with a few brave souls going for a run, then onto visiting the Frontline business center, Frontline Academy (school) and the future school property. The future school vision is amazing and it will ensure many more children get the education they so desperately need. The Bayan market is always a great way to see how the locals buy and prepare their food. But the toughest and most emotional part of the day was visiting the public hospital. From premature babies holding on to every ounce of life, to adults awaiting surgery and not being able to afford many of the medications required. Heartbreaking!
July 23, 2019: The morning started early with devotions at Frontline Academy (school) and the team was able to minister to the teachers and the kiddos. Later we helped build the stage for the new Church and Leadership training center on the main Frontline site. After lunch, we experienced a very emotional afternoon. From the smiling faces of the children, we fed in school at Baloc (the local dump-site) to the heartache seeing the families living on the dump-site. After dinner the team started preparing food packages for the kids we will see Tondo (squatter-village of Manila) later this week.
July 26, 2019: After a little down-time for the team at a local beach in Laiya we went to feed the children and serve the community of Tondo (a squatter village in Manila). There we spent time loving on them, dancing, singing & telling stories to the little kids. We were invited into the homes of some of the families, we shared the packed food we prepared for them…delicious rice, ramen noodles, fresh bread and toys we had for them from Chicago. We stayed with the people, shared some good laughs and prayed for their hearts. We gave Pastor Ruth all the beautiful handmade clothing that were given by members of Community Christian Church. We visited Pastor Ruth’s Church and loved seeing the progress of the roof on the top floor of the church building. Over 200 meals served and 75 packs of food given to families.
July 28, 2019: Aquino school is nestled in the mountains outside San Pablo city with kids walking kilometers to get to class. Many without lunch. For as little as $30 a day we are able to feed the whole school a warm meal. Rolly has had a heart for this region for some time especially after helping Atisan’s (another mountian community) kids, church and general well-being. The team played out a story written by Philippine hero Dr Rizal and directed by our own Sean-Pierre, to the kids and then handed them food. What always amazes us is how the children will eat a portion of the food provided and keep the rest for their family later. We took the Jeepney to the local church which is an attached to a parishioner’s home. So humbling to see how willing Filipino people are to share the little they have. There we had lunch – a traditional meal to be eaten with our hands – called a “boodle fight”. We spent the evening attending a local church services in Sto Nino. Once again merely an addition to a home with chairs and small stage. Not only did we get to share time with our new friends but also give out some clothes that some team members brought with them. The next day we spent some time with the Face the Children kids, which started off with a early morning run around the lake, then a pancake breakfast and a swim at the local public pool. When you think of where these kids have come from (abused, abandoned or dangerously neglected) and to see them now flourish in the Frontline program and smiling while splashing in the water, warms the heart. Slowly but surely the cycle is being broken, one child at a time!
July 19, 2018: As one Reveal team is heading back to the USA, another is about to leave. Our team is all packed and ready to head out to serve the street children of the Philippines and support our friends at Frontline Ministries. This year, we have Sean, Jeff, Jenny, Holly, Kelly, Emma, Beth, Chris, Jesse, Max, Megan, Kayla, and Martin on board and ready to serve those in need!
Day 1 – Saturday, July 20, 2018
Wow. What an amazing first day. So many emotions. It started with a visit to urban Tondo (a very underserved district in Manila) with Frontline and friends from Foursquare. We fed, shared stories, prayed and played with these incredible kids. Kids that seem happy in the midst of extreme poverty and circumstances. They brought a smile to our face when a smile was not meant to be. Later that day, after a lengthy drive, we went to a very rural area (Bautista) – which was so different from Tondo in so many ways, but ironically so similar in the desperate need for shelter, food, love, and comfort.
Sunday, July 22, 2018. Severe tropical storm Inday is on its way out, but Josie, another severe tropical depression is following closely on its heels. The rain is non-stop but that has not stopped the team from celebrating church with the Filipinos. Our team split up this morning to join City church and St Elena church in song, message, and prayer. The songs were joyous and the message was passionate. We had some of our team members courageously share their stories. St Elena church is a great story of how the Frontline outreach program, that started 5 years ago, has spurned a full-fledged Church. Sadly, we missed the church service tonight due to the bridge to Artisan being flooded- rendering it to be impassable. On the bright side, this gave us more time with the FTC kiddos at Frontline.
Monday, July 23, 2018
For a few brave souls, the day started early with a run through the Barangay. The rain had finally stopped and the heat and humidity returned. After a devotional at FBS, the team got a tour of the facilities, operations, dorms, homes, sowing shop, school and the future school site. The plan for the new school is exciting and ambitious. We also packed all the items Community Christian Church StuCo teens donated and prepared them to be shared with FTC later this week. There was a little spare time to play and love on the Face the Children kiddos in between the morning events. After lunch, the team started a project to expand the St Elena church. In the heat of the day the team successfully helped lay a sidewalk to the church. Water needed to be carried from afar, concrete and sand needed to be mixed, then carried to lay the floor. The team, working with Frontline staff and Pastor Ruben, was amazing. The project continues tomorrow. Tonight we had community dinner with all of Frontline – three of our team shared stories and testimonies (Emma, Max, and Sean) – what a treat!
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Some of the Team started their Tuesday morning with a 5:30 a.m. workout on the basketball court— the rest of us enjoyed an extra hour of sleep! Soon after we hopped on the bus with the FTC kids to Frontline Christian Academy (FCA) where we split into pairs and spoke during the devotional time in each grade. Two members of our team, Sean and Jesse, decided to start by asking the simple question, “what does God look like?” and received answers that both moved and humbled them. Our team loved debriefing after, hearing everyone’s stories and ‘God winks’ that they may have experienced.
After breakfast, we headed back to St. Elena church to give it a fresh coat of paint. Four hours and (slight) delirium from paint fumes later, we finished! The rain held out for us for yet another day and we even got lucky with the sun shining down as we headed to a feeding in Nurpa. We sang, danced, ate, and passed out clothes to each kid as we enjoyed our time there. The most interesting part of our night was seeing a water buffalo casually being walked down the street—definitely not something we’re used to seeing every day. After a pickup basketball game back at the camp, our team headed in for the night and we’re looking forward to what’s in store for tomorrow!
Wed, July 25, 2016
The trek up to Aquino school began our day. The Jeepney struggled to make it all the way up the incredibly steep and slippery road. We walked the last stretch to get to this hidden gem. As we approach we hear “Good morning, visitors…” and then we are met with smiling faces. We spent time with the kids, entertaining them with song and theatrics. We fed them hot food, called “soppa” – a soup of vegetables, rice and cut up hotdog sausage. Sadly they only get this every two weeks and it cost a mere $20 to feed 108 kids.
We then hiked to the Atisan church for lunch. Boedel-fight! A traditional meal served on banana leaves and eaten with your bare hands. Topped off with coconut. Later this evening we celebrated youth night with the teens and participated in all aspects. Our team was amazing. The night ended with feeding in the Bayan. We met the kids at Barangay Cornesta and we fed them hot food, gave them clothes that we brought with us and played out the David and Goliath story as entertainment and message.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Today was a “heavy” day. A rollercoaster of emotions. Excitement, sadness, joy, heartbreak, elation, anger, grief, bliss, helpless, sorrow…
Experiencing the local market with all its colors, smells, meat, and fruit was truly unique. Those emotions quickly changed when we went to the local dump site (Baloc) where we engaged with the families that live amongst- and make a living off of- trash. The conditions were horrendous and yet amidst the squalor, the people still invited us into their homes. From here we went to the school that services the kids in the bump site area. After some songs and entertainment, we fed them a hot meal. As in all the other feedings, the smiles of thanks broke our heart.
Straight from there, we went to the local public hospital. This is where Ariana made us all tear up. At 5 months old, prematurely born and “blue-colored” skin, needed a blood transfusion and potentially a kidney surgery. We made sure the blood transfusion was purchased and provided for, with the help of Nelia. Many other patients could not afford the medication for tomorrow so our team banded together to help pay future meds.
Community Philippines Trip 2017: