Participants: Jeff Reich
Series Code: LM
Program Code: LM000149A
00:38 On this program we are once again
00:40 taking you to the country of The Philippines.
00:45 For years Laymen Ministries has used boats as our lifeline,
00:48 to get the needed supplies to people and patients
00:51 to and from the remote villages of Mindoro.
00:55 We have three projects in remote villages,
00:58 Binuangan, Pinagbyanan, and Agbalite.
01:02 Taking a boat from the port in Mamburao
01:04 to the first village Binuangan can take three hours,
01:07 but if you have to walk which is the only other option,
01:10 it can take six to eight hours
01:12 depending on weather and personal stamina.
01:16 Around 17 years ago
01:18 our first boat was the smallest gift
01:20 powered by a five horsepower Briggs
01:22 and Stratton engine.
01:24 Taking people and supplies out in a boat
01:26 like this on the open South China Sea
01:28 was extremely dangerous to say the least.
01:31 So we modified it,
01:32 putting in more wave protection on the front and sides,
01:35 just try to make it safer.
01:37 But since the boat was so small
01:39 we can only carry a handful of people
01:42 and a few supplies.
01:44 We finally had to build the new boat,
01:46 this boat started out as a used fishing boat,
01:49 but after sometime we realized
01:50 we needed to make some other improvements.
01:53 So we raised the captain seat for better visibility
01:56 and upgraded the engine,
01:58 powered by a 4-cylinder Isuzu diesel engine.
02:01 This faithful boat
02:03 over the years halt thousands of pounds of food,
02:06 building supplies and missionaries
02:08 back and forth over the open South China Sea.
02:12 We're standing on the Mamburao River
02:15 and then in front of us here
02:16 is the Laymen Ministries Express II Boat.
02:20 We use this boat
02:22 because it is the only link
02:25 between the headquarters here in Mamburao
02:28 and our remote villages out in the mountain,
02:31 we can by using this boat,
02:33 we can deliver supplies
02:35 and missionaries
02:38 to the villages and we pick up patients.
02:43 And in this case
02:44 we brought back two missionary patients.
02:48 The boat is extremely valuable
02:52 for the work that we are doing here.
02:55 And it has served us well since 2005,
03:01 we purchased it as a used fishing boat
03:05 and remodeled it to use for our purpose.
03:10 However we've patched all we can patch
03:13 and we patch patches.
03:15 So we're now in the process of constructing a new boat
03:21 which should be finished by November of this year.
03:27 The boat as I mentioned was a surplus fishing boat,
03:32 we have a surplus 4-cylinder diesel engine
03:37 that drives it.
03:39 And we're extremely thankful
03:43 for the safe use
03:45 that we have received from this boat
03:48 on the South China Sea,
03:49 which itself is very treacherous,
03:53 especially the route that we have to take
03:55 around the island
03:58 goes in an area called the Cavity Passage.
04:03 The Cavity Passages is wicked.
04:07 Many times we encounter gale force winds
04:12 and three, four or more meter waves.
04:17 Many people don't like to travel there
04:22 but God has protected us for these last 18 years.
04:26 And we have never had an incident
04:32 that was dangerous.
04:44 We're operating
04:46 in a very critical salt water environment
04:50 which is hard on the boat.
04:53 Our boats are all handmade locally.
04:58 And the pounding of the waves
05:01 and the abuse the boat takes
05:04 from the South China Sea wears on it.
05:08 As you can see we have
05:09 some very serious problems here.
05:14 Thank God, these are all above the waterline.
05:18 And we have fiberglass
05:22 the outside of the plywood
05:25 on this boat but it's getting to the point of danger.
05:30 And we're hauling families,
05:33 patients and we do this trip every two weeks.
05:38 So it is not safe anymore
05:41 for us to operate Laymen Ministries Express II.
05:45 And we are extremely grateful that we can build our new boat,
05:51 this one was a surplus.
05:53 But we're building a new boat,
05:55 bigger and stronger than the existing boat
06:00 because our number of co-workers,
06:03 teachers in the village continues to expand.
06:06 So we're hauling more things back and forth,
06:11 both people and supplies.
06:19 We are now at the home of Sawlie,
06:21 the master boat builder
06:23 who's been building fishing boats here
06:25 in Occidental Mindoro for the last 30 years.
06:28 And we just stopped here at the house
06:30 before we go to the building site.
06:33 We have workers who are applying epoxy.
06:38 So the plywood
06:41 is being prepared here,
06:46 in preparation for applying to the boat.
06:50 Soon as the ribbing is finished,
06:52 we'll find out as soon as we get there.
06:55 We are on our way now
06:56 to the actual boat construction site
07:00 and with me is our boat captain and Mario Hernandez
07:06 who's been with us now 17 years.
07:10 And Mario is also overseeing
07:14 the construction of our new boat.
07:28 Our new boat will be 30,
07:31 will be 11 meters long,
07:34 plus the extension...
07:39 Oh goodness, I forgot now
07:40 what the extensions are called in English.
07:42 In Tagalog.
07:44 Yeah, in Tagalog...,
07:46 but in English it's the stern and the bow, right?
07:51 So this is going to give us quite a bit more capacity.
07:57 Sometimes now when we go to the village
07:59 to deliver the teachers at the beginning of the year
08:02 or pick them up,
08:04 we have to make two trips.
08:06 With this we should be able to make it
08:07 all in one trip
08:09 as well as hauling supplies for,
08:11 and it appears that ribbing
08:16 is approaching a completion.
08:19 So we should be putting on the siding very soon.
08:24 The bottom of our boat is 40 inches wide,
08:29 it's one tree,
08:31 that was one hardwood tree that was dug out
08:36 and it forms the bottom of the boat foundation,
08:41 and then on the bottom of that
08:44 we have a 3/5 inch,
08:49 4/5 inch...
08:55 Coral protection in the event
08:59 we should ever run into coral,
09:02 it will hit on the,
09:06 the wooden 4/5 inch that runs the entire 33 feet.
09:11 Very important we learned from our old boat.
09:15 It had a very deep V bowl.
09:21 So that the boat sit deeper in the water.
09:25 This boat on purpose
09:27 we have a very wide base at the bottom.
09:31 So that the boat will sit up higher,
09:33 especially when we load it down
09:35 with building materials and people in it,
09:40 but what's very important for people to understand
09:43 is everything here started as a tree.
09:48 All of the lumber you see here started as a tree taken
09:52 out of the forest,
09:53 and cut to whatever size is needed,
09:58 and all of the work is handwork.
10:01 We can't go to a store here
10:03 and say I want this size lumber,
10:07 it doesn't exist.
10:08 So we set the engine in the boat
10:11 before we started the ribbing
10:13 because it's so heavy and bulky,
10:18 it's dangerous to move it in and out.
10:22 We are very thankful that we have had donations come in
10:27 for the construction of the boat
10:29 and we have very faithful supporters
10:33 who understand the work we're doing here,
10:35 the necessity of having a boat,
10:38 so we genuinely appreciate people
10:41 praying about and if God leads them
10:44 to help us complete the construction.
10:54 And donations did come in,
10:56 and the boat construction moved forward.
10:58 Soon the workers had the sides on
11:00 and started the finishing touches.
11:04 The New Lifeline Laymen Ministries Express
11:07 would be ready to launch.
11:09 It has ample seating
11:10 and a large storage area for cargo.
11:13 The day of the launch took a large front end loader
11:16 to move the boat to the water.
11:18 Soon the boat was home free and running smoothly.
11:21 We want to thank all of you who made this miracle possible.
11:25 A new era for Laymen Ministries has begun.
11:29 This lifeline involves a lot more work to keep
11:32 all the food orders and supplies box labeled
11:35 and packed properly,
11:36 so they can be shipped to the villages.
11:39 All the supplies have to be put in reverse order.
11:41 So when they get unloaded at the boat
11:43 they're in the right order,
11:45 this way the right supplies for the right villages
11:47 is in its proper sequencing for each village.
11:51 Otherwise the supplies
11:52 for one village will be on top of the supplies
11:54 for another village.
11:56 Confused, well it can be
11:58 without a good systematic method.
12:01 As you can see there's a lot of work
12:02 to keep the missionary stocked with their needed supplies.
12:06 As I looked at this boat,
12:08 I was reminded how bad its condition is.
12:11 This is going to be the second to the last trip
12:13 before this boat would be retired.
12:16 I just hope it makes it to the villages
12:18 and back with no incidents.
12:20 The next trick is getting this boat
12:22 out of this crowded harbor.
12:24 There's a lot of boats packed in here
12:26 with their anchor rope sprawling all over the place
12:29 and the last thing you want to have happen
12:30 is to have a rope
12:32 get tangled up in your propeller.
12:34 The boat crew often have to jump into the water
12:36 to ensure the boat does not get tangled up
12:38 with the other boats.
12:40 The fishermen in these ports are often rough characters,
12:43 often sporting hangover
12:45 so you want to prevent any tempers from flaring.
12:49 Soon we are off headed for the South China Sea.
12:53 Even though this was typhoon season,
12:55 we were blessed with a relatively calm day.
13:00 It's a three to four hour boat trip
13:02 depending on weather from the port of Mamburao
13:04 crossing Paluan Bay to the first village Binuangan.
13:10 We were again blessed
13:11 because the water at the beach
13:13 was relatively calm.
13:14 Sometimes the waves can be 12 feet high,
13:17 pounding on the shore,
13:18 literally make unloading the boat impossible.
13:23 After we anchored the boat,
13:24 we started the unloading process.
13:29 In this village we have an active school
13:31 for the Iraya tribe.
13:33 We have K through seventh grades
13:35 in this village.
13:36 The graduating students from the seventh grade
13:38 then moved to our boarding academy in Mumburao.
13:42 Many of the buildings here are older.
13:44 Staff housing and classrooms are right next to each other.
13:47 On the top of the hill behind these buildings
13:49 we have two more classrooms.
13:51 The students start their day with some exercises
13:54 and then group worship.
13:56 Following the melody of God
14:00 Following the melody of God
14:06 The students memorize Bible text
14:08 and answer Bible questions.
14:16 After worship all the students are required
14:18 to brush their teeth.
14:19 They're all encouraged to have good hygiene.
14:26 We have teachers that come from many places
14:28 around the Philippines and other countries as well.
14:58 Okay, now.
14:59 I originally was born in Haiti and I migrated, if you will,
15:04 to America 1n 1974.
15:07 And so that's where I grew up.
15:09 And that's where I live currently,
15:13 but, actually now I live here in the Philippines
15:17 being part of one of the team members of LMP.
15:20 Okay, now I leave.
15:27 How did I come about with Laymen Ministries?
15:30 Seems like its a full circle.
15:32 In 2006-2007, in there,
15:37 I applied with Laymen Ministries
15:39 and for some reason at the time I was searching
15:43 because I really desired to be a missionary
15:45 but at the time I wasn't too sure what to do.
15:48 And then I also applied at a place called Wild Wood,
15:53 that's for medical training.
15:55 So, I decided to go there
15:58 because I figured
16:00 if I have some kind of medical background,
16:02 I would be better used in a mission field.
16:04 So I went on to do that.
16:06 Then shortly after Wild Wood, I went to my first mission,
16:11 my first long term mission trip in Thailand and then there,
16:16 right before coming to...
16:18 going to America I met a Filipino pastor
16:21 and he invited me to come to the Philippines.
16:24 And so I came, I was doing my own thing
16:27 as a medical missionary visiting many people
16:30 doing blood pressure and whatnot,
16:32 and all of a sudden, it's like,
16:34 I was not satisfied enough
16:36 and I felt very lonely to tell you the truth,
16:39 because I am going solo.
16:41 So now right before...
16:44 I'm trying to, not really giving up,
16:46 but a friend of mine,
16:48 I asked for a phone number to some friends
16:50 I wanted to just get some American connection,
16:54 or some English connection,
16:56 she gave me the friends email address,
16:59 and also the email address of Jim and Moni Webb.
17:06 And basically I'm like "Jim and Moni Webb"?
17:08 Who are they?
17:09 And they're with Laymen Ministries.
17:11 I said, "Laymen Ministries!"
17:12 And that brought back 2006-2007,
17:15 so I sent him an email and then he wrote,
17:19 I sent him an email just to say "Hi!"
17:21 and left him my email address, and if he would like,
17:25 if he had time to please contact me
17:28 because I just wanted some American connection.
17:30 And he called in,
17:32 would you know that God had great plans
17:34 and after many, several conversation here I am,
17:40 5 months later back in, Laymen Ministries,
17:45 so I am very excited to be here.
17:48 Mom, one, two, three.
17:51 Mom. Hmm.
17:53 Okay, the next word,
17:55 the next letter is the letter N,
17:59 and what sound does the N make?
18:02 Mae Celestre works with the older students.
18:05 It's amazing to see these older students
18:07 who have come from an illiterate background
18:09 advancing in their comprehension.
18:13 Mae and her husband Boying
18:15 have been with our ministry for many years.
18:23 It's time to say goodbye
18:24 to the missionaries at Binuangan,
18:26 pull up anchor and head to the next village.
18:38 It takes about one hour in good weather
18:40 to go from Binuangan to the village of Pinagbyanan.
18:47 Edith and Lowell Ramos
18:48 are village leaders in Pinagbyanan.
18:51 This village has a small protected harbor.
18:54 Again the same thing is repeated,
18:56 the supplies for the missionaries
18:58 are unloaded.
19:03 Okay, this is the village of Pinagbyanan.
19:06 This was the second village Laymen Ministries entered
19:08 after we started to work here in the Philippines.
19:10 We came here about 17 years ago to this location,
19:13 and somebody attempted to start
19:15 trying to build a school over here in this area,
19:18 and there was two like two partial walls erected
19:20 when we came and they looked like they had been there
19:22 for quite a while.
19:24 Nothing was really happening.
19:25 And I remember Jim and Moni Webb and I came here
19:28 and we looked over the village,
19:30 and looked over the school property
19:31 and thought about starting a project here.
19:35 There was a lot of challenges
19:36 with getting this particular village up and running,
19:38 and by God's grace
19:39 that building that was started there
19:42 turned into one of our first mission houses
19:44 and classrooms here.
19:45 And since then we've expanded into a really beautiful campus.
19:48 The land is deeded to Laymen Ministries,
19:52 Philippines for the purpose of working with the Katatubo.
19:55 So the Katutubo and Laymen Ministries
19:58 has kind like joint agreement on this land as a lease.
20:01 And a lot of things have happened
20:04 in the last 17 years.
20:06 The village used to be a small simple village.
20:09 We had challenges with the school at first
20:11 because a lot of the students
20:13 like in Agbalite were older students
20:16 that came there and so they only like made it
20:18 through a few years,
20:19 but then the village started to really grow
20:21 and there was not only Katutubo that moved into the village
20:25 but some Visayan and Tagalog Filipinos
20:28 and some of those people brought in alcohol, tobacco,
20:32 movies and some very less than desirable type of movies.
20:37 And so there was a lot of like worldly influences
20:41 started coming into the village.
20:42 The government built a public school
20:44 right close to our school over here.
20:46 The teacher shows up about half of the time
20:49 but the parents don't really understand
20:51 the value of education,
20:53 so whether going to a school like ours
20:55 which has a really high standard,
20:56 we expect a good attendance versus just going over there,
21:00 you get pass, the teacher shows up half the time.
21:03 Some of the parents have sent their students
21:05 over to the public school.
21:07 And what's happened is some of them
21:09 actually come back now and are going to school
21:11 because they said, you know,
21:12 the teachers here really love us
21:14 and this school is more serious the one that we're operating.
21:19 All the villages have a flag raising ceremony every morning.
21:33 The teachers do a lot of one-on-one
21:35 with the younger students.
21:36 Edith being a college level teacher
21:39 knows the importance of the groundwork
21:41 that needs to be done with these younger students
21:43 to get them started in English,
21:45 her husband Lowell was testing some of the older students
21:48 while we were there.
21:55 This campus has been built and rebuilt over the years.
21:59 These two room schoolhouse was constructed many years ago
22:02 and was built to withstand typhoons.
22:11 Kimie teaches the class on one side,
22:13 while Johan teaches on the other side.
22:16 Every year we have student missionaries
22:18 that come to us from around the world.
22:34 My name is Johan Lachenal and I'm from France.
22:40 I'm 18 years old.
22:43 So at first I did not really know
22:45 what to expect when I came here
22:47 because I heard many different things,
22:51 but I did not really know what to expect, that,
22:58 I he knew that I would be in the remote place,
23:02 so, I was not really surprised.
23:08 So I think many people worried me so I was,
23:14 I would say ready for that.
23:17 It was still a culture shock
23:20 because it's very different from my place.
23:26 At the end of the day
23:27 there's nothing like a home cooked meal,
23:29 prepared over hot coals in your dirty kitchen.
23:32 Don't let the term dirty kitchen scare you.
23:34 It's what the Filipinos call an outdoor kitchen.
23:41 The next morning we made our way to Agbalite,
23:44 our most remote village.
23:50 Again we were blessed with calm water.
23:52 This beach is exposed to the open sea
23:54 and has a very steep and rocky shoreline.
24:01 The children at the school
24:02 were just starting their flag raising ceremonies
24:04 when we arrived.
24:10 Spirituality is a very important part of our schools.
24:14 In the villages
24:15 there are so many heartbreaking situations,
24:17 birth defects, children getting hurt,
24:20 our missionaries or doctors,
24:22 counselors encourage us as well as teachers.
24:30 So typical the child has a deep cut
24:33 but he does not cry,
24:34 he does not show much emotion
24:36 and stays calm while being treated.
24:41 The children are taught to lead out
24:43 like this girl praying before class.
24:47 This girl was born with spina bifida,
24:49 Laymen Ministries paid to have her treated
24:51 so today she can function normally.
24:55 You should be, you should be loud
24:57 and then you have the same action
25:00 that is five points.
25:10 Isabelle is another teacher
25:11 who has been with our ministry for several years
25:13 and is the village project leader.
25:16 Back in 2004 and 2005 my wife Christy,
25:20 and my youngest daughter Naselle worked in this village
25:23 for six months as missionary teachers.
25:32 Christy was now wanting to find some of her old students,
25:34 right now a girl named Naomi.
25:36 I'm looking for Naomi's house.
25:39 Some of these students dropped school years ago,
25:41 reverted to their parents' old lifestyle
25:43 but they still could speak a little English
25:45 which they learned when they were just kids.
25:48 Going into this village will give you an idea
25:50 how the Iraya tribe lives.
26:04 This lady was indeed Naomi, some 12 years earlier
26:08 she was one of my wife's students,
26:10 her short time of education had made some changes,
26:13 she and her children were clean.
26:15 But unless one embraces a God given education,
26:19 the cycle of poverty and ignorance will remain.
26:36 Christy had one more mission to find a girl named Marie
26:40 who is also a former student of hers.
26:48 Along the way we met
26:49 some of the parents of our students.
26:52 Many of these young adults were in the mountains
26:54 tending to their high land rice fields.
26:57 These people are semi-nomadic, so change comes slow.
27:01 This is Marie's house,
27:03 she was my student when I was here.
27:06 And I thought I would find her here
27:07 but it seems like she's sleeping in the mountain.
27:11 Sometimes you don't quite understand
27:13 the answers to the questions you give.
27:16 Christy prepared some plastic bins with soap,
27:18 toothpaste and simple cooking supplies
27:21 for all of her former students as a token of love.
27:26 Malany, her former student came by and pick one up.
27:30 The impact of missionaries is forever.
27:45 Laymen Ministries has projects in seven different countries.
27:49 By people like you supporting these projects,
27:51 we are able by God's grace to keep the lifeline flowing.
27:56 In our next video,
27:57 we'll show you our boarding academy
27:59 and the fruits of our labors in these remote villages.