A team of students from Point Loma Nazarene University recently traveled to the Philippines for a three-week LoveWorks mission trip. The students constructed two brand new playgrounds, restored part of a local church building, and built relationships with victims at the Shechem Home, a residential care facility and assessment center for children who have been trafficked and sexually exploited online.
The team began serving at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in Manila by constructing a new playground for local children and families.
“It was amazing to see the teamwork that played a huge role in building something that the children could enjoy with one another,” said Brian Balisi, PLNU student and LoveWorks participant. “From here, we knew that there was so much in store for us in the next coming days of our trip.”
Next, the team traveled to Cavite to serve alongside General Mariano Alvarez Church of the Nazarene church members as they painted and cleaned the building. They also played games, performed skits, and sang songs with the local children in addition to visiting the homes of children sponsored by Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
“This was a moving experience,” Balisi said. “We were able to witness how the generosity of the church has truly shaped the lives of these children and their families. It was amazing to see how the work of God has impacted the lives of the people in Cavite.”
The team also visited Rowenas River of Life Community Church to learn about its work within the Rowenas community, how members planted the church, and about the church’s clean water program.
The students led children’s ministry by singing songs, playing games, and performing skits with the Rowenas children.
“Our time in Rowenas was an eye-opening experience as we saw how the church brought love and support to the community,” Balisi said.
Finally, the team worked at the Shechem Home to build another playground and paint colorful murals on the walls.
Despite the language barrier between the children and the LoveWorks team, everyone was able to build relationships, sing, and play games together.
“Our time with the children was truly memorable,” Balisi said. “It has been a blessing to be able to experience life with such an extraordinary group of people. But the greatest privilege was seeing how God could unite Nazarenes from such different parts of the world. The LoveWorks team felt the passion and joy of the Filipino people. More than that, they experienced the grace of God.”