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Volunteering for the Values Education ministry in the Philippines was a step of faith for Sister Jenalo. She had always dreamed of being a teacher, but didn’t finish school.

After receiving encouragement from her pastor, she became a volunteer teacher at the local public school! It has boosted her self-confidence, given her greater purpose, and drawn her closer to God. This ministry changed her life, community, church, and especially the lives of the children she teaches about God's Word.

Hearing Sister Jenalo tell about her journey reminded me of my own journey. When I was growing up, my parents were missionaries in the Philippines. I had the opportunity to join my dad, Bob Craft, going from village to village doing evangelism. This gave me an acute awareness of the need for the Gospel.

In between missionary assignments, Dad pastored a church in Alabama and operated a roofing business. I loved spending time with him at work sites, being up on the rooftop, looking out across the horizon and seeing the bigger picture. I also saw the hard work required to build a roof that will withstand a storm.

Upon graduating from high school in the Philippines, I returned home and began university studies focused on the Bible, sociology and community development. This prepared me for jobs working with youth, adults with disabilities, small businesses and government.

During that time, I continued to hear Dad share about his passion, vision, and missions philosophy of training and equipping local Christians to reach their people for Christ. I sensed that God was calling me to aid the Church in advancing His Kingdom. So, I took my own step of faith. I left a job I loved and started seminary.

When Dad invited me to visit the Philippines recently to see how God was moving around the world, I had the same sense of amazement as I had from being up on the roof. I could see the scope at which God was working and the necessary details to do the job well. As I complete my degree at Moody Theological Seminary, I am excited beyond measure to join the Reach A Village team. I have learned about many different ministry models, and I am convinced that partnering with Spirit-filled, God-called local champions like Sister Jenalo is the best one.

As we partner together, we are all building on the foundation that is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. As you partner with us, please continue to pray that the work laid on this foundation will thrive and bring glory to His name.

Ellis Craft

International Ministry Director for Southeast Asia

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