My husband has commented before that I live in two time zones. Half of my heart is here. The other half is in the Philippines. (If you have not read that story, you can start HERE.)
I have the opportunity to return at the end of this year with Wipe Every Tear & continue to assist with the work of providing freedom and hope to the precious girls trapped in slavery. It’s an amazing and overwhelming mission and it’s one that many people work tirelessly at both here and there. In fact, a miraculous movement has started. Teams have visited from the U.S. and encouraged girls to take a leap of faith and move into a safe house. And then those very same girls, the ones who just WEEKS and MONTHS before felt hopeless, those girls are returning to the sites of their enslavement to provide hope to friends still trapped.
I can’t speak for those that have gone before and since my initial trip. But I believe the difference for these girls is relationship. My team was able to spend time demonstrating love and friendship like some of these girls had never experienced before. We were able to show them what it looks like to be truly valued as a sister and friend, not as an object. We were able to guide them towards Jesus, simply by being with them. But even with the amazing technology we have today, long distance relationships are HARD. Facebook does not replace a real hug. Skype does not replace sitting shoulder to shoulder. And that’s why I’m going back. To hug my sisters. To encourage them. To look them in the eyes and say “Mahal kita” (I love you) and listen to them GIGGLE at my atrocious accent. I am going to strengthen those relationships so they can establish and strengthen relationships that will change more lives. And here’s the really cool part. This mission doesn’t just change these girls’ lives. It changes the lives of an entire family line. We are affecting the course of history for generations to come.
This trip we’re going to focus on outreach in the slums*. The poorest of the poor are the ones at risk. So we will focus there for a couple of reasons. One – it will be an educational trip for the Americans who have not experienced that environment and show them where many of these girls often come from. (I got to have this experience last year and it was AMAZING.) Secondly (but most importantly) – our Filipino sisters will be leading these outreaches. These are their people. It is their society and country that is affected. They will be able to use their freedom and strength to start making changes at the earliest points in this horrible poverty cycle. They will get to practice leading by leading us. And when we come back here, they will still be there. Changing lives.
I am so excited for this trip and the impact I know God is going to make through it. But I do need your help:
Prayer. I don’t put this first because it’s expected or to soften the request for money (because that’s next). My last trip brought into sharp relief that without prayer, everything else we do is…flimsy. You pray and crazy miraculous things happen. I’ve seen it. So – if you would like to be on my prayer team to receive specific requests and praises, let me know. Either comment here, Facebook me or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Money. I’m trying to raise
$3,500 $3,300 for trip expenses and plane tickets. There are a few options for this.
- Donations (of course!) Any amount is appreciated and I know God will use your sacrifice far beyond what we can imagine. There are a few options for donating:
- Paypal** – funds can be sent with my email address: email@example.com
- You can donate directly at the Wipe Every Tear page. Choose “other” in the drop down menu and put “Rhoni Wilkins December trip” in the comment section. This will be tax deductible for you. However, they will be charged a fee. (You can also mail a check made out to them with my name in the comment line.)
- You can mail me a check directly (email me for my mailing address) or a check directly to Wipe Every Tear. If you mail a check directly to them, please put “Rhoni Wilkins December trip” in the notes line. This will also be tax deductible. (Though please keep in mind, I will need to purchase my plane ticket from my personal account so funds sent directly to Wipe Every Tear, while greatly appreciated, cannot be used towards that portion.)
2. Hire me! Do you need pictures? A babysitter? Your lawn mowed? All money raised will go directly to fund this trip.
3. Tell your friends and family. Do you have a group that might be interested in hearing about my experience last year and plans for this year? Small group/Life group/Community group from church, dinner club, book club, Bunco group, beer drinking buddies…whatever…I would love to come talk to you. There are so many amazing stories to share that sometimes words on a screen cannot fully convey them.
Thank you for reading this far and for considering supporting this trip. I am happy to give you more details or answer questions either via email, comments or in person.
*I personally don’t like the word “slums”. There’s such a negative connotation for places where I have met the most remarkable people. However, Merriam-Webster website gives the definition of “an area of a city where poor people live and the buildings are in bad condition” or “a very untidy place”. The area(s) we will be visiting definitely fit the first definition. And they are very dirty and crowded and, well, untidy in general. But I have also seen some very tidy residences within those conditions.
**I’m not using GoFundMe or a similar site because of the fees involved. I know many people who have used them very effectively but I felt very strongly that it was not a responsible use of funds donated for this trip.