This page is dedicated to our ministry for the 120,000 precious people of Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines.
If your heart is moved to help us provide the need for food, shelter, clothing and medical supplies for the precious poor of Bantayan Island, 100% of your gift goes towards helping the people of the Island. My wife Marissa and I are already fully self supported. We need only your help to bring the Love of Jesus Christ in practical ways to the people of Bantayan Island. Thank you for your generosity. As we give your gifts to these dear ones, we will tell them your name and that you cared enough about them to send this gift for them personally.
Rob and Marissa Robinson, Teach The Word Ministries Inc.
If you have noticed, I have been absent from posting articles on BPU for the past few days. We have been exploring a new ministry opportunity in the Philippines on Bantayan Island.
Bantayan is a small atoll just off the coast of Cebu, about 7 by 10 miles in size with approximately 120,000 people. The island is largely unspoiled by the rest of the world. When you step foot off the ferry that brings you from Hagnaya Cebu to the port at Santa Fe on Bantayan, you feel as if you have stepped back in time at least 50-60 years.
As a boy my parents took me to Hawaii in 1965 and I remember the island looking somewhat similar to parts of Bantayan Island. Coconut woven nipa huts line the fishing villages along powdery white sand beaches, glistening with crystal clear aquamarine waters.
The clear water is so shallow around the area beaches of Santa Fe that you can walk out onto the soft sand bottomed coast at least 100 yards and not have water come up past your waste.
Walking along the pristine beaches, talking to the native fishermen who still make their living by the sea, you have a sense that you are among a very unique people. Although they are extremely poor and lack even the most basic necessities of western culture, they have a wonderful joy and a smile that never departs their beautiful tanned faces.
As you many know by now, Marissa and I returned from Bantayan Island to Talisay in Cebu a few days ago. It was one of the most fruitful experiences of our lives and the doors of opportunity continue to open every day since we returned. Already a great outpouring of support from those who have read our recent post on the new Ministry Opportunity on Bantayan Island have started to come in. We received immediate financial support within hours of the posting of the article and video on this web site, as well as Teach The Word.com.
To those who responded so quickly, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your loving help. We return to Bantayan Island on January 19th to give away your gifts to the people. We can’t wait to see their smiling faces and tears of joy as they realize that someone far away in a corner of the world they know nothing about, really cares about them.
In our friendship with the people of Bantayan Island, we were struck by the fact that they have such great peace and genuine joy despite possessing very little materially. When the Lord first created us, He sat on the central throne of our heart that had no equal with anything else in human life. There were no other distractions from things, there was no desire to posses anything else except God. He was all and more than enough to satisfy the deep desire of the human heart.
This morning as we are here in the Philippines, we drove our scooter over to the local Mc Donald’s for breakfast. Each day there are gathered all around this restaurant, dozens of street children who wear tattered and dirty clothes. Many of them are orphan’s and have no homes. They are hungry, dirty and desperate for someone to love them.
As Marissa and I sat near the front window, one thin young boy with no shirt or shoes peered through the window at me as I faced him. As I looked into his beautiful dark brown eyes I saw a glimpse into his soul. The Holy Spirit then spoke to me as He very often does when I am here amongst the people. “Help Him”.
It is the same voice, and with the same words that I hear over and over each time I am near any of these who have such desperate needs here.
I told Marissa that we should go back up to the counter and buy food for the three small boys that we had seen near the front window of the Mc Donald’s in the 30 minutes we had been there. As we took the bag of three breakfast sandwiches out to the children, their faces lit up as though we had brought them the most precious gift they had ever received. One by one they came towards me and bowed in respect, grabbing my hand and placing upon their forehead in honor of myself and Marissa. “Thank you sir, thank you maam”, each one said to us.
As they took the sandwiches and began to gulp down what seemed as if it was the first meal they had eaten in days, others came to join them from around the corner.
With our return to the United States from Bantayan Island, we have renewed excitement over the events that have transpired over the past few months.
The people of the island welcomed us with open arms and told us that our coming to the Island was an answer to their long awaited prayers to the Lord for help. After the destruction of their homes by a typhoon in 2006, most of the Nipa Huts that the islanders live in were never repaired.
Unlike American homes that have complicated and expensive structures, the dwellings of the people in the fishing villages on Bantayan Island, have simple structures made from Coconut trees and Bamboo.
We discovered that we can repair partially destroyed homes for about $500.00 and completely rebuild a new home for a little more than $2,000.00
Having completed phase one of our ministry to the people of the Island we return to the United States to raise the support that will be needed to return to Bantayan Island this October.
We already have a ministry team on the ground on the island preparing and gathering the materials that we will need to begin the construction of many new homes. Once we have raised adequate funds to start the construction of new homes, we will return to the Island later this year.
For those of you who have already sent us your financial support while we were on Bantayan Island, you can see how those funds were quickly put to use in the second video we produced while on the island called: “The Children of Bantayan Island”, seen on our web site: www.bantayanisland.org. We were able to help over 40 families and open the door to all of our future ministry to the people because of your generosity in giving even while we were still present on the island.
To our friends who pray for and support us financially in our ministry to Bantayan Island, we sincerely thank you for all that you are doing for us on an ongoing basis. Without the continued monthly support of people just like you, it would not be possible for us to return to Bantayan Island in the next few months to continue our ministry to the people who need our help so desperately.
Like many of you, I have been following the events in Japan with great interest and many prayers. The needs of the people on this island community are also great and their suffering is unimaginable. Whenever we see events like these in Japan, it reminds us that there are people all over the world who really need our help. Because of the great amount of news coverage on the major networks, Japan has been receiving a tremendous amount of financial and human aid. We are grateful to the Lord that He has called so many thousands of people around the world to send their help to these people who are worthy of as much assistance as we can give them.
After four months of praying, waiting, and hoping in the Lord, it is our great privledge to report that our home has sold and is in the final stages of escrow. In order for Marissa and I to be able to make our move to Bantayan Island permanent and be available to minister to the people of the Island, this final step had to take place. Please continue to pray for us as we wait for the final approval and close of the escrow in the next two weeks.
After escrow closes, we will be packing our things in a storage container and heading back to the island.
We appreciate those who have stood with us during this long process and have continued to pray and support us. Your love and encouragement have meant so much to us. The work of ministry would not be possible without your commitment.
Unfortunately, some of our supporters who had been sending in their offerings to help us with the ministry on Bantayan Island have ceased to support us. Perhaps it is the financial difficulties of our economy or that some other problem has prevented their support. We understand that sending support for the Bantayan Island ministry while we are still here in the States may be a difficult concept to grasp. After all, why do we need funds for the people if we are still here in the U.S.? Our hopes were that support would continue to come in while we were back in the States selling our home and finalizing all the details of our move. That way, when we returned to the island we would have a pool of funds to immediately begin to help the people of the island.
After one of the most stressful and busy six months of our life, our home in the states is finally sold and we are on our way back to the Philippines.
On July 7th we return to Bantayan Island to continue our new ministry to the people of the tiny island that is to be our new home. A waxing American economy has caused all Christian ministries to suffer from donor decline leaving the future of missionaries such as ourselves in uncertain times. We hope and pray that the Lord will touch the hearts of many to help us in our efforts to reach these needy people with everything the Lord has planned for their lives.
Look for a large increase in articles, photos and updates from Bantayan Island and the happenings from this tiny tropical atoll to be forthcoming beginning next week as well as the first part of July. Rob plans on including many hundreds of stunning photo’s from the Philippines and Bantayan island that will amaze our readers with the rare beauty of these 7,200 islands and the amazing 93 million people who inhabit them.
After nearly six grueling months in the States, we have finally returned to Bantayan Island where life has taken a soft slumber reminiscent of village life in the Philippines one hundred years ago.
The sale of our home completed, we packed up our few belongings and made the 20-hour journey to our tiny seven by ten mile island atol that is to be our new permanent home. I am writing to you today from our small rental home along the shores of Santa Fe Beach, on Bantayan Island.
Many of you who receive our daily updates on your Amazon Kindle, are aware of our ministry to the poor of Bantayan Island in the Philippines. About one year ago, my wife and I moved permanently to this location from the United States in order to ministry to the needs of these desperate people.
As we have become more acquainted with the dear people in our little village where we live, our lives have become intertwined and knit together day by day.
A young mother next door to our home, has a new baby boy named “Gerard” who was born with a condition called “hydroencephalitus”, or “Water on the Brain”. This condition places pressure on the brain and can cause death or severe brain damage.
If we can obtain surgery for baby Gerard this next week, a “shunt” can be place in his brain that will drain the fluid and release the pressure on his brain. Gerard can then lead a normal life and grown up healthy and strong.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Recently on my Facebook page, I have made a fervent appeal to all those who are listed as “Friends”, to come to the aide of a young woman and her newborn son on Bantayan Island in the Philippines. Little “Gerard” was born with a condition called “hydroencephalitus”, or “water on the brain”, that causes pressure to build in the skull, and can cause death or brain damage. If this child can obtain surgery quickly, he can be rescued from death and lead a normal life. For less than $2,500.00 we can obtain the life saving surgery needed for little Gerard.