Our Ministry to the
of Bantayan Island
headed by Pastor Rob and Marissa Robinson have a new work in the
Philippines on the Island of Bantayan.
If you would like
to become a co-laborer with us in reaching the
120,000 precious people of this remote island,
You can click on the "Donate"
Link below to make a safe and secure online donation.
The Word Ministries appreciates the generosity of people around the
like you who help us continue to make it possible to give the Gospel of
Jesus Christ, The Word of God, Food, Shelter, Clothing and Medical
Supplies to these amazing people of Bantayan Island.
Many of the poor
remote island live in Nipa Huts constructed of
the materials that come from Coconut Palms. Most are very old and
deteriorating and provide little or no protection from the elements.
The average family
on less than 500 Pesos, or about $10.00 per
month in supplement to their fishing trade that supplies fish and
seafood. Despite the fact that they are extremely poor, without running
water, sewage disposal, or adequate food, they are a peaceful, happy
and humble people that will melt your heart when you meet them.
article was written by Rob on December 20, 2010 after his return from
Bantayan Island the week before:
If you have
have been absent from posting articles on Bible
Prophecy Update 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
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
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.
roads traverse the island near the coast displaying a deep green canopy
of coconut palms as tall as I have ever seen. Three wheel
“Trisikad’s” meander slowly under human
power up and
down the curving roads of the island carrying natives to the wet market
in Bantayan Town, the port of Santa Fe, or to the other side of the
island town of Madridejos.
once in a while the striking
contrast of a white face breaks the pattern of hundreds of beautiful
brown ones as an Amerikano or European foreigner zooms past on their
scooter or bicycle. There are only a few foreigners who live
permanently on Bantayan Island, but when you see one it strikes you as
odd amongst so many who seem to belong here perfectly.
On one particular
morning last week, my wife and I walked amongst the
nipa huts of a seaside fishing village and began to talk to the humble
people who live there. My wife is a native Cebuana from the nearby
island of Cebu. She speaks the local language of Bantayan and easily
converses with the willing souls who step out of their shanties to
welcome us as friends.
As I stood there
listening to a language that I know very little of, I
gazed into the home of the precious lady who stood with a bright smile
speaking to my wife as if she were a long lost friend. What I saw
stunned me. Barely a standing structure at all. A home small and thrown
together from miscellaneous native island materials. A dirt floor, no
running water, hand made palm frawn beds. Cooking utensils
outside upon open wood fires, heating the days meal. The nutty smell of
the smoldering coconut shells used for fuel carried me back a hundred
years in my mind to an imagination of what it was like here before any
white man had walked these shores. Yet I was standing there
today. It was 2010, not 1910, yet nothing has changed much from the way
that the people of Bantayan live their daily lives. Except
it is much more difficult to live life on Bantayan Island than it was
The fish are not as
plentiful, there is little money to buy rice, none for a medical need.
Yet the incredibly beautiful children frolic in the blue waters, jump
for joy in the green jungle, without a care and always with the biggest
smile I think I have ever seen on a child.
I stood in my flip flops trembling and weeping uncontrollably. How is
it that such beautiful people exist in this place and no one comes to
their aid? I handed three ladies standing now in front of us, all not
more than 5 feet tall, 100 pesos each, or about 2 dollars.
lit up with joy as if they had in their hands the winning lottery
ticket for a million dollars. 100 pesos would buy their family enough
rice for days, they felt instant relief. No worries for their small
children for at least awhile. There would be rice and perhaps a few
scraps of fish, and that was enough to be thankful for. This is the
miracle of Bantayan Island, the people are so very thankful for even
the smallest measure of human help or kindness.
As we walked slowly away from our new friends, I continued to cry for
several minutes until it hit me that we had the power to change their
lives with very little effort. We had been praying about where the Lord
would next have us minister after being the pastor of a two small
churches in Arizona for the past 14 years.
My wife has always had a heart for her own people, though she came
alone to America many years ago and made a hard earned life for herself
and the money she sent home to her family. Now just as much an American
as I, we both felt a burden to go somewhere that help was needed, but
This is our island
now. We decided during those seven days of revelation that it would be
our turn to come to this tiny island and give as much as we could to
make Jesus known and show His love to a people who are in need of so
I am writing to you now about 15 hours ahead of your day. It is 5:15 pm
on Monday afternoon in Cebu, about 12:15 am Monday morning in Arizona.
While you sleep 120,000 precious people dream of a better life. Not the
kind that an American dreams of where they hope to own a nice four
bedroom house and at least two paid for cars. These dear ones dream of
a home that has a door, windows and a floor. Not made from wood or
concrete, but the raw materials of the local coconut tree, woven
together into walls complete with a palm woven roof. They dream of a
little meat with their rice, and that they would not have to travel to
the local well for water to wash their dishes. Perhaps someday someone
will help them, their hope springs eternal and joy never departs their
This is the first edition of an ongoing story that I hope to be able to
tell you right up until Jesus comes for us all.
I will continue to publish articles on Bible Prophecy Update and my
other Bible Teaching web sites, but from this moment on, my words will
originate from an island in the Philippine sea.
Bantayan Island is a place out of time where ministry really means
meeting the basic needs of people’s lives. I suspect that
reaching these precious people with the message of Jesus will be
relatively easy. I foresee that just spending time here making new
friends and telling them of the Saviors sacrifice will cause hundreds
or thousands to turn to the Lord with willing hearts.
Just as important,
when we love these people in Jesus name, we will truly be loving Jesus.
When we feed them and cloth them, build new homes and provide medical
supplies for their families, we will be doing it to the least of these
to whom Jesus loves so very much.
If reading about these wonderful people stirs your heart to action, you
may also know the joy of participating in a work that has such far
reaching and eternal consequences. Paul wrote that although one might
do the planting, as we will be doing on Bantayan Island, others will
come along such as you, to help water that seed, insuring
growth. Both those who plant and those who water the seed will
participate in the same reward when Jesus comes for us and gives out to
each laborer His reward.
You may live in New York City, Miami Beach, or Winslow Arizona, but if
you help us water the seed planted here and it growns into a crop of
human souls, you will share in the reward of seeing Jesus delight when
He comes and finds us serving the least of these…
For information on helping us with this new ministry to the people of
Bantayan Island you can follow the link at the end of this article to
see a short seven minute video on youtube showing what the island and
the people of Bantayan are like and how you can co-labor with us in
this important ministry.
Watch for future
updates here as we share with you what the Lord is doing on Bantayan
Island and the amazing stories that will come from ministering to these
continue to Bless you as you serve Him by supporting those who minister
to the lost.