Andy, a youth pastor in the Philippines, remains hopeful despite news reports predicting that more than a million young people in his country will lose jobs or miss the opportunity to be employed due to the pandemic. He is determined to inspire the young to stay positive and trust God.
“We must not lose hope amidst the pandemic,” Andy says. “God’s promises of blessings remain true and he has great plans for each one of us, especially the teenagers.”
Like the young people he serves, Andy grew up in poverty. He got involved with the wrong crowd and abused drugs and alcohol. But then he met the Lord through a Bible study and his life changed dramatically. He went to seminary and now serves as a leader at a Compassion partner church.
Before the pandemic, Andy had started several youth-focused programs that were forced to be put on hold due to the restrictions. Nevertheless, he continues to mentor and encourage the young people during these fearful and uncertain times, telling them, “You are the Lord’s treasured possession. Stay focused on God and continue to build your relationship with him.”
M-jay, a 16-year-old Compassion-sponsored boy, is grateful for Andy’s efforts. “We have our online discipleship class every Monday evening and I am never absent,” he says. “He is really a good example and an inspiration to us. Through our online discipleship meetings, we are taught to always pray, read the Bible and trust God.”
The same wise lesson is shared by Compassion throughout the Philippines. A recent survey revealed that the top concerns among church partners are lack of finances, shortage of food and unemployment. But when asked how they are handling the crisis, the youth answered profoundly: by praying, reading the Bible and trusting God.