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Sara-Lena Thomsen

From: Germany
GM Missionaries since: 2018
Field: Manila,Philippines

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138 Project Number
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As a baby, Joel* had tuberculosis and pneumonia. When I saw him for the first time, he was nothing but skin and bones. His weak hand clasped my finger. I will never forget this moment! It was very unlikely that he would survive, unless God did a miracle. So we prayed for him. What else could we do for him? To finance a special milk powder was a drop in the ocean. And it was very likely that even in spite of a medicine which he received he would have died. But God did a miracle.
Joel* is alive!
He lives in the midst of a slum, in which animals with sick skin and abscess stray around. A place where naked children play in unhygienic puddles and use the garbage as their toys. A slum, where many people live in cramped conditions in only little space, in which a fire can rapidly spread out or in which the next typhoon can easily cause flooding. A slum where the main employer is the dumped garbage that lies about everywhere and is sorted in the scorching heat by the bare hands of scavengers.
In the midst of this misery – Hope. Life. Through God. And a smile. For me a crucial experience. (*Name changed)
The Philippines are are a country of diversity – not every slum is in such a condition as described above. The capital city of Manila also offers a sight of rich skyscrapers aside of the slum areas. A country of contrasts.
The Filipino people inspire me – they love to smile. Especially the poor touched my heart. They are surprisingly generous, friendly and cheerful. Remarkable! I have come to love the Philippines and want to serve there in the slum areas – but I also go there to learn from these special people!

My Vision: Pag-Asa – Hope never gives up
„Pag-Asa“, that's the word for “hope” in Tagalog, a language spoken in the Philippines. I am working there as a missionary. I want to touch people with the love of God and bring hope to the hopeless. Jesus offers eternal life. In Him, there is a hope that cannot be shaken and that is an anchor for the soul – even in the midst of misery and despair. Just as the rainbow appears when sunshine meets the rain, God brings hope and colour into the lives of people in difficult circumstances when they are touched by his light. That's what I want to convey by building relationships, seeing the individual, sharing the Word of God and praying for people. I want to support them in their walk as disciples of Jesus. I want to be a person who takes time, has an open ear and encouraging words for people in difficult circumstances. Apart from that, I will also use my creative gifts such as dancing, drama, painting and music to inspire and foster Filipinos, especially the young generation. This way, they can process bad experiences, be strengthened in their self-confidence and meet God. In addition, it is my concern to help the poor to discover and use their own potential and resources. This approach of development aid can uncover opportunities to the improvement of their living conditions and help them to make a better future for their children. Teaching structure, planning, goal setting and thinking ahead can be a big help in this endeavour. And sometimes, it is the spontaneous encounter with a homeless or a group of children whom I lead in a song and to whom I tell a Bible story, which is the task at hand.
But it is only in the foreseeable future that I can see how much of all this I can really put into practice, as I am just getting started with these ministries. Nonetheless, I have already gained experience in Bible studies, house to house visitation and Creative Arts in the Philippines which worked very well. I am excited what God has prepared for me to do.
All glory and honour belong to Him!

My journeys to the Philippines
How does a girl who grew up in the quiet countryside in northern Germany decide to move to Metro Manila, a city with millions of inhabitants?
I was born on December 2, 1992. After graduating from school and finishing my A-Level in 2011, I spent a year as a volunteer in Ghana. From 2012-2013, I attended an international Bible college (IABC) in Denmark. With a mission team from that college, I took part in a mission trip to the Philippines for almost six weeks. The country never left my heart! After another short stay in the Philippines in March 2017, I lived there from October 2017 until the beginning of June 2018 and took a Christian training with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Manila and Northern Luzon, which already included missionary work. After that, I spent two months mainly in Manila to seek orientation for the future and work alongside different missionaries. Now, I have been in the country of the 7107 islands again since January 13, 2019, sent out by the missions agency Globe Mission. I am excited what I will experience with God this time!

I have a hope
I have a hope!
I have a hope that in Jesus Christ there is love, forgiveness, healing and eternal life!
I have a hope that this is an anchor for the soul which remains unshakable in the midst of misery and despair!
I have a hope that this message raises the hopeless from the dust and out of desperation!
I have a hope!

I have a hope that out of the litter of life God creates beautiful things!
I have a hope that there is healing for the sick, comfort for the brokenhearted and freedom for the captives!
I have a hope that poor be made rich, because in Christ are hidden all treasures of wisdom and
I have a hope!

I have a hope that one day in heaven, the tears of all who are mourning for their dead will be dried!
I have a hope that they will meet them there again!
I have a hope that there is a place where all suffering and crying will come to an end!
I have a hope!

I have a hope unshakable!
A hope everlasting!
Hope never gives up!

Pag-Asa – Hope never gives up!


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