Impact Stories

First Bajao Kindergartener to Attend College

Sixteen years ago, Anna Mandalani began attending our very first kindergarten class.

She is a testimony to how educational support has helped a tribal Bajao girl stay in school and eventually go on to attend college.

Anna married our Bajao Pastor Jelbin, who graduated from our 7-month Oral Bible School. Pastor Jelbin now pastors the Bajao church and home churches in the Bajao village of Apo.

Today, Ana has two children and helps her Pastor husband grow the Bajao Christian ministry.

anna mandanlani

Parents Believe in Children’s Future

bajao children - graduates

Each year at our Kindergarten graduation, Patrick or Shari give an encouraging commencement speech. Telling the young graduates and their parents, “Someday, a Bajao will become a doctor. Someday, a Bajao will be an RN. Someday, a Bajao will be a teacher. Someday, a Bajao will be a Pastor.”

The parents would look at us in disbelief, as though saying, “You don’t understand. Our children can never achieve such high aspirations. We are Bajao.”

In 2019, our empowering statements finally changed the mindset of the parents. On a surprise visit to the Bajao village, the Department of Social Work employees spoke with the parents of our students. The parents expressed their gratitude for their children’s education from  SERV Ministries.

When asked what their aspirations were for their children, the parents said, “They will be doctors.” “They will be nurses.” “They will be teachers.” “They will be pastors.” The parents had finally gotten the message! Their children can now live and realize their dreams. They too can achieve great heights and succeed like other Philippine countrymen. 

The Department employees started crying and tearfully said to the SERV Ministries team, “Don’t ever leave the Bajao people! Please always keep helping them.

Bajao Children Attract Attention of National Board of Education

The public-school educators could not believe that these clean, well-behaved children were Bajao. Over time our Bajao children began excelling academically and caught the attention of the National Board of Education. Members of the Board came down from Manila to Davao to meet our children and tour their village classrooms.

Through your donations and prayers, history is being made by educating and teaching about the Lord.

Our First College Graduate

Jonathan is the first Bajao in the Philippines’ history to graduate from college in 2019. We are so proud of Jonathan, who has shown our other Bajao students that through education, they too, can succeed both in school and in life.

We have successfully guided high school students to begin attending college.

Jonathon was employed by the mayor’s office in Davao. This is memorializing Jonathon, who went to be with the Lord in 2024. 

SERV Ministries Brings Medicines to Tsunami Survivors

Just two weeks after the tsunami in Indonesia, SERV Ministries shared and transported 500 lbs of U.S. surplus medical supplies and medicines that were stored in our home pharmacy in the Philippines. A team of four ministry leaders traveled to Banda Ache to coordinate with the United Nations Emergency Response team to provide treatment and care to survivors.

Just weeks earlier, 89 boxes of U.S. surplus supplies were packed in homes in the United States by friends and families who have volunteered consistently through the years without knowing beforehand the exact need. Your donations and prayers will provide the necessary resources to do the Lord’s work. God’s provision and timing continue to amaze us.