Impact Stories

"And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
- Hebrews 13:16

First Bajao Kindergartener to Become Teacher

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.

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

Today, at the age of 27 and mother of a 4-year-old girl, Anna is attending college to earn a degree in Secondary Education and teach the national language of Tagalog in the public high school system in the Philippines.

anna mandanlani

Parents Believe in Children’s Future

bajao children - graduates

Each year at our Kindergarten graduation. Patrick or Shari would give a commencement speech and tell 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. We can never do that. We are Bajao.”

In 2019, our empowering statements finally took hold of the parents. On a surprise visit to the Bajao village, Department of Social Work employees spoke with the parents of our students. The parents expressed their gratitude for the education their children were receiving from S E R V 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 it! Their children could be anything anyone else in their country could be!

The Department employees started crying and tearfully said to the S E R V Ministries team, “Don’t ever leave the Bajao! 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 through their village classroom. 

History is being made and the culture among the Bajao are progressing.

Our First College Graduate

Jonathan is the first Bajao in the history of the Philippines to graduate from college in 2019. We are so proud of our Jonathan and he has shown our other Bajao students that they too can succeed in school. 

We currently have 45 Bajao in high school and two more high school graduates who are now attending college.

Since 2006 we have had kindergartens in the villages. Our children are growing up looking forward to the day they can wear a uniform “like the other kids” and go to school.

S E R V Ministries Brings Medicines to Tsunami Survivors

Just two weeks after the tsunami in Indonesia, S E R V 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 volunteered consistently through the years without knowing beforehand the exact need.  God’s provision and timing continue to amaze us.