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Terrorism helps ministry grow in the Philippines.

1/11/07 Philippines (MNN) — The threat of terrorism in the Philippines helped World Hope’s program there grow.

World Hope’s Ann O’Dell is the director of the child sponsorship arm called ‘Hope for Children’. She explains that literacy among the B’laan people was their only defense against land-grab scams. In 1999, they launched a primary school to help bring literacy to the region.

That was well-received, but then came the challenge of what to do with the children who were ‘aging’ out of the system by their middle school years. As there was no secondary school, many of the students had to travel to another area, often crossing through dangerous rebel-held territory.

Because of the heightened rebel activity on Mindanao, the villagers were understandably concerned over the safety of their junior high aged children, but options were few. They decided to build their own secondary school.

With the help of a World Hope donor, the school building was not only finished at the end of 2006, it also lent legitimacy to the school’s function under the government’s eye. O’Dell says, “Starting in April, which is when their new school year will start, they’re anticipating having 80 to 100 students. They will add grades each year, so this next year, they’ll have 9th grade, and then the following year, 10th grade.”

O’Dell shares this need: “Pray that the Gospel will continue to be spread throughout the B’laan people group and that as our children are graduating and moving into adulthood, that they will continue to be obedient to what God has called them to do, and that the resources will be there for them.”