The ministry of Brand New Day began in 2009 with a weekly outreach to street children in the province of Cavite, southwest of Manila. These children and youth are living, sleeping, and working on the streets due to extreme poverty, neglect, and abusive family situations. The ministry has continued to grow as the team seeks to build relationships with the kids and tries to help them and their families through various programs. ACTION missionary Erin Johnson helped found Brand New Day and gives a ministry update:
“Though our outreach programs continue to thrive, much of our time and energy is focused on the daily life and needs of the youth in our two shelters. These are not just ordinary teenagers, but most have been abused or abandoned as young children. Most have lived a pretty wild life on the streets before deciding to enter our program to get their lives back on track. We are realizing that their previous life on the street in itself is an addiction for them. In the same way a recovering alcoholic is strongly lured by only one whiff of drink, the old life of many of these kids seems to be ever-looming in the background to haunt and draw them back to the street. In essence, we seem to be not only offering them shelter, but also running a rehab program.
“Their emotional needs are complex, too, and many display very difficult-to-handle behaviors. However, despite all this, we can really see God moving and we still feel compelled to pursue this ministry, through and only by the strength of the Lord!
“In January, JN (a 12-year-old boy) decided to leave the shelter. In early March, MM and LL (young teen girls) also left. It is always hard on the staff and other young people when kids choose to leave since we are like a family. Unfortunately, sometimes residents choose to quit rehab programs. We are praising God, though, that LL returned last week. She is still struggling spiritually and sometimes talks of running away again. Please keep praying for these three, plus TL and AL who left last year.
“Meanwhile, the other 11 youth in the shelter continue to grow in their scholastic abilities, life skills, and spiritual walks with God. Carlo, RM, and JP have worked hard this year in middle and high school, while RA and CD have begun studying upper-level ALS, a basic literacy program, while waiting for their test results to see if they can go to seventh grade in June. Our other shelter kids, along with a few other kids from the street, are in the lower-level ALS classes which are held every morning at our day center.
“On the outreach front, we still have a total of 90-100 children, youth, and adults attending our two fellowships each week. Our youth leaders-in-training continue to take main roles in leading these outreaches. It is truly amazing to see how far they have come from once living on the street! Please pray for the young men and women at Brand New Day that they will serve the Lord wholeheartedly and seek His will for their lives.”