It’s very common to find brothels in the Philippines. With 1 out of 3 people in the Philippines being abused in their own homes, often sexually by their own family members, it is no wonder why prostitution and perversion run rampant all over the country.
In these communities where brothels are found, in bars or clubs where women and children are prostituted, you will often find tons of kids running around in some near slum. These kids are often dropped off to other family members, like grandmothers, while their dad is addicted to drugs or alcohol, and the mom is a prostitute selling her body to strangers every night.
In the Philippines, 21% of the country lives on less than $5 a day; prostitution, child trafficking, selling organs and drug dealing are often the only means of making a living.
In this one slum in Metro Manila, our team came back to follow-up on a location we have been consistently working in for the last year. As we entered one week, I wondered where all the adults were. At one point, there were a thousand people that used to show up for community programs; this time there were only three hundred.
The Holy Spirit told me that these are the ones that are very hungry, so I should I make sure that I give them all I can give in teaching them. I looked at the crowd of a few hundred and noticed everybody was under the age of thirteen. Most of them were probably eight years old. As I looked around, I asked myself where all of their parents were.
I asked one of the locals, where their parents were; he replied by saying their parents are drug addicts or prostitutes, so they just leave their kids there. The more I looked at them, the more I saw that there were absolutely no parents around.
One kid came up to me and called me by name. He remembered every time we met and every place he had seen me. He even knew my long-term staff by name and could call out all the first time missionaries we were with. I asked the Holy Spirit how this kid knew so much about us; the Spirit told me it’s because we are their only parent figures. We left such a big imprint in their lives, that they never forgot us. Most of the time, I am in the back doing some kind of behind-the-scene logistic. It moved my heart, that what I thought was such a short moment in my life, made such a great impact in someone else’s.
That day I preached to hundreds of kids expecting they would learn something that they would have never learned unless I opened my mouth. I believed at that point that the Holy Spirit was using us with a purpose to transform these kids’ lives.
As the gospel went forth, all of them came to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the Lord told me to preach longer. In the book of Acts chapter two verse forty, it is written that Peter preached with many words. The Holy Spirit was guiding me to preach with many more words. I started teaching all the kids that just gave their lives to Jesus, how to hear from Him. We had our YWAM teams split the children into small groups, just like we do in Church or in our Discipleship Training School. Together, we started teaching them how to listen to the voice of God, to put their distractions aside and to listen to what the Holy Spirit was saying to them.
Soon after, dozens of kids start coming to the front and telling me that Jesus told them to forgive their parents.
God told them to focus more in school; the Lord was telling them to stop being a bully, children that have never picked up a Bible before were learning about the character and nature of God.
In another basketball court, in the same slum, in front of hundreds of other kids, the Lord was telling me that none of the kids can sleep because they are haunted by demons and nightmares. With all the open doors they were exposed to, from their moms being swapped by other men in the neighborhood, and the father’s picking for garbage as they sell and smoke drugs, doors to the devil were open everywhere.
I asked all the kids that were having terrors and nightmares at night while they tried to sleep, to raise their hands. One of every three kids there raised their hands. Again, I repeated, “I see visions of people waking up in the middle of the night, because they are having bad dreams.” Even more kids raised their hands.
I asked them all to come up to the front so we can lay hands on them and pray for freedom from demons haunting them. We declared over them, as they prayed with us, that Jesus already paid for the price of their freedom; their freedom from fear, their freedom from terrors of the nights and demons having power over them.
Later I looked out into the crowd, and I saw dozens and dozens of kids falling asleep in the arms of our missionaries and the local church members. These poor slum kids not only had to live with the trauma of their parents being addicted or prostituted and sleep on concrete floors with open sewage all around them, but now the devil had been taking away all their sleep at night. Satan wants all those that he seeks to destroy to have zero peace in their life.
It is a joyful moment, yet sad, when kids from a slum can finally sleep at night because the power of Jesus set them free from demons that haunted them and their broken family for most of their lives.
- Pray for restoration of the broken families all around the world living below poverty lines giving their lives to illegal drug and human trafficking.
- Pray for freedom of the billions of children around the world growing up, not knowing their Father in heaven and living the grips of Satan’s deceit.
- Pray for the Gospel to run swiftly through all the communities and households of the world where people have been taken captive for generations.
*Photos by Chasidy Delgado