Among Philippines’ Poorest, ‘Hope, Beauty and God’s Grace’ Can Prevail

By   •   February 16, 2019

More than 21,000 people heard the Good News Saturday morning at KidzFest, part of the eight-day, nine-event Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration with Will Graham. Another 30,000 came to the Saturday evening evangelistic campaign. Sunday is the last day—watch it live online at

Saturday’s events at the Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration with Will Graham began with children—lots of children—at KidzFest.

Over 21,000 people enjoyed funny skits, colorful dancers and praise music. What happened next was the best part, though. Many of the children, along with parents and grandparents, chose a new way of life after hearing about God’s love for them.

Hours later, Rizal Park filled up again as Will Graham came back for an evening outreach—part of the eight-day, nine-event Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila campaign.

The evangelist’s message Saturday night came from 1 Samuel in the Bible—about how Hannah was brokenhearted because she couldn’t have children.

“She poured her heart out to God,” Will preached. “She [gave] everything over to the Lord. She realized God was her answer.”

Saturday morning, Will Graham shared God’s love with thousands at the Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration’s KidzFest event.

One family at the Celebration, the Doroteos, know that full well. They work with a small group of former drug addicts, murderers and others who evangelize on the streets of Manila.

The group ventures out to the capital city’s streets and prisons, and some of its worst areas, including Smokey Mountain. This is not a mountain village, but rather a mountain of garbage. The term “Smokey” comes from the flammable materials that catch fire and cause plumes of smoke.

The Doroteos grew up in poverty and say they feel burdened to introduce people to Jesus.

“The problem isn’t poverty but that there’s no relationship with God,” said Mrs. Doroteo. The couple wants people to know that happiness doesn’t come from material things.

“They may suffer in this life, but they can know they won’t suffer in the next one,” she said, referring to Heaven. The couple regularly shares how to have hope, even in the slums.

In his message Saturday night, Will Graham shared these words from Jesus: “God says give me your burdens in life, and I will give you the rest that you’re looking for.”

The Bible talks of Jesus’ love for people, especially how His heart is tender toward children. As is Nerrie Dait’s, who works with the Celebration’s KidzFest program committee.

“I love children,” she beamed. Nerrie also goes to Manila’s slums, guitar in hand, and tells precious children about their loving Father in Heaven.

Nerrie listed off the issues poor children can face in the Philippines: pornography, drug addiction, inappropriate images on social media.

“They’re being abused physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually by family members and others,” she said.

“Parents are forced to use their children to pay for their daily living,” Nerrie added. “They force their girls and boys to expose their bodies in videos.”

The cycle then continues, she said, because an early exposure to sexual things can lead to low morals. Like the Doroteos, Nerrie knows God can help anyone, no matter how broken or poor.

As a volunteer at Franklin Graham’s 2006 Festival in Manila, Nerrie saw thousands of children get saved. She knows of some who are still serving God today, including a youth pastor, choir director and Sunday School teacher.

Believers from about 1,600 churches, many of which are Celebration volunteers, are thanking God that the 2019 Celebration is reaping a tremendous harvest for Christ. Children and adults.

“The Greater Pangasinan-Metro Manila Celebration is helping people hear the Gospel and that helps multiply the churches,” Nerrie said. “This will help reach more people, especially those with lower income.”

Whatever the problems in life—depression, anxiety, family issues, relationships—a personal relationship with Christ is the answer.

“They can have hope, beauty and God’s grace in their lives,” she said. “Even in poverty, if you receive Christ, you can have a good life.”

Are you feeling broken? Find peace with God today.