Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shooting video for organizations that help women out of prostitution & sex trade


Saving women/children from the global sex trade...this is what my friends' organization is all about. A few weeks ago I contacted my good friend Chris Kanemura in Hawaii who just recently started up a non-profit organization called Made in Hope with a friend here in the Philippines, Michelle Tolentino. It serves to empower women who have been rescued from the global sex trade/human trafficking and prostitution, by providing education, skills training, and faith strengthening so that they can be transformed and have a sustainable livelihood. The organization that does all of this in the Philippines is called Samaritana, whom they partner with. Samaritana is an established organization in the Philippines, which is has been helping woman out of prostitution for over 20 years now. 

What's in your hand?...My pastor, Nolan Galido, had been saying this recently to encourage us that we already have what we need to be used by God to serve others. I called Chris really wanting to help out somehow, but I wasn't sure what I could do for them. It turns out Made in Hope and Samaritana needed a video to help bring awareness to their transforming ministries. Of course, I am far from being a professional videographer, I am a hobbyist like the thousands of others out there, but in my hand was a decent camera and some editing software. I felt that this was a way I could bless them and at the same time hone my skills. Lynnette, whose hobby is make-up, also had a chance to bless the women by doing the make-up for all those being interviewed for the video. That was in her hands.

Powerful stories of changed lives...were shared by different women as we filmed yesterday. Lynnette and I went out to Samaritana from 8:30am - 400pm, we interviewed amazing women who have stepped out of prostitution, loving staff workers and the dedicated directors, Jonathan and Thelma Nambu, who run the organization. We were so blessed to be able to record their stories, and of course to simply spend the day with them. The women were so excited to have Lynnette do mini makeovers on them, and asked her to come back in November to do a make-up workshop for all of them.

Award winning documentary?...probably not. But, I'll be creating a few videos (a short teaser, a med 3-5 minute promo and a longer 10-15 minute video) from all this footage. For now I'm mainly focusing on a 3-5 minute promo for Samaritana's anniversary in November, and a video for Made in Hope to promote their cause. I'll admit, that this process is scary, since I haven't done anything this involved before, but I hope that they can use it as tool to bring awareness and inspire others to support their organization as they literally transform lives from the inside out. I'll post the video as soon as it has been completed.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Hoping to Be Foster Parents...& Eventually Adopt

This was originally posted in Lynnette's personal blog (


Since I (Lynnette) was 12, I’ve always wanted to adopt and one day have my own orphanage. The passion started due to my up bringing as I grew up somewhat like an orphan living from different family to family. 

Now living in the Philippines, day in and day out we see so many street kids. The thought of fostering & adopting would linger in my heart quite often- When I see the street kids I just want to give them all a bath, feed them, & most importantly love on them… I want to love the kids and help raise them to be disciples of Jesus.

For some time now as a married couple DJ & I have been thinking of fostering to adopt but never really pursued it. We were really encouraged & inspired by reading our friends Charlotte & Alex's story of their fostering experience on Facebook. Soon after, we decided to pursue it as well.

As a side note: DJ & I have about 12% chance of conceiving. We were heavily contemplating whether to get checked here in the Philippines to pursue possible procedures, but the costs were too high. Our missionary insurance doesn’t cover the check ups or any possible procedures. The check ups alone are $300. However, we are not going to completely close that door…perhaps in the future we will pursue the check ups & possible procedures… if it’s God’s will. In the meantime fostering to adopt really speaks to our hearts.

Last week after researching on some fostering organizations, DJ & I emailed an organization to inquire about being possible foster parents to adopt.  We were not sure if we are even eligible being that we are US citizens, but in faith we sent them an email anyway and let God handle the rest. 

Recently, we got an email reply from the organization and notified us that a Social Worker will be contacting us to set up an orientation/interview/next step meeting. Receiving the email was exciting but super scary at the same time. We are not sure if this is the direction God wants us to take or even if it's the right time or season. But trusting in God to show us the way in all of this, as we are open to whichever direction He wants us to go. 

Happy to share that our orientation/interview has been set for today Sept. 21 at 10am. The day before my hubby's birthday. The organization didn't say whether we are approved or not so we are praying that God will close the door if it's not the direction at this initial meeting.

Please keep us in prayer for God's hand to be all over this and to close the door if this is not the route. Praying for more confirmations and that this decision is not out of emotions as it is a HUGE life changing commitment to make. DJ & I will be committing to do intentional devotional & prayer time for this specific direction for the duration of 1 month.