Serving through missions, Kids for Kids Jones, Cariaga helping people in the Philippines

OC alumni are making a difference around the world, and two recent graduates are already making life better for people in the Philippines, both physically and spiritually.

Ryan Jones and Peter Cariaga, who both graduated from OC in May, spent the summer working with rural villages in the Philippines to help improve their quality of life.

They overcame their share of obstacles to serve. Toward the end of the summer, Peter was hospitalized with Dengue Fever. For Ryan, the summer almost ended before it began. He planned to go to the Philippines with several other people, but all of them had to drop out.

“Met with some frustration, God taught me something about listening to Him,” Ryan said. “I never found other teammates to go and thought about just calling it off. But through prayer and discussions with others, I decided I would go on my own. In the end, the trip was better because I was much more flexible to fit the roles that were needed of me. I had searched for the right opportunity for mission work for years … and I found it.”

Ryan and Peter preached and taught in several Filipino schools during their stay. They also assisted Peter’s father, Salvador, a Philippine missionary who is a 1983 OC alumnus, with the Kids for Kids program he and other Christians started to establish self-sustaining churches in impoverished areas.

Many people there earn less than $1 a day, so a goat can have a dramatic effect on their economic welfare. Through the program, children are given pregnant hybrid goats, many of which are larger than native goats and provide more milk.

Children make a profit by selling some of the milk and offspring. They receive calcium and protein from drinking the milk, which improves their health.

Salvador and his partners monitor the process and provide technical assistance when needed. By sharing the offspring, the Kids for Kids program can continue to grow and help additional families.

Ryan, an electrical engineering graduate, also installed a solar panel and electrical wiring for Estrella, a widow in a remote area on the island of Cebu.

“Estrella is one of our hardest working goat raisers,” Salvador said. “She lives in the middle of a wooded area, far from her neighbors. Through goat and worm farming, she is paying for her son’s education. Thanks to Ryan, Estrella has electricity. The children living with her can now study their lessons at night.”

“God taught me several lessons about trusting him and about how my talents and skills can be used for His kingdom,” Ryan said. “I was put into contact with dedicated Christians on the other side of the world, which expanded my view of the church and Christ’s kingdom. I truly value the experience I had and hope to go back sooner rather than later.”

By Ron Frost