Transformed life: Philippines

BY REV. CHRISTINE SAUDER


2 Timothy 4:1b-2a, “I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season …”

Eden Collantes, now 18 years old, is the youngest of nine children. She grew up in a neighborhood called Smokey Mountain Village in Butuan City, Philippines. One might picture Smokey Mountain Village to be a beautiful mountain site, but Eden’s home was the garbage dump, named for constantly smoking trash.

Eden’s parents made a living collecting trash. Her life was changed when Willy Abrao of Ahon Ministries, an International Child Care Ministries (ICCM) project, started visiting her house. (Ahon Ministries focuses on holistic child development for children who live at the garbage dump.) When Eden was 10, she joined Ahon Ministries and was sponsored through ICCM. At the age of 13, she became a Christian and in her words, “God set aside my problems and gave me peace in my heart. Through the love of God, I changed.” Eden was baptized. She is the only believer in her family and the only one of her siblings to continue her education.

As a high school student, Eden fasted and prayed seeking direction for her future. God revealed He wanted Eden to be a pastor. At first, she protested, telling God she wasn’t good enough for that role. But after reading 2 Timothy 4, she was convinced by the Word of God that this was His plan.

Eden is now a first-year student at Light and Life Bible College in Butuan City. Her family no longer lives at the dump. She sincerely thanks God for people like the Ahon staff, the Bible college staff, and her ICCM sponsors. The Lord completely transformed Eden’s life and she is truly thankful.