Children's TeamIt is no secret that we love the people of Asia; their simple courtesy, their respect especially for the elderly, and their recognition of the importance of family and social relationships, all speak to the same values that we share. But the Filipino people really have to be the sweetest that we have ever met. They greet you so spontaneously with their shy smiles and twinkling eyes and can’t do enough to make you feel cared for and completely at home.

The main purpose of our visit to the Philippines was to meet the TWR team and spend some time with Ruthanna and Jenn, our Project Hannah staff. On our arrival we were welcomed with a “tour“ of the new TWR office, in single file, walking forward into a room and then backing out. Due to cost constraints, they recently relocated from the core business district of Baguio City to a house high up on the hillside. This two storey building, which probably has less total floor space than the living room of our apartment, provides office space for twenty one staff, two tiny studios, a kitchen and a meeting room and is home to the caretaker of the property.

Philippines TeamI was in awe on hearing the extent of the work that is accomplished from this humble space by such dedicated people. Take the children’s program, for example, which is aired weekly throughout the Philippines. In order to produce this program, they write the script, translate it into two other languages, compose the accompanying songs and set them to music, gather their little band into the four foot by six foot studio and produce the track, before recording the entire program. Did I mention that they also change their voices for each character they have created?

With their own program distributed for broadcasting, each staff then must step in to translate and read scripts for the many other programs that are produced. Even the very shy, retiring accountant has become comfortable in front of a microphone. This team now broadcasts in five different Filipino languages as well as their English programs which are available even in Malaysia.

That however, is only the radio component of their work. Much of their time is spent providing listener follow-up, mainly using text messages and field visits to local churches, schools and providing workshops and seminars to encourage leadership development. I was truly humbled by such selfless dedication in such meagre surroundings.