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Relying on faith

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Five years ago Philip Rego woke after a vivid dream he believes was led by God.

Within hours he had organised necessary immunisation shots and purchased a plane ticket to Haiti. That same day, he flew more than 1,700 miles to get to the impoverished Caribbean country.

Mr Rego thought he was going there for a brief period to help and feed the needy.

However their demands were so great, he ended up staying and forming a charity, Feed My Lambs Ministry.

The organisation has since been instrumental in bringing about change to a coastal town called Montrouis, located about an hour northwest of the Haitian capital Port au Prince.

It operates a functional orphanage for rejected and disadvantaged children, as well as a clinic which provides medical care for nearly 120 people a day.

Feed My Lambs is currently on a $30,000 fundraising drive to finish a new school — the sum will be matched by an anonymous donor.

Mr Rego's sister Linda Adderley has organised the fundraising drive, after returning from a trip to the region with plastic surgeon Chris Johnson.

Feed My Lambs received a generous donation from young fundraiser Aliana King. Through that, charity was able to purchase the land for the new orphanage.

Now they need to raise more cash to help them build the facility and classrooms, Mrs Adderley explained.

“We had a generous donor and we said to them we need this much more to complete the school. They told us to raise as much as we can and they will match it, so we need to raise $30,000 as soon as possible.

“I know it's an attainable goal, because if we each give up a Coca-Cola for that day and we have 60,000 people in Bermuda then we would be at our goal.

“That money would meet all the needs to pay for things like education and food for the year. I know without a doubt that it's possible.”

Plans are in the works for a group of volunteers to go to Haiti this summer. The charity is also looking for masons, carpenters and construction workers to help complete the school building project in July.

Since its inception, Feed My Lambs has been operating solely on a “faith basis” in that there are many months they don't know where all the funds will come from.

Mrs Adderley said the money they receive from donations is sent to Haiti each month, but sometimes it's only enough to get them through the first three weeks.

She said the children are constantly praying and trusting God will meet their needs.

“This whole mission is based on faith because we don't know where the money is coming from,” she said. “I just know this matching fund is going to help us, but this is an ongoing struggle to make ends meet.

“It's not just something that is going to stop, it's an ongoing need because the children have to be fed, educated and get treated at the health clinic that has been opened there.”

She said helping her brother with the charity has deepened her faith in God; she's also watched as Mr Rego's spiritual walk has grown. Though many people might be called to go into missionary work, Mrs Adderley commended her brother for giving up everything and responding to the call.

“Our faith has definitely grown,” she said. “I know without a doubt that our Lord will supply all of my needs and that is not just for my everyday life with my business and husband, but it's because I believe that I am receiving it.

“I know my brother's faith has deepened as well because he only relies on the Lord and doesn't know where the money is coming from.”

The charity has not only touched the lives of countless Haitians, Mrs Adderley said scores of Bermudian youth who volunteer down there also come back changed.

She said she gets approached regularly from people who want their children to take part. “They say 'Please take my child with you' and it could be for many reasons: they need to have a life-changing experience and recognise they have more than enough.

“The young youth that are coming, their heart is changed and they want to come back. A lot of these real tough guys, they end up spending time with these children and playing with them and it softens them.”

She said she is most touched by the resilience of the children, who just want to be loved and held.

Feed My Lambs Ministry has other expansion plans in the works and are looking to build a hostel on top of the new school, so that volunteers can reduce the cost of accommodation during their stay.

The charity is also hoping to raise money for a water purification system as running water in the area is not safe for drinking.

Mrs Adderley encouraged everyone to give however much they could to the project.

“My brother has always maintained this is not one person's problem, it's everyone's problem and responsibility to care and to help,” she said.

“At the time you think you don't have the money to spare, but those are the times you should give and watch God bless it. I know that this money is going to come. I don't know who it's going to come from but I know the need is going to be met.”

Donations can be made to HSBC Bermuda through its local account # 010 876795 001 or US account # 010 876795 501.

Be sure to include the note “Matching Funds”, so the organisers know the money is for this specific fundraising drive.

For more information contact Mrs Adderley: regolinda@yahoo.com or 536-3613.

Useful website: www.feedmylambsministry.org

Philip Rego, the founder of charity Feed My Lambs Ministry, cuts the ribbon after raising enough funds to buy land for a new school.
Haitian youngsters will soon have a new school building, thanks to support raised through Feed My Lambs Ministry.
Philip Rego has devoted the past few years of his life to helping young children in Haiti, through his charity Feed My Lambs Ministry.
A young child is given medical care in the clinic set up through donations for Feed My Lambs Ministry.
Brotherly love: Philip Rego is pictured here with a man from Haiti. He has been lending a hand in the impoverished nation for the past five years and set up an orphanage and clinic and is raising funds to set up a school.
Bermuda cuisine: A little Haitian girls gets to sample some codfish and potatoes on a recent missions trip, thanks to volunteers from Bermuda.
Hugs galore: Linda Adderley who is helping with a recent fundraising drive to raise $30,000, which will then be matched by an anonymous sponsor, said her life has been changed by the children and people she has met in Haiti.

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Published April 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm)

Relying on faith

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