When you arrive in Tondo the first thing you notice is the smell; the smell of garbage and decay. Then as you travel to places like Happyland, Aroma and Smokey Mountain you see the trash and the living conditions that people live in just to survive. In the midst of this is a house located on the 5th floor of Bldg. #28 of the public housing in Balut, Tondo. In this house God is at work in a mighty way and the man that God is using is named Ben Wong.
Ben is 39 years old and was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. Ben was raised in a Christian home and came to know Jesus at an early age. He went to college in San Diego and after college Ben started working in the textile industry in Hong Kong and was very career driven and had a strong desire to climb the corporate ladder.
A 'Life changing event'
In 2011 Ben had a life changing event when he traveled to Mozambique and spent 3 months there with Harvest School of Ministry. Ben saw miracles performed and lives changed through the power of Jesus Christ. When Ben returned to Hong Kong he joined Jackie Pullinger working with drug addicts. While working with Jackie, Ben went on a mission trip to the Philippines. After he returned to Hong Kong Ben had some supernatural experiences where it was clear that God was calling him to go back to the Philippines. In 2014 Ben followed God’s leading and moved to Tondo.
Moving in with the poor
Ben soon realized that if he really wanted to make a difference he needed to live among the poor in order to better serve them and to be more Christ like. Ben admired Mother Theresa and her work among the poor in India so he bought a house inside Bldg. #28. Ben met and worked with Pastor Ramil of Christ Power and Grace Church and saw the love that he had for the people of Tondo.
Ben opened his house up and had a couple of guys move in with him. Ben started discipleship training and just living life with these guys. The number of people quickly grew and they named the house “Shalom House” any day of the week you will find young people just hanging out at the house learning to love and respect one another.
Ben's passion is discipleship. When he is asked what he needs to help him in ministry, usually his first response is 'There is no shortcut to discipleship.' It is why he chose to move into to the 'projects' in Tondo. Ben has at any given time 6 to 8 young men who live in the house with him full time. Each young man has assigned duties they must perform in the house; this helps the house to function with that many people living there. The young men must attend school or work in order to stay in the house. During the week there are daily devotions and a Wednesday night bible study.
Ben's boys now have their own ministry
On Saturday the youth conduct feedings in the building as well as on Smokey Mountain. They will also do outreach feeding to other areas of Tondo. Why do they do feedings? You will find out why as one of these young men shared shares his testimony. He was invited to a Bible study and refused saying 'Why would I go to a Bible Study?'. When the person inviting him informed him there was a feeding as well and he would get food, he decided to go - it ended up being a life changing decision as he eventually committed his live to Christ. Watch this video as you see the boys from Shalom House sing with the kids before the feeding. This video is taken right outside of the front door of Shalom House.
Out of the love that these youth have for Jesus just since April we have had the pleasure of joining with them in three baptisms in April, seven baptisms in June and eight baptisms in August. God is doing an amazing work in Tondo among the youth.
We at Kids International Ministries stand side by side with Ben and the youth by providing food for the feedings and other assistance. We are in the process of looking for another housing unit where we can expand what God is doing through Ben. If you would like to be a part of what God is doing you can of course give but more importantly you can pray. Pray for Ben and the young men and women of Tondo and that the churches would unite in Tondo for the advancement of Gods Kingdom.
'Kuya' Ben is very popular with the kids in the neighborhood he now lives in.