Bowen is a college student with a red beard and a passion for sharing Jesus, studying Intercultural Studies at Moody Bible College, Spokane. Bowen wanted to do something with his skills over the summer, and after contacting YMI, Bowen decided on a MAP experience to teach welding and other vocational skills to young men in a town outside Manila.
“For the first several weeks, I was struggling not so much with why there was poverty, but with how I would help,” Bowen said of his time there: “I just saw the vast poverty and was overwhelmed.” Bowen had a guide to get him started: Gary and Melita Root, who have served in the Philippines for over 10 years with ACTION International, leading ministry through teaching vocational skills and heart change by sharing the gospel.
During his time there, Bowen faced a challenge: the tragic death of one of the young men he worked with. Like every MAP participant, Bowen had been in constant contact with the MAP Care Coordinator. Because of that relationship and the shared cultural connection with dedicated YMI staff, he had the space to debrief and process so he could in turn support the staff and other community members through their grieving process.
Bowen got to see firsthand the vastness of the need, but also experienced the joy of matching that need with focused mission. From preparation to on-field contact, YMI staff prepared Bowen to meet the challenges and share in the joys of ministry.