Stories have power.
These brave and humbling stories would not exist without your partnership.
A note from our founder, Leah.
There’s a verse in Revelation I come back to often that reads: “We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies.” At times, the world may attempt to steal our joy and blind us to beauty, and yet, for those of us in Christ, we need not be dismayed.
After spending nearly a decade living in the Philippines, my life has been radically impacted by the testimonies of the hundreds of Filipino people TRIM serves and partners with. Their daily lives are packed full of courage, sacrifice, resilience, and faith — qualities I deeply admire and earnestly desire to emulate in my life. Seeing God's work over the last 10 years is a consistent reminder of God's grace. His work is ever present in the faithfulness of our Filipino brothers and sisters.
Enjoy their stories spotlighting their rise above adversity to overcome evil with good. We hope you enjoy these stories, and are spurred on to bear fruit for the kingdom as a result. Thank you for partnering with TRIM.
Leah Malone, TRIM Founder and Executive Director
Rising Above: Stories of TRIM
Nicole lived the first nine years of her life abandoned and alone. Never spoken to, she never learned to speak. Never properly touched, her muscles deteriorated. Never stimulated, her development halted. Despite never having anyone to provide for her needs, Nicole persevered. She learned how to take care of herself, to find her own food, to make her own fire and even venture to the river to rinse her own clothes. Over the last five years, The Rising team has cared for Nicole and she has defied all odds. She does not let her diagnoses, daily hurdles and even a cultural stigma around special needs define who she is and what she can accomplish. Now, Nicole joyfully rides a bike, brushes her teeth, helps cook dinner, and has a community of people who love her. Nicole attends school, is learning to write, participated in her school dance and is working hard to learn sign language. While Nicole's diagnoses are vast and her challenges are ever present, we know that is not her whole story. We celebrate all of Nicole's victories and give God the glory. Nicole remains our greatest light as her laughter echoes off the walls and her playful spirit brings life to us all. She is worthy and loved. Nicole is a reminder that no person’s story is ever without hope and that God can restore life, turning beauty from ashes.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. -Psalm 27:13
From the time Rocky was eight, she worked tirelessly to support her family and her education. In the summers, her parents sent her into the city to work as a house cleaner, earning necessary money to feed her family. During the school year, Rocky would leave her house every Monday morning at 3 a.m. in order to brave the four-hour trek into the village. Once at school, Rocky and her 12 siblings would attend class during the day and sleep in their classrooms at night. On Friday afternoons, she would return home. In 2017, Rocky joined our House of Hope scholar program, where she first heard about God and his love for her. She pursued her relationship with Christ and felt a deep conviction to share the gospel with her family and favorite cousin back in the village. Brand new to the Christian faith, Rocky prepared by practicing with our house mentors. Just days before Rocky planned to go home to share God's story of love and redemption, her cousin died in a tragic accident. Rocky's grief fueled her faith and desire to share the gospel more boldly and urgently. She is strong and unapologetic in her everyday conversations about Jesus. Rocky continues to overcome many challenges because she knows with Christ, there is hope.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. -Romans 12:12
Brigado is our village pastor who has given his life so that his community might know the love of God. One night, visiting missionaries held a crusade in his parents’ village and he heard the gospel preached for the first time. It was there he accepted Christ and embraced a life honoring God. Brigado wakes up every morning at 3 a.m. to study his Bible and pray. He spends his days visiting village families offering prayers, encouragement and teachings from God's word. Brigado travels miles to ensure no family is left behind. On his land, you'll find a small wooden structure Brigado built so other Christians can gather on Sundays for worship. Brigado's pastoral role has not been easy. Over the years, rebels have burned down his house, stolen his animals, and poisoned his crops. Unwavering in his faith, Brigado continues to take risks in order to share the gospel with others. Brigado is an example and an inspiration to all of us for what it looks like to pour out your life completely for the kingdom of God.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.. -Matthew 16:25
Raymond recalls his childhood with fondness, without dwelling on the hardships. Instead, Raymond focuses on the wonderful memories like the simple toys his father would hand make for him. Raymond was fortunate to attend a newly built school as a young boy. His teachers were from the city and spoke an unfamiliar dialect, however Raymond remained steadfast and graduated high school. Without skipping a beat, he secured a seat in college by selling fish, pedaling villagers around and receiving an academic scholarship. During this time, Raymond heard the gospel and made the decision to follow Christ. Now, Raymond lives out his life honoring his family, his village and his faith. Raymond joyfully serves as TRIM's Director of Community Development, where he leads our weekly village outreach team into the very villages where he grew up as part of the Higaonon tribe.