Mission of Hope
Errol and Laarni Pitre
The Mission of Hope was born of a mustard seed of love and conviction, strongly aroused and divinely cultivated in the hearts and souls of Errol and Laarni Pitre in April of 2006, during a trip to the remote island of Mindoro, in the Philippines, and a life changing encounter with the desperately poor, primitive Mangyan tribes in that region.
As Dr. Albert Schweitzer once observed and remarked:
“We don’t know what our destinies will be . . .
but one thing we do know, is that the only ones amongst us who will be truly happy,
are those who will have sought . . . and found . . .
how to serve God.”
Errol and Laarni saw these desperately poor indigenous people, living without potable drinking water, exposed to diseases and infections of every kind, widespread especially among the children, some severely abused. An acute and pressing compassion for these people seized the hearts of Errol and Laarni, and compelled them to return to their home in Wyoming, in the United States, where they would sell all of their worldly possessions, to soon return to the Philippines, there to give themselves over completely to God’s purpose and divine guidance. They would invest themselves wholly in humanitarian service to God’s most vulnerable people there, and their children. And thus, the Pitre Mission of Hope was born.
It is probably important, and useful, here, to explain the fundamental differences between the unique, highly personal purpose and scope of the Mission of Hope managed by Errol and Laarni Pitre, and that of other, undeniably effective and praiseworthy, but highly polished, corporately sophisticated and well funded charitable organizations. These larger charities are typically very different in organization, style and administration than the small, personal “hands on” nature of Errol and Laarni’s “Mission of Hope.” The operations of the (Pitre) Mission of Hope are funded, basically and consistently, each month, through their personal retirement pension Errol receives from his former employer and the social security benefits received monthly from the U.S. Government Social Security System. Their very limited budget is occasionally supplemented by modest but very welcome, sustaining donations from friends and family, or kind contributors who have been moved by Errol and Laarni’s selfless commitment to this merciful mission.
Approximately two-thirds of the funding come from the personal tithes from Errol and Laarni to sustain the ministry, far and above what the Bible asks of each of us. So, as we try to show in the elements of the presentation that follows, THE PURPOSE OF THIS MISSION IS FUNDAMENTALLY and THOUGHLY REFLECTED IN MATTHEW 25: 31-40:
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and He will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
Then the King will say to those at His right hand, " Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kinfdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me,"
Then the righteous will answer Him, " But Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?
And the King will answer them......Truly I tell you, just as you did this to amy one of the least of these who are members of my family,.... you did it , then, to me."
Approximately one hundred very needy families depend heavily on the services and ethical ministration of Mission of Hope. The Mission supplies water, pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies and attention, dental services, education and free meals, clothing, livelihood training, pastoral caregiving and other forms of emergency help, such as in the care of abused children . . . All provided in a highly motivated, effective hands on, one on one personal level by Errol, Laarni and a small but dedicated mission staff.
Medical and dental services are provided by selfless medical volunteers in a small, intimate setting. While Errol and Laarni consider this to be their mission . . . They acknowledge that, more importantly, it is, in fact, God’s ministry. They recognize that their close, personal engagement in arranging for and dispensing these desperately needed humanitarian services opens the door and creates the opportunity to introduce God’s word and to teach the Christian fundamentals of faith, hope and charity. Errol and Laarni deeply believe that God is a good God . ….. . and that if these good people and their children are able to be exposed, on a highly personal, individual level, to God’s goodness and saving grace . . .if they were able to experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, taste the hope of miracles and see the power of prayer . . . that their root purpose . . . and the core mission . . . behind the good works --- to bring God’s word to these worthy people --- and, through the word, ultimately, to bring them to God --- will have been served. And therein lies the purpose of this small, modest…but extremely dedicated mission . . .the Mission of Hope.
That life changing decision to go to the Philippines was not taken by Errol and Laarni without some trepidation. Nevertheless, they looked to and relied upon the supernatural, inner voice that had touched and moved their hearts towards that deeply spiritual choice…. and to accept the inevitable challenges that their decision would bring. The Bible, in Galatians 5:6, declares that in such situations ". . . the only thing that matters . . . is faith --- expressing itself through love." And, a fundamental new teaching, from God, through Jesus, was the new commandment . . . " . . . as I have loved you . . . you, also, shall love one another . . . you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself." In this instruction, Errol and Laarni found clarity. In an extension of that commandment to love others, was God's embedded message: "…..inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of my brethren, you have done it unto me."
So, their path had, in fact, been made definitively clear. "If anyone would serve me, let him follow me . . . and where I am, there will my servant(s) be . . . and if anyone should serve me . . . my Father will honor them." (John 12:26)Indeed, God has acknowledged . . . and honored . . . the dedicated services of the mission. The Mission of Hope is recognized by the locals as . . . "The People Who Help." And since that "help", always offered by Errol and Laarni in the name of God and to His greater glory . . . is, at its base, the humble, unpresuming, simple purpose of the mission, that signal "honor" is happily received . . . and uncomplainably held by Errol and Laarni . . . to be wholly sufficient.
Undeniably, God has blessed the union of Errol and Laarni, uniquely gifted and brought together to do his work, since 2006, among the poorest of the poor on the remote island of Mindoro, in the Philippines. At the outset, Errol, an engineer by profession, noted that the village had no potable drinking water. He arranged to drill fresh water wells and build containment reservoirs, which has over time provided safe drinking water for more than 70 villages.
Laarni, a certified teacher in the Philippines, noted that basic education was non-existent and unavailable to the children of the area. Most natives cannot afford to go to school beyond grade 3 or 4, and cannot even write their names, In response to the need, Errol and Laarni, together, have established, to date, three schools
where children are afforded basic education, are exposed to God's fundamental Christian teaching and, through God's grace and goodness, receive free meals three times a week through a well organized feeding program.
As the Bible teaches, "…train up a child in the way he/she should go, and when he/she is old, he/she will not depart from it." And you can see, and feel, in the faces of children in photographs that follow, the inherent truth of that biblical observation. The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is powerfully self evident in the poignant photographs that vividly portray the works and gifts that derive out of this "Mission of Hope" in the Philippines.
The latest project of the mission, a medical clinic
opened in 2020 in the throes of a worldwide pandemic.The Mission has for years organized and made available a broad agenda of medical and dental services, performed by medically certified personnel who volunteered their skills from time to time. Now, the Mission of Hope projects that it will be able to provide services more regularly and expand on the opportunities and scope of services previously provided. Over nine years, Errol and Laarni saved and scraped together the funds to establish a clean, reliable center for medical and dental care. And nine years later, they have, in fact, succeeded in raising a modest but admirable facility to be equipped with basic medical and dental equipment and supplies, hopefully with a small pharmacy included to distribute medications donated or purchased according to need. The facility will have a center for medical services, a birthing facility, a safehouse for abandoned or abused children, an operating and recovery room, and a dental facility. The facility will have vehicular emergency response assets, I.E. an ambulance, a fire engine and three "chariots" (motorcycles, with "mobile beds" attached.) The mission is centrally located in Barangay, Occidental Mindoro. The hope is that the clinic will serve as a beacon to the community, providing high quality medical services.
In essence, from their humble beginning in 2006, to date, the passage of time and events for Errol and Laarni is closely reflected in this beautiful, humble prayer of commitment.