WHO WE ARE
The year was 1969 and Jeffrey Mallory was 2 years old when his parents moved as missionaries to the Philippines. And that's where he started kindergarten and graduated from. Raised at a time when the slums of Manila were some of the largest on earth. He was exposed early and often, to people living in the most desperate of conditions. The most infamous of all slums was known as, "Smokey Mountain", he visited many times, because some of the very first church members to church, were children brought from this hellish place.
Smokey Mountain was a massive landfill where most of the millions of Metro Manila sent their weekly trash. Tens of thousands of people lived on this hulking, smoking mountain of filthy trash. Everywhere were mobs of nearly starving adults and children, greeting the upturned garbage trucks as they disgorged themselves of the filth.
The poor would rip and tear at the garbage as it literally fell on them, putting on shirts, and pants if they found them, setting aside chicken bones and other scraps of food, which they would boil later to feed themselves.
The Philippines and its amazing people always remained, Jeff’s love. But it was the haunting images of humanity’s most desperate people that motivated him later in life. When he decided to abandon the American Dream and to make his life work to be an advocate for such people.
Brenda Mallory came into Jeff’s life from a very different background. She was born and raised into a middle-class family and had never visited a third world country. It was 9 years after they married and three kids later when she made her first trip to the Philippines. And after visiting Smokey Mountain and the other slums of Manila, Brenda was deeply moved. God gave her a powerful experience and she felt a compelling passion drawing her toward the masses of abandoned, orphaned, or neglected children who were running in packs, hiding in hopeless hovels, just trying to survive.
It was to be the combination of the burdens each of them carried, that began the germination of the Hope Village.
Over the years Jeff and Brenda were involved in dozens of missionary trips, leading groups on short term trips, and longer stays. Bringing their children with them. Eventually they decided to sell everything and moved to the Philippines to stay. Over the next 20 years they gave their lives to missions work and humanitarian causes, meeting the needs of natural disasters, extreme poverty, sickness, and other crisis, as best they could.
God impressed Brenda to open an orphanage back in 1996, when she saw children as young as her own three, alone and scavenging for food. However, she came short doing what she felt called to do, because of fear. She had never undertaken something with so much responsibility nor a cause that demanded so much shear faith. So, she continued doing what she believed she could, knowing there was an unfinished call on her.
In 2011, the worst possible news came to them. Jeff received an “incurable” cancer diagnosis, already at stage 4. Brenda's mother had recently died from cancer, and her father also passed away, from cancer a few years prior. With this diagnosis, Jeff and Brenda's lives stopped abruptly and they were thrust into a cancer journey. A fight for survival.
A red bird found its way into this story. A sign sent from God. And that bird played a central role in the journey from hopeless to Hope Village. This true story is being written now. The Red Bird of Hope is scheduled to be released from the publisher on November 1, 2022. And is available for preorder now.
The doctors didn’t offer any hope of a cure. In fact, the situation was so bleak there seemed no way of escaping the “inevitable” conclusion of this disease. About one year in, he was getting worse and worse, when Jeff realized, he had been going through this sickness with faith, but also fading hope. His faith was in God and the fact that God could do anything, but his hope was almost gone, because the sickness had been so enduring and painful for so long.
“What if I don’t have to die in this hospital?” Jeff said one day, as they stood facing each other in the hospital room. He had called this small meeting with Brenda. And unexpectedly, in their lowest valley, hope came. The hope did not come from circumstances, quite the opposite. It came to them when things were thought to be beyond hope.
“What if the best is yet to come? What if we get to have a full life beyond this terrible disease? What if we get to see our dreams and goals fulfilled?”
That was to be the event that changed the trajectory of their story. The miracle came with mere words. Words, followed by repetitive declarations and corresponding actions, that changed incurable circumstances in a miraculous fashion. The story played itself out in a dramatic and complete healing. The best WAS yet to come!
Something else happened that day in that meeting, where hope was born. When Jeff had said, “What if I don’t have to die in this hospital?” He had also made a covenant with Brenda, in the presence of God, “If I don’t have to die in this hospital I will live differently from now on.”
He had spent months in isolation, hospitalized, with few friends visiting. Pain was his constant companion, along with one bad report after another. Complication after complication. Yet it turned out, that season had bred a focusing of thoughts, of values and of priorities. A time they had used to get to know God and themselves better. “If I don’t have to die in this hospital, I promise I will no longer allow fear to stop me from walking through a door God opens.”
Brenda was undergoing her own transformation. Her faith was becoming weaponized through the trial and barrage of grief. Through sickness and death of her loved ones and in constant crisis. Brenda's faith was being refined from “household” strength faith to spiritually “weaponized” faith. When all these things should have defeated her, what happened was in the fire, she got stronger!
God miraculously healed Jeff! (More about that in the book!) When the doctors finally released him. Jeff and Brenda went back to the Philippines, to pick up where they’d left off, but everything had changed for them.
Fear would still raise its ugly head, but now they had a covenant with God that they would listen to His voice always and ignore the voice of fear.
One day, while with their old friends, Jhun and Rossana Rios, Brenda blurted out, “I’m going to open an orphanage!” Jeff looked at her, surprised. He knew this had been in her heart for a few decades now, but they hadn’t really spoken of it much since. Yet that dream had remained, buried like a seed. Even amidst the pain, the trials, and the grief, it lay quietly, watered by her tears and nourished by her prayers. But her new stronger faith was forcing it to the surface.
Jhun and Rossana's eyes opened wide. They also had been keeping something in their hearts for a few decades. It turned out, for the same amount of time that Brenda's dream started. “We have something to show you. Tomorrow, we will pick you up and take you on a drive.”
In the morning they drove almost 2 hours south of Manila to a piece of property.
“God told us to buy this property back in 1996. We had no personal need for this property, but God told us, ‘Buy it and a ministry will come to you. When they do, you will know it, and then you will know, you are to give them this property. But no one ever came. So, we turned this property into a place of prayer and fasting.”
Jeff and Brenda looked at one another silently calculating the years. Brenda had been given the directive from God to open an orphanage, at almost the exact same time that He had told the Rios’ to buy this property.
Hope Village was born, in Barangay San Francisco of Lipa City Batangas.
They could feel the decades of prayer and fasting that had occurred on that property, the tears of countless pastors, leaders and saints had watered the very soil of Hope.
Armed with this miracle they launched the foundation, God was putting things together, step by step in miraculous ways.
The first building built was a bit of a surprise. A wonderful man from California visited the property, after it was offered to the fledgling foundation. The next day he asked to have a meeting with his new wife, and us.
“We believe in you, and we believe in this foundation. However, we have a little bit of a different motivation.” he said. Going onto explain his first wife had died after a long sickness and he wanted to do something in her memory. She had spent time in the Philippines as a child and always remembered the Filipino people with fondness the rest of her life. She’d been a nurse, as well and an artist, and so he said, “We want to provide funds to build a medical clinic on Hope Village to serve the orphans and the community.”
Barangay San Francisco did not have good medical care, and as it was a rural and poor area, they could not afford the more distant medical services.
And that's how, The Beverly Best Medical Clinic, was built first.
And that was followed by others coming to Hope Village, and each time being moved to partner with Hope Village.
The clinic was the first, but there was much construction needed on the site. And so, a concrete wall, the equivalent of four and a half football fields was started to surround and protect the property.
Staff houses were built, and the deep well dug. A water tower rose above the wall, and began to water the property which is now green year around and full of fruit and flowering trees.
The large, two-story Children’s Home and Administration center was commissioned, and on its roof is now a large solar hybrid system was installed.
Then the pandemic hit with devastating fashion in the Philippines. Shutting the country down, due to government action, people were not allowed to even move around the city. And so, Jeff and Brenda were forced to leave the country.
Still construction continued, but new challenges presented themselves with regularity. But progress was not stopped.
As of now, the Children’s Home is 70% complete, according to our builders. And we are not yet able to house children there, but we believe soon.
In the meantime, the foundation has been very active in sending lifesaving assistance to families in critical need. Since the Philippines are known for natural disasters, and some of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded have hit this island nation, with devastating effect.
Hope Village International has been responding quickly to needs as they present themselves, limited only by funds to do more.
Currently Jeff and Brenda are traveling full time, living out of their suitcases the last 4 and a half years, promoting Hope Village and other ministry causes.
They are producing videos to bring awareness to the situations. And are mobilizing volunteer forces, made up of doctors, nurses, and others, to serve at Hope Village.
On the other side of the pandemic Jeff and Brenda believe, it will open the floodgates of opportunity for good. The finances to complete the project and other various needs are the most critical things Hope Village face now.
Jeff and Brenda remain full of hope and share their testimony wherever they can. Sharing with people all over the world, that they too can make the journey from hopelessness to Hope Village.
Hope Village International was born from a love for missions
and humanitarian work. And could best be summed up as a
journey that led us from hopelessness to Hope Village.