About Datu Wali Mission

All content copyright © 2016 by Datu Wali Mission Foundation

Dan financially supported missions all of his adult life, and Aurea served at one time with the Salvation Army in rural areas of the Philippines. In 2001, Dan began to sense that someday he would be actively involved in missions, and presumed it could happen upon his retirement from Bank of America, which was many years into the future. In 2004, Dan married Aurea Desaville, a Filipino teaching at a Christian school in South Korea. Their wedding took place within days of the arrival of Aurea and her daughter, Jennifer, in the U.S.. In 2005, while visiting Aurea’s home village of Wali, in Sarangani Province, Dan had a dramatic encounter with God, learning that it was there to which Dan and Aurea must return and minister to the poor and tribal peoples of that impoverished area. Upon returning home to Arizona, God poured out his plan for the ministry that Dan still anticipated would follow his retirement. God’s plans, however, were not to be put on the back burner. Just six months later – December 2005 – Dan was unexpectedly offered early retirement from the bank after 32 years of service. He spent all of 2006 preparing to relocate to the Philippines with all of their household goods and farm equipment, and liquidating their U.S. assets. In January 2007, Dan, Aurea and Jennifer arrived in Wali as permanent residents. Dan and Aurea are in the Philippines as independent missionaries. This was necessary because U.S. mission boards had no interest in sending personnel into a region from which they had withdrawn them two decades previously due to rebel activity. Multiple U.S. mission boards were happy to have the Evans family on their roster of missionaries, but not in rural Philippines, where they considered the risks too high. Dan and Aurea had to decide between following a direct call of God, or submitting to men who would have sent them somewhere safer. They opted to follow God to the Philippines…in fact, to the most troubled region in the Philippines, an area that had not had a western missionary or pastoral presence for decades. The Evans family supports its living costs through life savings and proceeds from the disposal of their U.S. assets. The Datu Wali Mission Foundation was established in 2006 as an approved IRS 503c organization and it collects contributions from generous ministry partners that go directly to actual field projects that help the people they serve (clinic charges for poor patients, medicines; seed, fertilizer and fuel for the Community Garden; the Yanmar garden tractor purchase; book distributions, school supplies for local children, and other projects). No Foundation funds go to support the Evans family. Aurea and Jennifer never relinquished their Philippine citizenship. Dan has a permanent immigrant Visa which allows him to remain in the Philippines permanently. Therefore, the Evans family considers themselves permanent residents of the Philippines. Since 2007, Dan has returned to the states on only one occasion, for a quick trip to manage banking issues. When God called Dan and Aurea to the Philippines, He gave them four distinct objectives: Access to education, medical intervention for tribal and poor villagers, improving nutrition, and ministering spiritually. All of these endeavors have a spiritual component, because all work and assistance is rendered in Jesus’ name, with resources that God makes available. The education component became our biggest effort from the beginning, because there are so many barriers to children attending school. From 2007 through 2012, we conducted many projects locally to lower those barriers, with some measure of success. There are college graduates teaching today, who benefited from our school transportation and scholarships. In 2013, Dan’s influence in education matters expanded to our entire province when the governor appointed him to be his education consultant. Spiritual efforts have run the gamut from preaching in local churches during the early years, conducting praise and worship concerts in our nearest town (Maitum), conducting tribal outreaches, and now publishing devotionals targeted at local residents on our Philippine Face Book page (with nearly 300 subscribers as of this writing). Our work here has always involved a degree of experimentation. Due to a very unique culture, traditions, tribal practices, government corruption, and poverty, every project or effort we start requires constant adaptation. Some of our efforts have not been successful, but they have taught us alternatives that were. We are grateful for God’s provision, protection, and encouragement as we continue to serve in a land that was largely vacated by western ministers many years ago. That absence has resulted in many local churches becoming apostate. Much of our ministry now is in competition with cults and apostate pastors who made a left turn because they lacked good training and leadership. Our life here is one of challenges regarding security. The U.S. State Department claims that at least thirteen international terrorist organizations have a presence in the Philippines, all of them on our island of Mindanao and within 200 miles of our compound. We knew this before we came. Some of these groups operate training camps, others actively carry-out terrorist activities on our island and have made our coastline the second most violent area of sea piracy in the world. These include groups aligned with Al Qaeda and ISIS. The Philippine Communist Party also operates an armed group that terrorizes the country. God has protected us and we believe he will protect us until it is our time to be united with Him, whether that be from natural or unnatural death. Prayer Needs Protection and good health for the Evans family Open hearts for the ministry the Evans family extends to the poor and tribal peoples of their region Influence spiritually among the “middle class” which is largely responsible for oppression of the poor Continued success of the Community Garden Continued success in erasing the barriers to education
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