Will lives in Salem, OR. and travels to the Philippines twice a year. He often takes teams of volunteers with him to minister to the people.
You may be wondering why Will would put forth the effort to start the Nehemiah Foundation. Here is a little history to give some insight on his background and why this ministry is so much a part of his heart.
Will was born in Cauayan City, Philippines, to a poor family that struggled to put food on the table. He was the second of four children. Three additional siblings died early in childhood. Will’s dad worked in logging and his mom stayed home to care for him and his siblings. When Will was 15 his dad died leaving the family in a desperate situation. Will had to quit school and go to the mountains to work with his older brother helping with logging truck maintenance.
At the age of 19 Will left his family and moved to San Fernando, La Union to attend Bible college. This was a very exciting time in his life and he learned to seek the Lord above all things. After graduation he went to Laoag City for a few months where he felt God leading him to join Youth With A Mission.
It was during the six month Discipleship Training School, at YWAM in Baguio City, that he met his wife Kathleen. They were married shortly following graduation.
Will immigrated to the US in December 1992. About 4 years later he started his own business, Fil-Am Construction Co. During the first 10 years in the US he only visited his home in Ilagan twice. It was while on a visit in 2004 that God began to stir his heart. He returned home from this trip deeply troubled by the conditions he saw his family, friends and countrymen having to endure. They were living in poverty and could only strive for survival. There was no hope of a better future.
Will went back to Ilagan in 2005 where he discovered two families desperately struggling. One family consisted of three little boys living with their dad. Since their mom had died their dad could not afford to send them to school. The second family was a little girl living with her mom. She too was unable to attend school since her dad had died and she was often left alone as her mom traveled to find work to feed her. Once Will returned to the US he began telling people about these families and their need. Almost immediately he found two families here to sponsor these children and help them stay in school. This was a tremendous blessing to these families and for Will it was just the beginning of what would later become the Nehemiah Foundation International. NFI was officially founded in 2007.