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BETHESDA MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

Bringing Hope to Children Since 1948

In late 1946, an American lady missionary embarked from Los Angeles, California, U.S.A to come to the Philippines and serve God particularly among the “igorot” tribes of the Cordilleras. She arrived in Baguio City  January, 1947 and everywhere she looked there were needy, hungry and orphaned children running around the streets of Baguio City and surrounding communities.

One by one, she took these children into her rented, cramped apartment on Bonifacio St., Baguio City. Because she was not a preacher or a teacher, she felt that the best way to demonstrate the Love of God, was to start a “washrag” ministry. She patiently bathed, clothed and nursed back to health dozens of children and youth, particularly in the community of Tuding, where she later on established her headquarters.

In January, 1948 Bethesda Children’s Home was officially launched with financial and material help from members and her home church – Bethel Temple – Los Angeles thru the leadership of Rev. & Mrs. Turnbull. From 13 children, it grew to 36, and then 52, until the building built thru the kindness of her friends and home church was full of happy, healthy children.

Donald and Ronald Soriano, were one of the first babies to arrive at Bethesda Home. Because of tribal customs and traditions, and because of poverty, sickness and disease, their real parents decided to entrust them to the care of “Mommie” Elva Vanderbout. They were just 9 days old when they arrived from the mountains of Mankayan, Benguet- both were deathly sick with broncho pneumonia. From a family of 9 children, only the two survived the lack of food, poverty and disease.

In 1963, Elva Vanderbout married a Filipino pastor from Villasis, Pangasinan –Rev. Juan B. Soriano, and they adopted 8 children – Donald being one of them.

Donald entered the ministry in 1970, and in 1975 assumed the leadership of both the church and charity work of his adopted parents. By 1980, the Bethesda Children’s Home was being directly administered by Rev. Donald Soriano and his wife Celia.

In 1985, Bethesda Ministries International was organized as a group of 7 different corporations

Bethesda Ministries International is a “faith-based” group of corporations. We are of the Pentecostal – full gospel persuasion. Membership is maintained in all of the religious corporations, but there are no memberships in the charitable corporations. Hence, no one carried credentials or identification cards with the name Bethesda Ministries, except for those  directly working with and under the main office at Tuding, Itogon, Benguet, Philippines.

All the charitable corporations operate independent of each other, and do not reply on contributions, solicitations or fund raising activities with the general public. People that support Bethesda as a ministry come from different sectors such as;

  1. The classmates or schoolmates of Rev. Donald V. Soriano both from the Philippines and United States where Pastor Donald studied.
  2. Friends and Relatives of both Elva Vanderbout Soriano, and Rev. Juan B. Soriano that live in the United States.
  3. Churches and ministries that have invited Rev. Donald Soriano to visit and to speak as a lecturer or guest speaker.
  4. People and guests who have come to visit Bethesda Ministries, and worked with the various corporations.

Throughout the years, since 1948, God has proven that He is the supplier of ALL our needs. Many people and government offices do not understand the term “by faith”, but we give God all the Glory for what has been accomplished.

Bethesda Ministries International is legally incorporated in the State of Michigan, U.S.A. as Bethesda Care International.  Offices are maintained in Michigan, Hong Kong, Macau, and several areas of the Philippines.

A Tribute to Rev. Elva Vanderbout Soriano
(Founder, Bethesda Children's Home)