Crystal Ballentyne (’07)

August, 2020


Update on Crystal’s Journey


“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
Getting a feel of that tree planting will be like
Finished the first day of tree planting!
Kenzie was in our dorm for a few years growing up and he is the one who got Nathan into tree planting!
I’ve seen so many rainbows and double rainbows!
Before I even left the Philippines God had already provided in more ways than one for when I arrived in Canada. I had a place to stay during my quarantine. My brother convinced me to tree out tree planting for a month. He has been doing this for the past five years. He loves it and so I figured now is the perfect time to go.  I haven’t seen him or spent much time with him since I went out to the Philippines so I decided now is the perfect time to spend with him and experience his world for a bit. So far living in a tent and planting trees for about eight plus hours a day hasn’t destroyed my body yet. I am looking forward to sleeping in a bed but I’ve been enjoying this experience. Thankfully the weather for the most part has been sunny. We’ve had one rainy day and it was miserable. There is a big difference between tropical rain and Canadian rain! Lee has the opportunity to go on several  Helicopter rides to where we are planting for that day. It’s been quite the experience!

I’ve loved spending time with Nathan and being apart of his life here. It’s worth all the sore muscles, Horse flies, cold rain and hail. I’ve learned he has an amazing reputation here amount the tree planters. It’s been so cool hearing how much people respect and admire him.


Another fun part is Kenzie Yango, who was in our dorm growing up decided to join for the month so we could all be together again. He actually got Nathan into tree planting. It’s been fun having another “brother” here helping me out and catching up with him.


I’ve discovered that God in the tree planting world comes with a lot of pain and distrust amongst many. The stories I’ve heard have been heartbreaking. One girl who I’ve gotten to know has shared her story with me. She use to believe in God but he never protected her from her abusive dad whenever she asked or he never helped her when she asked for help to find her mom or save her from the life she was in.  It broke my heart to hear her story and her hurt. She loves it when I ask how I can pray for her.  Another girl left the church because she didn’t like how Christians treated those who didn’t believe in God. When I told her my story about being a missionary kid and now a missionary myself we spent the next several hours talking about God and her struggles of how Christians have hurt her more than non Christians.  I shared a bit of my story of my last few years regarding Faith Academy. She was amazed I still believed and trusted God and other Christians after everything. My experience there has give me a chance to relate with her in many ways. I know there is many more conversations to come and I’m excited to see what God will do in both our lives.

Picking wild strawberries has become my favourite part of tree planting.
3 km walk to where we would plant while carrying our water and trees. I was exhausted before I even started planting!
I had to plant trees in that. It was quite difficult but I did it!
Helicopter ride… COVID style.

  • CTI has many amazing opportunities ahead (Lord willing sports and country boarders open up)
  • Good health especial during this time
  • For each one of you who continue to support me through prayer and financially. I know that without you what I do would not be possible. You have been a huge part of impacting so many lives!
  • Being able to spend time with Nathan
  • For my parents who are in the Philippines
  • Continued prayer for spiritual healing for Faith Academy
  • Vehicle while I am in Canada
  • For each of you during this time of uncertainty
  • I had a place to stay once I arrived but due to these crazy times it wont be available till the end of July so now I am needing to find a place where I can not only do my 14 day quarantine but also stay till the end of July
  • The girl from the Maldives would still be able to go to the States and attend school there this coming year and that this would be a great opportunity for others to share about God with her
  • For the two girls I’ve been talking with that I can continue being a light for them and that God can use me in the world of tree planting to