Del, then known as Delbert, was taken to the Philippines in 1948 by his parents, Rev. & Mrs. Frank Hooge. He was the younest of three children. Dorothy and her family served as missionaries also to the Philippines and Marvin with his family, has served in Mexico and Spain. Del finishied his Jr. High at Faith Academy in Manila and completed his High School at Phoenix Christian High School in Phoenix, Arizona. He already knew that he was headed back to the Philippines to be a missionary.
Lora Lee, as she was known, met Del and his family as they came from their first term in the Philippines in 1951. She was the daughter of Rev. L.D. Woosley, of Valejo, California. In 1954 the Woosleys also went to the Philippines as missionaries and Del and Lora grew up together in the same mission agency. She finished her High School at the American School in Manila.
In 1962 Del and Lora enrolled at the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. Soon it became evident that the Lord was directing their lives together. He was active in his class and served two terms as president. Lora was active in the music ministry. They both served in the College and Career Sunday School Class of High Street Baptist Church, their spiritual home away from their home in the Philippines.
MISSIONARY LIFE BEGINS
In February 1967 the Del Hooges were approved as missionaries of the Baptist Bible Fellowship at the same time as Del’s brother, Marvin and his family. They finished their deputation for support and were in the Philippines by December of that same year. They worked at the Bethany Baptist Church in Markat, Metro Manila where Lora’s father, L.D. Woosley was the pastor. They taught in the Bible College, music ministry and youth ministry. It was during this time that the first two children were born; Philip in 1968 and Paula in 1970. They also worked with radio and television ministries.
SECOND & THIRD TERM
In 1971 they took their first furlough and lived in Huntsville, Alabama. They returned to the field in 1972 and worked in Cavite City with the Bible Baptist Church there. The work had been started by Rev. and Mrs. Bill Anderson. The American Navy base had closed and the town was going through a severe economic decline. The church grew under their ministry. Working now in a printing ministry, thousands of tracts were printed. They continued the radio ministry with daily broadcasts. The bases were converted to Philippine military training for Navy, Coast Guard and Marines. Weekly Bible classes were established and thousands accepted the Lord. Their third child, Perry, was born in 1974.
The Church continued to grow and a Bible Institude was started. In addition, the Hooge’s children were starting school, and not wanting to send them to the public or Catholic private schools, they began home schooling in a room at the Church. Soon parents began to ask if their children could have the same education. The materials used were the newly begun Acellerated Christian Education (ACE) program. In 1978 the Cavite Bible Baptist Academy was started and has produced almost one hundred graduates from High School.
In 1980 Del became the Executive Director of the Accelerated Christian Education program in the Philippines, a position he holds till this day. The first eight schools began in 1978 and several of those are still operating. Today, there are over 400 schools and almost 20,000 students on the program, studying the Bible as text book daily. Over 100 families are participating in the first government approved home school program in the Philippines. Young leaders in law, medecine, finance, education and engineering have now graduated and gone into the warp of society. God was working!
The outreaches from the home church also grew and several mission churches were begun in places like Silang and Molino, Cavite province. God was working and training young people to go forth. Bible studies were held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, with hundreds attending.