Philippines Diary – Note 3 – 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Like many cities of the world, the people of Angeles City and the surrounding areas located in the state of Luzon, mid to north Philippines, seem to exist without a purpose of life.  This is a personal observation and not a reflection of all the country, of which I have not visited. Notwithstanding this comment, there are many groups within this geographical area who are actively trying to encourage new thinking, especially as the Philippines is a strengthening economy with great potential in South East Asia.  These views are widely supported through the media outlets with an indication of freedom in reporting.  Society moral standard groups are being established in many locations not in judgement of people, but genuinely trying to help, by targeting and educating families and the youth for sustained change and to establish a sense of responsibility in their society as a whole, much work is needed.  There are many church groups now supporting in meeting these needs.

One area for greater public awareness is that of Anti-Human Trafficking, which is a worldwide problem and needs much more public awareness and involvement of action groups than at present.  The solutions are difficult – one area of difficulty is the need of alternative employment for the many people involved in the red light area networks.   ‘Like it, or not’ it is a true fact, especially in this part of the world, that whole families are supported by a single bread winner, including those involved in this dishonourable trade, many under age children have been solicited and are now dependant on this anti human activity.   If it is reduced or stopped where will families get their money!  This comment is not made to condone the activity but it is a realistic statement.  We are part of a Church group that is actively involved in this area and are aware of its difficulties and related dangers.

In a previous diary note, the mention of a place called Sta. Lucia, Magalang was made. We purchased a small property for use as a 24/7 prayer room, a place for bible study and to assist travelling missionaries, evangelists and Christian support workers.

The following is an update of the progress made to date:

  • Electrical rewiring complete.
  • Part plumping replaced.
  • Kitchen sink area and bathroom floor tiled.
  • Small garden planted with vegetables (we are now eating) and plants/flowers to show God’s beauty.
  • Lounge and Comfort Room (toilet & shower room) walls plastered half way up only for effect.
  • Place now fully furnished with secondhand furniture including TV/DVD
  • Security Iron gates installed front and back for inner security.
  • Alpha course study (10th week – ‘Why and how to resist evil’)  is operating. Normal bible study nights will continue when Alpha is finished.  Last week attendees were sixteen.
  • 24/7 prayer room is partly open.
  • Children’s feeding ministry and bible stories operating on Saturdays.  Twenty attendee’s last week.

We don’t really know how it happened!  but children (age 3 – 15) came to the Alpha course so we set  a separate time for them, where we tell the stories of Jesus, have games  and give a basic feeding program.  We repeat this again on a Saturday evening  5-7pm, last Saturday over 20 children came.  Not all the children go to school because of the cost.  When we first started, some parents and family members were suspicious of us and stopped the children coming but now they have allowed them to come.  Some of the children have now started going to Church, which is wonderful and such a blessing.

We now have two young volunteers – an 18 year old whose name is Lady, she has a severe hunch back and the Doctors have said she will die this year!  But we pray and God will always give us all faith and hope.  Her fourteen year old sister Angie also helps us.  Some people say that the children only come for the free food! Yes this is partly true, but when they come they will pray with us, hear grace being said and will hear the name of Jesus mentioned many times, and we know there is power in the name of Jesus.  They will also hear Christian songs, so we are very happy with that, its laying the seed.  You see, it gives faith, hope and love (1Corinthians 13:13) to those who have so little.  All praises go to our Father in heaven.

To give an idea of our costs to-date for the property in Sta Lucia and the present overhead costs:

  • Property Purchase plus FF&E  (furniture, fittings & equipment):
  • Property purchase, including legal fees = pesos 92,200 = pounds 1415
  • Refurbishment cost, we did some of the laboring to keep costs down = pesos 20000  = pounds 308
  • Furniture (second hand) fixtures and fittings = 16800 = 259 pounds
  • Total = pesos 129000 = 1982 pounds
  • Budget running costs:
    • Running costs: Utilities (gas-water=elec) & Maintenance costs per month, approx 10 pounds
    • Operating costs: Childrens (20) feeding, – 30 pounds pm(Juice- bread- noodles/rice- veg)
    • Alpha / Bible study bread and juice, 10 pounds per month.
    • Stationery, average  5 pounds per month.
  • Total = 55 pounds per month

In closing, we are pleased to inform you that we are on facebook as God Ministry – GM. There are many pictures so you can follow the activities here in the Philippines , also in India where we still have presence through Tim Geddis.  The facebook is still being perfected and more write ups will be included.

There is so much to tell, but it’s time to close now.  We leave to fly back to UK 3rd Oct, so will see you soon and will tell you more first hand.  Will leave you with this, as God says things much better than we can:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever.  Isaiah 40:8 (KJV)

Good night and God Bless

Jim and Dal (Friends in Christ)

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