During this pandemic there are few things that I do routinely. The most consistent thing might be the inconsistency on how I approach each day. While I do many of the same things or activities each day they happen at all sorts of different hours with varying intensities.Read more
On January 12, 2020, after 43 years since its last eruption (1977), the Taal volcano erupted. An Alert Level 4 was issued and residents within a 14-kilometer radius were ordered to evacuate. This affected towns surrounding the volcano in the province of Batangas and about 459,300 people.Read more
When I contemplate the upcoming partnership with the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP), I always go back to one of the core values of Global Ministries: Community. While this might be an obvious choice when reflecting and anticipating my time in the Philippines, I appreciate how Global Ministries words the value of community. Community is “Building interdependence and unity among all of God’s children.” The key word being ‘interdependence,’ which recognizes that my sanctity and well-being is inherently tied up with my siblings in Christ. It's an understanding that our world is much smaller than we ever realize or sometimes hope it to be. Because if our communities are interdependent, then people across oceans, across cultures, across religions, and so many other spectrums, become significantly more important. It is what makes the bright and vibrant contrasts of our amazing, messy, beautiful world.Read more
Statement from National Council of Churches in the Philippines
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” Isaiah 58:10
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines is deeply concerned about the two-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon. We are worried that greater vulnerabilities will surface that will put the poor majority into further suffering - hunger, paranoia, and the socio-psychological effects of quarantine. Things that could have been prevented by a well-planned and timely response.Read more
How do you create community during the time of social distancing? I have been in the Philippines for a little over two weeks and during this time the global situation and reaction to the coronavirus COVID-19 has dramatically changed. And the Philippines is no different. We are all navigating the new landscape of what a pandemic looks like for our daily lives. Our routines have been altered, businesses we frequent are closed for the foreseeable future, and folks are hunkering down at home. Spending unprecedented amount of time with lucky dogs, their families, new babies, and Netflix. This new landscape for me also comes with a literal new landscape as well. I’ve only been in Cebu for 4 days (the city and island I will be based out of for the duration of my time here). This is the crucial time to build those initial relationships, establish community, and develop rapport. My own supervisor is not here due to the travel and movement restrictions. Currently we are on “community quarantine” which limits domestic travel in and out, reduces or closes businesses, and creates police checkpoints throughout the city. All of this in the very necessary and important step of creating “social distance”.Read more
Dumaguete Kalauman Center in the Philippines is a Child Sponsorship partner of Global Ministries. The money received by Global Ministries from child sponsors is used for education expenses, medical assistance, cultural activities and establishing a college or trade school savings fund for each child. In addition to facilitating the child sponsorship program, Kalauman also works to strengthen partnerships with the nearby communities to promote opportunities for children and families to participate in community affairs, and to connect parents of children at Kalauman to employment opportunities.Read more
On November 5, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) was included on the list of “front organizations of local communist terrorist groups” presented to the Philippines House Intelligence Committee by the Department of National Defense (DND). The NCCP was one among several humanitarian and service-oriented organizations on the list that the government is “red-tagging” by alleging they provide funds to the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) through “International Solidarity Work.”Read more
Dansalan College is an educational ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). The school was established in 1948 with the vision to be a responsible, empowered, self-reliant, and caring community of Christian believers committed to the pursuit of a transformed church and society. The main campus of Dansalan College lived out that vision in Marawi City, which is almost entirely Muslim.
In 2017, a group of militants attacked Marawi City on the southern island of Mindanao; the college suffered fire, vandalism, and hostage-taking. Most of the Marawi campus was destroyed. You can read more about these events here. The 2019 Global Ministries Award of Affirmation for East Asia and the Pacific was given to Dansalan College for its resilience and dedication to carry on its important bridge-building mission to educate all of God’s children.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 12:49-56
Prayers for the Philippines:
Our land is bleeding, O God, as well as your people. We raise to you our pains and laments!
Extractive industries continue to expose the veins of the earth, mine its wealth, plunder its resources, destroy its ecosystem, and displace the indigenous peoples. Those who resist are often silenced. The Philippines has now topped others countries in the numbers of people killed in defense of land and the environment. Pile of dead bodies, especially indigenous people and environmental defenders, continue to rise. God, hear our cries.
Beyond natural calamities and poverty, the war on drugs and counter-insurgency campaign have already claimed the lives of many, especially the poor and the marginalized sectors of our society. In recent weeks, a surge of killings happened on the island of Negros, and perpetrators continue their killing spree with impunity. Hear our cries, O God.
Help us, just and loving God, to see the signs of your presence in the midst of our troubled society. Remind us that violent reaction is the usual default of the power wielders and social division is a reality when the good news is preached to the disenfranchised.
In the hours of trial empower and sustain us with your steadfast love, dear God, so we can continue to hold on to what is right, and let your spirit guide us to faithfulness. Amen.Read more
Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) General Secretary offers prayers and sympathyRead more