Community Visits: Childcare Centres, Rural Farms, and a Community Full of Hope
Melanie and I recently had the privilege of travelling to Capiz Province on Panay Island (Visayas) to visit 3 rural communities where CBM has provided long standing support for childcare centres in partnership with Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM). CBM has also been supportive of reconstruction efforts in these communities, in partnership with KPM, following typhoon damage to homes, churches, and other buildings. We had a wonderful time learning more about the past, present and ongoing ministry of KPM and meeting some amazing people who are faithfully serving the Lord in their communities.
We’d like to share with you just a little bit of what we experienced last week during our community visits.
The first community we visited was Lucero. Lucero is a rural community with significant historical ties to KPM and CBM. We visited a Childcare centre & Mission House that was constructed back in 1998. CBM has been supporting the Childcare centre for many years now and has also assisted with repairs to the building after damages caused by a typhoon. As seen in the picture, the original construction of this Childcare centre & Mission House was made possible through the support of a Canadian Baptist pastor and his wife, from the Kipling Baptist Church in Toronto. KPM was founded in the community of Lucero in 1998 through the faithful and dedicated work of former missionaries Robert & Norma Coe. Despite the fact that they returned to Canada a number of year ago, the ministry of KPM continues to grow and to impact lives through the leadership of Pastor Job & Phoebe Santiago who have been giving leadership to KPM since 2010.
There are a number of children attending this Childcare centre and they are receiving wonderful instruction from Pastora Evelyn, who leads the Childcare centre. It was so wonderful to hear stories of children who attended this Childcare centre many years ago who have now gone on to graduate from University thanks to the educational foundation they received at a young age from the Lucero Childcare Centre.
Please pray for the Childcare Centre and Mission Home in Lucero as they continue to serve the needs of their community and as they provide quality pre-school education for many children in the area.
The community of Hopevale has endured many hardships in recent years. First, the community was hit hard by a typhoon that caused significant damage to homes, their farms, and their church. Now, the community has been forced to relocate due to stress cracks (possibly the result of past earthquakes) and the treat of landslides caused by heavy rains and winds. The pressure cracks began to appear last fall and continue to get worse as time goes on due to significant rainfall and heavy winds in the area. The local government determined the community to be unsafe and encouraged the community to relocate to a new plot of land that will be safe for them to raise their families.
After a lot of hesitation, (after all, they would be leaving their land & homes behind and starting all over again) they agreed to re-locate and, as I write, their efforts to re-locate and build their new community is ongoing.
As seen in this picture, when we arrived in the community a large number of community members gathered in their temporary church and childcare centre to meet with us, share with us their stories and share a meal with us. We shared laughter, we shared tears, we witnessed their hurt and pain, but remarkably, this community lives up to it’s name…they shared their hope with us. Even though they have endured so much they recognize that they have hope in the Lord and they are holding on to that hope with all that they have.
Please pray for the community of Hopevale as they continue to rebuild. They still have a long road ahead of them. Please pray for the Pastors in the community as they provide spiritual and emotion support and please pray for KPM as they continue to provide additional support for members of this community.
Our three oldest children (Kyla, Sean & Carter) had the opportunity to participate in a week of Outdoor Education with the entire middle school of Faith Academy during the week of February 6th to 10th.
They travelled to the municipality of Taal. Taal contains one of the largest active volcanos in the Philippines and is also surrounded by a sulphur lake. Taal Lake is a unique location because the lake is in the center of a volcano that is in the center of a lake that is in the center of an Island (try to follow that description). This was an amazing place for the kids to learning about Filipino culture, volcanos, ocean life, wilderness survival, camping, and so much more! They had an amazing week away with their classmates and squad leaders and had some great stories to share with us when they arrived home.
Allie spent a few nights at her friend’s house while we, and her siblings, were away. She had a great time as well but was glad to have us home as this was the first time we had all been apart for any length of time since moving to the Philippines.
- Please pray for us as we continue our Tagalog language learning. We are currently studying language 3 mornings per week. Please pray that we will grasp the grammar and vocabulary quickly.
- Please pray for our children as they continue their 2nd semester at Faith Academy. They are all doing well but are looking forward to March break.
- Please pray for some upcoming travel that we have scheduled to work with our partners in various parts of the Philippines. We will be traveling in March to Davao (Mindanao) and again in April to Roxas (Visayas). Please pray for safety during our travel.
Thank-you for continuing to support us through prayer and with financial support!
If you are interested in becoming a Partner-in-Mission please contact Barb Keys (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-905-821-3533) at Canadian Baptist Ministries. You can also visit their website at www.cbmin.org to give online or for more information. We are only able to follow God’s leading in our lives thanks to the monthly support of generous individuals and churches.
All donations of $10.00 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt at year end.
Michael & Melanie
Kyla, Sean, Carter & Allie