Pressed…but not Crushed: Philippine Project Updates (Part 4)
Over the last 6 or 7 weeks we’ve been sharing updates on CBM’s work in the Philippines with our partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM). This is our fourth and final instalment in the series, which we’ve titled, ‘Pressed…but not Crushed’. If you’ve missed any of the other updates, you can find them on our blog or by clicking on the links below:
- FOOD for LIFE (Faith+Work Initiative),
- CCTEP (Theological Education Program)
- Early Childhood Education and Student Aid & Discipleship (Community Development Program)
As we shared in our previous posts, the title of this series (Pressed…but not Crushed) was taken from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, where the Apostle Paul shares, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
Earlier, in verse 7 of this passage, the Apostle Paul says ‘but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us’. Like many around the world, our Filipino partners have been experiencing immense hardships over the past number of months, yet their commitment to the Gospel and to carrying out the work that God has entrusted to them endures. Despite limitations and weaknesses that are inherent within humanity, they are sustained and have confidence in ‘this treasure in jars of clay’; the surpassing power of Christ within them.
Today, we’re sharing about the newest Faith+Work Initiative, BUGANA Livelihood Center, which is located in Roxas City, Capiz.
Just about 1 year ago, KPM, with the support of CBM, began the process of launching a new Faith+Work initiative known as the BUGANA Livelihood Center. The purpose of BUGANA is three-fold. First of all, BUGANA is a place where individuals can receive training and support in the essentials of operating a small business. Secondly, BUGANA is a place that offers work-shop space for selected artisans and crafts-people, from urban poor communities in Roxas City, to learn new skills and to produce goods that can be sold to support their livelihoods. Lastly, BUGANA is building sales channels for these products to be sold to customers through Roxas City, the entire province of Capiz, and beyond.
One of the key components of BUGANA Livelihood Center was to be a ‘brick and mortar’ store where customers could come and see how products are being made, meet the team of artisans, browse the inventory, sample products (such as BUGANA’s Hopevale blend coffee), and make purchases. Unfortunately, as a result of restrictions that have been imposed during the covid-19 pandemic, the ‘brick and mortar’ store has not been able to open to the public. Although this has had a significant impact on BUGANA’s operations, it has not discouraged their commitment to this initiative. The BUGANA team have made necessary adjustments to their operations and have developed new ways to get their products into customers hands.
Aside from forcing the BUGANA team to make necessary adjustments to their operational plan, these months of pandemic restrictions have also provided them with opportunities to experiment, innovate, and create, new products and services. Most recently, the BUGANA artisans received training on rug weaving using up cycled fabrics that can be easily gathered from local sources. Before this, BUGANA’s team of ‘out-of-school’ youth and ‘poor working students’ learned how to make new products using coconut shells and Bamboo wood.
In addition to creating employment and livelihood opportunities for marginalized individuals in Roxas City, BUGANA is also committed to creation care. That is why all of BUGANA’s products are created using renewable sources (such as coconut shells and bamboo) and up cycled materials (such as old fabrics, old newspaper or magazine papers). It may seem like a small thing, but BUGANA is doing their part and exercising good stewardship of God’s creation.
BUGANA faces many challenges, especially since the pandemic continues to impact their business operations, but they remain committed and motivated for the hard work of building this business initiative, which is changing lives.
- Please be praying for Pastor Jerry Lamazon and Ezekiel Sese as they give daily operational leadership to BUGANA and the groups of artisans who work at the Center.
- Please pray for health and protection from the corona virus for all those involved in this initiative.
- Please pray for the sustainability of BUGANA as they struggle with covid restrictions, which have had a significant negative impact on business activities.
- Please pray that BUGANA Livelihood Center will endure and will grow to have a greater and lasting impact for the livelihoods of those involved and their families.
- Please be praying for our partners, Kabuganaan Philippine Ministries (KPM) and Rev. Job & Phoebe Santiago as they provide leadership to this initiative during this very challenging time.
Michael & Melanie (Kyla, Sean, Carter, & Allie)
For more information on CBM’s work around the world, including the Philippines, or to donate please visit www.cbmin.org or call 1-905-821-3533.
If you are interested in becoming a Partner-in-Mission with our family, 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