Pressed…but not Crushed: Philippine Project Updates (Part 1)
Well, as we all know, regular activities for most businesses and organizations, around the world, have been significantly affected by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Regular CBM programming in the Philippines with our partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM), is no exception. The ongoing lockdown measures in the Philippines, which have now exceeded 200 days, are certainly having a negative impact. With that being said, KPM leadership, staff, and project teams are doing an amazing job of adapting to the current challenges and continue to serve the needs of poor and marginalized people in Capiz province.
We are reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 where he says,
“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.”
Like Paul, our partners in the Philippines are fully aware that it is only because of the finished work of Jesus Christ that they are able to carry on. We are so thankful for the sustaining grace of God in the midst of these very challenging and pressing days.
Over the next several weeks we will be sharing some brief updates with you on each of CBM’s projects in the Philippines with our partner, KPM. We pray that you will find these updates encouraging, knowing that the work, although different, continues to impact lives through Word and Deed.
We will begin our series of updates with FOOD for LIFE…
FOOD for LIFE Photo Gallery
In early 2020, FOOD for LIFE was set to begin construction of a new ‘Laboratory’ where they would begin to mass produce chemical free farm inputs such as: soil enrichment, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, etc., to supply the needs of FOOD for LIFE farmers. Unfortunately, Capiz province experienced a major Typhoon (Ursula) on Christmas day that really set construction efforts back. Thankfully though, they were able to finish the construction in late February and hoped to begin production of the chemical free inputs in March. Of course you know what happened next….in early March the Philippines (like much of the world) was placed under a nation wide lockdown/quarantine meaning the work in the Laboratory had to stop. The lockdown restrictions put tremendous stress and pressure on the farmers, especially as many of them were not able to travel to work their fields due to travel restrictions between jurisdictions. Thankfully though, March to May is dry season (summer) in the Philippines and farmers don’t usually plant rice during these months.
In July, some restrictions were eased, which allowed farmers to resume their activities, prepare their fields, and planting for the next cycle, although this was about a month late. Currently, the harvest has begun and FOOD for LIFE has begun purchasing Palay (unmilled rice) from the farmers, which will then be processed (dried, milled, and packaged) and sold to customers.
At the same time, the FOOD for LIFE team was able to resume work in the Laboratory in early August, and hopes to have enough chemical free inputs available for the farmers for the next planting season, which will happen in Nov/Dec. These chemical free inputs will really help FOOD for LIFE differentiate itself as a high quality, healthy and clean rice that will yield a higher price thus improving farmers livelihood.
As you can see, the last 8 months have been very challenging for farmers, but it’s encouraging to see how FOOD for LIFE is helping farmers as they persevere through adversity.
A little about Coffee – FOOD for LIFE began working with coffee farmers in Hopevale last year and initial demand exceeded our expectations and our supply. The next coffee harvest will begin in the next month or so, and FOOD for LIFE is expecting a larger and healthier coffee crop this year due to the farmers newly learned and implemented techniques and processes for pre and post harvest. Once the harvest is processed, FOOD for LIFE will roast, grind, and package the coffee for sale through BUGANA Livelihood Center in Roxas City.
Despite progress, FOOD for LIFE faces many challenges and there is much to pray about. We invite you to join us in praying for FOOD for LIFE and the farmers as they continue to ‘carry on’ in the face of adversity.
- Please be praying for the ongoing rice harvest and the next planting cycle that will begin soon. Pray also for the coffee harvest that will happen in November and December.
- Please be praying for the Philippines as they continue to fight against the spread of Covid-19. To date, there are over 330,000 cases and they expect that number to continue to rise in the months to come. Capiz province is also seeing a steep rise in cases, which is overwhelming the hospitals in the region.
- Please pray for the two Baptist institutions in Roxas City (Capiz Emmanuel Hospital & Filamer Christian University) as they are both currently experiencing covid-19 outbreaks.
- Please be praying for CBM/KPM programs in Capiz province as they strive to continue serving the needs of the poor and marginalized.
- Please be praying for our partners, Kabuganaan Philippine Ministries (KPM) and Rev. Job & Phoebe Santiago as they provide leadership 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