Pressed…but not Crushed: Philippine Project Updates (Part 3)
We’ve been sharing a series of updates on CBM’s projects in the Philippines with our partner, KPM. We’ve titled this series of updates, ‘Pressed…but not Crushed’, which is taken from 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.”
Our partners in the Philippines continue to experience tremendous challenges, many of which have been made worse due to the pandemic that continues to spread throughout the country. Like the Apostle Paul, they are being pressed on every side by external pressures, but they continue to persevere in their work by God’s sustaining grace.
This is the third instalment in this series of updates. We previously shared updates about FOOD for LIFE (Faith+Work initiative) and our theological education program, CCTEP (Capiz Continued Theological Education Program). Today, we want to share an update with you on a community development project that focuses on education; early childhood education, as well as, discipleship and scholarship for college age students.
KPM, in partnership with CBM, operates a number of childcare centers, which are located in various communities in Capiz province. Three of these early learning centers are located in remote and mountainous communities where access to early childhood education would not be available otherwise. The other two locations are in poor urban communities in Roxas City, which are densely populated and where individuals depend on fishing, selling dried fish, or various day labour to support their families.
Normally, 3 to 4 year old children would fill these centers each morning to learn basic education such as the alphabet, numbers, colours, etc…, as well as, basic hygiene, such as how to wash your hands and brush your teeth, and the importance of eating healthy food and snacks. Each center has a local ‘missionary teacher’ who is responsible to organize and teach the children. They also work in their respective communities to assist parents in the development of livelihood projects and animal raising. Depending on the year, there are approximately 100 to 150 children who attend these childcare centers.
Due to covid-19 restrictions in Capiz province, especially in Roxas City, the children are unable to gather at the centers for learning each day. And, as you might expect, it is still unknown when they will be able to resume their classes. Knowing that these are critical learning years for the children, the missionary teachers (with the assistance and support of KPM leadership) got together to discuss how they could continue to provide early childhood education during the pandemic without gathering the children in the centers. They developed a home learning plan and then prepared monthly learning packs for the children, which their parents use to teach their children in their own homes. This is a wonderful example of an organization willing to pivot or make adjustments to their plans so that they can continue to carry out their mission of providing children with quality education and developmental support.
In addition to these childcare centers, KPM also runs an educational aid program for poor, determined, and deserving college students who need support, encouragement, and financial assistance to reach their educational goals. Normally, 15 to 20 students are selected, based on a set of criteria, to participate in the program. The participating students commit to maintaining good grades, to serve in their local church, to meet regularly with other participating students and KPM staff for discipleship and leadership training, and to assist KPM in summer student ministry programs such as vacation church school.
Of course, due to the pandemic, these students are not ‘in class’ either, but rather, they are carrying out their studies and assignments from their homes. This is extremely challenging for so many of them because they live in very remote areas with unstable internet connections or telephone service. Thankfully though, they are persevering and are figuring out creative ways to continue in their studies and fulfill their educational requirements. KPM leadership have been keeping in regular contact with each of the students participating in the program and they have organized virtual discipleship meetings to provide prayer and support for the students.
We invite you to pray with us for these children and young people as they pursue their education.
- Please be praying for children and parents of KPM’s childcare centers as they continue their learning from home during the pandemic.
- Please pray for their health and protection from the corona virus
- Please pray for the college students participating in KPM’s student aid program. Please pray that they will continue to persevere in their studies despite these challenging days.
- Please pray for students who are struggling with mental health issues related to stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.
- Please be praying for our partners, Kabuganaan Philippine Ministries (KPM) and Rev. Job & Phoebe Santiago as they provide leadership to these programs 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