Saturday, July 14, 2007

Visiting Different Ministries

Contrary to popular belief, we have been working this week, just not building houses : ) This last week Habitat gave control of us over to Union Church of Manila and we have had the opportunity to visit different ministries that they financially support.

On Monday, we traveled to Cabuyao and spent the day at a ministry called the Institute for Foundational Learning (IFL). This ministry is truly amazing because they educate and house over a hundred local children from preschool through high school! In addition, they are almost completely self-sustaining: they grow their own rice and vegetables and raise their own pigs, chickens, ducks, and fish…quite impressive, especially from an ecological perspective. On Tuesday, we learned all about the history of the Philippines by visiting the Ayala Museum and taking a tour of Intramuros (the old walled city) with a hilarious tour guide named Carlos Celdran. Then on Wednesday we went to Tagaytay to stay over night at a ministry called Action International. This ministry also educates and houses Filipino children and teenagers, but focuses also on teaching trade skills such as auto mechanics, wood working, and sewing so their students can get jobs soon after they graduate. We visited the next ministry, Sumulong Baptist Church Feeding Program, on Friday in Antipolo. They feed 25 local children lunch and dinner four days a week. The parents of these children typically earn about 40 pesos a week (about one US dollar)! It has been such a treat to witness the different ministries that UCM sponsors in so many geographical areas and see how they are literally transforming the lives of so many children.

This week has been a nice change of pace, but we are excited to get back to work (building) next week in Taguig. We wish that you pray for the different ministries we visited this week so that they can continue to find the resources they need to continue spreading the love of Jesus Christ to the local children and also to pray for our team as it has been almost one month since we left and we are all starting to miss our friends and family.

God Bless,

Paul, Poyang, Jenn, Korina, and Holly
(the picture is of Holly helping some 3-4 year olds at the IFL)

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