Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Church's Involvement in Eliminating Sexual Exploitation in the Philippines

This is a continuation of last week’s article in which I shared a portion of a summary of our visits with many regarding our concerns and questions regarding sexual exploitation in the Philippines.

As indicated in previous articles, education is a challenging issue in the Philippines. Not only are many unable to afford education, even those who struggle through the expense of higher education still have difficulty obtaining jobs. There are just not enough jobs to go around!
While we did visit a wonderful “alternative” Christ centered school, unfortunately, we were not able to visit with leaders involved in the home school movement there; however cooperative home-schooling certainly seems to be a viable answer. Although I need to do more research in this regard, adults within a house to house community could be trained to educate the children within that community at least through the primary grades.

Livelihood is an issue in the Philippines and as the economy crumbles globally the issue is increasing. Learning a self-sustaining lifestyle is becoming more and more important for every culture, including the Philippines.
Of all the wonderful characteristics of Filipinos, their excitement to learn is one of my favorites! It seemed that every time I got my knitting needles out, someone wanted to learn. If I began talking about organic gardening/farming, those around me were all ears and even requested to be taught more. In sharing the organic products that I make, there was always an interest in learning how! People eager to learn excite me!

As our Amish friends demonstrate, with only primary education, the ability to grow their own food and learning a trade, a person can have their needs met without higher education and the destructive effects of “prestigious professions.” Not only are most Filipinos very capable of being entrepreneurs of small businesses selling produce, meat, homemade items, welding, etc., exchanging these skills within a house to house community would certainly make it possible for God’s people to be self-sustaining!

**I may write more on this later, for now I’ll simply share that many Filipino farmers are very interested in going organic. However, because there is always a lower yield in the first few years of transitioning, they fear not being able to sustain their family’s needs due to lowered income during those initial years. How can we help? A farmer only needs approximately $200.00 per year to uphold their family’s requirements as they make this transition!

Where would some locations be for establishing a house to house community – a place where:
• women/men and children could come live with that community and experience community/family life?
• there is enough property to build if there are not already buildings?
• a self-sustaining lifestyle through organic gardening, raising livestock, etc could be demonstrated and lived out?

Property in the Philippines is available in many prime areas. It is not expensive and building is very reasonable. However, knowing God’s leading regarding where He wants to establish such a community is still in question.

I recognize that a few days in some places and a few weeks in others does not give one a full picture of what is happening among God’s Kingdom people there. My goal in this article is not to make any assumptions of what that full pictures is, but only to report what I witnessed during our short stay. I realize that we are only scratching the surface of obtaining answers to our questions.

We witnessed that Father is moving swiftly making disciples among the young Filipino men and women. This next generation of Filipinos is being greatly affected by the biblical concept of organic life outside the institutional church structure. Unrefined church life in the Philippines is growing! We sense that God has great plans for His people in the Philippines. Cebu seems to be where He is beginning His work in order to infiltrate the entire nation! It is exciting to have witnessed and been a part of His glorious plan!

As we pray for our family there, we continue to seek Father’s will regarding these things:

• Are we done there? OR….
• Is there more He wants to teach us there?
• Are there ways that He desires to use us there?
Yet, we also love our family and friends in the states and recognize the great needs here, as well.
• Are we to use here what He taught us there? How, where and with whom?

What joy and excitement there is in living our daily lives for His glory and resting in His presence as we watch His perfect plan to unfold!


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