Missionary Spotlight - Compassion for the Philippines - Brian Ellis
Compassion for the Philippines
Christian Compassion Ministries (CCM) is a Bible-based ministry of Cubao Reformed Baptist Church (CRBC). The mission was founded in 1995 as the church became aware of four or five street families living under makeshift roofs and the appalling poverty of local street children.
CRBC was given a sum of money to help the poor and, after much prayer, the church was directed by God to provide a home for street girls. The first children's home was opened in 1995, followed by a home for boys.
The work has grown exponentially, not just in terms of the number of staff, which is now at 28, but also the various ministries. These range from the Educational Assistance Programme (EAP) to important social work among families; from the 'Livelihood' homeless project to evangelistic camps.
'Let the little children come to me'
There are 60 girls aged between four and 18, housed at three sites. In addition, there is Faith House, which is for college-aged girls in education, while Hope House caters for older girls rejected by other agencies because of the time they spent on the streets.
The homes provide a range of educational and cultural activities, including field trips and sports days. In the summer, some of the girls performed a repertoire of songs for an audience of 120. CCM also held a two-day retreat for the girls at a Christian campsite outside Manila.
However, there are financial problems: the rising price of gas has forced the Masinag home to cook on small charcoal stoves, as it is cheaper. Also, the poor exchange rate means that Masinag is struggling to cover costs. But God is good and the kind donations of supporters meant that the summer activities for the girls last year could go ahead. 'Great is thy faithfulness' (Lamentations 3:23).
The boys' home houses twelve and is run by Scott and Emilyn Delohery. Last year, the home witnessed an exceptionally busy year. A cause for praise is that two boys are asking serious questions about salvation. Please pray for Scott and Emilyn as they guide the boys.
'Livelihood' is a project that helps to train some of the poorest families. Families can obtain small interest free loans of about £50 (US$80). Many use the money to prepare food for sale. Recently courses have been run on the preparation of cold meat products and dressmaking. Currently over 80 families are being helped with livelihood projects.
The Lord has provided CCM with a training centre in Fairview about eight miles from Cubao to train men in electrical appliance repair and motorcycle maintenance, as well as ladies in sewing classes and other ways to earn income to support their families.
Reaching the poorest
The drop-in centre grew out of the church's evangelistic work among street people in Cubao. People are on the street for many reasons, ranging from a lack of medical care for those with mental illnesses, through to drug and alcohol addiction. CCM is helping some of the street families through its Educational Assistance Programme (EAP) to enable some children to go to school. Medical and legal aid is also often needed and a social worker is assigned to work full time with Cubao's homeless.
The Educational Assistance Programme
CCM's sponsorship scheme provides financial support for more than 300 poverty-stricken families in the shanty areas of Manila. This is to help the children go to school, rather than beg on the streets.
The EAP provides school uniform, shoes, bag, notebook and monthly schooling allowance.
Social workers visit the home regularly to check on school attendance and progress, and to give Christian literature and witness to the family. Families are invited to attend local Bible studies and parents are also invited to special talks on topics such as family responsibility.
Please continue to pray for the ministry of CCM and that whole families may be converted and join a local church. For more information, contact CRBC by writing to 21 Harvard St, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines; tel: 911-0626; office tel: 438-1043; 438-4681; tel/fax 912-4485.