Orchard Road Presbyterian Church (English Congregation) has been sending teams on mission trips to the Philippines since 2009. Currently, we are supporting Fishport Church (Pastor Jason Nehab) and Sunrise Church (Pastor Marlon Bagotsay), both located in the slum areas in Rizal, Philippines.
Due to the Covid19 pandemic, there were many lockdowns and quarantine orders since March 2020, which limited and sometimes entirely stopped their ability to meet regularly for Sunday worship in church. During this time, the pastors have adopted various approaches, including online worship services and meeting in small home groups.
During the pandemic, many church members have also lost their jobs and have difficulty providing even basic necessities such as food for their families.
Food Distribution To The Poor
During the pandemic, ORPC extended God’s love and supported the Fishport and Sunrise church communities by providing groceries to families.
In 2020, a total of 138 households have benefited from this outreach which was done in two waves. The two pastors and their church leaders have visited each home twice period to personally distribute the groceries. This was also an outreach opportunity to reflect God’s love by sharing the gospel with many non-believer household members, praying for them and inviting them to visit Fishport and Sunrise churches after the quarantine is over.
In 2021, ORPC contributed to our ministry partner’s (Care Channels International) pandemic response program (phase 3) which will benefit 1300 poor families in the Philippines, including the poor families from Fishport and Sunrise Churches.
The impact of Covid19 and government regulations have restricted the children from attending Sunday School in church since March 2020.
Due to the pandemic, the children ministries have adapted to a home-based version since mid 2020. This involved “moving” Sunday School to the homes of children instead of meeting in church. Small groups of students would meet in selected homes with various teacher volunteers. During the even stricter lockdown period, the children remained at their own homes instead of small groups. In both cases, packed food and Sunday School lessons are delivered by church leaders and volunteers to their homes.
We received positive feedback that the children look forward very much to Sunday School every week. This home-based Sunday School program is very effective and participation has increased significantly in the past year, especially among many unchurched families. This large group of unchurched parents of Sunday School children is a ministry for volunteers and church leaders who meet them weekly during the delivery of food packs and Sunday school materials.
During the pandemic the two churches rallied together to support their local community by participating in the Covid19 education outreach. Twenty church volunteers from Fishport and Sunrise churches were trained and equipped to provide Covid19 education. Posters were set up to publicise the event. Attendees were provided informative leaflets and educated on the importance of wearing masks and hand hygiene. Each family was provided hand sanitizers and a pack of reusable cloth masks for adults and children. In total, they reached out to 440 families in their community.
This project, besides helping to protect and educate the community, was also an outreach opportunity to many unchurched families near Fishport and Sunrise churches.
Sunday worship at Fishport Church – Pastor Jason in red shirt 6
Men and Women Bible Study Groups / Youth Groups / Prayer Groups
Many families in Fishport and Sunrise Churches have lost their jobs before and especially during the pandemic. We are helping the local churches and working with our second ministry partner (Care Channels Philippines) to fund various sustainable livelihood projects so that these poor communities can earn an income to support their families.
In 2020, the two churches embarked on a mask sewing livelihood project. Sewing machines were donated for this project. Many mothers who would normally be home makers have come forward for mask-sewing training. In between sewing masks, these sewing machines were put to good use in other livelihood projects, such as foot rugs and rag cleaners, which were made from sewing together strips of leftover cloth.
Several members and alumni of a small group in ORPC have previously raised funds to sponsor a Farmers Market livelihood project proposed by Fishport Church. Unfortunately, the crops were decimated by the typhoon before the project could get started, resulting in astronomical prices for fruits and vegetables in the aftermath. The funds have since been channeled towards a micro- financing ministry for various small projects undertaken by various church members, accordingly to certain guidelines set forth.
In the second half of 2021, additional livelihood projects include making dishwashing liquid for sale to the local community, growing flowers and making pressed flower cards (and eventually pressed flower calendars) that can be sold online and in the CCI website.
We thank God for our ministry partner on the ground in the Philippines, CCI, with whom we collaborate in administering these livelihood projects. We will continue to support these livelihood projects through the funding of the material costs, training, micro-financing where possible, and educating them on financial management so that these projects can be sustainable for the long term.
Our hope and prayers are for these communities at Fishport and Sunrise churches to engage in more sustainable livelihood projects, be self-sufficient, able to support their families and their local churches, send their children to school, progressively move out of the poverty cycle and be a good testimony for Christ to the unchurched in their midst.
As we reflect on the words of Jesus in Matthew 25: v35-36, and v40, we seek your partnership in prayer support for Fishport and Sunrise churches, that the believers will reach out to share the gospel to their community, walk closely with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and grow in faith and knowledge of Him. Please also prayerfully consider participating in our Philippines outreach through your financial support to English-Missions.
Please contact Poey Leng using this form if you have any queries or should you/your small group wish to adopt a community group/livelihood project. Thank you.