Working Through the Local Church
Compassion’s ministry in the Philippines, as in every country where we work, is based in the local church. It is an ideal partnership because evangelical churches are springing up throughout the country. Also, because Filipinos have lost confidence in other institutions, including the government, they are embracing the church as a source of humanitarian help and hope.
Several of our church partners have noticed that even when people are suspicious of their motives in helping children, it takes only a few weeks for families to realize the sincerity of the church and gladly send their children to be registered in the program. Often entire families begin attending the church services and eventually become members.
How Compassion Works in Philippines
Compassion's work in the Philippines began in 1972. Currently, more than 66,400 children participate in 339 child development centers.
Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Philippine children with a program of long-term child development that addresses their physical, social/emotional, educational and spiritual needs. This program gives impoverished children the opportunities they need to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.
The Role of a Partnership Facilitator
In the Philippines, Partnership Facilitators are important liaisons between Compassion and the country’s partner churches. Facilitators are like missionaries, sent out to minister to the churches, equipping them for successful partnership.
One of Compassion Philippines’ 29 Partnership Facilitators, Salustiano Leosala, currently serves 11 church partners in the Camarines Sur region. To visit these churches, Salustiano must travel six hours by bus to the region’s main city, Naga, then travel by jeepney – a smaller bus – another few hours to reach them. But it is well worth the effort, he emphasizes.
“My role is to facilitate,” Salustiano says. He believes his main task is “to train the church partners so that they are more prepared in the ministry for the Lord.”