Parents of children enrolled in the Please Pass the Bread program are taking steps to resolve their condition of poverty. We recently received this letter from Pastor Cesar – ministry partner in Estero, Philippines where PPTB feeds over 100 children daily.
“May I share to you the hopes and dreams of our Estero families supported by Please Pass the Bread and the request for prayers that our plans towards rural settlement will come to bear fruit. We want to take meaningful steps to get ourselves out of poverty.
Let me start with the love gift that you (PPtB) sent to me, which we used to support some of our church adults, and youths who are PPtB volunteers and whose children benefit from the feeding program. The funds supported their attendance in community oriented seminars and trainings pertaining to Child Advocacy and Community Service: Disaster Risk Reduction Management, Child Protection in Emergencies, Anti-Corporal Punishment, Anti-Child Sexual Abuse and Anti-Child Pornography.
These trainings and seminars paved way for our poverty stricken Estero parents and youths to become more aware of the plight concerning the helpless state of our Estero children who are victims of domestic violence, child abuse and other conditions of poverty. It also brought them to reflect and think about their life situation in the past, assess their present status, and to look forward to their future, in light of the biblical principles that were taught and learned during the seminars and trainings. Reflections of change have also surface as a result of the regular bible studies held in the community.
The knowledge gained and awareness created in the minds of our local PPtB family members attending, led to meditations, serious thoughts and concrete actions/ steps towards addressing the identified problems through community involvement. This has led to steps that were taken, by parents of the children we feed through PPtB support, to try and resolve their condition of poverty by attempting to relocate to a rural settlement.
Our local church members delegated representatives to attend an orientation about one of our governments’ program to help our informal settlers in acquiring their own desired land. The parents of our Estero children are praying to build a new community away from the poverty they live in now, in hopes to start a new life on a road to a better life for their families.
Through a due process, a board resolution was recently passed for the proposed plan of re-settlement by our Estero families. A settlement site was located and accepted by our church. After a series of meetings with authorized representatives, on behalf of the association formed by our Estero parents, resulted to the landowner issuance of a Letter of Intent to sell and also produced the Land Title to the property our Estero parents want to start a new life at.
To pay for this property and move to start a new life out of poverty involves voluntary daily contributions by our parents and church members who will accept the proposed resettlement plan. The daily contributions were discussed and the members agreed to pay a certain amount on schedule towards acquiring the land for their own.
It was further decided that savings could also come from abstaining from junk food and carbonated beverages daily. This, the members also found to be sound and acceptable. Personal contributions from the parents of the children supported by Please Pass the Bread started last May 2011 and are continuing to this day. Another government resolution was recently passed to accept our application to settle in the land. Completion of the requirements is soon to follow.
We are hopeful and praying that the final approval of application will be released within a few months. We also continue to pray and hope that the Lord will link and partner our efforts with additional Christian groups or organizations as our Estero families take the steps to move from their current condition of poverty and start living a better life moving out of poverty.
In the meantime, our Estero families will be acquiring skills and competencies in agricultural and livelihood projects, in a rural based setting, so they can support themselves and their families when they do resettle. As of present, there are 30 families from the Estero community and 12 families from the street-dwellers areas who have joined the plan to form a Christian community, and who will be witnesses to the other communities of God’s faithfulness and grace to his church.
I hope that some of our brothers and sisters with means may be interested, and will be willing in sharing their resources and offer assistance for this cause, which I pray may give honor to Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
Oh Dear Lord, I literally cry to you on behalf of the Estero children you have brought to me to watch grow for the past twelve years of ministry work and plead for your grace and mercy! May the hearts of your people be broken with what break yours…”
To learn more about the community of Estero supported by PPtB please link here: http://pleasepassthebread.org/feeding-programs/philippines/estero-de-magdalena/