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Hello from the Philippines

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  • Hello from the Philippines

    Hello everyone.

    I am a semi retired professional that decided two years ago I had had enough of the rat race. I felt it was time to do something worthwhile with my life and settled on the Philippines.

    I have been here nearly a year now and have found the experience daunting, challenging and incredibly rewarding. I have connected with other like minded souls here and we are actively working towards improving the lot of homeless children and other disadvantaged groups at a community level.
    We call ourselves The Masaya Project which is Tagalog for happiness.

    I am not an active member of any church, although I was raised Methodist and believe in a higher power. I suppose over the last few months I have come to question more and more the place of the church in developing countries. It's mostly Catholic here and from what I have seen it has been at the expense of the countries culture.
    The majority of Filipinos are incredibly poor, yet remain kind, humerous and full of the joys of life . Many of the Christian based outreach and aid programs we deal with do a huge amount of good, but it comes with a price tag, The active conversion of those they help.

    My apologies for the long winded introduction. I suppose you could say I have come here for opinions and answers. I am a firm believer in allowing everyone to choose their own path in life, whether that be God or Allah or Bhuddha. If it's okay with the forum I would love to post a few questions here over the next few weeks and look forward to your opinions.

    Kind regards
    Robert

  • #2
    Welcome Robert
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    • #3
      Glad you're here Robert, hope we all have great conversations.
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      • #4
        Hi Robert, WELCOME TO CF .. :) I'd be interested in hearing more about your new life in the Philippines, about your beliefs, about the people you've come to know and serve, and about all that's going on with your ministry, so please post away as the Lord leads (and as time allows).

        Thanks!

        Yours and His,
        David
        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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        • #5
          Hi David
          Thank you for the welcome. There is so much to share about the Philippines it's really difficult to know where to start.

          I suppose my reasons for coming here originally had a lot to do with my love for Asia. Imagine my surprise on arriving in the Philippines for the first time to discover I had landed in Mexico. That was what it felt like initially and often still does.

          The Spanish influence is still really strong here, visible in the architecture and the people's faces. In the capital city Manila, obscene wealth and abject poverty exist side by side. Move out of the the large cities and you find communities of rice farmers and very poor communities where people literally live from day to day.

          The Spanish missionaries spread Catholicism throughout the islands during their occupation. The sad part for me is that just across the South China Sea, Thailand exhibits a wealth of culture and traditions going back centuries.

          The Filipinos have been denied this by having the beliefs and culture of their occupiers forced on them. They are an amazing people, friendly, compassionate and sharing is in their genes. I often get invited to live in the homes of local villagers when I am travelling in an area. They share what little they have and go out of their way to make you feel a part of the community.

          I avoid the tourist areas and focus on more rural and isolated communities so I am getting to see a part of the Pilippines most tourist will never experience.
          There are quite a few volunteer programs running here and I would highly recommend these to students and adults wanting to give back a little. I can assure them it will be one of the most rewarding experiences ever.
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          • #6
            Welcome to the forum. Christianity is meant for everyone, in all countries. Some churches have gotten away from the truth of the Bible and promote teachings based on their traditions, and sometimes that has caused problems, but churches that adhere fully to the Bible always bring about good results.
            Clyde Herrin's Blog
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            • #7
              Robert welcome to CF. I have talked to several people in the Philippines over the years. This was especially true after the wicked stormed that have had and continue to have. I have a friend who grew up there too. I wonder if you have run across any worthy Christian groups you can mention? I have been to South America and witnessed first hand some religious groups that did very little but had a big presents there, is that the same there as well?


              justme
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              • #8
                Hello Robert,

                Welcome to ChristForums!

                I am married to a Filipina. We are currently teaching in China and go back to the Philippines once or twice a year for vacation. We usually stay around the Manila area.

                Faber
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by justme View Post
                  Robert welcome to CF. I have talked to several people in the Philippines over the years. This was especially true after the wicked stormed that have had and continue to have. I have a friend who grew up there too. I wonder if you have run across any worthy Christian groups you can mention? I have been to South America and witnessed first hand some religious groups that did very little but had a big presents there, is that the same there as well?


                  justme
                  Hi Justme

                  Thanks for the welcome. Yes, the same is very true here. I won't get into mentioning names as I think that is unfair, but there is definitely a correlation between the size of the church and they work they do at grass root levels.

                  There are of course one or two exceptions but it is noteable that the larger the presence the less visible the church becomes in terms of charitable work.

                  I suppose I have become a little cynical regarding this. I see it as political campaigning in a sense, winning the hearts and minds, then after the elections....

                  The smaller churches are definitely the heroes in terms of dangerous and inhospitable areas that need assistance.
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