Philippines Update – January 25th
January 25, 2012
This morning Denny, Along and I spent about 3 hours with Pastor Neil and Mimi going over their goals for the church. There is so much to talk about and so much planning regarding programs and budgets – it’s daunting. Pastor Neil and Mimi are so willing to work hard to help this congregation grow. They need time to start out slowly and work up to bigger things later. They really understand this. I love to look at Neil’s face – it just glows with the love of The Lord!
After lunch we visited two neighboring barrios – Ugpong and Canlisid. WOW! They are both such needy barrios that it hard to know where to start. We really feel that getting water to each home is the number one priority. Water projects are pretty do-able and really make an immediate impact on the people’s health. (I can’t imagine living my entire life with water “sometimes” during the day). MOM has already provided funds for most of the system but the barrio failed to plan on the electrical wiring costs for a 300 meter segment from the well to the main electric supply line. The cost for the wire, installation and permitting is approximately $450.00. We need to find the means to make this happen soonest.
Another do-able project is painting and “fixing -up” the daycare centers. Eighteen little children fit in one tiny dirty room with a “bathroom” so scary that it makes you want to shut the door as fast as you can and never go in again. Each daycare could also use some toys, children books, some craft supplies and a white board.
Both barrios wanted roads paved, but that project is just too expensive. The government will give a portion 100,000 pesos ($2,100) as a shared contribution of 500,000 pesos ($11,600 plus) needed. We don’t feel that this is a plan MOM can get involved with at this time .
The barrios are situated along the Loboc River. We discussed ways to start a tilapia program. They have almost a hectare in Canlasid perfect for tilapia farming. Tilapia evidently thrive in brackish water. If we dredge out a large area we could float several netted holding pens. They could raise the fish for sale as a source of barrio funding and offer some tilpia as a discount to residents. We’ll be talking with Jay about this.
We did stress to each of the barangay council members that we were on a fact finding mission and that we must return to The States and discuss the matter with the MOM board. We made no promises.
We are home now and the heavy jungle rain has begun. One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was that in the first barrio we visited there was a request for four wheelchairs. Apparently 3 people in that barrio have paralyzed legs while the 4th person has no legs at all. They thought it would be nice for the people to be able to have a wheelchair to get out of their house a little more – even though the road is rough and difficult to pass. I plan to check with Dennis Drake from IDEA (the deaf association I worked with here in Bohol) to see if Christian Blind Mission has access to wheelchairs. Shipping wheelchairs from the States would be very expensive. Maybe we can find some in Manila.
As you can see the needs are great here and all is a matter of prayer. Please pray with us and with the MOM board as we try to make the right decisions.
Denny and Ellen