Greetings to my fellow-labourers who join with me in wanting to ‘Know Christ, and make Him known’!
This Sunday we have special guests, via Zoom, led by our missions committee: Dann and Joji Pantoja. Dann and Joji have been our special global witness workers for some time. Here is an introduction to their activities:
The island of Mindanao is known as a conflict zone in the Philippines. It is also the home of Peace Builders Community Inc. (PBCI), founded by Dann and Joji Pantoja. PBCI provides peace & justice training for Christian church leaders, Indigenous leaders, and civil society organizations. Their vision is that by the year 2030 each of the 81 provinces will have an established Peace and Reconciliation team. As part of PBCI’s sustainable development initiative, Joji works as CEO of Coffee for Peace, a social enterprise that works directly with local coffee farmers to ensure a fair return for their product and responsible environmental practices.
Dann and Joji Pantoja, are embracing their Indigenous names and identities: they are Lakan Sumulong and Lakambini Mapayapa from the Tagalog tribe of Southern Luzon.
Interesting facts about the Philippines –
- The capital is Manila, which is the second largest city
- The nation has a population of 111 million people
- The land area is 30 million hectares, composed of 7,600 islands most of which are uninhabited, it is the second largest nation archipelago, with the fifth largest coastline of any country in the world, and has no land border with any country.
- There are 184 languages, two official, (Filipino, English)
- There are 300 volcanoes, 24 active, with 20 earthquakes a day, most never felt.
- average height of people is: 5’ – 1”
- Though officially the Philippines are a secular state, Christianity is the dominant faith and over 80 percent of the population is Catholic.
- The national dish of the Philippines may well be the adobo, a stew of port or chicken cooked with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Rice is a food staple, and may be eaten at every meal. The rice terraces of the Cordillleras remain has they were in pre-colonial times, and are considered by the Filipinos to be the eighth wonder of the world. They were built over 2,000 years ago and are a now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The only place in the world where skunks are found other than America is Indonesia and the Philippines, where they are called stink badgers.
Please pray for Dann & Joji as they share their heart with us on Sunday. Pray that God will continue to bless their ministry and work amongst the Filipino people, and that peace will come to the island of Mindanao.
We are also witness workers, in our homes, at our jobs, in our activities, let us work for peace, justice, and the good news that there is hope as our Saviour, Jesus, is active with us, and empowering good.
Blessings as you labour for Him.