Back to 2019 Filipino Bible Fellowship Weekly List

True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church

On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!

The Apostle Paul expresses his love for his own people when he writes, in Romans 10:1–3, “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” May this same spirit also dwells in our hearts for our own countrymen who are still trusting in their own righteousness – as taught by the Roman Catholic Church – but are ignorant of God’s righteousness in the Lord Jesus Christ. This calls for more laborers in God’s Kingdom to be His ambassadors to tell them of the saving grace of Christ.

Below is a very well-known fact of the plight of many Filipinos. Read and you will understand why you can be God’s ambassador to reach out our countrymen anywhere around the globe! – Bro Jose

Heroes of the Philippines

The National Geographic features an article on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s) last month. It describes how Filipinos are leaving family and friends behind to work abroad for an ultimate goal: a better life! Lack of opportunity and low wages drive millions of Filipinos to go overseas.

It features the Morco family whose son embarks on a life as an overseas worker. He knows well the “endless cycle of longing – forever reaching” the dream abroad and pining for the home left behind. Recuerdo, the son, is proud to send his mother several hundred dollars out of the $1,300 he earns a month. As a seaman, “Recuerdo often dreams of going home to Palawan, the same way he used to stand on his beach and dream about working as a merchant sailor. But there’s always a new reason why he needs a few more paychecks, and the day he comes home to live in Palawan seems always to be just beyond horizon.” He says that a life as an OFW is “MASAKIT NA MASARAP.” It’s “a pain that gratifies.”

The author, Aurora Almendral is a Filipino-American journalist who reports on Southeast Asia from Manila. She says that it is estimated 10 million Filipinos - roughly a tenth of the country's population - work overseas as a way of escaping unemployment, low wages, and limited opportunities at home. The money sent back by OFW’s amount to $31 billion a year - about 10 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product. Accordingly, “Filipinos are domestic workers in Angola and construction workers in Japan. They staff the oil fields of Libya and are nannies to families in Hong Kong. They sing on the stages of far-flung provinces in China and help run hotels in the Middle East. A quarter of the world's seafarers are Filipino.

“It's a phenomenon that has reshaped the economy and the education system in the Philippines. Each year about 19,000 nurses certified and fresh from language training, are deployed to hospitals around the world. Meanwhile educational institutions and vocational schools in the Philippines funnel students into industries likeliest to get them a job abroad. Merchant marine academies, like nursing schools, churn out thousands of graduates yearly. Training centers for domestic workers school women in how to set a table according to different culture’s standards, fold sheets into tight hospital corners and whisper a greeting in Arabic or Chinese. Government agencies were founded to deal with the migration of registered workers, negotiate international labor terms and rescue workers when a diplomatic row flares up or when a war breaks out - as when a delegation of government officials traveled to Syria to find domestic workers and ferry them to safety. The steady stream of cash from Filipino workers abroad has helped edge poorer families out of poverty, and houses built with cash from migrant workers have sprouted up in the rice fields of backwater provinces.

“In the Philippines, December is celebrated as the national month for overseas workers. Movies and television shows romanticized their hardships and dedication. Those who are part of the diaspora are called bagong bayani— the new heroes — for sacrificing themselves for the betterment of their families and the country.” (Source: National Geographic, Dec 2018, pp 138–149)

In the Philippines, overseas workers are called bagong bayani– the new heroes.For decades the Philippine government has facilitated migration abroad as a way to develop the country. A sprawling trade school industry helps give Filipinos needed skills. Nannies (top left) are trained to dote on babies without making mothers jealous. Nurses (bottom left) learn how to deliver care in foreign languages. Chefs (top right) prepare for jobs in hotels and restaurants, and domestic workers (bottom right) learn to cook foreign foods.” Photos and words are sourced from National Geographic, December 2018, pp 144–145.

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