Howdy St. John’s!
On Thursday, July 21st, at 6 pm, I am excited to come to y’all to talk about my experiences in the Philippines. As a young adult I spent one year there as a missionary. As a young adult I worked in a center called “Kalauman” which means “from where you draw hope”. The center’s main focus was and still is to support children and their families from the slums. This center cares for their physical, emotional, spiritual and educational well-being that one day the kids are able to support themselves to find a way out of the slums and poverty. But they are not only working with the children. For best and long term results Kalauman learned that they need to work with the families as well. Educational Programs for parents, communal networking and health support guarantees the success of the program.
Working and living with the kids and their families in the slums was one of the most life-changing experiences for me. It changed my path. Even after 20 years I am still drawing from this experience. You would think that people have a hard time believing in God while facing the challenges of poverty, mal-nourishment and violence. And yet I learned and experienced a vivid excited faith for God who loves and provides, who is a friend and supporter in their lives. Not only my life has changed as a young woman, my faith has changed as well.
Kalauman became a center “from where I draw hope” as well. Their ability to integrate every person from all walks of life, to become a center of hope, support and exchange is one big reason why their program is so successful. Many children I worked with 20 years ago I see on Facebook having children, having good jobs and have been able to overcome the spiral of poverty.
This project faces its challenges right now. The ground their campus is on belongs to the University. After 35 years they now need to claim those grounds back due to their own expansions. Now Kalauman has to raise $129,000 for their new center. Global Ministries is involved in encouraging congregations to donate money for the good cause. I am joining them by coming to you, sharing some experiences and eating Philippino food together. Come, and enjoy a great evening. Let’s help to raise funds for Kalauman so that Kalauman can draw hope from us!
This is a project worth supporting! You will not only listen to funny and informative stories, you are also invited to enjoy good Philippino food!
Rev. Mirjam Haas-Melchior