God Will Make a Way

A sharing by Sis Delma Dumas

God gave me two special gifts and I treasure them so dearly. Each gift has helped me see the beauty of my service as a Handmaid of the Lord serving in Lae, Papua New Guinea since 1997.

My first special gift are the poor. I was blessed that God surrounded me with them. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve them. I have always the passion for helping the poor, for by loving and helping them, I serve the Lord.

The second special gift I received from God is ANCOP- “answering the cry of the poor. The acronym itself conveys a very powerful message. Immediately I fell in love with its mission that without any hesitation, I embraced it and accepted it as another gift from God.

In 2017, there were 20 Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD) scholars who completed a short course in garment construction. Later, I set up a space for them at my workplace so they can start using their sewing skills. Soon, the sisters were already busy sewing dresses using the 10 units of sewing machines donated by our HOLD sisters from American Samoa through the initiative of Sister Thelma Hizon.

I have seen that sewing have sustained them; not just as a source of livelihood, but also a source of sense of self-worth and belonging. Sisters coming to the workshop everyday became their way of being together, to be in touch with one other in worship, in prayer, in the sharing of food, and in supporting one another to enhance their newly found talents and skills.

There is a plan to relocate them to Markham Bridge, a remote area outside of Lae, when the new ANCOP school building (pictured) is completed. We also plan that these sisters will run a sewing training for prospective enrollees in 2020. They will become the future ANCOP volunteer trainors for this course in that school.

Let me tell you about this school. In March 2018 we started building a school in Markham Bridge. I donated part of my land for this. The school provides free education to the people of this very remote area. The community in the village volunteered to construct the building while the sisters contributed their time and effort helping to facilitate the construction of the school.

The school officially opened on 16 July 2018 and we named it “The CFC Handmaids of the Lord Literacy School”. It opened with 200 students in adult literacy levels 1 & 2 and early learners levels 1 & 2 classes. They were under the care of two HOLD sisters who are full-time teacher volunteers. After a few months, I donated the school, the land, and other facilities to ANCOP so that ANCOP can take over the project. I continue to support the needs of the school while some sisters also help maintain the school ground and as helping hands to the teachers.

As I watched the students, parents, visitors and the handmaids singing the PNG national anthem, reciting the PNG pledge, and the tribal dancing that followed during our first year anniversary celebration, I cried silently because I was extremely touched by how God filled my land with His glory when it was used to be filled with tall, wild grasses and the place was empty. Now I could hear the children praying the prayers that Jesus taught us, and the Hail Mary, to honor our blessed Mother. What a great joy to know that I have plenty of grandchildren here in PNG whenever these school children greet me “good morning Bubu (Lola) Del”.

As I look back, there were times when I asked impatiently, “how can I keep my faith while waiting on God to answer my prayer”? But he planned out everything to interwine perfectly in the end. God has His timetable. My original dream was only to run a literacy class for the handmaids who cannot read and write so that they can read the Bible, but God is so amazing that 13 years after the first literacy class, He gave me a humble literacy school where a mother and a son goes to school together. The mother goes to the literacy class and the son to the early learner class, and the son told the father “we learned many things… new things in the school.” I praise God, for He blessed us with CFC and ANCOP as his instrument to strengthen family and community relationships and to bring more and more people closer to Him.

We have 48 new CFC HOLD members who were ANCOP literacy students. They now attend household prayer meetings and prayer assemblies in town, even if they have to walk tens of kilometers from their village to the main highway to catch a bus, rain or shine, and with the constant fear of rascals on the road. I could not believe listening to those sisters who previously cannot read but are now confident to hold the microphone to read the Bible. They openly shared powerful stories of their transformation. It is very inspiring to witness these sisters share about how the Holy Spirit transformed and empowered them in the midst of their poverty, marriage and family problems. We felt emboldened to serve God more.

God continues to support and inspire us. Our bishop, Most Reverend Rozario Menezes, was very supportive of our work that he presented a video of our Markham literacy school to the recent ANCOP congress in Manila to rally for support. The bishop also plans to make the village at Markham Bridge another new parish of the Diocese of Lae. It's all coming together!

The blessings kept on pouring. On 30 September 2019, Bro. Bong Bernardo, former president of CFC ANCOP Australia, came for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new school building to be constructed inside the school compound. This time, the building will be made of steel materials, and no longer the bush materials of the current building. He announced that funds for the construction was already underway, coming from several ANCOP partners. Thank you bro. Bong and praise God for this.

All the while, I thought, it was only the Handmaids who committed to work on this project. But now we cannot count the number of people that God had sent to support our work with the poor through ANCOP.

We are most grateful to our ANCOP family in Australia who pioneered the huge support for this project, led by brothers Dom, Goody, Ruel, Bong and sisters Josie, Lolit, and Alida. They led and opened the gates for more financial support of the school.

God will indeed make a way to sustain what I and the local Handmaids have started.

I praise God for He allowed my dreams to come true, all for His greater honor and glory!

CFC ANCOP Ambassador 2020-2021

The CFC ANCOP Australia’s Ambassador Program continues in 2020-21. The Ambassador campaign is a biennial event that has been running since 2012 and is one of the fundraising activities unique to ANCOP Australia.

The campaign takes place over a period of several months, beginning in March. During this time, representatives from each state/territory or chapters take on the role of ANCOP ambassadors. As ambassadors for ANCOP, they spread awareness of the work of ANCOP and foster among CFC members and the wider community ANCOP’s vision which is “Families in the Holy Spirit sharing God’s transforming love with the poor”.

The ambassadors will raise funds for education as administered by CFC ANCOP Global Foundation in the Philippines and CFC ANCOP organisations in the Oceania Region

“Our aim is to contribute to ANCOP’s global goal of “40 @ 40”, meaning, reach out to 40,000 families by the time CFC celebrates its 40th year anniversary in 2021”, says Nick Vargas, the head of the 2020 Ambassador Program.

The ANCOP ambassadors present to all the households in Couples for Christ. They also coordinate with their local ANCOP team in organising fundraising activities and events during the campaign period. The National ANCOP Ambassador title will go to the ambassador who has raised the most funds during the campaign period.

“To broaden the reach of ANCOP, we will promote this program throughout Australia, to include or encourage the involvement of people and community groups outside of CFC”, added Nick.

Former National ANCOP Ambassador Ian Alcazar from Melbourne was the recipient of the special award for having raised the largest amount of funds from outside of the CFC community. “I realised that as an ambassador, part of my responsibility is to turn other people into advocates for ANCOP,” he says. The 2018-2019 Ambassador program raised a total of AUD 294,000.

The 2020 program concludes in early August, with all ambassadors coming together at the ANCOP Proclamation Night - to be held in Melbourne for the first time this year.

Nick Vargas exhorts, “This 2020, we hope to see 100% of all households committing to sponsor a child’s education, so that we can move closer to the global direction of 40@40.

“We pray for the ambassadors of 2020-2021, that they may be able to inspire others and spread awareness of the work of ANCOP. We also pray for more open hearts and homes for the coming campaign, so that we can continue supporting our over 1,000 scholars in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands”.

Car Raffle 2019 Results

The biennial ANCOP car raffle fundraising was concluded last 24 November 2019 at the Auburn Community Picnic area Killeen Street Auburn. After a 5-month long drive, ANCOP was able to raise a record breaking gross sales of over $95,000. This will enable us to sustain Ancop's projects in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the Philippines which are toward poverty alleviation through education and skills training. ANCOP sincerely thank all those who purchased and sold tickets and those who promoted this fundraising drive in whatever capacity. May God bless you as you allow yourselves to be channels of His blessings for those who need it most.

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2018-19AA Consul Speech

An unwavering commitment to service and sacrifice

(Message by Consul Manny Guzman of Philippine Consulate General in Sydney, exhorting the works of ANCOP on the occasion of the ANCOP Ambassador Proclamation Night, held in Sydney, 26 May 2018)

On behalf of everyone at the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney, I extend greetings and best wishes to CFC ANCOP on your Ambassador Proclamation Night. What a wonderful evening it has been.

As mentioned during the introduction, I am relatively new to Australia. I just assumed my position as Consul late last year. So I am still very much in familiarization and getting-to-know-you mode. Many people I meet, many organizations I work with, many activities I participate in, I do so for the first time.

Yet from my first day in Sydney, I realized that there’s something special here. It did not take me long to appreciate that there’s a level of joy, passion and devotion from the people living in Australia – the Filipino community in particular - that’s different from other places I’ve been to around the world.

Within my first week as Consul, for instance, I attended successive Filipino community and church events where I was welcomed – for lack of a better way to put it – like a rock star. I was pushed and pulled all around the venues by an endless number of kababayans who wanted to take selfies with me. I may have actually trended on facebook. I soon enough figured out that those raucous Australian receptions were borne not so much out of any sense of celebrity, but were overflow emotions of happiness and satisfaction by the organizing groups – happiness and satisfaction for the hard work that they had put in, for what they had achieved, and for what it meant to be with and help out a friend, a neighbour, a countryman. I was just lucky enough to be in their presence on those days.

Still, it was an unprecedented and stunning experience for me.

Fast forward to this evening, and my first occasion to be with CFC ANCOP, and I express the same wide-eyed astonishment, amazement and utter admiration, not just for your welcome, but for all that you’ve done and for all that you are doing in the region.

I understand that CFC ANCOP has endured and thrived and grown for over 15 years now. This is a strong testament to the values and character of your members. You should easily last for another 50 years, as your group is clearly built on a strong foundation of faith, service, and love of fellow man.

From your early works of building houses for poor families in the Philippines then under the Gawad Kalinga brand, to your development of entire communities with strong and stable families, all the way up to your courageous contributions towards calamity relief and rehabilitation in the Pacific region, I can see that CFC ANCOP has set in place an unassailable legacy.

Yet for all that you’ve done, I get the sense that you still want to do so much more. Indeed, I learned ahead of tonight’s event that your ongoing education and skills training sponsorships benefit nearly 500 students across several countries.

And your Ambassador program is coming off another successful year of spreading the word and work of ANCOP, and is rightfully being celebrated tonight.

From your latest Ambassadors your association will have new enthusiasm and energy to embark on many exciting endeavors. They will propel CFC ANCOP forward, and their experiences will only add to your further spiritual growth, capability and wisdom.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Philippine Consulate was invited to tonight’s event with a request for the Consul to deliver an exhortation type of speech. With due respect, I do not believe that is apt or necessary. The continuing accomplishments of CFC ANCOP are already unquestionably impressive and, to me personally, humbling. Far be it from me, a newcomer to this land and to your company, to lecture on what you already do so very well.

It is self-evident from your work and achievements that you are a special brand of people, one that has righteous ideals, an unwavering commitment to service and sacrifice, genuine selflessness, and the skills and can-do spirit to actually make a difference.

If anything, I would just respectfully invite and welcome the support of CFC ANCOP in various areas of cooperation with the Philippine Consulate, in activities where institutions such as ours which are founded on leadership, values and service can be of most help to the public and to the nation.

The Consulate, for instance, has numerous dialogues and programs relating to labour, migration and education to make as many people as possible aware of their rights and opportunities.

We have broad ranging trade, tourism and investment fora that look to drive people and communities towards a virtuous cycle of progress and prosperity.

The Consulate likewise has extensive linkages with Filipino-Australian cultural and youth organizations in order to preserve and promote our rich and profound heritage, traditions, beliefs and principles.

We have continuing campaigns for Citizenship Re-Acquisition and for Overseas Voting, to maximize the rights and privileges available to Filipinos, and to afford them a greater voice in the future of our country and countrymen.

On all these fronts, the Philippine Consulate and CFC ANCOP would make great natural partners. Again, you have already demonstrated and established that you carry noble ideas and practical solutions. You’ve prayed over your endeavours, kept your intentions good, and acted meaningfully.

It would be an honour for the Consulate to work with CFC ANCOP, and it would be a privilege for us to exhort other groups and gatherings to emulate our endeavours.

We at the Consulate are here to serve the Filipino and the Philippines. CFC ANCOP is here to serve God and our fellow man.

Together, we can bring an even higher level of joy, passion and devotion to Australia, and an overflow of happiness and satisfaction that spans the Philippines and the Pacific.

God bless everyone here, God Bless CFC ANCOP. Mabuhay po tayong lahat!

2018-19AA Arnold Tan

AA for Perth WA

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Hi! My name is Arnold "Jongjong" Tan. I was born and raised in a foggy place called Diplahan, Zamboanga del Sur. I did not come from a rich family that's why I strived harder to have a good future. Migrated to Australia year 1991. Married to my beloved wife, Noemi Tan for 25yrs and we are blessed with three wonderful and loving sons, Gerald 23, Jayden 16 and Patrick 12 years old.

I work as a Senior Instrumentation Service Engineer for Hach Pacific.

Joined CFC community year 2013 and have been active since then. Last year I became a Household leader of Belmont Unit Perth, WA.

I am blessed and thankful to be the ANCOP Ambassador 2018 for Perth, Western Australia. I truly believed that this is the way I can repay the Lord for all the goodness He has done to me.

ANCOP (Answering The Cry Of The Poor) This opportunity will not change only the lives of the student scholars but also the lives of their families.
It is the hope of ANCOP Ambassador that this life-changing program will not only motivate the scholars to strive more and study harder but also provide the same opportunity to children who were once like them.

Extend your helping hands by spreading the goodwill as this is a never-ending chain which will make the goodness of CFC-ANCOP in many years to come.

"If you want a Love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out.
To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it."

-Mother Teresa-

Thank you very much, and May God bless you a thousand folds! To God be the glory.😊

Arnold's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018-19AA Ian Alcazar

AA for Melbourne VIC

You can make a difference

Please visit Ian's Everyday Hero Page
Help him reach his fundraising Goal: $10,000

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My name is Ian Alcazar, and I am the ANCOP Ambassador for Melbourne's North and South East for 2018-2020. I joined the CFC Community through one of its family ministry, Youth for Christ back in 2008; Today, I am now a member of the Singles for Christ.

Earlier this month, I lived with a family living in a resettlement village in Taysan, Albay built and supported by ANCOP Community Development Programme (CDP) for almost a week.

The villagers are full of life and love despite their very modest accommodation, a far cry from their old homes where the looming threat of eviction, sleeping without a roof over their heads or being swept by a calamity is a reality. It is in their village where hope and dreams are built through faith and a renewed sense of optimism; that they have a chance for a better future.

In this, I experienced how the help of charities like ANCOP can transform people lives.

It is easy to feel detached from the plights of the less fortunate especially when we are living in the comfort of a first world country. The recent trip reinforced the fact that they more than just number from the statistics we see. Each has their own stories, stories of hardship, resilience, inspiration, and happiness, that our help can really make a lasting positive impact on them.

 

With this, I am inspired to take on the role as an Ambassador - inspired to let the world know of their plights and what we can do to help them dream and achieve a better future.

Together, let’s help open the door to a brighter future for poor children and families.

Ian's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery