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!

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

2018-19AA Simone Bautista

AA for Singles for Christ NSW

You can make a difference

Please visit Simone's Everyday Hero Page
Help her reach her fundraising Goal: $5,000

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Hi, my name is Simone, and i’m currently serving in SFC NSW (City-Bankstown). I transitioned into this ministry in 2015 from YFC Campus-Based. I currently work and volunteer for St Vincent de Paul Society in Sydney.

Back in 2014, I was given the opportunity to visit some of the villages in the Philippines which ANCOP assists during a YFC Oceania Great Adventure Tour (OGAT). Through this social ministry and immersion, I was able to see how the charity supports many families and their children by funding their education and providing work opportunities.

I was able to witness the great difference it makes in their lives. I also felt the joy and love when I was welcomed by some of the families -- despite them living a very simple life and not having a lot of the things which many of us take for granted.

This experience is something that I’ve kept close to my heart, and I have decided to help give back by making a commitment over the next few months to help raise money as an ambassador. By supporting ANCOP, we are making a difference as it allows them to continue their mission and amazing works across the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

“We should strive to keep our hearts open to the sufferings of other people, and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion which is truly the spirit of God.”

- St Vincent de Paul

Simone's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018-19AA Rachel Bernabe

AA for Canberra ACT

You can make a difference

Rachel's is participating in the
Canberra Running Festival
to Raise Awareness for ANCOP
Help her reach her fundraising Goal: $2000

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Hi, I want to introduce myself. My name is Rachel Bernabe. I am 19 years old, studying a BA in Communications in Public Relations and BA in Event and Tourism Management, and I work part-time at a local market. I am a member of CFC Youth for Christ. And I am also the ACT’s new ANCOP Ambassador! I’m so excited about this new role! It gives me a chance to help the poor, through the work of this organisation called ANCOP.

I decided to accept the role of Ambassador because it is an organisation very close to my heart. I strongly believe in the cause and its mission. As Ambassador, my role is to raise awareness for the work of ANCOP and to rally support for its many programs.

I am so blessed that I haven't experienced the hardships that many suffer through daily and I really want to give back for all those blessings I have received. Here is a chance for you to help me, but more importantly, to help the poor.

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

Rachel's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018-19AA Erika Mae Lu

AA for Darwin NT

You can make a difference

Please visit Erika's Everyday Hero Page
Help her reach her fundraising Goal: $5,000

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Hi, I am Erika Lu from Darwin, NT. I proudly serve in CFC - Singles for Christ. I came from a small, simple and loving family and was raised in the province of Albay, north of the Philippines. Just like you, I belong to a family filled with hopes and dreams. Australia was a blessing to us - it has given us so much opportunity to prepare for a better life and future.

This year, I am blessed and honoured to be an advocate of HOPE.

I do not come from a rich family, but one thing I will always be thankful for is my parent’s gift of EDUCATION. They always reminded me of the value of knowledge and how it will help me when I grow up. I am so excited to be the Northern Territory’s ANCOP (ANswering the Cry Of the Poor) Ambassador!

I recently celebrated my birthday in a special kind of way where my family and I organised a party in a remote area in my hometown, Albay. It was heart melting to see the look on the children’s faces when they saw Jollibee, a popular mascot for my favourite fast-food chain in the Philippines. Imagine innocent smiley faces turning into astonishment as they saw Jollibee was real! Their priceless reactions will always be in my heart.

It made me realise how my small gesture was BIG for them! That I made something REAL for them. It made me more grateful for all the friends I have, the people in the community I belong to and serve, all the inspirational people I have met, and everything that I have.

If you ask me the question, “What does the campaign mean to you, Erika?” I would answer by starting a quote from my favourite saint, St Therese of Calcutta: ‘Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.’ This campaign will not mean popularity or success for me. It means we can make a difference by helping them achieve their dreams today!

I believe in the reality of a good education, and I’m doing my best to finish my Bachelor’s Degree and do good works to glorify God while balancing all my other work and service commitments and family life. If you believe that yes, children are our future, please join me, and my fellow ANCOP Ambassadors as we raise funds for their education. Education will definitely equip and prepare our poor brothers and sisters to have better lives.
TODAY, please choose to make a DIFFERENCE.

No matter how small you give, you don’t know how BIG it can be for others. Let us begin today. Today, we will make a difference!
Let us all share our blessings to experience the joy of working together in love and service for the poor.

Thank you so much and God bless your generous and kind heart! 🙂

#ShareOurBlessingsAchieveTheirDreams

Erika's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018-19AA Kayen Dapar

AA for Melbourne - Southwest Chapter VIC

You can make a difference

Please visit Kayen's Everyday Hero Page
Help her reach her fundraising Goal: $10,000

Kayen-Dapar--Melbourne

My name is Kayen Dapar, and I’m the ANCOP ambassador for CFC Southwest Chapter in Melbourne.
I’m currently serving in Singles For Christ (SFC) Melbourne as a household head.

I accepted the challenge to be an ANCOP ambassador because I also came from very humble beginnings. I know exactly how it feels like to have nothing and been through countless of life’s hardships so that I can finish my studies. I was once a scholar provided by the Philippine government, and I must admit, without the scholarship program I may not be able to finish my degree on time. I am forever grateful for the tremendous opportunity given to me in order to pursue my dreams and aspirations in life.

My humble beginnings always remind me to appreciate even the little things that I have right now. With this, I want to pay it forward by spreading awareness about the works of CFC ANCOP; and to inspire more people to be a vessel of blessings from God.

I believe that education is not just a privilege of the few but a right to everyone.

I want the young dreamers out there especially ANCOP scholars to never give up their dreams and to keep the faith because nothing is impossible with God.

May God be praised!

Kayen's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018-19AA Alyzza Salcedo

AA for Cairns North QLD

You can make a difference

Please visit Alyzza's Everyday Hero Page
Help her reach her Fundraising Goal: $5,000

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"I believe that through the works of CFC ANCOP, we are able to care for and share our blessings to those in need"

Hi! My name is Angelique Alyzza “Lyz” Salcedo, and I am the North QLD ANCOP Ambassador. I joined the CFC community last 2010, and I have been serving in CFC Youth for Christ and CFC Singles for Christ.

Born and raised in a small town in North Cotabato Philippines, I’ve witnessed poverty beyond belief and have seen desperate situations that many poor families are immersed into, including very young children.

Having experienced a life of struggle as well, my family engraved in my heart the importance of humility and generosity. As my grandfather would always remind me, “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”.

Last 2016, I visited the Philippines again after migrating to Australia for 3 years. In companion with CFC - Youth for Christ Oceania members, we went to an ANCOP immersion, where we spent 4 days in an ANCOP village in Calape, Bohol. We had the opportunity to witness the works of CFC ANCOP firsthand through an ANCOP-built village, the family beneficiaries and their children. 

Ironically, it is us who have felt God’s overflowing grace through the love and hospitality that these families have shown us.

These experiences humbled me to the core, inspired me to go beyond my own needs, and ignited my passion - to serve and give back. Hence, when I was asked to become an ANCOP Ambassador, my heart knew straight away that my answer is “Yes!”. ANCOP – Answering The Cry Of The Poor, allows us to be a catalyst for change in one’s life. I believe that through the works of CFC ANCOP, we are able to care for and share our blessings to those in need. By providing education, the greatest gift that one can ever receive, we are able to give children and their families a brighter future.

As an ambassador, I am more than blessed to become an instrument of God’s mercy, to be able to radiate the gratefulness within my heart. I humbly ask you to join me and co-ambassadors as we proclaim and share this beautiful cause.

Together, we can be a source of God’s joy, mercy, and love for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu.

Thank you, and God bless.

Alyzza's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018-19AA Rose Greenrod

AA for Adelaide SA

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BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING!

I am Rose Narag-Greenrod, from Adelaide, Australia. I have been married to Matthew Greenrod for six years, and we are blessed with three beautiful kids, Maximilian, 5, Olivia, 3 and Augustine who is nine months old now.

My mother and father have been wonderful parents to me and my brother and sisters. They have worked hard to provide a stable foundation for all of us. My parents did everything so that six of us can finish college - to give us the opportunity to study and complete our education. They have taught me and my siblings, invaluable lessons about hard work, marriage, parenting, relationships, service to God and how to care and help other people even in our small little way. My parents taught me to give especially to the people who needed most. My mum has been a great influence on me. She taught us to be generous with others. Anyone who knows my mum knows she's one of the most generous people in the world. She's always happy to lend a hand or help someone out if she can. It's from her that I've learned to be (or tried to be) a giving person. That’s why when they asked me to be an ambassador: I discerned and received an answer to my prayer. Even if my hands are full at the moment, I believe that God called me to multiply the time and gift that He has given me, to serve others through ANCOP.

I praise and thank Him for giving me this opportunity. Thank you for your support and kindness. May God bless you and reward you a thousandfold, as you have put a smile on the faces of the less privileged. To God be the glory!

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." 

1 Peter 4:10

Rose's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery