2018-19AA Maria Bleisha Rivera

AA for Auburn/Bankstown

You can make a difference

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

Auburn-Bankstown

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...
but how much love we put in that action.

It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today. Let us begin."

Mother Theresa

Greetings in Christ. My name is Ma Bleisha Rivera and I am the 2018 ANCOP Ambassador for the Auburn/Bankstown Chapter. I have been married to Andrew Rivera for 12 years and we have been blessed with three beautiful, healthy and loving children – Alejandro, Andre and Bianca. Andrew and I have been members of the Couples for Christ community since 2007.

I was born and raised in the Philippines. Through my parents’ hard work and dedication, my five siblings and I experienced a simple and happy childhood. My parents did all they could in their power to give us the opportunity to study and finish our education.

I will forever be grateful to my mother who made enormous sacrifices as she worked overseas so that she could send all of us to school. Through my mother and father, I learned the importance of love, compassion and selflessness.

This year, as an ANCOP ambassador, I am truly blessed to have the chance to give back what I have received.  Keeping in my heart the same values that my parents have instilled in me, I hope I could share my blessings especially with children in need. I humbly ask you to join me in supporting our young ANCOP scholars and ensure that they continue to get access to education – education that without our help, they can only dream of.

I sincerely thank you in advance for your generous hearts. Your donation, regardless of the amount, will go a long, long way. Again, thank you and may the peace of our Lord be always with you.

Bleisha's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines

2018-19AA Lira Sarmiento Capco

AA for Blacktown

Blactown

A generous person will prosper;
Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

-Proverbs 11:25

My name is Lira Capco, from Blacktown NSW Chapter. Married for 12 years to my Husband Edwin. We joined CFC in 2013. We have been blessed with two wonderful boys. Our eldest is Liam now 10 years old and Lucas 4 years old. They are our inspiration to be the best that we can be every day.

Growing up, my parents had always taught us the importance of helping others no matter what the circumstances may be.  As my Papa would always say, any act of kindness will go a long way.  It doesn’t always necessarily mean giving money, it can be sharing our time, talents or just simply being nice can uplift others.  This is how we want to raise our kids as well  in an environment where sharing and caring happen.

I would pray to God to always show me the opportunity to help.  When I was asked to be the ANCOP Ambassador for our chapter, I said yes without thinking twice because I knew that this was the answer to my prayer. 

 I may not be the best person for this role, but I believe that with God’s grace, guidance, and all your support I will be an instrument to enrich the lives of our less fortunate brothers and sisters.  This is my way of giving back to the community for all the countless blessings that God has been showering me and my family.  I will forever be grateful for this opportunity. May God be praised!

Lira's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines

2018-19AA Bobby Edmilao

AA for Hawkesbury

You can make a difference

Please visit Bobby's Everyday Hero Page
Help him reach his fundraising goal: $1,500

Hawkesbury

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed.

-Proverbs 19:17

I am Bobby Edmilao and I am the Hawkesbury Chapter ANCOP Ambassador for 2018. I joined
Couples for Christ in 2007 and with the help of my lovely wife, Grace, served as Household Head and Kids for Christ Coordinator. We are blessed with four wonderful children who give us enormous joy and pride.

During my student days at University of Santo Tomas, I was a member of Pax Romana a religious student arm dedicated to promoting social justice and Catholic value formation inside and outside of the university.  Through various outreach community services, I witnessed the dire situations of the people in the slum areas of Manila and this made me realize the extent of poverty in our country. My eyes were further opened to the plights of the poor when I was doing rural service as a medical student in Bulacan and Quezon province. I have witnessed how poverty has stripped patients with dignity and hope and made them physically, mentally and spiritually sick. This ignited my passion to help the disadvantaged and since then joined numerous medical surgical missions all over the country and performed free cataract surgeries.

When I moved to Australia in 2005, I was privileged enough to continue this work by being a Paramedic, and now I am helping people with alcohol and drug addiction under the NSW Justice Health program.

I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity to serve through the ANCOP Ambassador program. And I appeal to your generous hearts to help us raise funds  so together, we can help break the cycle of poverty through provision of good education and values formation to underprivileged children.

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform;
on its foundation, rest the cornerstones of freedom and democracy and sustainable development.”

- Kofi Anan

Bobby's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines

2018-19AA Helen Villalba-Festejo

AA for Handmaids of the Lord

You can make a difference

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

Helen Villalba-Festejo

“Learn to have less so that others could have more”. “We are but channels of God’s kindness.” 
“Share the little you have and it will be returned tenfold”.  

My name is Helen Festejo, from Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD) Parramatta-Blacktown Area. I am married to Macario Festejo III for 23 years now and we have been blessed with 2 daughters, Julienne 19, and Ysabella 14. I joined HOLD in July 2014.   My husband could not join me then because of work commitments.

ANCOP stands for Answering the Cry of the Poor. Of all its works, the Education Sponsorship Program is closest to my heart. I am convinced that Education offers hope and frees people from poverty. To the impoverished areas of the world, this is a gateway to social transformation.  When I was shown the work of ANCOP and asked to be the messenger, I could not turn my gaze elsewhere.  I am humbled to be called to serve God and His people in this capacity. It was also a timely invitation in this Year of the Poor. I feel that this is my call to action.

The plight of the poor is not new to me.  While I was not born materially rich, neither could I say that I was born poor. But my parents were.

 

Both our parents drummed in our heads - that it is through Education that they got out of poverty.  That "education breaks the cycle of poverty " was my father’s catchphrase. We grew up witnessing people turn up at our doorstep  usually in the early hours of morning when we would all be busy getting ready for school.  Sometimes, we would be instructed to put some rice in a small bag, and hand to the visitor; while my mom would hand out some money.  In those times, my siblings and I did not think we had much to be able to give, in fact the life we had was modest but our parents always said: “Learn to have less so that others could have more”, “We are but channels of God’s kindness” , “Share the little you have and it will be returned tenfold”.  

I did not fully realize the magnitude and fruits of those little actions until I went home in 2005 to bury my father.  Mothers, fathers, beneficiaries of my father’s kindness came in numbers.  “I owe my life to your family”; “My daughter /son would not have gone to school without the help of your family’.  “I am where I am now because your family helped me”. Many of them now have decent jobs, living their dreams and more importantly paying forward. Kindness is being duplicated and multiplied.  Indeed, the blessings came not only in tenfold, but in hundredfold! Thousandfold!   And we have been truly enriched by them.

Because of this, I vowed to continue their legacy: to help where I can whenever I can.  When I was invited to be an ANCOP Ambassador - I said ‘Yes’ without hesitation - although my husband and I are already supporting a similar program in the Philippines.  I did not think of how difficult it would be for me to fit this humungous task in my already busy schedule. I could only think of the many people who could benefit from this endeavour. I could only count in my head how many people can become agents of change, if they are made aware of this mission. And I can only think of the many people whose lives will be improved as a result of this effort.  I can’t imagine the work to be free from obstacles, but I believe in my heart that if this is the work of God, He will send people to help me.  

 

 “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” 

~ St Augustine of Hippo

Helen's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines

2018-19AA Dr. Gemma Victorino-Perez

AA for Western Deanery

You can make a difference

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

Western Deanery

A blessed day to you brothers and sisters.
My name is Gemma Perez from Western Deanery Chapter, currently working as a General Practitioner. I have been married to my husband Roy for 22 months now, and I've never been happier.

For some time though, I’ve felt I needed to reconnect or rekindle my personal relationship with our Lord Jesus. I felt renewed and joyful after we graduated from the Christian Life Program, in August last year.  I wanted to do more, but didn’t quite know what to do. A couple of weeks before I was asked to be an ambassador, (during our Household meeting) we talked about being called by God, and how He always equips the person He has called to serve. At first I was reluctant to accept the call — because I felt I am not the right person for it. I prayed for discernment and I got my answer. This is it: this is the one I’ve been praying for.

This is God’s gift to me. And this is also my chance to give something back to God, and His underprivileged children — for all the blessings and graces He has given me and my family.

I’m hoping that with this opportunity, I will be able to return, even but a fraction of His love and kindness to others.

I chose to rekindle the gift.

It was offered and I accepted.

And now I will use and embrace this gift to thank, praise and glorify His name. To God be all the glory. 

Gemma's ANCOP Awareness/Fundraising Gallery

2018Ancop Valentines
Ruel1

ANCOP Seminarian

ruel2

We met Ruel Predicala thru our ANCOP education sponsorship program.

He just started his seminary studies in Holy Trinity College Seminary in Bicol.

This Christmas, he wrote:

“It is my worth to remember you this Christmas, to include you in all the masses that I have attended, and to thank you because you are a gift given by God. Do not be so worried of the gifts you want to give because you have given me much since you have helped Jesus to be born in my life.”

Let us continue to pray for him as he approaches his ordination this semester.

- J. Pangilinan
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ANCOP Car raffle celebrates win for families

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It was a perfect day to celebrate!

3 pm, 11 November 2017
@ Auburn Picnic Garden.

As customary, the car raffle draw was held to top off Couples for Christ Global Mission’s (CFC) Family Day.

<<<

ANCOP Team with
Chatswood Toyota and Staywell Group
representatives
@ 2017 Family Day Car Raffle Draw
Kids wrestled their energies in the jumping castle while parents were decorating the pavilion with buntings and photo booth corners.  The ‘Kuyas’ and ‘Ates’ (older male and female siblings) were organising games, women were busy setting up the food while a couple of men were tirelessly chopping lechon (roast pig). There were presentations for cheers and chant and dances and of course community prayer and worship.

(please Scroll down to Read More...)

chatswood toyota
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Staywell logo small

It was a day of gathering the family and being with other families.  But, miles and miles beyond, we were celebrating together with hundreds of endangered families in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands who are beneficiaries or past beneficiaries of CFC-ANCOP’s mission with the poor.  After all, when we send a poor child to school, we help ease the burden that financial strain often brings to couples who are the pillars of the family.  When we provide employment-generating skills to fathers and mothers, it is a hope that sparks joy and peace of mind in the home.  When we provide housing for victims of calamities, it is an encouragement for the family to come together and gather strength despite the challenges amidst them.  At the heart of CFC-ANCOP’s mission with the poor is strengthening families which is at the core of every properly functioning society.  Beyond, calling it a donation, every giving to CFC-ANCOP is actually one’s participation in this partnership with every family in this network, both givers and receivers.

Let us then take this opportunity to thank all of you who took time to get to know, supported and promoted ANCOP’s work through this car raffle (and other events we had this year).  Thank you for our corporate partners past and present.

Through your generosity and tireless efforts and prayers from the entire CFC-ANCOP team, the car raffle allowed us to generate over $80,000.  This means, ANCOP can sustain the cost of education and livelihood training of over 600 students-beneficiaries for next year.  This is a miracle considering 3 weeks before the draw, the amount of tickets sold was only a slim margin above $8000!  Mores so, at the planning stage, we targeted gross ticket sales at $90,000 albeit knowing this was a really big and hard target to achieve. It was announced during the draw that we were shy from the target but a huge achievement nevertheless.   But, God is a God of surprises.  The winner of the car told us that they actually wanted and even prayed that if they win, they will donate the car back to ANCOP.  Our joy overflows in behalf of all the children and families who will benefit from this event.  God really answers the cry of the poor!

 

by C. Argana