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