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May 2012 dear Friends and Ministry Partners,

Warmest greetings from the Philippines! Here are some updates on how God is at work among the poor in the Philippines.

Freddie Venzons story orphaned at 14. Freddie

Venzons father died when he was just 12 and his mother died two years later. Friends brought Freddie home to live with them for a few weeks at a time, but because he was just another mouth to feed in those homes which were just as poor as the family he came fromhe felt unwelcome. He took to the streets. Meanwhile, his only sister went to live with an aunt and they soon lost touch. From Tondo where he spent his early years, Freddie drifted to the tourist areas of Luneta and Intramuros, also in Manila, to the heavily populated Pasay City with its many dark alleys and sleazy night spots, to the busy Cubao shopping center in Quezon City. At night he would fall asleep on sidewalks unmindful of the feet just inches away, hurrying home from malls, schools, and offices. Having grown accustomed to the noise of honking horns, loud music blaring from jeepneys, and the revving of motorcycles, he slept soundly with nothing but a piece of cardboard between his body and the cold pavement.

VOHCS teachers with Francis Chiong (center, wearing glasses), executive secretary of Boys Brigade Asia. Below: one of the team building activities. The training conference was held at the CCT Training and Development Institute campus in Magdalena, Laguna.

schoolers are expected to attend the 27 preschools and three boarding schools of the Visions of Hope Christian School in SY 20122013. To prepare for this challenge, teachers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao 54 in all spent nearly two weeks in May attending a valuable in-service training course that will help them be more effective in the classroom and in ministry in general. The teachers watched teaching videos of Rev. Del Hooge, missionary pastor, speaking on such topics as spiritual gifts and temperament. Weng Kakilala, director of the BLESS (Basic Life Empowerment Support System) program spoke on school operations and classroom management, and teachers from BLESS led sessions on phonetics. CCT has used curriculum from BLESS, an outreach program of Accelerated Christian Education Ministries, to teach children reading and basic math skills and to introduce them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our teachers are also implementers of the Brigada Bata (Childrens Brigade) program in communities where CCT has a presence. Boys Brigade was founded in Scotland in 1883; it has been in Singapore since 1930 and in Malaysia since 1946, but began work in the Philippines only in the past few years. It promotes the habits of obedience, reverence, discipline, and self-respect. In the Philippines specifically among youth ministered to by CCT membership in the brigades is not limited to boys, thus our use of the term Brigada Bata. Mr. Francis Chiong, executive secretary of Boys Brigade Asia, spoke to the teachers on how to run the program.

VoH Gears UP For a neW scHool year. Some 600 pre-

Like many other street dwellers he fell into crime, mainly for sustenance. He learned how to snatch earrings right from the ears of passengers on jeepneys stalled in traffic. He would stand behind a target, reach out with both hands and grab the earrings with one swift motion. If the earrings were screwed on tight the victim would have to rush to a doctors clinic to have her bleeding earlobes sewn.

survival on the streets of Manila.

MicroFinance traininG. In our microfinance program, we held muchneeded technical training sessions for area servant leaders and community servant leaders in May. (An area servant leader is the equivalent of an area manager in a typical microfinance organization. An ASL oversees four or five branch offices with a total of 120 to 160 fellowship groups. Most fellowship groups have about 20 active loan recipients, referred to

Years passed and Freddie joined a community of homeless persons living in Sarimanok, a neglected piece of land along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Because he was addicted to drugs, an older woman who was like a mother to many of the street dwellers committed him to a drug rehabilitation center for treatment. However, the most significant happening in his life occurred during a feeding and Bible study session led by the Kaibigan Ministry. He heard the Gospel for the first time. After attending several more Bible studies Freddie responded to an invitation to turn his life over to Jesus Christ. (Kaibigan is the Filipino word for friend. At CCT, kaibigan also refers to a street dweller.) Changes and blessings he never imagined

Honest Work and its rewards.

5F Joshua Center, 1428 Taft Avenue, Ermita, 1000 Manila, Philippines Telephone:(632) 524-1835, (632) 524-1819 Telefax:(632) 524-1810 loc. 11

as community partners at CCT. A community servant leader on the other hand is a volunteer worker who is also a community partner.)

HoPe international leadersHiP sUMMit. Lalaine Naquita, savings circle association program specialist; Tintin Valdez, peer servant, human resources department; and Allan Pardico, partnership development and external relations officer had the opportunity of attending the 2012 Hope International Summit in Akron, Pennsylvania, USA in May. They joined more than a hundred participants from Hope International ministry partners from 15 countries.

possible began coming his way. Freddie was invited to help construct a small building on the grounds of the Rose of Sharon House of Friendship in Puypuy, Bay, Laguna. He began to learn to use his hands to earn an honest living and started to grow in his relationship with the Lord. (Morning devotions, discipleship classes, and weekend worship services are part of the routine of the Kaibigan Ministry.) He also helped build classrooms and dormitory buildings at the CCT Training and Development Institute in Magdalena, Laguna. Because the campus was finished on time and because of significant savings on labor costs, he was among 35 Kaibigans rewarded with an all-expensespaid, three-day trip to Boracay. Freddie says, Hindi po ako makapaniwalang yung isang lugar na nakikita ko lang sa picture ay mapupuntahan ko! At nakasakay din ako sa eroplano! (I cant believe I got to visit a place I only used to see in pictures! And I even got to ride an airplane!) Equally rewarding work followed when he helped build dormitory buildings at the Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center. Recently, Freddie received a certificate of competence in painting from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. This gives him an edge whenever applying for a job.

Participants in the Hope International 2012 Leadership Summit. In front row (6th, 7th, and 10th from left) are CCTs Lalaine Naquita, Tintin Valdez, and Allan Pardico.

Allan shares that the weeklong gathering was a time of spiritual refreshment through the testimonies of brothers and sisters from around the world, group devotions, and prayer time, and a time of learning through the sharing of best practices and lessons learned. CCT was acknowledged during the summit for allowing its 5Ws meeting structure to be replicated by other Hope-led microfinance institutions. (The 5Ws meeting sequence: Welcoming of community partners, Worship through singing and prayer, Word a short Bible study, Work payments are made and recorded, Wrap-up - brief review of the main point of the Bible study and announcements.) I humbly pray this method of leading microfinance group meetings will truly be effective wherever and whenever it is used.

reunion. Much more heartwarming though

is what happened around Christmastime 2011. He returned to Tondo and found someone who knew his sisters whereabouts. A short time later, the siblings were reunited.

a Heart for service. Today at 42, Freddie

cct Ka-Partner netWorK annUal ForUM. While they were in the US, Lalaine and Allan attended the annual forum of the CCT Ka-Partner Network (CCT KN) along with Board Members Ramon Rocha, Quintin and Mian Tan, and TDI Executive Director Beth Venegas. The CCT KN is a consortium of North American-based Christian international development organizations supporting CCT work. Its founding members are the organizations, HOPE International, Five Talents, and PEER Servants which have been faithful ministry partners for several years. The CCT KN has an annual forum where we can present updates on our progress in extending the kingdom to the Filipino poor, and allow the CCT KN members to collaborate on how they can best support CCT in its work. As in the past two years, the forum was hosted by PEER Servants.

cares about old friends who still live on the street, and prays they will respond to Christs call the way he did. He hopes to be able to minister to Kaibigans himself someday. Kung tapos na po ang mga construction project ng CCT, gusto ko sanang makatulong sa feeding program ng Kaibigan Ministry. Kahit ako lang po yung tagabuhat ng pagkain,. he says. (When all the CCT construction projects are over, I would like to help with the Kaibigan feeding ministry. I wont mind having to carry the food.) If the Lord indeed leads Freddie to serve other Kaibigans in the future, the story of his changed life will truly be a blessing and an inspiration. v

neW ortiGas oFFice. Praise the Lord for His provision of more office space! A 50-sq. m. office on the 21st floor of Strata 100 in Ortigas Center, is now occupied rent-free by staff of the Credit Cooperatives business development services unit and by marketing staff of the Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center. The office used to be part of a suite of offices used free of charge by the Wholistic Transformation and Resource Center through the generosity of the Padilla family, the building owners. David Bussau, WTRC president and long-time supporter of CCT work, offered us the use of what was once an underutilized storeroom. CCT has also been granted access to the WTRC boardroom for meetings and the like. Ortigas Center is one of Metro Manilas prime business districts.
The reception area of the new office as seen from the hallway.

of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Ive included in this newsletter the story of transformation of a man who used to live on the streets of Manila. May you be inspired by his story and by Isaiah 58: 10 11: And if you spend yourselves in behalf

Blessings! ruth s. callanta

5F Joshua Center, 1428 Taft Avenue, Ermita, 1000 Manila, Philippines Telephone:(632) 524-1835, (632) 524-1819 Telefax:(632) 524-1810 loc. 11