And I rode my bicycle 52 kilometers each time to honor his cheerful giving…
And I rode my bicycle 52 kilometers each time to honor his cheerful giving…
(What is Drops of Faith Christian Missions?)
by: Rev. Ptr. Ernie Catanghal
July 1, 2017
“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” [Psalm 100:5]
Just barely three months ago Ptr. Manny Cabcaan and Randy Parisan (KAKAMPI Chairman) of the Iraya Mangyan tribe in Kalansan of Paluan, Occidental Mindoro visited Manila to acquire their community’s very first rice milling machine and right after successfully transporting it to the tribe and installing it in a prepared rice mill barn, we have dedicated the Kalansan Rice Mill to the Lord. And now the two tribal leaders are back again to the city for another blessing from the Lord -the RICE THRESHER MACHINE.
This rice thresher will also be the first for the community where farming is their primary source of food supply. It will be the prerequisite equipment for their farming process as it will produce what the rice mill machine will be processing to produce rice. We are all praying to secure this equipment before the next harvest month which is October but God’s goodness overflows as He answered our prayers months before our projections. Through one participant from our guest mountaineers of OHMC in Kalansan last June, Bro. Glen Ganchua from Calapan City, this project came to reality. It was a surprise indeed because we only had a very brief talk while in the mission center and we never discussed any intention on the project. Yet it is the Lord who touches the good heart and the response came overwhelmingly. Next thing is we are setting up a meeting with him in the supplier’s store in Manila for the proper endorsement to DFCM. With no time to waste, I invited the tribal leaders from Kalansan so that they will be the one to receive the endorsement from our good donor.
July 3, 2017
This is the day that the Lord has made! We met this young man in front of the supplier’s store, our generous brother in Christ all the way from Calapan City who also traveled a long way just to meet us for this purpose. He was all smile as we warmly shake each other’s hands, and after a few introduction we went immediately into our business there -to endorse the purchased rice thresher machine (fully paid) and do a thorough checking and engine test.
July 5, 2017
Through the unwavering support of our friend Alex Gonzales of Caloy Gonzales Paint and Auto Shop we were once again able to secure a transport for the machine to deliver it to Calatagan Batangas where we can meet up the Mangyan’s boat that will ship the thresher to the foot of Mt. Calavite in the island of Mindoro.
As soon as we arrived in our supplier’s store in Manila the machine and the engine was immediately prepared for transport and in in no time we were hitting the highway to Calatagan Batangas.
After putting some muscles in finally our machine and engine are safely loaded in the boat and are ready to meet the tribe. Our Iraya Mangyan brothers from Kalansan cannot hide their overflowing joy for this gift from the Lord.
As soon as the housing (warehouse) for the thresher machine and other farming equipment is completely constructed alongside our rice mill barn we will be dedicating them to the Lord once again, until then.
Once again thank you OHMC (Phil Felix) for bridging DFCM with people who have heart for our Iraya Mangyans, thank you so much Bro. Glen Guanchua for being the instrument of the Lord for His overflowing goodness to the tribe and may He return the favor to you and your household always. Thank you also Alex Gonzales for always providing us with a transport vehicle, your goodness reaches the heavens. And to you our loving and faithful Father in heaven, all highest thanksgiving and glory belongs to you, and may Your Name be praised in the tribes now and forevermore.
OUR NEXT PROJECT
As heads up this is our third equipment which will complete the whole process in their farming, the one used for land preparation before planting rice… THE HAND TRACTOR. We are also praying for another opportunity to make this project happen.
In the mountains there are so many kids like this boy, born in poverty, deprived of even the very basics of life. They are so innocent of the world outside and education is something most of them haven’t heard of. In their very young age suffering has became their norm. But norm as it is just like their parents they know something is wrong -something is lacking but just can’t define it. Most of them are clueless of the causes of their life’s miseries, and has succumb to the belief that “one who is born in poverty will remain in poverty, and will soon end in poverty”.
True as it seems to them but we know there’s something better, these kids deserve something better, and we believe education is one of them. But to them education is an elusive dream, a fantasy for the ludicrous. But if someone will only care enough, who will walk the extra mile for these desolate kids of the mountain, then education will be feasible, will be a reality.
There is hope. Yes there is, because someone will respond to God’s call -not many but there will be. Will you be one of them? Today we have a handful of kids who were able to beat the odds and have stepped into the door of opportunity to make the dream come true. They are the few blessed Kalingang Kapatid Program Scholars who started the journey with us from the grass-root level and now in the junior high and even a couple have entered college. For them being a KKP Scholar, as we use to call them, is a blessing for their future. But for us who dream and journey with them it is not simply about their future but their tribal communities’ future. In enabling them to catch their own fish we also enable them to feed their fellowmen with fish. Yes, in building their lives we are also building their communities. Our scholars are the promising youth of the land, our scholars are the heroes of the land.
“ANG KKP SCHOLAR AY BAYANI NG PAMAYANAN”
This school year we are stretching our faith in opening the door to more aspiring kids from the tribes who are applying if not pleading for the opportunity to be part of the KKP Family. We can only do so much, unless others extend our wings by helping us help them. And we thank God because there are some who responded to the call, they are the beautiful hearts who partnered with us. Dear KKP Sponsors, we are forever grateful and we pray that may God return the favor to each and everyone tenfold.
On that day our KKP Scholars will one by one march the isle in their togas and will receive their much sought after diploma. On that day the chains of poverty will end as they begin to walk on the new horizon, on a leveled ground; and will look back to reach out to their own, and will start doing what they have learned best from the beautiful hearts that once reached out to them… their sponsors.
Below are the breakdown of sponsorship details:
June Expenses (upon enrollment): Php 3,500.00/child
During opening of classes (month of June) we provide new set of supplies like uniform, bags, shoes, school materials, ID’s and for other requirements from the school. Also, we provide basic clothings, beddings, hygiene and personal storage depending on what is lacking and needed in the beginning of the school year. These provision will incur more budget than the succeeding nine months in the school year.
For Monthly Expenses (July to March): Php 2,500.00/child/month
Dear partners… THANK YOU SO MUCH and we will never forget your kindness.
The Bible says in Galatians 6:2,
This scripture talks about the spirit of “bayanihan” (communal unity). This is the Filipinos’ concept of helping one another in times of need without expecting anything in return. Also, in the Bible Jesus shared the parable of “The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37) where He explained who is our neighbor whom we need to love as ourselves. Being one of the “drops” we share our own God-given talents and capacities to a greater cause of flooding the lives of our desolate brothers and sisters in the tribes with faith, hope and love. And we believe that on the spirit of unity there will be no desert too dry, nor mountain too tall, nor ocean too wide for us to conquer all for the glory of God and for the benefit of our fellowmen.
We are not blessed for ourselves alone, but we are blessed to be a blessing to others too!
Rivers without outlets will all die, so as with our lives. If we do not know how to share our blessings in life soon we will loose our purpose, and without purpose we will find it hard to find sense in living. We are living rivers and not dead swamps, it means that we are not to live alone but to live to share a life, that we are all blessed to be a blessing to others.
The Iraya Mangyans are one of our 100 upland tribes who have been considered as dry weary lands. They seemed to have been neglected if not forgotten by modern society. They have been suffering in many ways in the longest time and their outcry has been swallowed by the deafness of our vanities. Drops of Faith Christian Missions is bayanihan where we work together, shoulder-to-shoulder helping those in need. Drops of Faith Christian Missions is a true lover of neighbors, Drops of Faith Christian Missionsa is a funnel to every drop for one cause and one calling.
We are small drops that create ripples of positive change. We are small drops pouring out love in action to God’s children. We are Drops of Faith Christian Missions.
by Rev. Ernie Catanghal
Summer 1999, on an ordinary trip to Mindoro, it was the first time and an unsuspecting one. In the town of Paluan on the northern tip of the island nothing seems to amuse, but my attention was lured at the sight of the surrounding mountain ranges where the highest peak rests on Mt. Calavite. Knowing not why I found myself on a foot trail with some guiding locals due to my insistence.
Somewhere on that mountain, on a steep trail that heads to a tribal site called Hinugasasn I found a small hut that seemed to be abandoned. Driven by curiosity I walked towards it and to my biggest surprise there were two helpless children inside -all by themselves. One is a boy who’s about five or six years of age and the other still on the toddler stage, both looked very hungry and very aloof. I never even know their names nor anything about their parents’ or family’s whereabouts but what captured me most where their faces, not because they were filthy but because they took me to memory lane back on year 1996 right there on that San Lazaro Hospital bed, my suppose-to-be “death bed”. Why? Because on that near death experience I know I saw faces whom I do not know about, those faces which I thought were just faces.
And when I saw those two children I knew they were there, in that memory I called “dream”, they were there hiding behind behind those dew drop filled leaves… and I just cannot simply forget. At that very moment I knew that they were not just memories, not just faces, but visions of things to come -and there flashed before me the doorstep to a new journey that would change the course of my life, my family, and theirs as well.
The rest is history, it was eighteen years now and all I can say is that God you are just amazing! I admit it was a roller coaster ride working with these people they call Iraya Mangyan tribe, and reaching out from one community to the next I can see the hand of God in every detail, every corner. Well maybe the work is vast and there’s still so much to be done but one thing I know, when I saw those two little faces I am in for a mission and that I will not be alone for God is sending more to journey with me, and together we will be showering these people with His great love and it will make a huge difference.
Six years later, in summer 2005, when the work have established some volunteers from the city and with some local support we decided then to have a name to call ourselves. Taking it from the vision of “dew drops” covering the leaves where the little faces were we came up with the name that became a household name for those Iraya Mangyans… the DROPS OF FAITH CHRISTIAN MISSIONS or DFCM.
by: Rev. Ernie Catanghal
April 17, 2017 (Monday)
The day that we have been long praying for, the day the northeast wind have totally subsided and the sea is calm safe for transporting the rice mill machine and engine that we are donating to the Iraya Mangyan tribe of Kalansan in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro. Kuya Bong Suarez and I left on a borrowed truck from a friend to transport the “blessings” from Manila to the Port of Calatagan, Batangas where the tribesmen’s two boats are waiting for us. After the cargos has been safely unloaded from the truck kuya Bong left me and headed back to Manila to fetch the rest of the DFCM team for the following day’s journey to the tribe.
April 18 (Tuesday)
Hey! It’s my birthday! And there’s no better way to celebrate the day that the Lord has made than to help our beloved tribe make everyone’s dream come true. Just barely after the sunrise our mission team are all in the port with me with some more boxes of blessings for the people. Immediately we loaded everything on the boats and headed straight to the island of Mindoro where the Iraya Mangyans of Kalansan are eagerly waiting.
From a distance we can see the people building up waiving their hands in great anticipation for us and the arrival of their rice mill. It seemed like it was the usual warm welcome from the tribe but this time their sweet smiles were mixed with tears of so much joy as they joined hands together in unloading the cargos from the boat.
As soon as we were able to bring the rice mill set on land the tribesmen unboxed them and started working on set-up process, foundation forming, engine break-in until the test run.
Before we called it a day we called for a tribal leaders meeting to take up different matters of the community and to plan for the upcoming big event, the dedication service of the new Multi-Purpose Center and the new Rice Mill.
April 19 (Wednesday)
The day started with our mission staff (Ate Ahlie and Ate Grace), ladies from the tribe (Teresa, Rona, Vilma, Olay, Leni, Malise and others) and the whole KKP Scholars (Neneng, Liway, Ange, Bibeth, Beverly, Rhea Mae, Cecil, Icel, Maeng, Rael, Mati and Utoy) preparing for the feeding program. In this visit we were able to provide solid meals for everyone for three full days.
Part of the day’s activities is the registration for KAKAMPI membership which was participated by two communities, Kalansan and Agbalite. The response of the people was overwhelming that we ran out of forms to provide for all the applicants, we will continue this registration on the next mission trip as we bring more forms in the multipurpose center.
April 20 (Thursday)
THE TRIBAL DEDICATION SERVICE for the RICE MILL and MULTI-PURPOSE CENTER
4:00pm in the edge of the rice field
The moment we all have been preparing for and waiting for, the time when we as one tribe and family lift up to the Lord in thanksgiving the biggest blessing in their lives. We all gathered on the unfinished elevated drying floor where our new barn is constructed. One by one we came, filled with excitement and gratitude in our hearts.
The ceremony started with prayers and songs, messages of thanksgiving from the youth, the elders, the tribal leaders and the pastors were shared to inspire everyone. Then it was followed by the oath taking ceremony of the elected and appointed KAKAMPI Officials. After I shared a message taken from the book of Matthew chapter 5 in the Bible which the candle and salt ceremony was inspired. This moment was the most solemn part as everyone held lighted candles and pinches of salt in their hands as we all sing Tagalog Hymns to the Lord and offered the dedication prayer. Then Ate Ahlie, Ate Grace joined me in the ceremonial cutting of ribbons as the KKP Scholars, KAKAMPI Officals, Tribal Leaders and the communities of Kalansan and Agbalite watched and applauded the moment.
The ceremony was concluded with giving away Bawat Butil Program shirts and bags of rice. We also have prepared food and refreshments for everyone plus apples ass highly requested by the children of Kalansan.
April 21 (Friday)
This is the last day for the DFCM Team but not for me. And before they head back home our team maximized the time with the tribe as we enjoyed games with the kids one last time and the highlight of the game lineup is the “apple eating contest” where our kids had their very first experience playing this game. We also had some interviews with more aspiring applicants for KAKAMPI membership and few more round-ups in the tribe.
After packing-up our team headed to the shore where their service boat is waiting to take them back to Calatagan Batangas. The kids found it hard to say goodbye for now as much as the adults too. There may be tears in our eyes but we are sure these are of great joy. As the kids wave their hands to the team slowly sailing away all we can say is “THANK YOU LORD FOR ANOTHER VICTORY!”
TRIVIA AND PHOTOS:
KALANSAN (“salansan” in Tagalog) – is Iraya Mangyan’s word for “pile” because this community on the foot of Mt. Calavite is established over pile of rocks. We can notice that well from the shore where there is almost all flat rocks and pebbles and a very scarce amount of sand. Also, right around the limited area for rice fields are boulders of solid rocks where soil is not very much established.
DID YOU KNOW that the people of Kalansan, Agbalite and other neighboring Iraya Mangyan communities are very industrious?
They work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months per year just to provide food for their families which is just enough for 3 months. But with BAWAT BUTIL PROGRAM, our livelihood projects for the tribes we are hoping to multiply their production and in two years time they can feed their families 12 months per year, HUNGER BUSTED!
Below are photos of our “FIRSTFRUITS” in rice milling.
(left to right: Kuya Bong Suarez, Kuya JR Pinga, Ate Ahlie Catanghal, Ate Grace Suarez, Kuya Anthony Misarez and Pastor Ernie Catanghal)
(not able to join this mission trip: Ate Jheng and Ate Marlyn)
(in photo: Bernabe Cabcaan of Kalansan Tribe)
Drops of Faith Christian Missions
For the Iraya Mangyan tribe there are many dreams that seems to be meant just to be a dream, like seeing their kids finish school, having a decent and stable livelihood for the family, having a community that can provide at least their basic needs daily. These are just some of their “impossible dreams”.
But we believe nothing is impossible with God and with His favor all things can work together for the good of His people. Drops of Faith Christian Missions is just one of His tools in reaching out to them and making them see the impossibility turning to possibility.
We are so much honored to be used and do these things for them. The work after 18 years have just begun. Focusing on holistic ministry and community development the people’s limited belief is now being opened to the horizon of God’s vast goodness. The blessings are pouring in through brethren, families, friends and partners.
DFCM has initiated the tribe’s community organization KAKAMPI (Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mangyan na Pinagpala) and strarted providing them with tools and training for effective stewardship of every project we are doing with them. Under KAKAMPI we created a livelihood program which we call Bawat Butil Program (BBP) where our goal is to establish livelihood projects on land (farming) and water (fishing). We also aim to produce livestock project under this program.
Today, we are so happy to share to you that one of our major projects has turned to reality as we acquired the RICE MILL with engine and complete set-up. This farming equipment will be installed in our pre-constructed rice barn inside the tribal community. It is truly a very emotional moment for our tribal leaders, Pastor Manny Cabcaan and KAKAMPI Chairman Randy Parisan when we awarded to them the blessing.
To everyone who believed and who took part to this very meaningful project, those who shared their blessings to complete the work… THANK YOU SO MUCH! The work has just started and we are praying to continue this until we reach the mark the Lord has set for us. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
So happy to share to you the photos below, and more photos to follow as Pastor Ernie Catanghal delivers the equipment to the tribe in days to come.
Our very remote tribal community is blessed to have a schooling program from the Department of Education. But this program is limited to grade 6 only, upon reaching this level majority of the kids cease in their dream because it will be very difficult for them to pursue the next level (grade 7) offered only in the town which is across Mt. Calavite. Very few dreamers will work as house helpers or farm workers in town in exchange for a small space to stay in while attending school, but would end up getting exploited and would eventually make them stop schooling.
DFCM saw the need of these young dreamers, and we provided a housing for them. Our Mission Center is like a dormitory for our Iraya Mangyan scholars in town. As part of this program they are recognized as KKP Scholars or Kalingang Kapatid Program Scholars. Each one who will qualify for this scholarship will be thoroughly provided for their daily allowances both in the Mission Center and in school. Operational expenses is the biggest challenge for us and this is the area where we need your support and partnership.
BE A KKP SPONSOR!
Our KKP Sponsors are the wind beneath our wings, our vey invaluable partners in the field. There are more of these young dreamers still waiting for their sponsor. It can be you!
If you want to know more how to be a KKP Sponsor please feel free to ask us about it. You may email Pastor Ernie at email@example.com and he will be very much happy to show you how.
Thank you so much and God bless you always!
Our livelihood program is relentless in its campaign to raise a farming facility for the Iraya-Mangyan tribe of Kalansan and its neighboring tribal communities. This is one way for DFCM to address poverty in the land, equipping the people to help themselves break the bondage of slavery and poverty.
If you are moved to share your life and take part in changing the course of this tribal communities you may get in touch with Pastor Ernie Catanghal, our DFCM Mission Director and he will be more than glad to show you how.
God bless you and may He make you a blessing too!