“300 years in a Spanish convent; 100 years in Hollywood!” Add in thousands of years of Asian, tribal and even Muslim influence, and you will begin to understand the Filipino. A Spanish colony for 300 years after Magellan died in the Philippines while trying to sail around the world, the Philippines became an American possession in 1898 after the Spanish American War.
Captured by the Japanese during World War II, then liberated by the Americans, the Philippines was finally given its independence in 1948. Filipinos still greet western visitors with a friendly, “Hey Joe!” after the G.I. Joe soldiers that liberated them from the Japanese. If the colorful Filipino “jeepneys” look like American army jeeps, it is because the very first jeepneys were made from “borrowed” jeeps during the war.
After the war, missionary efforts increased dramatically in the Philippines. New churches, hospitals and schools spread throughout the islands. Today, missionaries help Filipino churches continue to start new churches. We also help train leadership for these churches, and help the Filipino church send their own missionaries to other countries.
Within the Philippines ministry area, there are a number of ministry initiatives. Each initiative helps to “ignite church planting movements among the least-reached peoples of Asia and beyond, fueled by equipped Filipinos and Asians.” Two are church planting initiatives, one in Mandaue, Cebu, which is planning to start new churches north of Mandaue, and one based north of Manila in Pangasinan and Tarlac provinces, training Filipino workers to start new churches through the Church Planting Institute. Other initiatives include Bible translation consulting (which guides Bible translation projects throughout Asia), church leadership training in the International Graduate School of Leadership in Manila, teaching at Faith Academy, a grade K-12 Christian school in Antipolo, near Manila, and red zone ministries to ethnic minorities in the Philippines.
Special thanks to Aaron Nystrom for the use of his photos throughout this website.
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