ACMI, Arise Foundation Leaders
Attend Annual Strategic Meeting
Area leaders of both the Arise Christian Ministries, Inc. and its social arm, the Arise Foundation, huddled for an annual one-day meeting just recently at the ministry headquarters in Cagayan de Oro City in order to thresh out and address concerns, listen to ministry and other best practice reports, map out strategies, and plan for the long haul.
Engr. Santiago Evasco, ACMI President, who presided the meeting proper, started the ball rolling via a meditation of the passage in Exodus 14. He related that the passage itself is a typology where the ministry brethren can get lessons and inspiration in order to move forward with the work of the Lord, because, as stated in Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Down the lanes, there were inputs and reports provided for everyone’s information, appreciation, consideration, and proper decision making. Sis. Armi Ballentes claimed, with respect to tithing, that “If everything is transparent, others will feel that the funds are secured and in good hands. Consequently,” she argued, “it would not be difficult for others to give.” She also shared that earlier the Bukidnon brethren were oriented about Katingawan’s emerging best practice.
Dr. Felina Mendoza, on the other hand, narrated about her three-day trip to Tacloban and its adjacent localities, and found out firsthand about housing projects wakening in several locations though the same are not enough for the mammoth needs of those affected by the recent super typhoon Yolanda that brought devastation. In order to provide at least a meager help, she proposed that the ministry will donate a chainsaw, so that it can help in producing lumbers that can be used for housing projects.
Sis. Nena Araza, on the other hand, reported on the newly completed Water System Project in Malahone, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, which was funded from outside sources through the initiative of Pastor Bernardo Mendoza. The workers that fast-tracked the project were brethren coming from as far as Bukidnon. She revealed that many Higaonons, who are residents of the area, clapped their hands in glee and appreciation, while some were emotionally touched, shortly after the completion of the project. Now, they can fetch water nearby for drinking and cooking, can take a bath about more often, and can wash their clothes as often as they like.
Pastor Mendoza interjected that the funds for the Water System Project were provided for by benefactors from Canada, USA, and Australia. He pointed out that “We never asked for help from them; it is they who volunteered. And I think this is in line with the promise of the Lord in Isaiah 60 that foreigners will help rebuild our walls.”
Construction of church buildings and acquisition of lots for proposed church structures were likewise highlighted by different reporters. It was learned that Kili-Kili outreach brethren are almost to complete their church building; Forchacu 3 is following suit; Katingawan ministry area is at the polishing and finishing stage; Nasipit outreach is still at a preliminary stage; Butuan ministry area has already acquired a lot while iligan city is scouting a place to build a fellowship house; Negros outreach is planning to establish its own; with many others also joining the bandwagon.
Sis. Amparito Otero provided the Financial Report for the whole year of 2013.
Dr. Mendoza further shed light on LDP and the need to update materials to suit the same to the peculiar needs of each ministry area.
Engr. Jason Pacqueo stood up and updated the body with respect to the planned youth conference to be conducted per regional ministry area.
Back to the rostrum again, Pastor Mendoza reminded the core leaders about the upcoming Missions Training Course for year 2015. He toyed with the idea that the classroom instruction for the course might be held either in Cagayan de Oro or in Jaguimitan, Nasipit. An additional feature, he added, would be a possible exposure of participants to the hinterlands of Malahone in Nasipit in order to complement the theoretical side with that of the actual realities at the ground level.
In addition, Dr. Mendoza argued that the exposure would be most welcome as it can be “an avenue for us to realize that we can live simpler lives; our lifestyles will be checked in the process.”
At the Foundation forefront, Engr. David Tauli, who is the long-running Chair, provided the pivotal input to make the desire for fund raising workable and realizable. The idea would be through rolling out in collaboration with a host organization or local government unit a proposed Solar Photo-Voltaic Project that could be a money-earning venture for the Foundation. The scheme would be via consultancy endeavor where the brethren in strategically located areas would act as the resource and manpower specialists.
At the lighter side, when Dr. Zeny Tauli vowed to provide one cow for the Negros outreach for livelihood activity and egged Bro. Jerry Suello to follow her lead, the latter acquiesced. Later, when Dr. Tauli increased it to two, Bro. Suello leveled up his support also, which means that four cows will be provided for the Negros outreach.
When the agendum of providing additional allowances for full time workers was raised, it was carried out and approved unanimously.
Scholarship or educational support was likewise tackled through reports from different ministry areas. Butuan ministry tallied with the most number of scholars at 33; Kalilangan – 1; Jaguimitan – 5; Bao – 1; and Balingasag – 1; Cagayan de Oro – 2. San Francisco ministry area shared to the body that it has allocated funds for scholarship program, but it has yet to support at least one warm body as scholar or beneficiary.
Dr. Lando Paluga of the Butuan ministry area also reported that his core leaders are planning to scour Samar or Leyte in order to provide in-kind support as well as stress debriefing dynamics for those affected by typhoon Yolanda, plus collaboration with TESDA for a possible capacitation through skills training. Sis. Liza Budtan added that at least 100 starter kits will be provided by TESDA for participants of the training should it push through.
Pastor Darius Jerusalem shared a case in point wherein his ministry area was lacking in terms of monetary resources because of meager tithes trickling in. The situation affected the ministry area’s effectiveness in terms doing outreach activities. He argued that it had become a “chicken and egg” situation or a vicious cycle in effect. But because the brethren were eventually touched or convicted to give the optimum amount as their tithes and offerings, the work of the Lord began to bloom and grow in an unprecedented scale, this he pointed out.
Eventually, there was an election for a new set of officers for the ACMI, while the set of officers for the Foundation was retained. (G. Dauz)