I have been part of the Catch the Fire family since 2000 when I was part of the staff and congregation of Catch the Fire Toronto. From Toronto I moved back to the UK to establish Catch the Fire UK, then I moved to Australia to help the Catch the Fire team there. From Australia I was sent out to be a missionary in the Philippines in 2014.
I live in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and I am the youth pastor of a Partners in Harvest church called ‘Friends Church’ pastored by Robert and Sarah Cuenca. They have a huge heart for the poor communities and have run a child sponsorship program in the city for a number of years, enabling children from the very poorest communities to get an education to break their families out of the cycle of poverty. Most of our church are children and young people who are being sponsored to go to school, along with their families.
Part of my role is to raise up leaders within the youth and also oversee the worship team – which is made up of the youth and young adults in the church. We have a youth and young adults group of around 30, most of whom are actively involved in church life, and I have a team of 5 leaders who meet regularly. A lot of my role is simply hanging out with the youth, being part of their lives, encouraging them and helping them grow in their faith and helping them in the struggles they have.
Our church also runs a weekly feeding program for the street kids, which I am helping out with. These kids are either living on the streets or live with families who are very poor and cannot afford to feed their children.
Outside of the church, we have set up a sewing business, which has been established specifically to train women from the poorer communities to give them a livelihood for their families. We have a team of 5 ladies working for us and we get regular work from a company in Cebu who outsource some of their work to us, as well as making items for the international market.
The Pastor of the church I am helping is the Partners in Harvest coordinator for the Philippines so an expanding part of my role here will be to assist him in growing the network here in the Philippines and encouraging the pastors who are already part of the network.
If you would like to find out more about what I am doing here in the Philippines please contact me on [email protected]