Gem of Manila Community Center

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1 INTERNATIONAL PROJECT PROPOSAL PROJECT 0312 Gem of Manila Community Center A Shining Beacon of Hope Manila, Philippines And the king will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. Matthew 25:40

2 We are a Catholic ministry that mobilizes the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Rather than create new institutions to distribute aid, we support existing ministries and churches already serving the poor. In addition to being the most cost-effective way of helping the poor, empowering these ministries allows us to support the Church s spiritual mission and its important position of leadership in poor communities. We consider every gift we receive as a precious resource from God. We direct every donation to its intended project, provide honest and accurate reports to our donors, and keep overhead costs to an industry low. We handle funds with utmost integrity and hold our ministry partners in the field to the same high standards by asking them to document costs and the impact of their outreach. We invite you to join with us as we seek to transform the lives of the poor materially and spiritually ways that please the Father and glorify him in Heaven and on earth.

3 Gem of Manila Project 0312 Project Synopsis Description This project will help sustain and nurture the physical and spiritual development of community outreach programs, including preschool education, educational scholarships, community health and wellness programs, and pastoral formation and education. Purpose To share the Gospel through words and actions by fostering Christian fellowship, education and community involvement. The goal is to transform oppressive slum neighborhoods in Manila into peaceful, Christcentered communities. Children who once lived in squalor now enjoy growing up in a safe, vibrant community. Our Partners Gem of Manila (Hiyas ng Maynila) and Couples for Christ (CFC) are ministries sharing Christian love and fellowship to transform slums into vibrant communities. Location Manila, Philippines. Cost $59,400 will help sustain a preschool education program, a youth scholarship program, a community health and livelihood program, and allowances for full-time workers and volunteers for a period of 18 months. Highlights More than 1,000 people make use of the center every month. The center provides the following: a day care program, computer lab, dental office, doctor s office, pharmacy, sewing center, facilities for ongoing faith and values meetings, and health, livelihood/ entrepreneurship and social values seminars. The Kapitbahayan (Neighborhood) Program partners with NGOs, universities and private corporations to enhance and improve the community. There is also a vital partnership with CFC for Catholic evangelical and family values education. The Child and Youth Development Program (CYD) provides educational assistance, spiritual and values instruction, CFC youth camps and religious seminars. Your generous gift is needed to fund these transformative programs that bring the Gospel to life for people who so desperately need them. 1

4 Gem of Manila Project 0312 The Need More than two thousand years ago, Jesus performed miracles that transformed lives forever. Today, that Divine love reflected in the lives of modern-day followers continues to transform lives. One powerful example of this is transformational power can be found in the sprawling slums of Manila. There, the houses of the poor are constructed of wooden crates, rubber tires, cardboard boxes and other throwaways. The people live in close quarters, their homes lining winding alleys; their communities lack adequate sanitation: and the overall squalor of the neighborhoods takes a terrible toll on the body, mind and spirit. In many slums in Manila, hopelessness hangs in the air like the acrid smoke from cooking fires. But where most only saw grim poverty, a few of Christ s faithful saw an opportunity to transform. They believed Christ s love could be a beacon of hope and change in the slums, and guided by the Holy Spirit, fellowship, they began to bring the hopeful message of the Gospel to life in the most troubled neighborhoods of Manila. The work was not easy. Doubters said success would be nearly impossible. But Hector A. Quesada, one of the early leaders, answered these detractors emphatically. While it may seem impossible for us, nothing is impossible for God! And after some soul searching, the naysayers recanted. We agree, they said. Let s start the work. Today, Gem of Manila is a testament to faith, focus and hard work. But it is still a work in progress. To achieve it s ambitious goals, the mission desperately needs your support. Transforming a community requires resources and commitment. Only with your help can the center continue to maintain its programs its preschool, grade school, and outreaches to teenagers and young adults. The mission also wants to involve married couples in CFC and Christian retreats so they can develop a deeper, transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Only by encouraging Catholic fellowship can Manila s communities flourish. As one worker explained, If we do not transform the attitudes, values and relationships of the people, this will all return to a slum in two or three years. Growth and development in a Christ-centered community Preschool Education Programs Child and Youth Development Programs Kapitbahayan (Neighborhood) Programs Couples for Christ instruction, seminars and retreats 2

5 The Gem of Manila community is a working model of an integral developmental strategy in Catholic charity work and evangelization, according to Hector A. Quesada. CFC has a two-fold mission of Building the Church of the Home and Building the Church of the Poor by bringing Christ s transforming love to the poor through integrated works of charity. With guidance from the Holy Spirit, CFC has become a global movement, growing from 16 couples in 1980 to more than a million members in 125 countries today. To provide pastoral nourishment for its members, CFC is organized in cell groups of four to six members with a pastoral leader. Each pastoral leader is a member of a larger group with a leading Gem of Manila Project 0312 Ministry Description CFC Encountering Christ Retreats bring people into a transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. pastoral leader. The global CFC is governed by a council of nine members. Through this organization, CFC members participate in weekly prayer meetings, monthly prayer assemblies and regular retreats. The workers and volunteers in Gem of Manila programs share a common motivation: To witness and bring God s transforming love to the poor. The two areas of focus are New Evangelization and Works of Charity. New Evangelization sponsors workshops on Christian values for harmonious community relations. It begins its outreach first with couples the parents then with involvement of children, young adults and singles. Transformation is sustained by shared values and the CFC pastoral structure. Works of Charity includes holistic approaches to education, health, livelihood, environment and personal empowerment. Catholic spirituality, shaped by a Christ-like respect for the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, is integrated into all of the experiences of this program. This spiritual orientation is crucial to the growth, development and sustainability of the community as a whole. Though we hope to change the lives of individual families and turn the physical landscape of a slum into a beautiful place to live, we more importantly strive to transform the entire community through the restoration of human dignity. Hector A. Quesada, Gem of Manila (Hiyas ng Maynila) 3

6 Gem of Manila Project 0312 Help Now! Just as our Lord formed a community of apostles to carry out his work of evangelizing the world, the Church must also rely on a community of committed Catholics to empower its charitable outreaches today. Unlike secular aid organizations, our work with the poor is more than a civic duty. It is our vocation, directed more by holiness than heroism; more by piety than patriotism; more to grow God s Kingdom than to engage in nation building. Our goals are ambitious, but with the help and support of faithful Catholics like you, we can continue transforming individual lives so that they may experience the full richness of their faith and human dignity, as well as become leaders in their communities. Jesus showed compassion and love to the poor, the weak, the hungry and the sick. Today, are we not called to do the same? Achieve this by transforming squalid slums into safe, close-knit Christ-centered communities! It requires ongoing dedication, prayer and support, but our mission partners have proven the process is possible. Please help continue spreading the good news of Jesus by unleashing Christ s transforming power in the places where it is needed most. Your generous gift to Cross Catholic Outreach will help keep the doors open for a vital ministry that reflects the restorative love of Our Lord. Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 1 John 3:18 Our Promise to You! Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures for this project incurred through June 30, 2018, the close of our ministry s new fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry N. Military Trail Suite 240 PO Box Boca Raton, Florida Copyright Cross Catholic Outreach. Cost-effectively written, designed and printed in-house. [cf1704][udv1705][udv1706]

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