Members of Maple City Baptist,
God has moved us into a ministry that has tragic beginnings but through God's people and by God's grace, hope can be restored. Let me explain: in Manila, millions of people exist that live in squatter communities. A squatter community is a gathering of poor people who have nothing and no means to pay rent. They cannot afford to rent so they live on empty lots, or areas that no one else wants to live on. For example, there are communities that live around the city garbage dump. They spend their days going through the garbage trying to find something they can sell or eat. Others live along riverbanks or under bridges. Their homes are made of scape wood, large plastic pieces cardboard and metal that they piece together to protect them from the elements. They do not have running water or bathrooms and they use firewood to cook on. In an area the size of one North American housing lot, you could have up to 500 families living together in a huddled mass. The living conditions are breeding grounds for TB, skin infections, respiratory infections, Dengue fever and intestinal parasites. The life of a person in a squatter community is filled with pain, injustice and hopelessness. They are looked upon by others as nuisances. Most people avoid contact with anyone who lives in squatter communities. The problem in the city of Manila is that an estimated 70% of the 20 million citizens are squatters.
Here are three examples of what I mean. The first picture is of a dad with his two children. Rachelle and Nelmar Baruga. Two weeks ago, these children were kidnapped. There are a variety of reasons why children are taken. Some are taken to be trained to beg on the streets, others are used for sex trafficking, some for organ harvesting and folk culture says some are killed and placed in new constructions so that their spirit of the child will hold up the building or new bridge.( an old animistic belief which many say still is adhered to) When these children were taken, the dad went to the police 5 times to ask for their assistance. Each time the police did nothing. Missionaries got involved and our Church got involved. The picture of the children was placed on Facebook and people were asked to pray. The picture was seen by the Mayor and other political officials who then made the police get involved. The police launched an investigation which led to the people who had the children captive become fearful that they would be caught, so they released the children. We found out later that 10 children in total were being held in a house and it is uncertain at this time what their captor’s plans were for these children. The children were shaken and scared but are also home with their parents. Because the church got involved and pressure was put on the police, these children are safe and praise God their family is now attending our church.
The next picture is the aftermath of a fire. Because families live in tight proximity to each other and cook using open flame, it is not uncommon for fires to happen. This particular fire destroyed 500 family homes. We are not talking big homes, but an area of about 8x12 ft that would be home for a family of five to eight people. In a heartbeat, their home and all of their possessions are lost. Again the government does nothing to help but the Christian community does try to help. We provide food, clothes and materials to help them rebuild their lives. Why? Because Christ commands us to not look on the needs of others and give excuses...He wants us to get involved.
The last picture is a natural disaster which again hits the poorest the hardest. Families in squatter areas are the hardest hit because their homes are poorly built and because they build along rivers and on the side of mountains. When the rains hit, they hit the poor hard and in many cases homes are destroyed and lives are lost. The people receive no help from the government again, and they have very little resources to rebuild. It is an opportunity for the Church to extend a loving hand and a message of hope that comes from Jesus Christ. We are not trying to rebuild broken homes but rebuild broken relationships between these families and God.
Kevin Stroud-Lusk and Family
This is our prayer request: We want our church to be used to bring the Gospel to families that have been rejected by society and who suffer afflictions at the hands of men, and nature. We want them to get saved by seeing the evidence of a God who loves them and cares for them through His Church. We are praying to raise funds so that we can care for the physical needs of these people while we minister to their spiritual needs. Please pray that God will burden others that they may partner with us to bring the Gospel to a generation of people who are lost sick and without hope.
- SUNDAY 10am Sunday School Classes
- SUNDAY 11am Service
- SUNDAY 6pm Service
- WEDNESDAY 6:30PM Bible Study and Prayer
WEDNESDAY 6:30PM Teen Bible Study
- WEDNESDAY 6:30PM Kid's Club
500 Indian Creek Road West
Chatham, Ontario N7M 0P4
E -mail: firstname.lastname@example.org