Greetings from Mindanao, Philippines. I praise the Lord and I hope you know is incredible faithfulness. God has been so good and we must rejoice in Him. It has been a wonderful time with a lot of rains since I returned to my placement site where I work with Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute from the Global Young People’s Convocation and the training of the new young adult missionaries in Manila. I met many wonderful people, passed amazing times and I returned refreshed, encouraged and eager to get back to my ministry. I am grateful for those of you who remember me in your prayers.
For he him himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one, and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, Ephesians 2:14
After the end of the holy month of Ramadan for our brothers and sisters, Muslims, a month which the Muslims worldwide they fast. Only one day they do not fast when they are allowed to eat, the day that marks the end of the holy month and that is Eid al Fitr. This is is the day all Muslims of the world show a common goal of unity. To this wonderful time even we Christians to think how this time can be significant too.
Many of the Arabs countries are into wars and many lives are lost; many Muslims in these countries were not able to celebrate “Eid el Fitr” to end the holy month of Ramadan because peace isn’t there. People in world have prayed and continue praying for the situations to change then everything goes back to normal. Mindanao where I am doing my ministry with the indigenous people who live in communities mixed with people of different backgrounds, cultures and religion. However the Muslims are feared because of their culture and laws.
On the day of “Eid al Fitr” when our brothers and sisters are celebrating, I had a chance to join the community of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), one of the rebel groups in Mindanao, to celebrate with them on this day. This day was nice that started with the feeding program on at Pagayawan Elementary school, a school of 350 kids. This event organized by Pagigdait, an interfaith organization where people of all religions and denominations can meet and talk peace and community development.
At Pagayawan Elementary school, giving food to 350 school children with the aid of the Philippines army on July 30. This day is meaningful and important not only to our brothers and sisters, Muslims, but to everybody around the world. On this day I met the commander of the MNLF Abidin Sanguila and other member of the group; the nice people who are open to new oportunities and development in their area and they have a nice garden of squash that they grow. By joining them on this day to celebrate, it is then the barriers are now broken and new relationships are formed. This day is important because it shows the unity between us and not the differences that divide us. To me this day was a day when relationships were formed and the new beginnings. Barriers of communication and culture are being broken that would lead to a permanent peace, development and security in the community. No peace or development will prevail if we are divided in our communities.
To attain peace and development is not just an easy thing that can be attained just yet, patience, courage and passion for that to happen. Without your support of prayers and gifts so we can continue making a difference around the world. With simple actions can lead to a great impact in communities around the world. Let’s break the barriers together that block us to move toward a permanent peace and development.