Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
As a sponsor of a student at Shofar Learning Center in the Philippines, you are effecting a child's life in a profound and eternal way. The combination of a Christ centered atmosphere as well as an intense quality education at Shofar can change the direction of these children's future in a country where poverty still profoundly affects the cultural development. Sadly, there is an overall lack of social emphasis and priority toward education in the Philippines, thus the cycle of destitution continues to repeat itself. Lack of education and the subsequent lack of financial resources that follow, cascade a multitude of social ills...each one compounding the one before that one. It is a spiral that often ends in suicide or pre-mature death, sexual abuses, teen pregnancy, drug addictions, health related ailments, etc. Certainly what we are doing through Shofar Learning is a hard road. I know this first hand and 'up-close." We are ministering and educating in a vastly rural area, which only exasperates the already difficult cultural and social obstacles. Catholicism also tends to be a road-block, as such is so ingrained in the heritage of the nation that it has become a political function as much as a religious one, and tends to rise to the top of the local power structure in the mountainous area where Shofar resides. And of course you can add to all of this the always present issue of spiritual warfare! Satan, does not want this to happen! So along with your monthly support of a student, there must be consistent prayer. For your student, the school as a whole, the staff, and for JFB who is 'taking point' out front on this issue. Our prayer for you is that Shofar as a whole, as well as your student individually, will remain an important part of your life in all aspects including your prayer life! This is not a battle the JFB staff can fight alone, but it is a 'body-life' war...one that takes all of us if it is to succeed. And for sure it has been a success, and you all have indeed been faithful in your participation. I'm am proud of you, and proud to be a part of God's work there. However, we have not in any way reached the 'finish line.' We are in the midst of pushing through department of education approval of our learning center, so that we will be a fully approved school with the school district in which we reside. Again, there are huge social and cultural issues to deal with...Catholicism, politics, as well as a culture of corruption that is so pervasive as to reach every aspect of the Philippines. So please continue to pray for us and the school...as well as our attorney ! Thanks again for all your participation, and I hope each one of you will get the privilege to go with us to the Philippines to meet your student personally! Until then, please take the opportunity to use our skype meetings with the students on Wednesday evenings to get to know your sponsored child. Lastly, we are asking all sponsors to write a short letter of encouragement to the parents of your student. They too are "taking the heat" from neighbors and relatives who want them to keep the child out of the 'born-againers" school! So they need your prayers and encouragement, and a short letter from you can help a lot. Please turn in these letters physically to the church office or digitally to the church email address by Sept 1 !
God Bless...Pastor Tim
Lead Pastor, Jesus Fellowship of Believers
President of Shofar Mission, Philippines