Took Away Their
The Home of Enormous Conflicts:
Don’t Let It
Take Away Their
Hope For The
Mindanao, the southern most part of Philippine
Island, of which, with its 94,000 sq. km. is the second largest among the
7100 islands of Philippine archipelago. At the time of Spanish colonization,
Islam had penetrated many of the coastal communities of the major islands
in the Philippines, including Manila. Today, Muslims constitute about
5% of the 79 million of Philippine population. Approximately 19%
of the 21 million inhabitants of Mindanao are Muslims, according to the
2000 census. Muslim regions in the Philippines are among the country’s
poorest place and the social indicators (health, education) are among the
lowest in the country.
Although Mindanao has comprised of only
26% of the whole population, this island is the most problematic place
in the Philippines because it is the land of the bigger population of Muslim
people. And that, this region has been the center of gun fighting,
bomb attacks, kidnap for ransoms, and political dilemmas that arouse the
world. It has been the subject of all sorts of controversial issues.
The world is keeping its attention to this place whose inhabitants are
composed of different languages and culture merged together. This
place has always been displayed on television, newspapers, and aired over
the radio all over the world. These negative reports indicate that
Mindanao is such a place too dangerous to live in and until now the prospects
of peace in the Islands of Mindanao are very discouraging.
The PMF Priority for Ministry:
Muslim Ministry in Mindanao
The continuous conflict between the Philippine
government and Muslims in Mindanao is creating more prejudices and enmity
in missions and that Christian missionaries lose their enthusiasm to work
among the Muslims. Nonetheless, the Lord always expects the saved
people to go and tell the world His gospel. However horrible the
circumstances are, we know that the Lord can transform even the very worst
situation into something better, and Through Jesus Christ alone the hope
for peace in Mindanao will become possible.
Believing what the Lord has in mind, PMF has
strong determination to deploy its workers to work with the Muslims in
Mindanao in obedience with God’s calling and to comply with the mission
and vision of the organization. At the beginning of this fourth quarter
of 2002, PMF will start to send out one (1) couple and one (1) single missionaries
to Muslim people in Mindanao. Every year PMF envisions to produce at least
two churches in Muslim areas. Its goal is to reach the unreached Muslim
people in Mindanao and to establish church communities of baptized believers
in the area through holistic ministries. However, missionaries should possess
adequate training and skills so that the goal of the ministry could be
The PMF Muslim Ministry is Centered
on Helping Mindanao Children
In 1997, PMF has targeted the island of Mindanao
in bringing the gospel to the Muslims. Rev. & Mrs. Roger Obe
started the first PMF Muslim Ministry to the children affected by the gun
battle in Lamitan, Basilan, the land of Muslim separatists and terrorists.
Direct evangelism is prohibited in the place,
but they can reach out to families through this children’s ministry. They
provided a house for children who are indigent and deeply affected
by war where they care, feed, and provide for holistic needs. They
also established a non-formal education to help these children get back
their basic rights to education smothered because of ongoing conflicts.
And through this ministry, they can freely share the Gospel to the innocent
children as well as their parents. At present, there are many Muslim orphans
in the place but only 35 had been formally accepted because of financial
constraints. Nine (9) of them have accepted the Lord as their personal
Lord and Savior.
The reality of the situation of this place
is not only felt in watching TV or hearing over the radio. Rev. Obe’s
ministry in Lamitan, Basilan is really affected and that his ministry could
not be done in a permanent place. Three times in three years, the ministry
moved from one place to another looking for a safer place during the war.
In his reports, he said “our house was less than 100 meters away from the
fighting scene and the second one was even closer, it was less than 50
meters away and our very room was directly hit by a bullet which created
a hole of which a basketball could freely pass through.”
While from their third house, he said, that they clearly heard
the sound of the bullet from all over and many times they heard it fell
on the roof of their neighbors. Thank God, he added, “none
of us was hit by the stray bullets.” He also mentioned that he experienced
to be detained by the military when searching for the Muslim group.
Serving the Lord in Mindanao is really very
difficult. Bringing the Gospel of the Lord in this place is like
a military going to a battle that lives are always in danger. But according
to Rev. Obe, “if you hear the laughter of these under- privileged children,
you will forget your fear and this is the very reason why we are still
here. We have seen the body of many dead persons without the privilege
of seeing the dawn of salvation in Jesus Christ.”
Help PMF’s Holistic Ministry
for Mindanao Children
Sadly, it is the children who bear the
consequences of the cruelties and negative effects of war and other acts
Violence and fear have not spared the
families and schools from these attacks. Because of this, the Mindanao
children’s basic rights to health nutrition and education are disrupted.
For these children, years of no schooling
and vocational training take years to replace. Their loss is a major
obstruction that seriously hampers their ability to develop their way of
life. Education is a key social process in
the return to civil society. That’s why the PMF places the highest
priority on education as an essential element in child’s learning and development.
An orphanage can provide a safe place to share the Word of God, educate,
socialize, and help the children foster a sense of routine and normalcy.
However, the task of helping the holistic
needs of the children in Mindanao is only a part of the story--the major
challenge is to give these children a brighter hope for the future through
PMF holistic ministry.
Please give these children the chance
to live and grow in peace, health and dignity by making that contribution--
Give your donations to PMF’s Muslim
ministry through the following channels:
Philippine Missionary Fellowship,
P.O. Box 3284 Manila
Tel/Fax No. 931-0064
Rev. David Cohen
P.O. Box 67, Croydon
NSW 2133 Australia
1313 N. Atlantic St.
Suite 4000 Spokane,
8500 Torbram Road
unit 48 Brampton,
L6T 5C6 Canada
Thank you for helping the ministry of PMF in Mindanao!