Our dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are now on our 25th year of existence and God has indeed blessed us tremendously. We are a million strong in 129 countries, we are building communities among the poor in a way that is radically affecting their lives as well as every sector of society, and we are building and uniting nations that will be God’s light to the world.
It is not an exaggeration to say that our work today, as God’s instruments, will truly transform the world and renew the face of the earth. We can only bow our heads in humility and amazement, and say “Blessed be God forever.”
Such privilege given us to be God’s instruments is of course to be received with great joy, but must also be responded to in a radical way. We are called to dedicate our lives and our resources to God’s work. Our life together in community and our mission are to be our greatest priorities, for the sake of the Kingdom.
All of us are called to be holy as God is holy, in both our personal and family lives. We are called to build and strengthen our community. We are called to dedicate ourselves to our work.
In all these, we are to maintain a joyful and celebratory spirit. We are never to grumble, because such is a sign of ingratitude and lack of appreciation for what God is doing for us, and what God is allowing us to do for others.
The work in the Philippines
God founded CFC in the Philippines and has established CFC in all its provinces. God has used this country as His base for global evangelization. But there is more. God intends the Philippines to rise from poverty and darkness, so that it can bring His light to the world. In the same way, God will raise up all other countries to show His power and majesty to the world. CFC is humbled and privileged to be an instrument for doing this, and our work with the poor, especially Gawad Kalinga (GK) together with its partners, is His way of restoring hope and dignity to nations.
Our Christian model of development and nation building through GK follows the path of Jesus. We build, not destroy. We love, not hate. We hope, not despair.
Along this path, we are building a nation. We are uniting and involving all sectors of Philippine society.
- Rich and poor.
- The government and the political opposition.
- Business rivals.
- The military and the insurgents.
- Christian groups.
- Different religions.
God has indeed anointed CFC as a prophetic voice. And today the integrity of CFC and of GK is unquestioned and is one of our greatest strengths. Many in society look to CFC for leadership on moral, spiritual and national issues.
United we stand and prosper
The enemy will always try to divide us. We must strenuously guard our unity. In this, look to the following:
- We are one family and all in CFC are our brethren. We must love one another and be loyal to each other.
- We must always be open to fraternal correction. This is a manifestation of love and is intended for our good. Such openness is a sign of humility and desire to follow God.
- There must never be loose talk, gossip or backbiting.
- We must not have a negative attitude, one of complaining and grumbling.
- We must encourage one another in every way.
Some practical aspects
Our work is God’s work, sustained by the power of His Spirit. God is enough and will provide for our needs. But we must do our part. God is faithful, and we need to respond in faithfulness as well. As such, we look to the following:
- We must pass on the vision to our children. Seek to serve together with your children.
- We must be faithful to our meetings—households, prayer assemblies, teachings, formation courses, conferences, etc.
- We must look to ways of participating in the various services CFC offers, and give generously of our time and talent.
- We must exercise true financial stewardship. This starts with a tithe.
- Beyond the tithe, we must be generous in giving for our work with the poor.
- We should grow in our fervor for evangelization, and see the vast opportunities to evangelize through our GK work; GK attracts all sectors of Philippine society, raises committed volunteers, and strengthens our own members in their faith.
There is to be no conflict between GK/Ancop and the rest of our work of evangelization and renewal. These comprise the one work of the one community of CFC. God raised CFC in different stages and prepared it for the fullness of its work today, especially the work of GK. CFC gave birth to and is the foundation for GK. We must not let go of this foundation. As such, if you do not yet tithe, then do not give to GK/Ancop. If you are not faithfully attending your household, teachings and other meetings, then do not offer to serve in GK/Ancop.
The call to heroism
The intensity of our mission calls for heroism and great sacrifice. This is the way of Jesus. We are called to follow Jesus, and that is our great privilege. We are to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and offer our whole lives to God.
But we need to realize that our work is certainly not a burden but a great blessing. Our community and our mission are God’s gifts to us!
How then do we respond? We go the extra mile. We live and serve with a passion.
God is bringing CFC from glory to glory. Because He loves us with an eternal love. Because He is implementing His eternal plan for the life of the world. Because He wants us to show His power and majesty to all the nations. And so we have taken on this theme from Tobit 13:6 as our theme for 2006, and as we enter a new season in our life and mission.
God be praised forever! God bless you all.
Fraternally in Christ,