Relief Fund Supports Church Workers in the Philippines
By Bener Agtarap
When the global pandemic shut down the Philippines, the National Association of Filipino American United Methodists (NAFAUM) launched the “Coronavirus Relief Fund” to raise money to provide emergency aid to the most vulnerable pastors and deaconesses serving United Methodist churches in the Philippines.
Bishop Rudy Juan of the Davao Episcopal Area talked about the hardships facing pastors and deaconesses in the Philippines due to the pandemic during the first “Global Prayer Livestream Against COVID-19” hosted by NAFAUM.
NAFAUM swiftly responded to the challenge by raising $10,000 within thirty days from generous individuals and organizations such as Path 1 and Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. The emergency aid was immediately distributed to 153 households in the three episcopal areas – Baguio, Davao, and Manila - of the Philippines Central Conference.
Bishop Rudy Juan (Davao Episcopal Area) acknowledged the support by stating, “I joyfully express our deepest gratitude to you all for the financial support you have extended to our lowly paid workers. Your expression of care and concern means a lot to them, especially during these critical times! Truly, the pandemic brought hardships and challenges, especially to our local congregations in far-flung barangays and among the Lumad communities.” Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco (Manila Area) and Bishop Pete Torio (Baguio Area) also reiterated their heartfelt gratitude and blessings to NAFAUM and the donors that made the financial aid possible.
According to Rev. Edgar de Jesus, President of NAFAUM, “It can be difficult to think about generosity when there is so much uncertainty in our lives. There is no better response for the people of God in times of uncertainty and fear than to be generous. The church is at its best when it is a force for good in the world.”
For more information about the other ministry initiatives of NAFAUM, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NAFAUM, or contact Rev. Edgar de Jesus, NAFAUM President at [email protected], or Bener Agtarap at [email protected].