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Death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso needs your advocacy and prayers.
The need is critical, and the time is very, very short.
A travel study seminar to the Philippines and Hong Kong — May 1–15, 2020 — will focus on the root causes and current challenges of forced migration and labor trafficking. The trip includes two days of travel, seven days in the Philippines and five days in Hong Kong.
Twelve children were huddled around a long table. Though they were only 7 to 13 years old, they would ordinarily be on the street, begging or selling merchandise for their families. They would not be in school if it were not for the School on Wheels (SOW) program of the Little Children of the Philippines. The children live in difficult circumstances, and because school was not a priority set by their families, they are behind in their education. By offering them nonformal education three hours daily for 10 months, SOW allows them to catch up on their lessons so they can re-enter public school.
For the first time in recent years, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is hosting one of its Travel Study Seminars in the United States, focusing on a place that’s been in the headlines for a variety of reasons.
What does peace sound like to the prisoner who writes about it? For the prisoner whose time stretches from months into years, one wonders if there are words of peace in thoughts, prayers and words exchanged between fellow prisoners and few visitors.
Tired and weary-eyed from four weeks of travel, strange food and nonstop itineraries in a foreign country but bolstered by their faith and a powerful sense of accomplishment, the 2018 Peacemakers gathered together one final time at Laws Lodge on the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary campus. Seven of the 10 peacemakers met for two days of conversation and a debrief session to talk about their experiences with congregations, students and other organizations over the past month before heading back to their respective homes.
While Hurricane Florence dominated media coverage in the U.S., the most intense storm of the year battered the Philippines, Guam, the Marshall Islands, China and Hong Kong, causing extensive damage, loss of life, landslides and severe flooding to residents. Super Typhoon Mangkhut battered the northern Philippines with wind speeds up to 175 miles per hour, more powerful than a Category 5 hurricane. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working with its area partners, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and ACT Alliance, to assess the damage and deliver timely response actions.
Roceni Bakian has a front-row seat to the human rights challenges facing women and children every day. As a full-time pastor with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, she is working with the Regional Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Cordillera region to address the issue and work for change.
In just five months, Presbyterian churches across the U.S. will be hosting the 2018 International Peacemakers. This year, 10 peacemakers are expected to take part in the annual event, sponsored by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
As a mission co-worker and cultural worker in the Philippines, sometimes I am utterly exhausted. There are periods that require quite a bit of travel related to meetings and theater-based trainings for children, youth, church workers, teachers, women and others. When I am in Dumaguete, days sometimes stretch into late evenings for rehearsals with our youth theater group or with Silliman University Divinity School students preparing for the annual church workers convocation. So a few years ago, when asked by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program if my husband, Cobbie, and I would consider reopening the Philippines YAV service site, we pondered, could we? Should we? Could we say no?