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Who Cares for Manila’s Poorest?

February 20, 2007

They came almost 4 years ago and today they have planted over 100 churches with accompanying pre-schools and micro-financing in the direst places in Metro Manila.

The secret to their success stems from the simple act of serving people. The approach starts with providing people with basic needs like generators and water (when necessary), micro-financing for livelihood and education.

Apart from the 100 churches they have 35 pre-schools that have over 1300 enrolled. Average tuition is 200 pesos a month (US$ 4.00).

The organization is known as Urban Church Planting Project (UCPP). A key factor to their success has been the collaboration with other ministries who ably provide their assistance, support and expertise in the various undertakings of the project.

This blog however will focus on 2 men who have been instrumental to the success of the project – Pastor Jim Hayford and Pete Forras.

Last Friday I met Pastor Jim. We had invited him to minister to our staff. His love for God and the poor was so evident that it did not take long to get all of us in the room to be moved by his message. There was no dry eye.

Most impressive was the fact that Pastor Jim is in his sixties and has been in ministry for the last 43 years. Clearly he has not settled on past accomplishments.

Pastor Jim was introduced to us by Pete Forras. Pete is one of their ministry’s team leaders from Seattle but now lives in Manila. While Pete leads this mission he attends the church at Victory Christian Fellowship – Fort Bonifacio.

Pete has gone through every part of our church’s discipleship program. He is a part of my discipleship group on Wednesday mornings. I have been amazed at his humble demeanor and willingness to go through everything we told him to.

After meeting Pastor Jim, it explains why Pete behaved the way he did. Pete is working to implement our discipleship program in their churches.

One of the things I so appreciate with the UCPP is their challenge to new church plants and communities to start and grow within 3 years. This way these new believers do not become dependent on dole outs.

Thank you Pete and thank you Pastor Jim. You are great examples of collaboration and how the body of Christ should be working together.

See pictures of the meeting with Pastor Jim and Pete Forras

To know more about UCPP, visit also Matt Messner’s Blog

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One comment

  1. Thanks for blogging about your meeting with Pastor Jim and Pete. It is encouraging for us to also see what is happening at VCF. Pastor Jim was thankful to have the opportunity to meet with you as well.



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