As you know I am in Philippines for a meeting of the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) where among other things we visited a few ministries that are related to the United Methodist Church. One of them is Kapatiran(brotherhood) -Kaunlaran (improvement)Foundation Inc. (KKFI), which was founded as a response to the challenge to work among and with the poor in their struggle for genuine human development. For the past 72 years, the KKFI has been at the forefront of the struggle for social transformation.
We visited two of their many sites-
1) sweatshopsthat employ 5-17 year old children in the hazardous work of cleaning bottles by using strong chemicals. Children work up to 16 hours per day and get less than 20 cents per day.
Needless to say they can’t afford to survive on this income so many live in
2) cemeteries. These cemetery slums have existed since the 50s. Today an estimated 1,500 families live on the 133 acres of a cemetery in Manila which is one of world’s most densely populated cities. They cook, eat, sleep and play on the graves and vaults. Most of these kids don’t go to school and if they do they are made fun of- called vampires and zombies.
These are just two of the many experiences we have had here that force us to look at our privileges and be grateful for all that we have. And before I say more about my thoughts about this, I invite you to share yours. What does this trigger in you? What does this say to you? What does this call us to? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And please remember-
This Sunday, July 30th, at 11:00 am, we will join Holy Covenant UMC for their “Beach Worship” near the "A Signal of Peace" sculpture. You can park at the Diversey Driving Range & Mini Golf then take a short walk under Lake Shore Drive past the Diversey Harbor. You will not miss the sculpture when you come to the lakeside. Many of them joined us on July 16. I hope we can extend the same support to them.
I will miss worshipping with you all but will see you next Sunday. Until then, beloveds, as people of God, let us continue to do our best, be our best and do all we can to create a safer place for all God’s people. Be blessed and I look forward to seeing you in church.