Challenged by the impact the crew members had among the children in the port in Cebu City, five young people continued to reach out to the “eye sores of the society”. They began visiting the children in the port regularly on Saturdays, which set the foundation for a ministry that would become the backbone of OM Philippines Cebu Ministries.
Sally Ababa, who served on Doulos for four years, led local volunteers to continue these Saturday visits with the children after the ship left, and from there she saw the ministry grow.
“From a handful of committed port volunteers diligently and consistently conducting weekend children's Bible classes in the port area, it expanded to many other slums in the city—to neighbouring islands, up to the mountainous areas of Cebu—14 outreaches in 2010 with the partnership of churches,” said Sally.
“From our first office in my parents’ house to a business office, plus two other learning centres in the mid-town area of Cebu City, the children ministry grew to a myriad of holistic ministries—children, teens, youths, families, communities.”
While the ministry has seen encouraging expansion throughout the years, Sally and the others envision it acting as a catalyst for churches to take a more active role as agents of community transformation, going beyond children’s work to “communities, Cebu and to the ends of the world.”
On 24 September, 2011, OM Philippines Cebu Ministries’ Children Ministry will celebrate its 10-year anniversary to commemorate God’s faithfulness over the past decade. Children, team members, church workers, partners, volunteers and guests will gather to share stories of how God has touched their lives through the ministry.
Says Sally on behalf of the team, “We hope that those volunteers, short-term workers, mission exposure participants, partners, and friends who have been involved in any way would come to celebrate the fruit of the ministry with us.”
Credit: OM International · © 2011 OM International