Monday, March 14, 2011

Gains in networking: The CBMA experience

This post resumes the Gains and Pains in Serving the Pastors. While the presentation in networking was primarily a response to the feedback, it was also a prelude to remaining accomplishments as represented by the paradigm, MINISTER. As earlier stated, this means Ministerial identity, Institute, Networking, Integrated services, Spirituality, Team work, Entrepreneurship, Resource mobilization. The gains in the first two letters were posted prior to discussion in Networking.The gains in the last letters have been largely influenced by networking concept.

Integrated services, Spirituality and Team work imply wholeness which is a key concept of systems theory. The gains we have on these areas were result of linkages within the CPBC system by tapping the auxiliary organizations and establishing partnership with outside organizations, both governmental and NGOs. Hence, we were able to hold medical-dental missions and other services every assembly with the participation of the medical teams from the military and dentist association. Membership of our association in the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON) and Volunteer Organization, Information, Communication Exchange (VOICE)-Iloilo Cluster ushered this partnership. Our advocacy for the provision of health and welfare benefits for pastors has been supported by sectoral organizations in the CPBC and related institutions, aside from individuals and groups.

Entrepreneurship and Resource mobilization activities resulted to the construction of KATIPAN Hall and establishing of canteen at the Camp Higher Ground, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. KATIPAN (covenant) means Katuman sing Tingob nga Pagsalig kag Binuhatan. It symbolizes the realization of the project through collective faith and action.

The project started as an attempt to construct a modest Session Hall at Camp Higher Ground to accommodate the participants for the January 2006 National Assembly. Soon, the design was improved to accommodate 1,000 people and keep abreast with the development of the Camp as planned by the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches. In the process of campaign and construction, pastors had experienced God’s power and provision as church leaders, members and even government officials and the general public gave their support. Also they realized the beauty of restoring trust and confidence and the power and strength in unity. Moreover, the project became an opportunity to meet friends and partners in service including those abroad.

From the construction issue, the project transformed into a spiritual warfare in reclaiming the legacy of the Camp Higher Ground. The place, which serves as venue for camping, conventions, retreats, conferences, has been a living witness to transformation of lives brought about by past experiences in the Camp. It is considered an icon of serenity, spirituality and renewal. However, the place had been abused and neglected for the past decades. Seldom was it used for the aforementioned purposes. Through the project, pastors were able to reclaim the spiritual heritage of the Camp. Thereafter, its beauty and usefulness has been gradually restored.

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