Workers who built the Payatas Community Center were honored when the new facility was dedicated to the Lord recently. Two of the men took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony and shared their testimonies in the formal program that followed. “Here, I felt that what I do is of value, something I never experienced at other construction sites where I’ve worked,” said Nestor Siddayao, 51, a welder.
|SIPAG 2 and KMMC construction workers sing: "Parang|
kailan lang, ang mga pangarap ko'y kay hirap abutin. Dahil
sa inyo napunta ako aking dapat marating. Nais ko kayong
pasalamatan kahit man lang sa awitin."
Photo: Roselyne Ko & Therese Keirulf of WTRC
The men who built the newest community center of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) Group of Ministries are members of either SIPAG 2, a program that provides unemployed or underemployed men with construction skills training, or of the Kaibigang Maaasahan Multi-purpose Cooperative, an organization of skilled workers, many of whom are transformed former street dwellers. They sang a song of gratefulness during the dedication program.
Geoff Osborne of Wholistic Transformation Resource Center, major supporter of the SIPAG II program and visionary for the Payatas Community Center, told the construction workers that they are “chosen by God to be forerunners of men in the Philippines,” and challenged them to be courageous.
“Because you know Jesus, the Light of the world, you are also lights to the world. This country needs men who will be courageous, who will take the place God has for them in their family, church and community.” He explained that while visiting communities in the Philippines, Asia and Africa, he has always asked himself, “Where are the men?” He expressed hope that CCT community servant leaders in the future will not just be almost entirely women, but will have many men as well.
Also attending the ceremony were board members, management and staff representing the programs and services offered by CCT, WTRC board members and staff, microfinance recipients and community servant leaders of the CCT Credit Cooperative, pupils of the Visions of Hope Christian School, and Arch.Manny Dacanay and engineers of the M.C. Dacanay Architectural Design Office. WTRC is the main partner of CCT for the construction of the community center.
Ruth Callanta, CCT president and founder, recalled how ministry to poor residents of Quezon City began, and challenged CCT staff on three points. She said, “First, we pray all who come to this place will find rest in the Lord Jesus Christ – so everyone who comes here should be prayed for. Second, we should not forget to be thankful, to always remember that this facility was not built with our own efforts but by the grace of God. Our hearts should always be grateful for what God has done, what God is doing, and what God will still do. Third, because we see God’s work, we will serve as Jesus served. Because of His love and grace we cannot help but respond to Him, and because of this, we must serve others the way He served.”
The new community center has a total floor area of 556 square meters. It houses a clinic, classrooms, the water station, and offices on its ground floor, and a multi-purpose hall and more offices on the second floor. The lower ground floor will be used for storage purposes and as transient quarters for staff. It is located in Dona Nicasia Subdivision, Barangay Commonwealth, just beyond the boundary between Commonwealth and Barangay Payatas which is home to its main target beneficiaries.
CCT has been ministering to the poor of Quezon City for about two decades. Its program and services include microfinance, pre-school education, provision of access to government social services, skills training, and spiritual development, among others. It serves urban and rural poor communities as far north as Abra and as far south as General Santos City. It also has community centers in Taguig City, Cavite province, Sarangani province and in 24 other locations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
|Photo: Roselyne Ko & Therese Keirulf of WTRC.|
|Geoff Osborne encourages SIPAG 2 and KMMC members|
to be courageous leaders of their families,
churches and communities.
|Ruth Callanta: "Our hearts should always be grateful|
for what God has done, what God is doing,
and what God will still do."
|Nestor Siddayao speaks of the transformation |
God has done in his life and of a calling
to become a pastor in his home province.
Photo: Roselyne Ko & Therese Keirulf of WTRC
|Ruth Callanta and Geoff Osborne with David Bussau,|
founder and president of Wholistic Transformation
Resource Center, longtime ministry partner of CCT.