An Interview with the President of ANCOP (International) Bermuda on August 26, 2009
When I was the President of the Association of Filipinos, Mot Parayaon, Vice President of ANCOP, approached and convinced me to introduce Couples for Christ & Family Ministries (CFC) to our community. I had some hesitations at first but because of her perseverance, love and guidance of CFC Leaders of Canada/USA and the assistance and initiation of friends, CFC was instigated in Bermuda . CFC is a catholic family life renewal ministry that started in 1981 in the Philippines , and has since spread to 110+ other countries in the world i.e. Canada , Africa, Nigeria , USA , Trinidad , Jamaica , Australia , Germany , Italy , etc. Its membership includes Asians, Africans, North Americans, Australians, Pacific Islanders, Bermudian, German, etc. CFC is a highly evangelistic, missionary movement which has grown very rapidly and how has a committed membership of more than a million adults.
With the approval of our Bishop Robert Kurtz, (St. Theresa Cathedral), CFC was born in Bermuda in 2001 under the leadership of Ben and Leni Dimaano. The mission/vision of CFC: Families in the Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth and bringing glad tidings to the Poor. CFC Bermuda has grown from 0-100+ members, comprising of Couples for Christ, Handmaid of the Lord, Servant of the Lord, Singles for Christ, Youth for Christ and Kids for Christ . It is a family community that has room for everyone. Its members in Bermuda are Filipinos, Bermudian, Portuguese, Bangladeshi, German, etc. CFC is very active in our Parish Church and now under the new leadership of Jay and Lorie Autor, Chapter Head of CFC Bermuda.
ANCOP is part of CFC, under the overall authority of CFC and helping the core mission of CFC. ANCOP stands for Answering the Cry Of the Poor is the network of international organizations that is committed to alleviating poverty in poor countries through a holistic community development program called GK or Gawad Kalinga -translated to English Gawad Kalinga means to give care. ANCOP is presently in more than 50 locations around the world.
When I attended the Handmaids of the Lord conference in Niagara Falls in 2004, one of the leaders of CFC Canada, talked about the Gawad Kalinga GK 777, the vision of building 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities in the 7 years. The attendees were enthused about the project and believed that it would happen. From that day, I started assessing my priorities in life and asked myself, how can I do my part to make this happen and possible? To do my part to bring hope to peoples love, touch heart to change life for the better to be more productive, share blessings to others and especially, walking the right path of life to the Kingdom of Heaven by serving HIM through neighbors, sharing the word of GOD to others and most important, to family are not an easy tasks but a great inspiration to put them in action.
Although with hesitation at first, (when our CFC Elders in Canada asked me to do something about ANCOP in Bermuda ), I have taken a great but a daunting task. As a born Filipina (now Bermudian), I decided to make a difference wanted to be one of the heroes, and accepted the new challenge of ANCOP simply because I am bonded and fueled by common love for God and love for country and want to be equipped one of Gods work of not just uplifting the love of the less fortunate, but to help build our nation and other third world countries.
ANCOP International ( Bermuda ) is registered as charitable organization in 2007 and set-up the Officers and Committees with committed and dedicated Members and supporters. Our Mission and Vision is to transform slum communities into a clean, beautiful, peaceful community and to make better quality of life of the poor families into productive and self sufficient citizens by providing the four cores: Shelter, Health Education Livelihood and Community empowerment through a sustainable and holistic approach.
Our launching of GK in Bermuda was in 2007 when we had our first major fund raising event, the showing of a true-to-life movie Paraiso (in English " Paradise ") 3 stories of HOPE and then we had the Heal the World concert in March 2008. Since inception of ANCOP Bermuda, we were able to fund one Bermuda Village, 40 houses in San Jose Batangas, funded 5 houses in Bangladesh (affected by a Hurricane last year), and few houses in Zambales. We also have at least 60 children in our child sponsorship program ($1.05 a day or $384 a year for one child). Thanks to the generous and kind hearted sponsors. The success of GK projects is through GODs interference and also because of the CFC/ANCOP Bermuda, a group of pure-hearted volunteers who sacrifice and give their time, effort, life and love for the sake of their brothers and sisters.
Over the past five years GK Walk has become one of the premier fund raising events of ANCOP International organization worldwide. For the first time, Bermuda is going to join this event that is being participated by over 8 cities and provinces in Canada and including 30 cities in the US who will walk simultaneously on August 23 signifying solidarity, passion and commitment to the mission and vision that drives Gawad Kalinga. But due to the weather, Hurricane Bill, the GK Walk in Bermuda is rescheduled on the 13th of September.
Our goal this year is to build another Bermuda Village, comprising of 20 40 houses at $2,300 per house, continue to support the existing 60+ children, to increase the number of our Child sponsors for at least to 100 children, to assist some less fortunate and to assist some of the charitable organization in Bermuda with the same vision and mission as ANCOP. Building another Bermuda Village be a great achievement from Gods work.
Being one of the Leaders and Head of Handmaids of the Lord, President of ANCOP, mother, wife and a full time employee is not an easy way of life. There are some challenges but I faced them accordingly through the grace, wisdom and guidance of our Saviour/Lord, Jesus Christ. The Leaders of CFC Canada and the CFC community showed me what the spirit and culture of true community is all about, a life of purpose. They are my inspiration in my continuing journey as ANCOP advocate and GK worker. Knowing that God has a gorgeous plan for His people and being part of Gods wonderful promise is more than enough for me to entrust my whole future for the mission: to bring glad tidings to the poor (Luke 4;17-21). Sharing the many blessings that God bestowed upon me good health, good job, good employer, surrounded with good friends, etc. is a way to express my appreciation and thankful to GOD. Also I am inspired with Gods commandments Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, with all your SOUL, with all your MIND and with all your STRENGTH and Love your neighbors. For me, LOVE means service love, a committed service to our neighbors and it means a self-sacrificial love, best exemplified by Jesus himself.
I encourage our partners, supporters and sponsors in Bermuda to become stakeholders in the development of the GK community by visiting and becoming involved in the implementation of shelter and other GK programs.
The less fortunate needs us to help them. I am appealing to the Bermuda community to join us, to walk with us to fight poverty, help us to restore dignity and give HOPE to the needy, and help us to transform the lives of the less fortunate. Lets join our hands and accept this daunting task, lets be driven by FAITH, patriotism, and love of GOD. LETS CONTINUE TO BE LOVED AND LOVE, and TO BE UNITED as ONE