Joji Pantoja (seated at the middle) shows the photos she took of the women who participated in a monthly group counselling program for those who are working as entertainers in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. 06 March 2013, Maramag, Bukidnon.

From 5 – 9 March 2013, the management team and the whole field staff of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) went to Bukidnon. It was a trip full of stories of reconnecting, reaching to each other, learning and teaching.

On the first day, EVP Joji Felicitas Bautista Pantoja gave a talk to girls working as entertainers, 90% of them in their teenage years. The women staff who gave support as counselors to the girls brought home heartbreaking stories of cyclical abuse and violence. Despite their experiences, all of the girls believe on a God whom they can pray to.

The next two days, the whole team joined in the celebration of the anniversary of the Moro-IP (indigenous people) Reaffirmation of Kinship. In the past, some evangelical leaders have viewed IP culture and cosmology with distrust. In this trip, the Bukidnon pastors who have embraced the peace and reconciliation values listened and reveled with the indigenous peoples.

“God has been working in this place even before we came here,” they said.

The IP leaders welcomed them warmly too and we hope that this signifies a long-term relationship based on trust and respect.

Bangsamoros, Lumads, and Migrants pray together for peace during the closing ceremonies of the First Anniversary of the Moro-IP Kinship ReAffirmation, 07-08 March 2013, Talaandig Ancestral Territory, Lantapan, Bukidnon.

We also reconnected with our partners on the field. On our last day, pastors in Lantapan, Bukidnon finished the PAR 1 training. Majority of the sessions were led by the Bukidnon pastors.

PBCI is thankful to witness how the shalom of Christ is being lived out by the Body of Christ in practical ways.


Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2013/03/pbci-staff-visits-bukidnon-partners/

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