Clay and June Rojo serve as PAR Partnership Designers and Inclusive Development Mentors with PBCI. PAR is Peace and Reconciliation. This is the heart of our ministries at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee For Peace (CFP).
As PAR Partnership Designers, they creatively dream and work together for a just, radical, and active non-violent transformation of our beautiful land, in partnership with religious institutions, civil society organizations, political fronts, business corporations, and government agencies.
As Inclusive Development Mentors, Clay and June help in the leadership of CFP — an inclusive development company. CFP is a community of consultants and mentors — conscientious individuals who are passionate about business-for-profit, addressing social issues that concerns our farmers, our environment, and the peace situation in our land by advocating Fair Trade in the coffee industry. CFP sees Inclusive Development as a socio-economic approach to achieve justice and peace in our society and in our environment.
The Rojos started their involvement with PBCI and the PAR Movement in 2012. They participated in, and completed, a three-month PAR seminar series among 32 pastors and church leaders from Valencia City and Lantapan, Bukidnon. They immediately served as PAR volunteers and went to the field with us for six months. In January 2013, both Clay and June joined PBCI as full-time field workers. They started as interns until they learned the biblical-theological framework and the field operational procedures of this peacebuilding and inclusive development initiatives.
Currently, they are part of our key people serving in the leadership of PBCI-CFP implementing our Vision 2020: Imagine. By 31 December 2020, each of our provinces will have a circle of leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities! They would serve as the catalysts to organize PAR Teams in their municipalities or cities. These PAR Teams, in turn, would serve as radical transformation volunteers in their respective families, churches, neighbourhoods, barangays, cities or municipalities. The PAR Teams would also get involved in PAR Programs that are relevant to their specific context.
Clay and June Rojo’s ministry influence has been growing since then:
:: In May 2015, the Rojos gathered a group of evangelical student leaders at the Central Mindanao University (CMU) and introduced Peace Theology to them. These student leaders got so inspired of this holistic view of following Jesus and reached out to more evangelical and pentecostal students around CMU. They soon organized themselves and initiated a peace movement among the youth inside and outside the CMU campus. They now refer to themselves as Kalinaw Youth Movement. Queenie Liwat, one of the former interns of the Rojos, is one of their key servant-leaders.
:: In July 2015, Queenie Liwat started sharing Peace Theology in her hometown of Banisilan, North Cotabato. For decades, Banisilan has been the fuse of armed conflict between Muslims and Christians. Soon, Queenie’s family network and the Rojos were conducting inter-faith, inter-tribal, and cross-cultural conflict transformation processes in this area. The municipal government initiated a series of consultation with PBCI in August 2015. Now, a PAR Community consisted of Indigenous Peoples, Muslims, and Christians are actively operating in this area.
:: In November 2015, the Rojos started their own coffee roasting facility. After going through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) qualification process, PBCI signed a Memorandum of Agreement with DTI in 28 August 2014. With DTI’s input of PhP3.83M worth of machinery and equipment, this project is expected to generate a total investment of PhP14.6M, including PBCI’s counterpart in ancillary facilities (estimated at PhP8.5M) and operating costs (estimated at PhP2.27M). This project is expected to produce an annual volume of 64,000 kilos and average sales of PhP8.96M per year for green beans. For roasted beans, the expected sales is PhP51.2M. This endeavor would also generate a total of 959 direct and indirect employment.
:: In February 2016, Clay and June started working with Just Projects Philippines Foundation (JPPF) — an international organization helping to provide education to child soldiers and to help develop livelihood programs to their families and communities in the context of justice and peace. They introduced its leaders to PBCI and CFP. Soon, JPPF embraced Peace Theology as their theological-ethical framework as they relate to communities in the field.
:: In November 2016, Clay and June launched Kapeyapaan Valencia. The term “Kapeyapaan” is a play of two combined words: kape (coffee) and kapayapaan (peace). While the newly-designed Coffee For Peace Bistro and its future branches will be focused on serving the major cities, face-to-face with the branches of multinational corporations’ coffee shops, Kapeyapaan coffee kiosks will serve the provincial centers and municipalities and will bring the locally-produced, world-class quality coffee to the rural folks. Kapeyapaan coffee drinks will be served along with local pastries and delicacies of various ethno-cultural contexts in the country.
The Rojos have three children: Clay Isaac, 22; Jude Natan, 17; and, John Dave, 13.
We’re requesting our global partners to include the Rojo family in your prayers especially during this season when we remember the birth of Jesus.
MARIA LIGAYA JOSEFINA ROJO
We call her June for short. She has been serving as a local church pastor for more than 10 years. We got to know her when she served as a volunteer with PBCI for a year. We noticed June’s effective and efficient field leadership. Her community organizing skills have been remarkable. So, the PBCI Management Team agreed to invite her to become one of our provincial staff members.
June serves as PAR Partnership Designer and Inclusive Development Mentor
Asked how she’s adjusting from pastoral ministry to peacebuilding ministry: “Peacebuilding ministry puts into action what I have been preaching for years about getting involved in holistic ministry and about being a church outside the walls of the church building.”
CLAY N. ROJO
Clay graduated from Central Mindanao University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. His major was in Agronomy. Since 1991, he has been serving as Church Planter and Pastor. When PBCI started working in Bukidnon, Clay — along with his wife, June — gave assistance to our PAR Organizing and Consulting Team. The Rojos helped accelerate the organization and development of the PAR Community in Bukidnon.
Clay serves as PAR Partnership Designer and Inclusive Development Mentor
Asked what excites him in this peacebuilding ministry: “I have been dreaming of integrating my training in agronomy with my pastoral calling. Agronomy is the science of soil management and crop production. As I train coffee farmers to produce global quality coffee, and as I also share with them the Gospel of Peace, I actually advance spiritual transformation and economic-ecological transformation among our people.“