2022 was like seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. We felt we were getting out of the darkness of 2020-2021 paralyses due to Covid. Joji was able to visit and bond with our three adult children and eight grandchildren last Fall. They bring so much joy to our lives. Meanwhile, the operations of Coffee for Peace (CFP) in the context of the new realities are being appreciated by the global social enterprise community. The Field Operations Team of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) revived our on-the-ground projects with various community partners. With both the PBCI Board of Trustees and the CFP Board of Directors, we reviewed the past 16 years of justice-based peace and reconciliation ministry in Mindanao and we all agreed that this Philippine ministry is now entering into a leadership transition phase.
Coffee for Peace
The vision and mission of this social enterprise is alive and flourishing. This year, various national and international organizations are adding more recognition to what CFP is doing. In 30 June, Joji was invited to speak at the TEDx in Manila on Practicing Social Inclusion through a Culture of Peace. In 31 October, she was one of the Top Five Finalists for the 2022 Pitch Competition of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). Last 26 November, Joji was 2022 Lead Honoree for Peacebuilding and Upliftment of Marginalized Groups at the Leaders and Achiever of Davao Awards (LEAD) of the Junior Chamber International Senate Davao.
The relationship-building work of PBCI is growing deeper and wider in 2022. Through the efforts of our Field Operations Team, we have initiated a new partnership process with an IP community, the Matigsalog tribe. We’re also deepening our relationship with the Mandaya tribe whom we started connecting in 2021. Our justice-based Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) ministry is founded on genuine relationships with the people to whom we are being sent as MCCanada Witness workers in the Philippines.
Our children and grandchildren continue to bring joy. We are truly grateful for the joy of seeing our children raise their own families. All three of them are developing their own small businesses to be socially transformative and relevant
Jojie Alethea. We call her LéLé. Our first daughter is a creative artist (LeleChan.Com). She runs her own art and design shop with her husband, Allan. They live in Vancouver, BC. They have 2 teen-aged daughters, Kiana Gabrielle (16) and Kaya Sydelle (13).
L’Nielle Joy. Our second child, L.J., is a beauty artist. She runs her own beauty shops (DalagaBeauty.Com) – one in Richmond and another one in Vancouver. She’s married to Eliczar who works as a mechanic at Canada Line. They have 3 daughters – Elia Lynn (16), Eve Librada (11), and Emelia Leonila (5). They live in Richmond, BC.
Daniel Byron. “Bee” is an independent information and communications technology consultant (ByronPantoja.Com). He maintains his own website development clients while her wife, Mandy, runs her own shop as a tattoo artist. They have 3 daughters – Eyna Crimson (16), Zylie Estrella (5), and Zenaliyah Daye (2). They live in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines.
We’re entering a leadership transition period. During the annual general meeting of both the PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee for Peace, a 5-year leadership transition process was officially launched. Tala Bautista and Sihaya Ansibod will be next-gen leaders.
Tala. Joji will continue to train her to be the next leader at Coffee for Peace. Tala earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. In 2020, she completed a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia, USA. Tala serves as Senior Vice President at CFP.
Sihaya. I’ll continue to mentor her as field operations leader at PeaceBuilders Community. She’s been serving as PBCI’s Director of Field Operations for 5 years. Sihaya earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Community Development from the Southern Christian College. She’s married to Aldren Banal, a farmerpreneur who’s a graduate of PeaceBuilders School of Leadership and currently running his social enterprise, the A&J Mahayahay Farm.
For all these blessings and the challenges that come with them, we give glory to the Creator, who, through Jesus Christ, visited us, celebrated with us, suffered with us, and experienced living with us as a human being. Immanu-El!
May the celebration of the birth of Christ add love, joy, and peace in your daily lives.