The fire started in a tightly packed neighborhood down the block. The fire brigade managed to control the fire keeping the home from being a total loss. No one realized it, but one ember had lodged in the rafters of the corner bakery. Soon the bakery was fully engulfed, a total loss. Two doors away, residents of the Kamuning Free Methodist Church (KFMC) building/parsonage were rousted out of their sleep.
This incident lit a fire under us (pun intended) to renew fundraising efforts for rebuilding this important anchor church in the heart of Manila, Philippines.
The KFMC was founded in 1976, the first FM congregation in Manila as the church expanded into the northern Philippines. In addition to birthing numerous daughter churches, this building has housed the John Wesley Theological Institute for pastoral training, served
as the conference office for the Northern Philippine Conference, and is the center for a church-sponsored ICCM project serving underprivileged children from the nearby wet market.
While the congregation continues to thrive, the building – a converted house – has deteriorated and is inadequate to meet their vision for expanded ministries. It has also become evident the building does not meet earthquake codes (not something to ignore for a country right on the infamous Ring of Fire).
The dream has been to rebuild from the ground up. However, construction costs in a 20-million-person megalopolis pushed the price tag far beyond the congregation’s reach. Initial fundraising efforts, like selling recyclables and collecting spare change, made only a tiny dent in the 18 million peso ($360,000) price tag. Yes, the building was unsafe, but what could be done?
We belong to a network within the body of Christ that rejoices in interdependency!
The church is working together with FMWM in a way that celebrates our “Better Together” ethos. Every peso the church raises, FMWM is trying to match with a dollar raised in the U.S. But that’s only part of the story! For every peso the church raises, it also raises an additional peso for a “pay it forward” account that will fund future church property or building projects elsewhere in the Philippines.
While fundraising is ongoing in both the U.S. and the Philippines, the first fruits of the “pay it forward” account have already helped purchase property for its newest daughter church. This project is truly interdependency in action!
To participate in this joint effort, please visit the Philippines – Kamuning FMC Building Fund.