Christ at the center

It’s not often that I hear someone ask whether they should have flown west instead of east to visit our office. But when you live on the opposite side of the world, it’s a valid question.

Cross partner Ruth Callanta stopped in this week to promote her Christ-centered approach to serving the poorest of the poor in the Philippines, and to thank us for our support.

Cross partner Ruth Callanta
Cross partner Ruth Callanta

Ruth’s Kaibigan Ministry, an outreach to the homeless in metro-Manilla, began with a tugging at her heart as she would pass them each morning on her way to work and see them sleeping in the streets. She asked a local church to open its doors for a special gathering for the homeless – but the church said no, the people might steal. Then she tried to find a room to rent or an open lot to use, but the answer was always the same – don’t bring the homeless to our property. At last, she asked Cross to help her to buy a piece of land, and we agreed to fund the project.

Since then, amazing things have been happening. Poor families are leaving the streets, overcoming addictions, learning skills and responsibility, finding faith in Christ, and working together in a new agricultural community.

“When the Spirit of God enters them, they begin to have hope,” Ruth said. “Without the Lord Jesus in the equation, there cannot be true transformation.”

When Ruth says prayer, Bible study, and evangelism make a difference, she knows what she’s talking about. She spent years in the secular development sector, watching well-intentioned projects fail because they lacked the spiritual element. Not until she anchored her work in the message and life-changing power of Christ did she begin to see real progress – men and women saved from destitution and given a heart to love their neighbors as themselves.

-Tony M.

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