The Lord continues to form and strengthen our partnerships in the Philippines and I’ve recently been reminded how God draws people together toward a shared vision.
A few weeks ago, Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries (CCT), met for its annual membership assembly—and to celebrate its 25th anniversary!
The work and growth of CCT Credit Cooperative over this year was highlighted. As their largest ministry and our partnering local community institution, CCT Credit Cooperative provides loans, mentorship, training, discipleship and fellowship groups, and advocacy to help over 70,000 business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the Philippines.
They also thanked Partners Worldwide as a new strategic partner. We are grateful to work together as well!
Although the keynote speaker for the anniversary event was President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III, it was the introductory speech offered by CCT’s founder and president Ruth S. Callanta that reflected on God’s faithfulness and guidance these past 25 years—and where they sense God is leading them for the next 25.
Ruth shared the following:
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, the Lord has given us at CCT the deep joy of seeing thousands of lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God has shown us that only development work anchored in Jesus Christ can truly transform lives, and that our advocacy of intertwined programs addressing both the material and spiritual dimensions of the individual is doable.
Twenty-five years! From a handful of workers then, we now have more than 1,200 full-time staff nationwide, about 10,000 community volunteers and leaders, 157 branches in key cities in the Philippines, and 12 interdependent but legally registered ministry organizations governed by their respective boards of trustees and directors.
The soundness of our strategy, from a human perspective, cannot be overstated as we faced the many challenges of 2015. We operated in an increasingly hostile environment last year. The country’s escalating peace and order problems hampered our operations. We experience multiple holdups of our branches. In one case, one of our staff was shot and the day’s [loan payment] collections taken from him just as he was leaving a fellowship meeting of microfinance community partners. By God’s grace, he survived four gunshot wounds in the chest and abdomen.
Through all the overwhelming challenges, the Lord’s presence was felt and seen.
I look forward not only to the end of this decade but toward the next 25 years. Our vision for CCT is that by 2041 it will have become a very strategic player in transforming the nation and changing the course of Philippine history. As we continue to follow God’s leading and demonstrate our passion for God, the Philippines, and the Filipino poor, we see no people living in the streets but living in houses they built. We see strong, cohesive families—no child growing up without a parent, and no parents leaving their families for jobs outside the country. We see human trafficking completely eradicated.
We see the Philippines sitting in the community of nations, enjoying the respect of other countries, a worthy example of a nation transformed by the Gospel. We also see Filipinos with the right heart, motivation and excellent skills working side by side with the world’s best. Thank you for sharing this vision!
Let us claim the promises in Isaiah 58:10-11: “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”