In 2003, Life Matters Worldwide began partnering with missionaries to the Philippines. After settling in Davao City, a thriving metropolis of over a million people, they looked for ways to reach the citizens for Christ. Area pastors asked if they knew how to help women with unplanned pregnancies.
Women in Philippine society don't have many career choices. Elementary and high school education is free, but students pay to take exams. Women must be settled in a permanent job by age 25, or they won't be able to find work to support themselves. If they don't marry, and if they become pregnant, their life is even more difficult.
Enter International Training Consultant, Evelyn Stone. Life Matters sent her to lead a crash course on abortion alternatives for over 90 volunteers. Part of that training involved learning how to talk with women and young people about saving sex for marriage. As a result, an abstinence program called You're Worth Waiting For was launched.
Today, Melisa Serata (pictured here) carries on the work begun 10 years ago. More than 140 volunteer abstinence educators work alongside her. Together, they're leading thousands of youth to Christ, spreading the message of biblical sexuality. In the spring of 2011, we were blessed to be able to send Melisa a much needed laptop and projector for her presentations.
Since 2008, Life Matters Worldwide has also been fortunate to work with Dr. Mae Corvera, another Philippine national. Today, Dr. Corvera is based in Manila where she practices palliative medicine.
The end of life is also difficult in the Philippines. Because the current job market is unfavorable, move to neighboring countries for work, leaving aging parents behind. As a result, many elderly people are left to care for themselves and each other. By instituting LIFT ministry, Dr. Corvera works local churches to teach and train members of congregations the skills necessary to care for the aging.
One of the people that Dr. Corvera introduced LIFT to is Lalaine Mirasol. Lalaine attended the training seminar we conducted at her church, Greenhills Christian Fellowship in south Manila. She thanks the Lord for training that gave her sensitivity to see needs all around her, and courage to reach out and help.
"Because of the LIFT training, God put in my heart the passion and compassion [for] reaching people here in the Philippines. Wherever I go, there's always an opportunity for LIFT." You can read more about Lalaine's passion for LIFT and how LIFT is "in her DNA!"