values 6

We met the treasurer of our mission agency, who spent thirty years as missionaries to the Philippines prior to his current post. He studied agriculture in university in Canada. After graduation he signed up for a two-year short-term mission to explore opportunities of how he might put his knowledge to use in the mission field. Two years, however, was not a long enough period for agricultural projects to bear fruit. In the mean time, the business manager of the field office resigned, and he was invited to fill that role. This turned into a stay of over two decades, after which he returned to Canada to serve in the home office.

In 2007 he was invited to go back to the Philippines as the National Director of VOICE (Values Orientation in Classroom Education), a faith-based non-government organization (NGO) which partners with community groups to strengthen the moral and spiritual fiber of youth.


VOICE started from a small prayer meeting in 2004. It prepared a Bible-based values curriculum, and trained volunteers, basically Christian teachers, to teach Values Instruction Classes (VIC) in nearby schools. Unlike Christian education which had been driven from public schools in N. America, this is taught as part of the regular curriculum, and is not a Sunday school or after-school program. When our friend took over the program 6 years ago, 32 schools had adopted the curriculum. Today there are 350,attesting to the school boards’ recognition of its value shaping tomorrow’s generation for national transformation.

The curriculum consisted of two biblical values in each 12-week module:
1. Truth and Honesty
2. Respect and Friendliness
3. Self-Discipline and Responsibility
4. Obedience and Forgiveness
5. Thankfulness and Attentiveness
6. Kindness and Patience
7. Humility and Diligence
8. Initiative and Courage

Looking at the values being taught, had this program been running in N. America, I suspect we would not be in the dire straits we are in now. What are we doing that has significance other than for ourselves? What legacies are we leaving behind? By the way, look out for the short-termers. Many career missionaries start there. The Lord uses short-term mission to call many of His servants. Try it and see for yourself.

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