The Philippines, located 500 miles off the coast of mainland Southeast Asia, is an independent island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean. Education and health care are accessible to most people. Though primary education is free and compulsory, and schools are available, the quality is lower in rural areas. Malnutrition related infant deaths remain high. Consequently, some 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, and 11.4% are unemployed. Poverty affects both urban and rural communities.
The Good Shepherd Society has been working in the Philippines since 1998. We were invited by Felipe and Eleanor Bercero, life-long ministers of the Assemblies of God and also an interdenominational fellowship called Royal Family Fellowship. At that time, the island of Mindanao was troubled by civil unrest and hostility against Christians. Eleanor and Felipe courageously worked among the mountain tribes to provide both physical and spiritual food. The Good Shepherd Society assisted with mobile medical clinics and helped plant new churches. We continue to support their native physicians who still conduct mobile medical clinics, accompanied by the teaching of the Word of God.
We are blessed to work with Dr. Sharon Cosalan in Baguio City. Dr. Cosalan is the neice of the Senator for that region. He has been very kind in assisting us with the work among the native tribal people. Sharon and many others have been very active in doing mobile medical clinics with us accompanied by the preaching of God's Word. Dr. Cosalan's mother has an ongoing ministry that has developed out of our efforts. She invites people who have birthdays to meetings where she gives gifts that we send to her (such as Christian books or music). Many people have come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus this way.