Handumanan village is located about 10 kilometers (6.25 miles) southeast of Bacolod City on the island of Negros in the Philippines. That’s about a 25-minute ride by jeepney. It is here that Remy Ojuilla serves as head of the AMG Handumanan Youth and Child Development Center. Remy has now been serving with AMG International for 38 years, and she recently shared her story with us.
Remy is ninth among 13 children born to a tenant farmer. With just an acre of land, life was hard for the large family, and chances for education beyond elementary school seemed pretty slim. Astonishingly, with all the children pitching in to work on the farm, she says most of her siblings were able to go on to at least high school!
In the early 1970s, her whole family came to faith in Christ, and an older sister enrolled in Bible College. She encouraged Remy to follow her. She did so, “With intentions to just pass the time since lodging, food and tuition were all free, and probably to find a job since it’s in the city.” But God’s hand was on her, and she stayed in school, all the while learning the Bible.
Soon she felt God calling her to enter full-time service. After graduation Remy took a position as a volunteer preschool teacher at AMG’s Maranatha Child Development Center in Bacolod City. That morphed into a full-time staff position in January 1983, and what she calls “The start of my long ministry journey in the program.”
When the Maranatha director left in 1987, Remy was chosen to take over the position as head of the center. She says, “The work was not easy, but we joyfully ministered to the children and surpassed the challenges by the insurmountable grace of God, and with the committed staff around.”
In 1999 Remy was chosen to take the leadership of a new center to be developed in Handumanan village. Eighteen children and their families were among those relocated from Bacolod City to Handumanan by the government. AMG’s commitment to serve those children did not end, and, as Remy explains “We accepted other needy and undernourished children for sponsorship. I accepted the challenge. I moved here because of the vast opportunity to minister to more children holistically and for God’s kingdom.
“I am now in my 38th year in the AMG program, and I have no single regret whatsoever that I am in the ministry because the fulfillment is great. No amount of money or material thing can ever replace it. When there is sowing then surely there is reaping, and to see children transformed is a joy unspeakable and a lifetime investment with eternal value.”
How remarkably fortunate AMG International is to have national leaders like Remy working on the frontlines. Please uphold her and her staff in prayer as they seek to meet the deepest needs of the children under their care.