Walking through the Giporlos community in Eastern Samar, Philippines, gracious villagers smile at me and say hello. A children’s game of basketball is interrupted by a light rain and their youthful excitement and giggles at the out-of-place American wondering around their village. Everywhere I look, I see the color blue – blue houses, a blue community building, blue lamp posts, and even blue tricycles. One of the community leaders proudly informed me that “AMG blue is our community color.”
In December 2014, the scene in this Eastern Samar village was vastly different. Typhoon Rudy surged through Giporlos leaving behind massive destruction in its wake. Lives were taken, houses destroyed, and families devastated as their only sources of income and sustainability fell in complete ruin. In short, all hope was lost.
Within days of the storm, AMG Philippines entered the village to help meet the deepest needs facing this rural community. Our organization, in partnership with our national leaders and financial supporters, worked together for the next two years to inspire hope, restore lives and transform the community by employing a holistic approach. Through this process, houses were built, agricultural livelihood programs were restarted, cooperative businesses were established, and youth and adult education programs were implemented. All of these disaster relief initiatives provided our national leaders with the opportunity to share God’s Word while lovingly directing those that had suffered through the devastation toward Jesus.
As a result, three Evangelical churches have been planted in this overwhelmingly Catholic community. Lives have been restored and new hope has been provided for the families affected by the disaster. And yet, our work is not complete. As this community continues to rebound, our national leaders have identified the need for enhanced education and co-op programs to support the young churches birthed out of our relief and restoration. As such, AMG developed a plan to design an income producing project that will help finance the needs of the churches along with other ministry activities in Giporlos and beyond.
Following a market evaluation AMG, with help from our donors, invested in a poultry egg production farm. The farm quickly produced income as there are no other egg farms in the area. Currently, the operation is producing 30 trays of eggs per day and is struggling to keep up with demand. With a recent added investment from AMG, the farm will double its capacity in the next few months. The profits from the operation is supporting all three of the pastors leading our church plants, in addition to our education programs, and our child and youth development hostel. All of these ministry initiatives are allowing AMG to maintain significant influence in the community, which will hopefully lead to more people coming to Christ.
We have found this kind of cooperative to be quite scalable, meaning we can replicate it elsewhere in order to transform communities with the Gospel. For instance, AMG Philippines was able to purchase another farm, in a separate community, that became profitable in its second month of operation. The profits from the farm will support church planters in other parts of the country, and we have plans to do even more as God leads. Who knows, these new farming operations could help support the operational needs of our area Bible school and centers.
It costs $12,000 to get a poultry egg production farm up and running. We have an immediate need to establish four additional egg farms to help fund the planting and staffing of new churches.
We praise God for His provision of this sustainable ministry. And, we ask that you prayerfully consider partnering with AMG as we seek similar opportunities throughout the world to transform communities in need through our disaster relief efforts … even if they don’t all paint their buildings “AMG Blue.” We currently have three to four opportunities before us to replicate this ministry funding imitative in the Philippines and in Thailand. Please know that your generous partnership in this important project will certainly have an eternal impact. We appreciate you and I’m grateful for your faithfulness.