In the city of Manila, Philippines, close to Manila Bay, is the urban garbage dump known as Smokey Mountain 2. The area is named after Smokey Mountain 1, an adjacent dumpsite closed in 1995.
Smokey Mountain 2 is also the name of a community of some 1,000 families living directly on top of the garbage. The residents are informal settlers from rural areas with little or no education and resources who have come to Manila looking for work and opportunities for their children. Entire families scavenge in the rubbish, looking for reusable scrap for sale or barter.
In 2007, a local congregation of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, a Mission and Service partner, began a community ministry at Smokey Mountain 2. The Tondo Evangelical Church was led by the theme “The household of God in service to the community” and its desire to demonstrate God's love and care.
In consultation with the community, the Tondo congregation opened the Sunbeam Daycare Centre, which offers kindergarten education and recreation programs to children who would otherwise not be in school. It equips children aged five to nine with skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and provides a feeding project during school days. Once a year, in collaboration with a local hospital, there is a community medical mission.
With our Mission and Service gifts, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines' Tondo Evangelical Church and Sunbeam Daycare Centre are making a difference in the lives of Filipino children. This ministry lives out the gospel teachings and celebrates God's presence. Please join me and give generously.