Sunday, November 21, 2010

Old Busuanga and the Christmas Project

This past summer, a graduate student member of our Cornerstone CRC of Ann Arbor, Jennifer Hong, visited the Philippines. Inspired by her motivation to find out how human trafficking occurs she discovered that it can be combated through its root cause: poverty.

Old Busuanga, located at the top of the Palawan Islands is unpaved with houses made of bamboo trees and palm tree leaves. The residents are subsistent fisherman and they are all family oriented. Despite it being a rather poverty-stricken area, there is a local church and a local pastor and leader, Pastor Albert. The town is filled with bright and family loving people, but there is a false expectation of lucrative pay from human trafficking that stems from the poverty of the community.

Through this opportunity, Jen wanted to empower the local community through Pastor Albert, who can lead the community away from this abhorrent practice and to protect the women and children of the community away from the perils of reality.

This resulted in the Christmas Project. Through this project, tools can be delivered to help Pastor Albert bring the people to church, so that he may share the Gospel and to create an opportunity where human trafficking can be talked about, and hopefully prevented. Despite this
being a small action, it is expected that this project will be the seed that can hopefully grow into a long term partnership that will require the dedication of our members here and the people of Old Busuanga.

Many students and families are participating in the Christmas Project, in which a child from Old Busuanga is “adopted.”  We are providing one child this Christmas with a small gift, worth less than $10 and small enough to fit inside a shoebox, and a $5-$10 shipping cost to deliver the gifts to Old Busuanga.

We are given the opportunity to choose a child and to perhaps even write a little Christmas card, so that they may know that they are not alone. Even though we are halfway across the world, we still care about the children who are affected by human trafficking. Whether it is their mothers, sisters, or friends, children are aware of the happenings of the community. It is important to know that these children do not NEED these gifts. They are happy and bright children, always willing to give. Jen was blessed with the opportunity to interact with the children, and even told us stories about them and the things they did for her.

In a time of remembering what we should be thankful for, we should always remember our brothers and sisters, whether they are in our own communities, or halfway across the globe in Old Busuanga. We are blessed with the opportunities and the things that are provided for us and in the midst of the chaos of our lives, we forget that. Perhaps by sacrificing that extravagant shopping spree or even our daily coffee, we can put a smile upon a child’s face and let them know there is a world out there that knows and wants to help.

If you are interested in participating in future project with Old Busuanga, please contact Jennifer Hong at

By: Amy Park, Guest Blogger

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