When MAP team ( Paul, Ira, Zoe their daughter, Chela, Nathan and I) were trekking the Sierra Madre Mountains going to the Aeta village in Tangan-tangan, the Lord impressed this passage to my heart: King David said, “I will not offer anything that cost me nothing”. I was reflecting my time with mission- wow it’s been 35 years now that I have been serving full-time with MAP.
The prime years of my life, my ambition, my family, my future; all of these were in my thoughts. There were moments before where I wanted to quit and longed to have a comfortable life, and to succumb to small ambitions but then the calling was so strong and my love for the people in need is so great , I just found myself crying, tears just flowing down my cheeks. Lord here I am in the middle of the forest, walking under the scorching heat of the sun and crossing over a chest-deep river, reaching the valley of hope. I said to God, “I will not offer anything that cost me nothing.” Praise God He sent us to be instruments of His Hope!
One of our ministry areas is the Aeta Community in Sitio Tangan-Tangan, Maamot, San Jose Tarlac. It is a four-hour drive to San Jose from Manila then 5-hour hike to Tangan-tangan village.
We adopted this community way back 2010 and applied our COMMUNITY BASED- Primary Health Care Education, Community Organizing and Evangelism/Discipleship. Since 2014, the health care program is now being managed by the Sitio Health Committee and Aeta Health Workers. We still visit them regularly.
We are blessed with the commitment of the 10 Aeta Health workers serving their own people. They are also managing a small botika sa sitio that provides over the counter medicines for the village. Each health worker takes care of 10 families.
One of the great challenges when serving the Aeta People, who are considered nomadic, is the difficulty to facilitate change in their way of life; one of which is their non-compliance on the use of sanitary toilet. Health Education is continued on and on and on.
We ministered to 150 kids, sharing Bible stories and Christian values formation as an effective means of bringing them at the feet of Jesus. In the evening, we did Bible studies with the adults. How they hungered to hear the Stories in the Bible! Play and food were really enjoyed by the kids.
Leah, one of the Sitio Health Workers washes the blankets and pillows every now and then for almost two years now. She is expecting that MAP nurses will arrive anytime in their village. Her persistence, dedication and love for the nurses made her to selflessly serve. So when we arrived in their village, the blankets and pillows smelled good as if she already knew we were coming! We praise God for her life of dedication and service not only to their community but also to us. This is a picture of a committed and true servant-leader.
Join with us to pray for our beloved Aeta People.
- There were families who expressed their interest to have sanitary toilet but can’t afford to build one. Pray that we can help raise 00 per cluster. (1 cluster with 10 families in each cluster).
- Pray that the believers in the village will continue to grow in their faith.
- Pray that we can partner with a church who have the love and burden to help us disciple the Aeta believers.
- The National Government has a long-term project to convert the “ The Balog-balog river “ to a huge dam, where the Aetas get their source of water, irrigation, and food. The people’s desire is not to push through with the project. They will be relocated to another community. Pray for wisdom on how we can mediate with the government.
By: Alice Bañas