United States

Meet RSM Pursue Your Passion Winner: Joel Uy

ARTICLE  | 

PCS Business Owners Senior Associate | Houston, Texas

The Philippines is a third world country with many of its citizens living well below the world poverty line. We will be traveling to a remote part of Cagayan on the island of Luzon where this is very much the case. The people are in desperate need of basic supplies and medical attention due to the multiple devastating hurricanes and typhoons, which have recently hit the area in November 2020.

Did you know one of the oldest existing tribes in the Philippines is in the Cagayan valley? They are the Ilocano. For centuries, they had followed their indigenous culture and traditions. Unfortunately, the heavy mining industry, illegal logging, and deforestation have led to less source of food, which resulted in significant cases of malnutrition and disease especially among the children. This has also caused many of the tribe to relocate to a more permanent living area. The First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City has accepted the invitation of the Cabadbaran Christian Missionary Alliance Church (CCMAC) in Cagayan to partner with them to reach the Ilocano and other native groups.

Sometime in June 2021, we will travel to Cagayan for this weeklong ministry. With the help of other Baptist organizations, we will be repairing typhoon damage done to churches and houses. We will rebuild churches and build parsonages for the pastors and their staff. In addition, we will also provide medical triage and general health assistance to those living there. There will be basic medical training and leadership development that will also be provided. While the main mission is to provide relief and support for the community, since this is being sponsored by a church organization (Baptist General Convention of Texas), there will be a focus on religious beliefs (Southern Baptist), but it is not compulsory or mandatory to receive assistance. All will be helped regardless of religion or creed. There will also be an evangelism and discipleship training for the local pastors, free medical clinics, feeding programs for children, distribution of family kits (rice, soap and canned goods), distribution of back packs and school supplies, and Bible classes for children and adults. In addition, CCMAC had asked us to assist in their ministry to victims of drug abuse. There is a widespread problem of drug abuse in the Philippines. Because of the government’s campaign to crack down on the drug problem, many drug users have surrendered and have begun rehabilitation. Bible studies had started among them in different villages. We will also help organize a sports tournament, followed by a praise and worship service, and small group Bible studies. We will also help in the construction of a community center, which will be used for these men and women who chose to leave behind the life of drug abuse.

It is an honor to participate in this kind of work to help the community there. What a privilege to help the Ilocanos in their time of need. What an opportunity to convey to the recovering victims of drug abuse that there is hope for a meaningful and purposeful life.

My passion is for helping others and giving people hope. I am especially passionate about helping those that are in my home country of the Philippines, as they are in dire need of assistance and help. My church, First Philippine Baptist Church, has an annual mission trip to the Philippines, which I have been active in for many years. The missions are primarily for constructing churches and homes in impoverished communities. With the recent super typhoons, starting with Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 through Typhoon Vamco in November 2020, many communities are still recovering and are in need of immediate assistance. This has shifted our mission to help reconstruct homes, water pipelines, electricity, and repair the flow of other basic necessities. There is also a focus to help with the mental health and security of the people there in the community.

In 2021, the mission will be especially close to home for me because we will be visiting my home island of Mindanao and providing assistance there. The trip will be in the middle of June 2021 (actual dates to be finalized soon). The cost of the trip will include airfare, lodging and meals, but the rest of any funds raised will be donated to help provide building materials and supplies for the construction and repairing of homes and churches in the community. The more money that we can raise will mean support that we can provide.

With funding for building materials and supplies, we can build at least three houses and stock with food and other necessities. The total goal of the fundraising would be to earn a total of $27,000 for clinic supplies, medicines, back packs and school supplies, family kits, food for the feeding program, Bible study materials, Gospel tracts, books for pastors, shipping of supplies, contribution to the construction community center, and other ministry expenses.

I will be going on this trip regardless of whether or not I am selected to be a part of the Pursue Your Passion program. I will be raising money starting in January 2021 and using my own PTO days, but of course, if I were selected for this program, it would greatly increase our resources and help to make a tremendous impact in the lives of the people of Philippines in Cagayan.

This would be a great way to foster better understanding and build relationships with the community. The power of being understood goes both ways, and there is much we can learn from each other.