WHO WE ARE

Companion with the Poor is a non-profit, Christian organization that works with the poorest communities in Metro Manila by planting holistic churches that meet the spiritual and physical needs of the most marginalized in the least reached slums. CWTP partners with local churches to plant sustainable churches within two years.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness. - Sidney Poitier

STORIES FROM THE SLUMS

Church Planting

The Urban Poor

urban-poorThe urban poor are a unique phenomenon. They are the side effects or residue of modernization. They often lived in the very cramped dwellings, one room affairs that tend to create a form of socialization totally without privacy. Many slums have developed a dependency attitude, a give-me posture that demands that others would help them.

The older a slum community, the harder it is to evangelize. The bigger it is, the harder to organize. Very small communities also tend to be cliquish. This exert a lot of peer pressure for members to conform the behaviour of the larger group, so that a decision to receive Christ can be frowned upon and made to appear as anti-social. The ideal community is from 300-500 houses and not more than 20 years old as a community.

 

Program Thrusts

  • Community Development and Community Organizing
  • Church Planting
  • Fund Raising
  • Promotion, recruitment and and mission mobilization
  • Education and training
  • Community building and community life

Church Planting Goals

  • Church Planting: Our goal is to plant a sustainable church in every slum.
  • Church Partnership: We plant churches in partnership with local churches, which eventually became the mother church of the churches we plant in the slums.
  • Church Mobilization: Our missionaries are sent by their home churches who are committed to pray and send financial support.

 

The CWTP Church Planting STRATEGY

church-planting-strategyThe MMP strategy is to do aggressive evangelism in a slum community that is relatively young and where community organizing has not yet developed.

Before starting, MMP does a survey called a community profile. From this, we survey the Physical Territory (terrain, roads, trees, soil types, facilities, distance, and accessibility, density of housing and total number of houses), the Socio-Economic profile (materials used for housing, rented or owned, owner of the land, if squatter or not, expenses for water, electricity, gas, transportation, average size of families, dominant occupation and source of income, number of commercial establishments, most common sickness, province of origin and dialect); the Religious Profile (how many have been exposed to Bible study before they want to hear the gospel, and how many want to attend worship service and other religious practices). And finally, the Political profile (who are the community leaders, how did the community came to be, what they have done in the past in terms of organizing themselves, what projects have they done and which have succeeded or failed, and any outside help in the past).

 

Fast Tract Church Planting

fast-tract-church-plantingFrom the community profile, MMP strategizes the approach for the church planting. One to two months of praying and waiting on the Lord is spent before the ministry begins.

Normally, the fast tract church planting follows a three pronged approach. From the community profile, we identify the existing families who are already born-again and who will attend worship. Right away, the team will build a makeshift shelter as worship area (may also rent a lot) where the first worship will be conducted within the first two months. The lot may be leased or the right to the land is bought.

Simultaneously with the construction of the church building, the rest of the team will go out and do door to door evangelism. The objective is to filter out the community. On the initial stage, we only establish relationship enough to ask the hard questions right away so as to conserve time: are you interested in hearing the good news about Jesus Christ and do you want attend bible study? If the response is not open, we walk away and go to next house. The objective is to go to all the houses and find those who are ready.

The fruits of these evangelistic works will be added to the number of the attendees on Sunday worship. As much as we can, we aggressively invite all attendees to be in the weekly bible study.

The other half of the team will also begin doing community organizing. While door to door evangelism is fast, it usually gets those who stay at home because they are sick, have no friends, or have no jobs.

 

Community organizing

Community organizing will get a lot of non-Christians, who are good quality leaders and workers. They usually have jobs and are very mature and responsible. CWTP has a standard community organizing module which is the Botika Binhi or BB. In the BB, the people can avail of medicine at 60% discount, right at their community (no need to ride to the nearest drugstore). Everyone can be a member who regularly pay their monthly dues (usually P10 pesos for the most depressed communities, and as high as P100 pesos in some communities). The membership grows very fast, in one year, up to 100 members, 90% of whom are non-believers.

Each weekly meeting, we share the gospel, slowly developing friendship. The team usually aims to finish the work in two years and have at least 100 adults attending regularly.