How CWTP began
Companion with the Poor (CWTP) started as part of Mission Ministries Philippines (MMP) which began in 1984 when Chaplain John A. Lindvall ( ret. Col., USA) visited the Philippines in 1984 and saw the opportunities that were open to serve the poor. He shared his vision to Dr. Stewart W. De Boer (then president of the Asian Theological Seminary). Through Chaplain Lindvall’s donors providing the financial base and Dr .De Boer’s contacts in the Manila, CWTP/MMP was born. In 1985, seven members from the First Congregational Church of Anaheim (FCCA) visited the poor in Manila. They were Maxine Hays, Lowell and Doris Williams, Dottie Miller and Kathy Mitchell. Subsequently, John Mark Lindvall, now President of Mission Ministries USA, Pastor Jim Schibsted, Senior Pastor of FCCA and Mrs. Janice Bowers, National Delegate of FCCA visited Manila. They provided encouragement, friendship and administrative support for MMP.
In 1986, Dr. Corrie Acorda De Boer served as the first Director of CWTP/MMP. She is a trained social development practitioner with a heart for urban poor church planting. She envisioned CWTP/MMP to become a significant social movement advocating for early childhood programs among local churches. During this year, Ms. Chona Domingo, a qualified teacher joined CWTP/MMP and taught in slum communities for several years. Through her leadership CWTP/MMP has developed a curriculum for preschool and published books in partnership with University of the Philippines professors. From a single school planted in a poor community called Bagong Baryo in 1984, CWTP/MMP has established over 400 pre-schools in the poverty areas of the Philippines providing poor families with the means of educating their children in their early years of life.
In 2000, a team composing of seven church planters led by Atty. Raineer Chu joined CWTP/MMP. Today the mission had planted over twenty churches among the poorest of the poor in Metro Manila. Currently, CWTP/MMP has livelihood programs providing job opportunities for poor families. It is developing an agricultural project teaching local communities the importance of stewarding God’s creation. It partners with Asian Theological Seminary to provide contextual and biblical theological education for leaders equipping them to minister among the poor. We have five full time paid staff, two part time paid workers. We have 20 couples and 7 singles who live by faith and raise support for their subsistence and ministries.
Mission Ministries USA through its President, John Mark Lindvall and its administrative assistant, Ms. Debby Rush provide CWTP/MMP the base where funds are received and transmitted.