Second VIM trip to the Philippines underway


By Steve and Cecilia Granadosin
The second Volunteers in Mission to the Philippines is well under way as the project has been chosen.
Bishop Ciriaco Francisco of the Davao Episcopal Area expressed his gratitude to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference VIM Team for their assistance to help complete the more than 15-year old project of the Galilean United Methodist Church in Visca Baybay, Leyte Philippines.  The project involves building a Ladies Dormitory and Youth Center.  When completed, the building will house 45 United Methodist ladies and who come from poor rural areas.  Housing will be at greatly reduced fees while they get an education at the Visayas State University nearby. 
The Youth Center is projected to be the hub of many Annual-Conference-wide activities in Leyte which is one of the areas the United Methodist Church in the Philippines is expanding.  It will be a venue for the yearly Christmas Institute (a five-day youth camp scheduled after Christmas Day) and the yearly Summer Youth Institute, as well.  It will be a place for activities for women, a center for relief operations by the local church and district in times of disaster, and a site for district and annual conference training and gatherings.
The project was started by a Volunteers in Mission Team from Virginia almost 20 years ago.  The Center was meant to have three large rooms to house students and an activity room.  The team finished only one room and the local church, the district and the conference helped fund the construction of the second room but in 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan caused much damage to the building and the community surrounding it.
Today, the IGRC VIM team hopes to finish the project by raising a little over $20,000.  The Center will provide a much-needed place to connect with a community that was affected by super-typhoon Haiyan which was the strongest tropical storm ever recorded at landfall.  The storm surge, a wall of water as high as 19 to 20 feet flattened much of the surrounding area killing over 6,000 people. The poverty incidence rate has grown to as much as 52.4% which is why this Center is much-needed. 
The 2017 Philippines VIM Team is in need of generous donors and outreach partners to help empower the ministries and church workers in that region to help bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God in that part of the world.  Individuals who are interested in joining the 2017 Philippines VIM Team may do so through Bunny Wolfe, IGRC Coordinator of Missions and Outreach or the team leaders: Rev. Steve Granadosin (Industry/Vermont UMC) or Rev. Cecilia Granadosin (Mt. Sterling, Columbus UMC.)