Global Bayanihan MCare

by Grace A.

It is a movement, it is interdisciplinary, it involves partnerships, and it starts from recruitment to retirement, covering the nurture and development of the whole person.

This was the picture shared by Dr. Kelly O’Donnell, a pioneer in global member care, in his lecture in 2000. And my immediate reaction was it is also very Filipino as it describes bayanihan in another sense.

Missionary member care or MCare started some 20-plus years ago with a concern for the high attrition rate among NGO workers who are in the frontlines of disaster relief and humanitarian work worldwide. It has since been adapted into the Christian missionary endeavor because of similar concerns in the attrition rate of missionaries, which was around 3.1 % of the 400,000 global missions force in a 1997 survey of World Evangelical Alliance.

In a major missions conference back in 2000 in Pattaya, Thailand, one of the leading speakers challenged us that we, the Asian Church, cannot claim to be a “sending church” if we also do not undertake the “cost of sending.” In my mind, this also comes with the “cost of caring.”

Rev. Nathaniel Ramos, Philippine Director of Asian Center for Missions (ACM), has captured this challenge with a response that is articulated in our slogan: We train and we care!

From pre-field preparation to in-field service, the philosophy and discipline of missionary member care is integrated in the ACM training process. This year, we will start the full integration of the MCare module into our training programs nationwide, equipping both the goer and the sender in every region.

This philosophy is articulated in the Global Bayanihan deployment and MCare vision, mission, and strategies as part of the whole Global Bayanihan strategic plan of ACM.

Simply put, caring for Filipino global witnesses, in their various creative presence among the unreached and least evangelized world, puts the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (John 13:34-35) into action.

We thank God for our Family of Ministries in CBN Asia, for its heart for MCare extended through The 700 Club Asia, Operation Blessing, and The 700 Club Counseling Center.

We also praise and thank God for calling and raising MCare champions and volunteers from the north to the south of the Philippines: an owner of a chain of coffee shops, a retired banker, a retired general and government official, doctors, dentists, an organic farmer, a construction magnate, a marketing expert, family and mental health counselors, among many others. They give their time, their expertise, their homes to host missionaries in furlough, their money to visit missionaries in the field, and many more.

Our prayer is that many more will respond to this call for Global Bayanihan for the cause of caring for God’s Global Witnesses!

Take Care!

An MCare volunteer can bless missionaries in so many ways:

  • Join MCare trips, where you can help facilitate retreats and organize recreational activities for in-field missionaries. Sign up for our upcoming trips to East and Southeast Asia in 2011.
  • Offer transportation and guest rooms for missionaries returning from the field.
  • Devote time to talk and listen to their experiences. You can do this while you treat them out at a café or spa.
  • Sponsor their various needs in their ministry: laptop for their reports, camera for documentation, Bibles for their disciples, etc.
  • Send them an encouraging email or text especially on their birthdays and special occasions.
  • If you’re a medical professional, offer your services to missionaries for free!
  • Support the education of missionaries’ children by providing home schooling materials, college scholarships, etc.
  • Most importantly, pray for them, their ministries, and their chosen people group.

The list goes on! To learn more about ACM’s MCare program, call us at (02) 840-0975 or (02) 840-21-04.

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