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Following the article in the September-November 2002 issue of The Plain Truth 'A day in the promised land', by John Halford, which gave details of people living on a dumpsite in Payatas, Philippines, and Pastor Fred's 'ministry', we bring you the following update.
Since the article appeared, an anonymous donation of almost £700 ($1,000) was received from a reader wanting to support the work being done by Pastor Fred Millamena in the installation of a water system.
The following letter - dated 9 July 2003 - was received to The Plain Truth office for onward delivery to the anonymous donor:
To our beloved donor from the UK,
We are pleased to report that the Payatas Portable Water System project, with the goal of providing safe drinking water for 50 families or more around our ministry area here in the Payatas dumpsite, is now a reality. The main source of water comes from a government corporation, which has now been privatised.
Two water tanks, each with 1,000 liters capacity, were installed adjoining the worship hall. Thanks to God and to your chairitable gift, this new water system is now in full operation!
Out of the $969.60 that you generously shared with us, we spent only a total of $499.94. Costs had gone down because another generous brother donated one of the tanks needed for the project.
We still have $469.66 left over from your donation. May we use this money for the completion and improvement of our Family-Church meeting place, including the construction of a comfort room? The bretheren will greatly appreciate your help for completion of the walls and installation of windows and window screens. The screens are a necessity, especially during this rainy season, to keep mosquitoes and houseflies from coming in.
The estimated cost for the improvements is $870 ($527.83 for hall improvement and $343.07 for the comfort room). With $469.66 on hand, we only need to find a donor for the remaining $400.34.
We trust the Lord to supply all our needs and we thank him for the manifestation of his love through donors like you. We very much appreciate your help to the Payatas community whom we are serving in this impoverished area of Quezon City, Philippines. It is our prayer that our Great Creator God will return to you in great measure, the compassion you have shown us.
Sincerely thanking you in the Lord
Vin & Ave Millamena, Ave Martriano, and the men, women and children of Payatas Church, Philippines.
Enclosed with the letter, is a note from Eugene Guzon, National Director of WCG Philippines which reads: "I praise our loving father for people like you who hear and respond to the groaning of the needy in Payatas. May the good Lord Jesus Christ bless you and the desires of your heart."
Eugene Guzon has also sent a 'scrapbook' containing 12 photographs showing progress with the project as well as the Payatas church worship hall which is situated in the midst of a huge mountain of garbage. As well as photo's of the Water project, also included are pictures of the inside and exterior of the 'worship hall'. Again, these photo's will be forwarded to the anonymous donor.
I was so shocked to see what - in my eyes - looked to be a dismal, damp and depressing hovel. Yet this is the place, surrounded by mountains of decomposing rubbish, are where our brothers and sister meet to worship and fellowship.
As words are inadequate to describe the squalor in which our brethren have to live and meet, we have posted these photos, in the hope of finding Pastor Fred the remaining $400.34 (about £250) for the 'improvements' he needs. I too, trust the Lord will provide.
Managing Editor, The Plain Truth (UK)
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