Center for Servant Leadership, Philippines
Our two-year journey with you has been a wonderful experience. It is heartbreaking to leave the Ballasts, who have truly become friends who stick closer than a brother. But geography cannot loosen the grip as we hold on to the “yarn” that web us into becoming and belonging in community. We are grateful for your support, knowing that you have one end of that “yarn”.
In our desire to create community, we sing, “I will change your name. You shall no longer be called…(MBC, an educational institution that gives out academic degrees)…and your new name shall be…(CSLP which patronizes the mission to be a training center that prepares servant leaders). Hence, in our efforts to learn and unlearn, we decided to come up with a new name and live out what it means to be the Center for Servant Leadership, Philippines.
We are aware this is not easy with all its risks and dangers. But we are passionate about this and we do pray that you continually lend us some help and guidance along the way. Jean Vanier’s Community and Growth has been enormously aiding us in our community experience with the Ballasts in Baguio City. We brought two copies with us to Mindoro so we will incorporate it in our daily community meetings.
Looking back, I could testify that there are indeed visible changes in our world. SLS 1 was a blast- life changing for many of us and as the years came, there are noticeable effects in Pinamalayan town, Guinhawa, our neighborhood, MBC to CSLP, and SLS itself. Every SLS is a newly written autobiography for the facilitators- we add some, we take out some, we talk on the essentials. Even the way we spend on things has changed a lot (not because there is lesser money to spend but because we discern what is more important than not, we hear the cries around us that need more of the spending). We are being struck more and more to focus not only in the externals but more on what’s in the heart. The G-Life is continuously catering not just to the economy of Guinhawa but also to the needs of the people to be seen and heard as worthwhile beings. The local government of Pinamalayan has acknowledged our potentials in contributing to the growth of the society. The mayor is a willing participant to community affairs and we do pray we could have him be more supportive to the livelihood and community projects of Guinhawa in the future.
In our new organizational set-up, we willingly gave up our titles (such as academic deans, student affairs dean, etc,etc) and decided to just work as a team, each one using his/her own gifts and skill and be accountable to the whole community. You will learn more about this in Kuya Pong’s letter.
Meanwhile, me, Ton, and the girls have finally settled and are back to the same room we used to occupy. The girls are happy to be back- they missed the wide playground and old friends, like we did too. I could go on and on but I guess this has to end somewhere so I might as well end here.
Once again, thank you very much for your prayers and support. It is a wonderful wonderful journey you have let us experience. God bless you.
Ruth and the CSLP community