2024 News

Discovering the Heart Behind Education

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Carly and her daughter travelled through the heavy traffic of Manila. Observing sights, sounds, and smells, they described the experience as a “sensory overload.” They were heading to the International Christian College of Manila (ICCM).

Arthur Santiago, ICCM Chair of the Board, drove Carly and her daughter on their journey. He looked after them with mangos, water and friendly conversation. Upon arriving at the college, the staff greeted them kindly with more offers of food and drink. “I could tell that they were incredibly servant-hearted. A theme that runs deep amongst the Filipino people,” Carly said.

Carly is familiar with Filipino hospitality, having visited there three times before. Yet, this was her first time meeting these international church partners as the National Church Relationships Manager for Global Mission Partners. 

Carly expected to hear stories of academic excellence and church planting. But the theme of hospitality continued, and Carly discovered the heart of the college. She explained that it was more like “an intentional and supportive family home. Role modelling the teaching, the compassion, and the love of Christ.”

Jericho, known as Jecoy, is a graduate of ICCM. He gave Carly and her daughter a tour of the facilities. He is now a professor there. “As he walked and talked us through each area of ICCM, you could hear his love for the place,” Carly shared. She learned that many part-time staff volunteered extra hours to help the students.

“They are a Bible college and offer theological training to develop pastors and strong Christian leaders. However, they also focus on providing their students with a sustainable future. Equipping them through an education course and shaping them into some of the most wonderful teachers in the country,” Carly explained.

One fourth-year student that Carly met was endeavouring to finish her studies well. “Lyric was working away on the computer during our tour, and I stopped to say ‘hello’ as I passed by. It was during their free time, yet she was still working away. I asked her how she felt about finishing her course and her hopes for after graduation. She smiled and asked for prayer over that.”

It was then time for Carly and her daughter to say goodbye. The welcoming atmosphere and servanthood of the staff impressed them the most.

“The trip back to Manila airport seemed shorter, the traffic lighter and the sounds quieter. Or perhaps it was due to the new familiarity I had found." Carly shared how the new friendships and relationships had created a sense of ease. "Compared to the initial journey to an unfamiliar destination," she said.

You can find out more or support the International Christian College of Manilla on the Global Mission Partners website here www.gmp.org.au/iccm   

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