Your October Peace Mail from The Philippines

Fred is a pastor at a Lutheran Church in the Philippines, currently he is posted in a remote farming community in Gadang. With your gifts — farmers in the community that Fred works in — can continue their farming practices as well as learn about how to protect themselves against the rising impacts of climate change.
Vina Marjes Salazar/Act for Peace 

Dear friend,  

I’m Fred Sibaan. I am currently assigned here in Gadang in the Philippines as a pastor. I’ve been a pastor for nearly four years.

The main livelihood here in Gadang is farming rice and vegetables. Sometimes after farming rice, some people also plant vegetables. They rotate crops in this way.

They grow rice in the rice fields. In the forest, they grow sweet potatoes, ginger, and tiger grass. As for vegetables, they grow beans, sweet peas, pepper, capsicum, and many more.  

If we’re talking about the changing climate, the rainy season used to be something the farmers looked forward to, however, it’s rarely raining here anymore so these days farming has been a gamble because even when people try to plant, their lands don’t have enough water to sustain their crops.

The effect on the community is heavy. No matter what they do if there’s no water crops won’t survive. So sometimes only small portions of land are farmed because there’s not enough water.

Many will experience food shortages too. They won’t have enough rice to eat, so that means they would have to import rice from other places. It’s a common reality for everyone.

When there’s a typhoon here, the main challenge that people face are landslides. Sometimes people need to be evacuated because of it.

Support is essential because without relief from the government and individuals, the needs of the community will not be met. It’s nice when everyone works together to provide the needs of the community.

It’s nice that local officials [Barangay Officials] work with individuals and others to make sure that the needs of people in the evacuation centre are met. They help each other to uplift those who must leave their homes because of natural disasters and other people who are badly affected.

When a disaster happens, the first thing to do, is always to seek comfort from God. As a church, when it’s allowed, we go out and visit the places and the people affected to see how they are doing.

Here in Gadang since the main environmental problem is landslides, I think there is a need for us to help each other to plant more trees or do more things so our situation doesn’t get worse.

Maybe there are alternative ways of farming we can use, so we don’t harm the environment more and we can save more trees.

Thank you to all of you.


Indigenous farmers who live and work in Gadang. “Your support and presence give us a little bit of hope that life here in Gadang can still get better for us. That’s what we do here in our Barangay [district]. We may be poor, but we still help one another. That’s something fundamental that we learned from our ancestors.”
Vina Marjes Salazar/Act for Peace

Download this Peace Mail in PDF here.

Local Partner Profile: National Council of Churches, Philippines (NCCP) 

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone and climate vulnerable countries in the world, making preparedness and adaption critical. This, coupled with the historical struggle of the Indigenous peoples continues in the Philippines.

Our partner NCCP — as an ecumenical member — plays a vital role of the ecumenical communities to respond to the multitude of protection risks, especially impacting the indigenous population. NCCP is working to strengthen the capacities of churches and communities to develop locally-led approaches to protect communities that are now more vulnerable to displacement due to conflict, climate change induced disasters and increased development.

Your support is making a huge difference!   

Last month, Act for Peace Partners like you came together and raised $ 43,690.94 to support people uprooted by conflict and disaster around the world.

Please pray:

  • For all those around the world impacted by the growing demands of climate change on already vulnerable communities.
  • For our partner staff at NCCP who work tirelessly — often in very dangerous situations — to equip people as best they can to cope in the face of challenges.  
  • For the 110 million people who have been displaced by conflict or violence, and the additional 24 million annually who are impacted by disaster.  

View more Peace Mails

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