Representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist church recently attended a flag raising ceremony regularly attended by officials and employees of the Philippine government. Attending allowed members of the Adventist Church to pass out literature to the uniformed men and women of the armed forces.
The distribution was done on March 11, by the Bagong Usbong na Lingkod Bayan (BULB), an organization of Adventists in government service, following an event held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Headquarters in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo. Captain Marlon Antonio, the first Adventist chaplain in AFP, together with other civilian Adventist employees, co-facilitated the meeting in coordination with the Philippine military.
BULB organizers and its sub-organization Philippine Adventists in Uniform Services, in partnership with the Philippine Publishing House, presented over 10,000 copies of the book Power of Hope to top-brass officers who in turn will pass the books to those who work underneath them.
The Power of Hope is described as holistic literature that deals with issues of stress, depression, anxiety, and guilt. It contains stories of inspiration and practical pieces of advice on overcoming mental and spiritual challenges one may experience in the workplace.
After receiving the books, Vice Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Salvador B. Mison, Jr. and Chief Chaplain Brigadier General Tirso Dolina expressed their appreciation on behalf of the thousands of employees who will get the books.
“We value the partnership we establish with groups and organizations who have the welfare of the security forces in their agenda,” said Vice Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Salvador B. Mison, Jr. “We are thankful for the Adventist church for this gift you extended to us and for your plans of organizing similar activities in the future.”
In appreciation of the Adventist church’s gesture, the AFP awarded the church with a plaque recognizing the efforts of the Adventists in the development of spirituality and morality of public servants who face various challenges in their field assignments. With this partnership, both parties are preparing a memorandum of understanding that will signify stronger cooperation between the AFP and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The new partnership will allow Adventists as an endorsing agency for future AFP Adventist chaplains. It will also allow for the propagation of the Values Enrichment and Spiritual Transformation (VEST) programs in camps and offices, in the coming years.
“This sector clearly is the most vulnerable sector for emotional and mental issues,” said Rodolfo Bautista, Jr., Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director of the Adventist church in Central Luzon, Philippines. “It is with joy that we are one with the armed forces leadership in developing an atmosphere of strong spirituality and positive morale for our uniformed men and women.”
Aside from the 10,000 copies of the Power of Hope book distributed in this meeting, 10,000 copies of the same literature were also distributed in December 2018 to the Philippine National Police and 1,500 copies to the Department of Agrarian Reform early this year.