What is Philippine Frontline Ministries?
A Brief History
The Philippine Frontline Ministries, Inc. (or the Frontline), founded and led by Jeff and Rowena Pessina, has been serving the Filipino people and nation for over 30 years. From humble beginnings of just a few young people armed with little more than vision and faith, Frontline has reached millions of people throughout the nation with the Gospel through a variety of means.
For over 20 years Frontline travelled extensively in a mobile camp of tents and trailers, with a ministry team of as many as 75 people, conducting gospel gatherings inside big-top tents. Beside the nightly gospel preaching, presentations were also made through drama skits, films, puppet shows, and music. The Frontline has seen hundreds of thousands of people respond to the gospel, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
In more recent years PFM has transitioned into a multi-faceted, center-based ministry, committed to social transformation and development, and nation-building through an increased number of approaches, all being compassionate and evangelistic in nature. We envision a nationwide network of reproducing churches and ministry centers where education, compassionate ministries to people in need, and personal development of young people are high-priority concerns.
Through our first ministry center in San Pablo City, Laguna, Frontline now has a growing network of vibrant, community-engaged churches (Frontline Worship Center), a registered Christian school (Frontline Christian Academy, Inc.), a registered child care program to abandoned and abused children (Face the Children), and several social enterprise (or “business-as-ministry”) initiatives. All of these efforts are carried out by full-time and part-time ministry workers, both paid and volunteer.
THE WORK OF FRONTLINE
Feeding and Practical Care – Frontline conducts numerous feeding programs each week in depressed communities where children are malnourished. These feedings are a simple expression of God’s love that also opens doors to share the gospel and to introduce people to Christ.
The same is true of our weekly hospital outreach where we encourage, pray for, and provide practical/financial help to marginalized people suffering from sickness or disease. Frontline also provides emergency financial and practical assistance to impoverished people (purely on a case-by-case basis, and dependent on fund availability) through a benevolent fund setup for this purpose.
Child Rights Advocacy and Care – Frontline has also established a childcare program called Face the Children (FTC). The aim of FTC is rescuing, protecting, caring for, and educating abused, abandoned, or dangerously neglected children. Officially started in 2005, FTC has maintained an average of 40 children in its full-time care program, with hundreds being served and helped over the past years. Those we have been helped include dozens that have graduated with high school diplomas from our own Frontline Christian Academy, Inc., and others that are enrolled in, or have already graduated from, college degree programs.
Core Operational Components of FTC
- The first steps generally involve field-work activities (including feeding programs) that serve to locate and get to know the children living on the streets. Interaction like this helps FTC staff workers to determine, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), confirmed cases of abuse, abandonment, or dangerous neglect (AADN).
- If a child is determined by DSWD to be neglected or abandoned, he/she may be brought to FTC. The first step at this point is the FTC Interim Center. At the Interim Center new children are assessed mentally, spiritually, and academically, treated for illnesses, and generally stabilized through an integration period. This is where their educational development is restarted or -for many- begins for the first time in their life.
- After the appropriate development time at the Interim Center, the next step is the FTC Boarding Homes. This is where the children live long-term with other kids, and additional oversight staff. By the time children advance to the Boarding Homes they are considered ready to integrate with others kids, and able to enroll and study effectively at Frontline Christian Academy, Inc.
- The final step, when children have reached the age of 18, is either a process of exiting the program safely and successfully, or being moved into the college degree program. The college degree program is for those who 1) qualify academically, 2) have exhibited good character and a determination to excel, and 3) have acquired a sponsor for their educational needs.
Frontline cares about the quality of life people do or do not enjoy. As such, we’ve become engaged in the lives of people and communities through social enterprise. In many Christian circles today this is referred to also as “business-as-ministry” (or BAM). Regardless of the name, the main objective of our business initiatives is to meet needs of people through job creation, to provide dignified, caring work environments, and to utilize profit revenues not only to sustain organizational objectives, but to expand our reach and capacity to help more people in need.
RemoteLink Philippines, Inc. (RLPhil) – RLPhil is an IT staffing company that has been operational since 2007. Its vision and mission is business that maintains harmony between the three goals of 1) excellent products and services, 2) revenue generation, and 3) positive impact upon the people and communities in which we exist. Currently with 12 local employees, intentions are to grow the business into a world-class provider of web solutions and skilled IT staffing services.
Besides providing jobs in an excellent work environment, RemoteLink Philippines, Inc. has provided a suitable venue for Frontline Christian Academy, Inc. to carry out it’s mission for nearly 10 years to date.
Frontline Thread Works (FTW) – FTW is a sewing project aimed at uplifting the lives of marginalized people by providing an alternative and dignified means of work and income. Our vision is a network of micro-factories placed primarily in marginalized rural areas, where job provision and successful revenue generation will elevate the economic and spiritual condition of the target communities.
Currently the FTW pilot project at the Frontline Mission Center in San Pablo City, Laguna is fully operational. At this micro-factory orders are now being filled for a wide variety of sewing projects, skill development and training of workers is ongoing, and operational capacity being refined. This project has been noted by the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as the Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST), both of whom have developed official partnerships with Frontline, resulting in the acquisition of needed sewing equipment, as well as capacity building training and other practical assistance.
FTW is a partnership project, working together with several entities interested in social engagement through enterprise development. FACES Apparel, Inc., a company based in the USA, and that is deeply committed to fair-trade and socially responsibility, is one such partner. The project also has as investing and involved partners the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST), and Over the Top Marketing, Inc. (another USA based company). One result of these partnerships is a new containerized micro-factory, that will soon be fully operational. The initial location at the Frontline Ministry Center will employ as many as 20 people, and specialize in producing high quality T-Shirts for cause-oriented markets. It will also serve as a training center for our grade 11 and 12 students that seek to enter the garment industry or to learn management skills.
In essence, all of the work of the Frontline is evangelistic in nature. Whether it is compassionate programs to impoverished people, street children care, job creation and employee, education, or church planting, our aim is to make the the Lord Jesus known to all, through all means. Frontline Worship Center (FWC) – Frontline Worship Center is a multi-site network of active and growing churches, currently with over 1000 members meeting at eight different campuses. FWC’s vision is for a nationwide network of vibrant, relevant, and community engaged churches, with a particular passion for rural areas where no churches exist. From the current eight Campuses, several other church plants are now being pioneered and developing.
The FWC Campus at San Ignacio, San Pablo City, near the city dump site is strategically placed in the poorest area of the city. Many of the families at this location live on less than 100 pesos (US$2.10) a day. The church conducts feeding programs at the dump itself, feeding as many as 180-200 children, whose parents earn their living by sifting through garbage for recyclable, saleable materials. It is locations like this that Frontline seeks to engage holistically, and see the transforming power of the love of God change not only individual lives, but the very community of people.
Frontline Christian Academy (FCA) – We believe God wants to restore people holistically, and that this includes the intellect. We believe education is necessary for children and young people to be successful contributors to the betterment of themselves, their families, and the future of the Philippine nation. FCA began initially as a home school for the staff children of the Philippine Frontline Ministries. When the Frontline began providing solutions for abandoned and abused street children, the strategic scope of FCA was expanded to meet the specific and unique educational needs of the children being cared for in our childcare program.
What started in 2003 with 17 students in a doublewide air-conditioned trailer, located in a small compound, quickly expanded. Families in the nearby community began to take notice of FCA students’ academic excellence and their english-speaking skills. FCA began offering services to the public in 2005, and each year enrolment has grown. In 2007 FCA was moved to a larger and more suitable venue, and officially incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit educational institution in 2009, and obtained permits from the Department of Education in 2011.
Each year FCA has served the academic educational needs of the kids in the FTC program, meaning 30-40% of the enrolled children at FCA each year are formerly abandoned or abused children; many of these same kids have since graduated high school, while several are currently enrolled in university, and some have already graduated with college degrees!
In recent years FCA began to participate in the DepEd Division Meets, with students performing well. Some of the FCA entrees were champions in the inter-school quiz bees. FCA continues moving forward, toward our vision of becoming a leading institution in caring Christian education, uplifting communities, building the nation and blessing the future of the Filipino people, through excellence in academics and the holistic development of young people.
FCA Vision: To be a leading provider of caring, holistic Christian education to children of diverse backgrounds.
FCA Mission: To provide an excellent, holistic, genuinely caring, Christian education that develops our students’ abilities and character, while giving meaningful, enjoyable employment to our staff, sustained by a business model that provides opportunity to increasingly serve the marginalized.