On July 6, we celebrated 25 years of JCF Church and my personal pastoral work. I have received this letter from mt dear friends Nonoi Hacbang, the director of Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers.
Re: 25th Anniversary of the Jesus Christ Foundation Church
Date: July 6, 2019
Dear Pastor Sam,
It is with sincere admiration and warm congratulations that we greet you, the staff and the community of the living Church of the Jesus Christ Foundation on this 25thAnniversary.
The 25thAnniversary marks a major milestone for the Jesus Christ Foundation – where you have not only laid your roots in Amsterdam – but have also spread in other parts of the world with the unique witness and message of JCF for the migrant and refugee community.
The Jesus Christ Foundation Church and its stand for the human rights of Migrant and Refugee people at this time of severe and intensifying threat is a continuing inspiration to us. This is a living witness to the life of Christ himself who always stood on the side of the impoverished and discriminated and who taught us not only with his words but especially with his life and actions that “we must love our neighbour as ourselves”. This is a powerful and very needed message in our times – times of extreme hate speech and racism and denial of our common humanity.
In the series of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) which we have undertaken over the past 2 years – we have seen that many states in Europe have rolled back their commitments on the human rights of all people and are even complicit in allowing our sisters and brothers from Africa and the Middle East to die in their thousands in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. However, we have also seen that more and more people reject this continuing crime against humanity and exercise their responsibility of solidarity which we see always in the Jesus Christ Foundation and its commitment to human rights.
We are also especially proud of the Integrated Human Rights Education (IHRE) which the Foundations Academy has developed together with the Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW) and is offered to the migrant and refugee community of all nationalities in Amsterdam, including the undocumented. It is the great Nelson Mandela who said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – this is what we aim to do in the IHRE.
Again, we salute you in this milestone of your 25 Years Celebration! May it be a great moment of Celebration for the years past but most of all anticipating the many years of collective commitment to the Future and and steps towards the world of justice and equality that we strive for together.
May the blessings of the Lord always be with you!
As we say in our language Tagalog – Mabuhay! Long Live!