While business and government leaders around the globe join together in providing houses for the poor through the Habitat program, the Philippine Bible Society is focusing on helping Habitat families build godly homes.
In partnership with Habitat’s “World Leaders Build,” PBS provided a copy of the Bible for each of the houses constructed from August 6 to 11, 2001 in designated areas nationwide – a total of 200 families. Copies of the Bible were placed in the houses during the turn-over ceremony in Pinugay, Antipolo City on August 10, 2001 led by former President Corazon C. Aquino.
During the turn-over rites organizers coined the word habititis. To them, participating in Habitat projects is addictive and contagious that they jokingly refer to it as a virus that brings habititis. This year, PBS has caught the ‘virus’ and participated in the program by providing 200 copies of the ‘Pangako’ Bible, also known as Bibles for the Poor which uses the Magandang Balita Biblia text.
On August 6, PBS General Secretary Medarlo B. Rivera joined business and government leaders led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the kick-off ceremonies of World Leaders Build spearheaded by Habitat for Humanity, International (HHI). HHI is an organization working in more than 70 countries worldwide, providing housing to poor families in cooperation with local government, businessmen and other organizations.
Bibles for every home
The Philippine Bible Society believes that every Filipino home must own a copy of the Scriptures as this is an important guide in building godly homes, especially those who want to improve their lives. During the turnover rites organizers handed to homeowners a ceremonial key and a copy of the Bible. The key signifies the house that would hopefully become the key to opportunities and success, and the Bible implies God’s presence in the home. The organizers encouraged homeowners to make God’s Word present in their homes.
Personal Revival Asia (PrAsia) Director Daniel de Tablan said, “It’s good to have a roof over our head but if deep inside our hearts there is emptiness there, no matter what would fill the house, it will never be enough. That’s why we pray that the Bibles will be used… because the Bible was given to us to be our manual to life.”
More houses to build
In her first state of the nation address, President Arroyo clearly stated her projects during her administration, one of which is to address the plight of homeless Filipinos, and endeavor backed by non-government organizations and the business sectors. The National Housing Authority has already drawn up a plan to provide 150,000 homes. PBS pledged to provide each of these homes copies of the Bible, a project which will cost the Bible Society a staggering amount of P22.5M.
To be able to keep up with the government’s bold move to provide poor people with homes, PBS will launch the Ilaw sa Tahanan program, a fundraising effort aimed at generating fund to subsidize the printing of the Bibles.
The Bible Society saw this program as a blessed way of accomplishing its vision. Through the concerted cooperation of the government, the business sector and HHI, it will not take as long for PBS to achieve its goal of “a Bible for every home.”