"What does love look like to a businessman? Look around, THIS is what love looks like to a businessman."
During his dedication speech
On July 14 an estimated 800 people gathered on the property of Dignity Products and Services in Bicol, Philippines to celebrate the dedication of our first Community Transformation Plant. We wish you could have been there! As guests arrived they were greeted by music, singers and dancers in traditional dress from the local High School in the next village - fifty of them! The atmosphere was filled with praise from the start. The program (below) was set to honor and thank those who have worked hard, used their political influence, and invested so much time and money into this endeavor. Most of all, it was a time to praise the Creator who has provided and guided all of us through the process.
"These business people are either stupid, crazy, or they really are serious about helping the people of the Philippines. (He outstretched his arms...) Look around. Clearly they are serious."
Dr. Justino Arboleda
A leading coconut authority in the Philippines
With 300 chairs set up, 600 meals served, and 800 joining the celebration, there was no doubt that Dignity had arrived and was here to stay. We are serious. Many government officials came and witnessed just how serious we are. Joining us were five representatives of the provincial and regional governments including the assistant to the governor, the head of the municipality, multiple mayors, and the Regional Director of the Philippines Coconut Authority. We had a contingent of Americans including Dignity partner Shawn McKenzie and his wife Valerie, staff from Dignity Philippines, Grace Christian Mission, our construction workers, and hundreds of people from the nearby villages along the coast.
As the speakers presented and the crowds mingled, it was clear that this place was different. People spoke of how the partnership between Filipinos and Americans, though it presents its challenges, is transforming lives because of the way it conducts business. The partnership is showing dignity to Filipinos. For those seeing the land for the first time, the size and the scope of the project was bigger and greater than expected. As we closed in prayer near the end of the event, we ceremoniously released two dozen doves as a sign of our dedication of the land. What a sight to behold!
Lives are changing. Hope is infectiously spreading. Partnership is lifting others up. Women in the community were gossiping about the positive improvement they see in their husbands. We are proud of that kind of gossip and cannot wait to hear more.
Thank you for your prayers for this event. We appreciate your partnership with us in prayer. Will you continue to pray for us? If this is just the beginning of the adventure, we are in for an amazing ride with our God!