@ 60, and Learning about Life

Tatay Duran at the Lilok office’s garden.

Tatay Duran, 60 years old, is how we address one of our participants in Certificate in Wholistic Ministry (CWM) training. He prefers to be called “tatay” because that is how he wants the people around him to feel, to be a father to his family and to the different communities where he belongs. The word “tatay” in Filipino is the word for father in English. Tatay Duran learned about Lilok Foundation through their church pastor and he has been invited several times to join the adult training program. But he could not join the program at that time because he was working as chief lumber operator and had to prioritize the needs of his family.

After retiring at the age of 54 years old, he began thinking about Lilok and prayed as he seeks guidance from the Lord. And the right time has finally come. In one of their worship services their pastor began to ask the congregation if anyone was interested in joining Lilok’s adult training program or Certificate in Wholistic Ministry. When he approached the pastor and asked if he can join, the pastor replied, “Yes! They’ve been waiting for you for a long time”.

On the first day of CWM training, Tatay Duran admitted that he felt shy and nervous, “At first, I was really nervous but I became comfortable when we started sharing our stories and reflection. I also prayed to God to guide me until I finish the program.”

Tatay Duran is happily married to Nanay Baby who is also an alumna of CWM program. They have 3 sons and a daughter and all of them are married and have their own family. He’s also a grandfather to 4 grandchildren. And he is serving as one of the church’s elders in Living Spring Christian Church in NIA Road. He spends most of his time planting, raising different kind of animals at home and caring for his grandkids.

But what he likes the most is spending time with the people in their neighbourhood. As he continues to complete different modules in Lilok, he began thinking about how he can be more present in the community. “It’s not enough that I greet them and invite them to church, I have to make an effort to reach out to them,” Tatay Duran said. As he engaged with the people in the community, he began to have a burden towards the men. “I realized that they need someone to talk to. They are lonely and mostly no one tries to talk to them. So he began to sit beside these groups of men and hang out with them. He realized that he is making his idle time useful by being with them. He is currently organizing the men’s ministry together with his son-in-law. They just spend time with each other, go out jogging, eat snacks and share stories. He desires for these men to feel safe and to grow deep in their friendship.

Tatay Duran with his CWM classmates.

Our training in CWM will end this April 2019 and Tatay Duran will be one of our succesful graduates this coming May 25, 2019. And how did his training in CWM help him? Responding with a smile, he said that Lilok helped boost his self confidence. The modules taught him the importance of relating to people and engaging in the community. It broadened his understanding of serving God beyond the four corners of his church. Some of the modules that became helpful to him are radical discipleship, understanding the Bible, facilitation skills, basic counselling and community organizing. These modules are useful to him as he relate with people and serve the church.

I saw the importance of listening and reflecting. I always keep these two things in mind as I go house to house and meet with people,” he say. Tatay Duran’s life is a living testament for us that it’s never too late to learn new things and that God’s work of molding us into Christ-likeness is an unending process. It takes humility, courage and an open mind for us to embrace the changes that He wants for our life. We at Lilok are excited to see the changes that will happen to Tatay Duran and how these changes will impact his family, the people around him and the community that he wants to know and understand.

Aileen (above picture, 2nd on the right) who wrote this story, is a CWM co-participant of Tatay Duran. She is the new CWM coordinator. Also in the picture is Thracia (2nd on the left), our new administrative assistant. She also participated in the adult training. 

Prayer Concerns:

  1. Lilok is entering a partnership with Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN) for a training program involving our fellow Mission Alliance partners. Please pray for the curriculum development and scheduling of trainors’ training for these partners.
  2. For Carol’s smooth transition of leadership responsibilities. Carol will stay with Lilok until the end of September and will be joining Philippine Servants team going to Cambodia in 2020.
  3. The Certificate in Wholistic Ministry and Certificate in Youth Work programs are accepting new participants. Please pray that God will lead us to new people and communities to journey with.
  4. The Alternative Learning System Program is entering a new phase, where the participants will be taking the program over 20 months and will make use of an expanded curriculum based on the K-12 program of the Department of Education. The demand on our limited staff’s time and energy might be too much. Please pray for us as Lilok decides whether to go forward with the program or not.
  5. None of the Certificate in Youth Work participants were able to organize a youth project within the training year. Please pray that these youth will be able to use the organizing skills they learned even though the training has ended.
  6. Lilok recently completed two camps for the youth. Please pray that these youth will remember the lessons and experiences they went through and that some will be inspired to join the youth training program.