During the days of 30 January through 6 February I was in the Philippine Islands for sports chaplaincy training with our FCA Philippines colleagues and friends. FCA National Director, Pastor Gary Visitacion and I have been trying to plan this trip for over two years and it finally came together. We had great sessions of training in both Imus, and in Manila.
In Imus, we delivered the training in one day across six hours with about 16 trainees. In Manila we had the luxury of two days and that allowed us to go at a more leisurely pace, and to include lots of small group discussions for processing and application to local settings. The Manila training included men and women from all across the nation, several having flown in.
During the training we also had an opportunity to talk with our FCA Philippines colleagues about the ongoing process of training, placing, and mentoring sports chaplains in their nation. We believe we left them with a good plan. Chaplains Hans Pe is taking the lead for developing sports chaplaincy as an important part of FCA Philippines growth.
As the week wrapped up, we were excited to see the transition underway for Pastor Gary Visitacion in his move to leading the South Pacific region for FCA, and Coach Jojo Villa becoming the FCA National Director for the Philippines.
In addition to the training, I was given the opportunity to accompany Coach Jojo to the University of Makati and to speak with a few of their sports teams. The next day, I accompanied Chaplain Hans Pe to observe his ministry with professional basketball clubs in Manila. I was privileged to do a brief post-game talk with one club. These opportunities were enormously valuable to me.