History of PCFFD

In 1992, while on a visit to the Philippines, Mr & Mrs Morley who were the Directors of CBM International met Briccio Aguilar who had been disabled through Polio. They encouraged him to attend training in New Zealand at Christian Ministries with Disabled Trust under the directorship of Hugh and Di Willis. In 1993 Briccio came to NZ to start training. During his time there he met Ruth Jones, a Bible College student who had an interest in Missions and in particular for the Philippines. Briccio returned to the Philippines later that year and started Philippine Christian Fellowship For Disabled (Hebron). As part of her Missionary Orientation Course, Ruth was able to go to the Philippines and observe the work first hand as well as encourage Briccio. With the help of other staff workers, Briccio gathered the local people of San Rafael with disabilities, forming a group called Association for People with Disabilities. This opened up opportunities for PCFFD to be involved in different Government and Non-Government Organisation programmes and committees for people with disabilities.

In 1995, Ruth Jones went to the Philippines to work fulltime in helping to set up the branch of PCFFD. She liaised with the Dept of Social Welfare and visited many people with disabilities. She was involved in the setting up of the Livelihood Projects but realised that the need was greater than the resources available. A plea to others back in NZ made it possible for them to have a vehicle which enabled them to reach out to the more remote areas, it also made it possible for people to attend Bible studies and meetings. They realised that people needed more than just friendship and fellowship and so, the Sponsorship Programme was developed and put into place. Due to health issues, Ruth had to return to NZ. This did not stop her from her vision however, she still runs the Sponsorship Programme along with fundraising and other ventures to bring awareness and support to the PCFFD, right here in NZ.

In 1996 Miriam Watson went to join the PCFFD team in the Philippines. She continued to work with Briccio and a team of Filipino Volunteer staff workers. The sponsorship programme grew and now included finding sponsors for the staff workers as well as the children.  Miriam also helped to establish other ventures.

In 1997 Hebron (the headquarters for CBM and PCFFD) was completely destroyed by fire. PCFFD and their workers lost everything, they only had the clothes they were standing in. Fortunately, Briccio had driven to Manila that day which meant, the vehicle was not engulfed in the fire. This would prove invaluable in the days ahead. Once again, the plea went out to NZ and around the world, asking everyone to help in raising funds for a new building to be established.

In 1999 after an answer to prayer and a lot of hard work, a new two-storied building rose from the ashes and became the Hebron Centre for the Disabled that you can see today.

To date, there have been 90 children and 24 staff workers that have been or are currently in the PCFFD sponsorship programme. This is a far cry from small beginnings in 1995 where there were 2 children and 2 staff workers who lived by faith but didn’t receive any funding from PCFFD.