From our team to you, we wish you a wonderful Christmas season this year and our gratitude for your interest in the poorest of the poor in the Philippine Islands. Shepherd’s Hill continues to provide oversight and encouragement for the hard-working farmers, teachers, and preachers on the island of Cebu.
Through the livelihood programs of Arapal, and the evangelistic efforts of our team, Shepherd’s Hill is bringing life-changing hope for both the physical and spiritual needs of the hopeless. Giving goats to local farmers, teaching self-sustaining farming techniques, and practicing Christian evangelism through love and patience are all in a day’s work.
Like you, I have practiced my Christianity by, among many other things, giving of my funds to worthy charities. As this season now approaches, I have asked my colleagues on the Board of Trustees at Shepherd’s Hill to collaborate with me as we attempt to answer one simple question: Why should I give my donation to Shepherd’s Hill, as opposed to the many other requests I get during the course of the year?
That is the question this letter will try to accomplish. Stick with me–I’ll make this letter straight to the point. In no particular order of importance, the following reasons distinguish our efforts from most nonprofits:
- Our Board of Trustees is entirely voluntary and we take no salaries at all. Our overhead is extremely low. Your donations are applied directly to vulnerable people in the Philippines.
- Arapal’s organic farming techniques are unique in the Philippines. Their leadership now teaches organic farming to the Philippines government and has been recognized all over the Philippines.
- Shepherd’s Hill practices self-sustaining help. That means those we help are being taught to help themselves. Over the last three years, we have seen increased Arapal-generated income and they are on a path to self-sufficiency. As additional funds are provided, we find new ways to help provide clean water and pure hearts.
- The evangelistic efforts are led by men and women from the Philippines, not hired hands from the States. Shepherd’s Hill visits regularly and provides oversight as required. In many cases, men and women with their hands in the soil in the morning are talking to farmers about Christ’s saving message that evening.
- On multiple occasions, Shepherd’s Hill has led international disaster relief in the Philippines. When Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated Cebu and Leyte on Nov 8, 2013, we were the first responders to thousands of homeless, hungry, young and old. The Philippines government arrived after we did. We will do so again because few areas on earth are as prone to typhoons, mudslides, and earthquakes.
- Shepherd’s Hill supports Christian education in southern Cebu with the Moalboal Christian College, which now offers the only Master’s Degree in Bible in the Philippines. Our graduates become farming experts, accountants, preachers, and lifetime disciples of Jesus Christ. And they cycle back through Arapal to provide much needed payback for the Philippine people seeking self-sufficiency and Christ.
In summary, we solicit your support. We pledge to you our purposeful love and leadership in the Philippines. We’ve been there over 10 years and we ’ re not leaving. Help us if you can, and may God bless you as you sort through many good charities to find your service to the poor.
In His Name,
Dennis Matthews Chairman
Shepherd’s Hill International