The spiritual roots of Shepherd’s Hill International efforts in the Philippines spring from the rocky soil of the island of Cebu. The local people are farmers, and our evangelists, who are all native Filipinos, are too. The same people who spread Christ’s message of hope can be found planting, harvesting, and always growing–both crops and disciples.
Shepherd’s Hill oversight of the spiritual work in Arapal, the 25 acre organic farm located in northern Cebu, nests comfortably in the deeply-held religious beliefs of our board of trustees.
Our volunteer trustees, in compliance with our bylaws, must be active Christians. Shepherd's Hill owes a lot to its founding by and support among members of the non-denominational churches of Christ, but we welcome participation and partnerships with Christians from many other fellowships with the intention of helping as many people as possible to gain a sustainable livelihood and to experience the blessings of knowing Christ. We are well aware of the Biblical parables of Christ’s feeding of the hungry masses that followed him. In like manner, we are feeding the vulnerable and more than that, we are teaching the vulnerable to feed themselves.
Like a good dovetail joint (woodworking is also taught at Arapal) the combination of self sufficient farming and evangelism is a strong bond. Both are needed in the Philippines, but we believe Christ can be, and furthermore should be, taught with an eye on the practical nature of the poorest of the poor. Filipino children often quit school early to help in the fields. The wives and young women carry prodigious loads and take no days off. The men seek for a way to provide for their families and are drawn to answers that feed the hunger of their children.
When that task is addressed, our efforts are there to provide the Bread of Life and Him crucified. We believe another hunger, for meaning and purpose, lies within every human. We seek to answer that need with the saving message of our Savior. That’s who we are.