Several years ago the Tala-andig tribal church decided to help improve the living conditions in their village. This was a complicated undertaking since they rarely leave the jungle and don’t have access to some of the basic things we do. Among other things, they wanted a way to provide soap, salt and kerosene for lanterns at night for the people of their community. The decided to start a church store that would operate as a break-even endeavor and a service to the village. The store is run by the believers with the goal of facilitating a healthier lifestyle.
People in the community are able to harvest and process Abaca fibers from trees which grow wild in their valley. They take these fibers and bundle them (as seen in the photo above) so that they can be flown to town and sold. We average about one flight every two weeks to the Tala-andig and much of the cargo on these flights is for the church store and the rest for the missionaries. I can carry about 450 pounds of these fibers on nearly every return flight from the Tala-andig tribe so the otherwise empty flight is not wasted.
We are being used by the Lord to provide a means for the Tala-andig believers to improve their lifestyle and living conditions by providing access to these outside goods. The money obtained from selling the abacca fiber is used to buy the medicines out in town and also that is what the individual families use to buy what they need from the store in the village. As a result of having access to these things as a community they have a better quality of life with fewer sicknesses and are able to give more time to spiritual ministry because of this.