Editor’s Page From My Heart
Kimberly Snider Assistant Editor
Evelyn Damian Distribution
Johnson Li Cover & Layout
Published quarterly by Asia Pacific Media Ministries Unit 2608 Raffles Corporate Center, Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Philippines Telephone: 914-9767 E-mail: email@example.com Reproduction of photos and articles is prohibited without permission.
Evelyn Damian, Issue Editor
Reader’s Letters Dear MOMs, I am a government employee and your magazine is doing a great impact in our workplace. The other copies that our church have, I am giving it to all moms in our different offices. By reading it, they have got many ideas and inspiration in life. -From a reader in Ibajay, Aklan
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Photo by Alvin Abad
Dear Readers, I married young and gave birth to three daughters. My first two were born within the same year; one in January and the other in December. With three daughters, it was hard to make both ends meet and I was a nervous wreck in the evenings when they would all cry at the same time. Admittedly, I was not prepared. It is easy to see that the more children we have, the harder it is to cope with our everyday tasks, the smaller amount we can allot for each child’s food, clothing, education, and the lesser time we can spend with each of them to prepare them for a better future. As a mother, I find it painful to see other hungry, unschooled children loitering and begging on the streets, uncertain of what their future will be. I think about little children who were abandoned, or left in the orphanage which is sometimes their only chance of survival. I think about how much better these children’s lives could have been if their parents had considered what their children would become before they thought of conceiving. In this issue of Moms, you will read about how some children feel about being born in a big family and left in an orphanage. There are also articles on facts about family planning and the options you have that could make a difference in your future and in the next generation. What you are now is the result of your past decisions, what you will become in the future is the result of your decision now. Think about it.
Hearing Children’s Voices by Evelyn Damian
The first little boy I talked to was John. John’s mother had many vices and had relationships and children with different men. Years ago, along with his 3 other siblings, John was brought to KGCH. Here’s what he says, “Malungkot kasi iiwanan kami ng nanay kasi hindi na po kami kayang alagaan.” He was uneasy as he talked about his feelings, tears welled up in his eyes. “Ang pangarap ko makatapos ng pag-aaral, magkatrabaho at umuwi kasama ang mga kapatid ko.” Another child, from a family of 5, Jane was still a baby when she came to the home. Her mother was an alcoholic and gambler and used drugs. The children were left with their father who had the same lifestyle. It wasn’t safe for them to be with him so they were brought to KGCH. Now in High School, Jane shares her feelings, “Hindi po kami kayang pag-aralin ng pamilya namin tsaka po hiwalay na po sila. ‘Yung isang kapatid ko, ipinaampon na sa mayaman…malungkot po, masakit na malayo sa magulang. Ewan ko kung bakit nila nagawa ito sa amin.
na makikita si mama. Tapos, nung nakilala ko na po ‘yung mga bata dito, naging masaya na rin ako pero mas gusto ko po kasama ko sila (her other siblings). I asked Mary if she would like to go home and live with her mom. “Dito na lang po kasi nakakatakot dun sa amin kasi po ‘yung bagong asawa ni mama, naglalasing po tapos hinagisan si mama ng kutsilyo, tumama dun sa paa niya po.”
Photo by Johnson Li
n October last year, a senator said almost 100 children are abandoned and turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) every 8 weeks. This has become a major problem in our society. But more than a sociological statistic, the situation is tragic because each one of these hundred babies suffer from being unwanted and un-parented. I wanted to hear from the children themselves how this situation has affected them. To do that, I traveled to King’s Garden Children’s Home in Bataan where I talked to children who had been given away by their parents. I wanted to know something of how they feel and what they have suffered. Here are their stories:
Mind & Spirit
Loneliness is a problem for abandoned kids.
Estella was only 7 years old when she and her 3 siblings arrived at the home. Their mother has 16 children with different men. At 20, Estella is trying to finish college. I asked her about her feelings. “Masakit din po. Malungkot kasi nawalay ka sa parents mo. Kahit ibinigay na sa ‘yo (ang kailangan mo), iba talaga ‘yung mga bagay na gusto mong makuha sa magulang mo tulad ng pagmamahal. Minsan po nasasabi ko sa sarili ko, “bakit kaya nagawa sa akin ito ng parents ko …” She continues, “Kung ginawa mo naman na magkaroon ka ng pamilya, dapat, tumayo ka sa pamilya mo, hindi ‘yung ipapaubaya mo na lang sa iba kasi malaking responsibilidad po ‘yung pinasok mo eh. Kung ganun ang gagawin mo, eh parang tinakasan mo na rin yung responsibilidad mo bilang magulang. Noong 7 years old po ako, siyempre hindi pa ganun ang mga iniisip ko. Ayos lang po siya pero habang tumatagal, siguro po mga 14 na ako, iniisip ko, bakit kaya nangyari ito? Sa kabila ng parang napalitan na ng maayos kasi po, nakakapag-aral ako, naibibigay lahat ng things ko, pero may tanong pa din, bakit ganun, gusto mong makasama ang mga tunay mong magulang pero hindi mo na magagawa kasi malayo ka sa kanila?
Mary is now 11. She’s the 5th of 8 children. Her father took a mistress and didn’t care about them anymore. Her mother had to bring 4 of the kids to KGCH so that she could find a job. “Umiyak ako kasi po hindi ko
We can only do so much for these children. Their thoughts and longings for their parents are beyond what anyone can give. As parents ourselves, we should be mindful of our decisions concerning our children. After all, they are God’s gift to us.
Photo by Johnson Li
Friends can’t replace family.
Cris, another child, whose parents are dead has a wish, “Ang masasabi ko lang sa mga magulang na nagpapaampon, dapat ma-realize nila na bilang mga magulang, kayanin nila kahit mahirap ang buhay kasi mas maganda na maranasan ng anak na nasa magulang sila at kahit paano ay mapapalakas din ang loob ng anak na lumaban sa kahirapan. Dapat magfamily planning sila para hindi sila humantong sa kahirapan at kung mga dalawang anak lang, eh, mapag-aaral po nila, mabibigyan po nila ng sapat na pangangailangan.”
An Interview with Bishop Efraim Tendero by Peter Banzon
: How do you believe Christians should view Family Planning?
Bishop: Family Planning is included in God’s instructions about subduing the earth, so Family Planning can be equated with Responsible Parenthood. The clearest guideline in Scripture is when God said to Adam and Eve, the first human beings created, “Be fruitful and multiply” and “subdue the earth”. The word “subdue” means to be a good steward of the earth. That means we should carefully plan the number of children we have, and responsibly space them. Q: Are you saying that limiting the family is part of good stewardship? Bishop: Yes. We are called to raise our family in the fear and instruction of the Lord. Therefore we need to determine how many children we can adequately love, provide for, and build relationships with. It’s not just having as many babies as we want. Adequate care, provision and supervision are all a part of parenthood. Q: You participated in a great debate on national television last May 22, 2011. Tell us about that debate; who invited you and what was the background? Bishop: GMA 7 television wanted to bring out the issue of the Reproductive Health bill. They carefully planned the debate to educate viewers about the issues involved and the main concerns. There were actually three aspects to the great debate. First was the morality of the bill. I was invited, as a religious leader, to speak to that aspect. Then there was the issue of the economic side of the reproductive health bill, so there
Photo by Johnson Li
Bishop Efraim M. Tendero has served as national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) since 1993. PCEC, composed of 30,000 churches, is the largest network of evangelical Christians in the Philippines.
Bishop Ef Tendero
were congressmen who participated in that. The third aspect was how the bill would affect the life of mothers and children. I was nervous because the format of the debate was such that you could only prepare for the opening statement which was only about a minute and a half. Then there was the question by the opposing party. There was a question from the panel and a question from the audience. I did not know the questions beforehand. I really asked God for wisdom. Q: How did you feel about the stand of the Roman Catholic Church and the others who were on the other side in the debate? Bishop: I do not support their position but I understand fully why they are against the Reproductive Health bill. It’s a matter of doctrine on their part. In 1968, Pope Paul VI downplayed the unitive (husband and wife intimacy) purpose of sex, and emphasized the procreative (creating children) purpose of sex. Catholics would say that the unitive (intimacy) purpose is still there, but the real design of God is that sex must be done for the purpose of having children. They call it the “transmission of life.” Therefore, if sex is the transmission of life, whenever you have sex without the intention of transmitting life, you are violating the purpose of sex. We don’t agree that procreation is the only biblical reason for sex. We also believe that one of the purposes of sex is intimacy between
Photo by Johnson Li
Make a Difference “We are called to raise our family in the fear and instruction of the Lord. Therefore, we need to determine how many children we can adequately love, provide for, and build relationships with.”
support the RH bill. First, it promotes quality of life. Jesus said I came that you might have life and have it to the full. People say the Reproductive Health bill is pro abortion. No! It prohibits abortion. It protects life. It is about protecting the life of the mother and the child that she’s conceiving. Second, it provides for responsible parenthood in the sense that you educate mothers on how to take care of the whole period of pregnancy, making available medical services, counseling and support. Third, it is “pro poor” because if you notice the great majority of those who have many children in our country are the poor families. The richer families only have a few children. The Reproductive Health bill will help the poor to have access to education and medical services so they can properly plan for the spacing and the care of the children that they have to bring up.
husband and wife. The husband and wife can enjoy intimacy without necessarily having to bear children.
Q: Is there anything in the bill that limits personal freedom or that is immoral?
We also say if the purpose of sex is only for bearing children, what about sex after menopause? What about sex for a couple that are not able to bear children, the infertile couple? Should they not have sex because they cannot transmit life?
Bishop: No, I would recommend that everyone read the bill. Sometimes our problem is that many people who are opposed to the bill have not read the bill. But if you read the bill, there is nothing that limits freedom. It is saying that couples should have informed choice. It is still the couple who needs to make the choice. The bill makes education and services available.
Pope John XXIII, the previous pope, created a pontifical council to study the whole issue of sex and marriage. The majority of the group, a mixture of doctors, theologians and other people, recommended that the child bearing and intimacy purpose of sex should be equal. But there was a minority group. When Pope John XXIII died, Pope Paul VI listened to the minority group who said the child bearing purpose of sex must be primary over intimacy. There are actually some Roman Catholics who are supportive of the Reproductive Health bill. I have talked with many of them,one of them was even a member of the pontifical council created by Pope John XXIII. Q: Why do you support the RH bill? Bishop: There are three basic reasons why I
Q: Some people feel that some family planning methods may be abortive. Are there family planning methods that you do not agree with? Bishop: We say life begins at fertilization. The use of contraceptives does not take away life because there’s no life to begin with. It prevents the meeting of sperm and the egg cell. I have a question about the use of IUD because I am not sure if it prevents fertilization or if it prevents implantation after the egg and sperm are already joined and the pregnancy begun. Because I have doubts, I don’t recommend it. But the other methods, like pills, condoms, ligation, and vasectomy, etc. I have no problem with them. Q: How do people make a godly decision regarding how many children they should have?
Photo by Johnson Li
Bishop: First, they should really understand what their responsibility is as parents. It is clear in the Scripture that children are a gift from God and parents need ask to God how many children they should have. Secondly, they should assess their emotional and financial capacity. They should decide how many children they can raise and give a good quality of life. Q: We would like to thank you for this time. We gather from you that people should read the bill, examine it for themselves, and not just jump on the bandwagon of opposition because of fear. Salamat po ng marami. Bishop Ef with the author
Body & Soul
any times family planning involves some type of contraception. Contraception is different from abortion. Contraception prevents pregnancy; abortion ends a pregnancy that is already started— an abortion kills a new life. Abortion is NEVER the right thing to do; while contraception may be exactly the right thing to do. There are two ways to prevent pregnancy: putting a barrier between the egg and the sperm or using hormones. Please check with your obgyne doctor before making any decision regarding methods of contraception. We are not endorsing any of these methods; we are only providing information. • Condom is a plastic sheath worn on the penis during intercourse. It must be replaced each time intercourse occurs. It prevents pregnancy by preventing sperm from entering the vagina. • Breastfeeding—can prevent pregnancy for up to 6 months after a woman gives birth if she does not substitute other foods for breast milk. She must feed her baby every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night. This only works if she has not had a period since she delivered her baby. If a woman is continuously feeding her baby, her body does not make the hormone necessary for her to become pregnant. • Natural family planning—see article in this issue entitled, “When you can get pregnant and when you can’t.” • Birth control implant—A small rod implanted under the skin in the woman’s arm which releases a hormone called progestin. This hormone keeps the ovaries from releasing eggs and works up to three years. • Birth control patch—is placed on the skin once a week. It releases hormones which prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. • Birth control pill—a pill that must be taken daily. The pill releases hormones into the body that prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. • Birth control shot—prevents pregnancy for 1, 2, or 3 months depending on the dosage by releasing the hormone progestin which keeps the ovaries from releasing eggs. • IUD—small t-shaped device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It affects the way the sperm moves so that it cannot join with the egg. Some feel that this method may actually cause instaneous abortion so ask your ob-gyne first!
Responsibility Factor by Revodem Avarientos
aving a family is a calling. Being father of two and husband of one is the ultimate test of responsibility and accountability. A family, when it is planned right, can be a source of joy. When we are not prepared, it can cause pressure and hardship. There are factors each couple should consider before deciding on how many children they will have. Factor 1: Financial Capacity. When you are raising kids, the spending never stops. It even increases with time. From regular checkups, buying milk, and paying for vaccinations, until each kid finishes college, financial support is a necessity. It is important that a couple carefully consider their financial capacity so that they can plan to provide for their children’s needs. Factor 2: Time. Equally important in providing for their needs is time. Parents need to take time with each individual child. A lot of parents think financial gain can compensate for the lack of time with their children. Unlike money, time is a commodity which we cannot make. All of us have limited time, and once we spend it we can’t take it back. Some families have problems when their children grow up because their parents did not spend time loving and disciplining them when they were young. The more children you have, the more time you will need. Factor 3: Health. If we are going to raise a family, we owe it to our children to stay healthy. When planning your family, consider the health status of you and your spouse. Having several children in successive years can have an unhealthy effect on the mother. This might have a permanent implication in the later stages of a family’s life cycle. Factor 4: Strike a Balance. Striking a balance is when you have covered all the things—physical, emotional and spiritual—your children need. One tricky thing about these factors is that the more you focus on one aspect, the more you sacrifice the other. If you have many children in your family, how will you manage? It’s hard to find a job that pays well and still gives you enough time with your family. If you are planning to have children, the decision on how many to have is up to you and your spouse. We do suggest however that you consider all these factors and the quality of life you desire each child to have before planning another baby. May all of us continue to seek God’s leading in our lives and our families.
Love & Money
How to Know When You Can Get Pregnant and When You Can’t: Fertility Awareness by Johnson and Rosalind Li
n this article, we want to give information about natural contraception methods that require no drugs and that cost absolutely nothing. All they require is commitment and planning.
three days you are FERTILE or when you should avoid sex. As soon as three successively higher-than-average temperatures have been noted (based on six previous measurements that month), ovulation has taken place.
Calendar Method – Also known as “Rhythm Method” or “Baby Roulette.” You must count the number of days from the first day of menstruation (Day 1) to the day before the next menstrual period starts. Keep record of your menstrual cycles on a calendar for at least three months. If your periods are the SAME LENGTH every month (meaning same number of days till the next period), it is easy to predict the days when you are fertile. Then calendar method may work for you. Typically, ovulation (time when egg enters the womb) takes place about two weeks before menstruation. For example: If you have a 28-day cycle, you will ovulate around Day 14 (use the first day of your menstrual cycle as Day 1). Your ‘unsafe days’ (the days when you are likely to get pregnant and should avoid intercourse if you do not want to have a baby at this time) are both 6 days BEFORE your day of ovulation to 6 days AFTER ovulation. Thus, for a person having a 28-day cycle, one must refrain from intercourse anywhere from Day 8 to Day 20. If you have a 30-day cycle, your fertile days are between Day 10 to Day 22. If you have a 32-day cycle, your unsafe days are between Day 12 to Day 24. As ovulation can occur anytime during this period, it is not safe for you to have sex because you will most likely become pregnant.
This method is best done using a digital thermometer which measures up to one or two decimal places. It is sensitive and accurate. It can detect even the smallest rise in basal temperature (the normal body temperature of a healthy person immediately upon awakening in the morning). Increase in temperature is expected sometime in the middle of your menstrual cycle indicating ovulation has occurred.
This method is not completely accurate and it may be a few days off but it should give you a good idea as to when you are ovulating. However, if your menstrual cycle is having different number of days every month till the next period, then you may want to try the other methods. Basal Body Temperature Method (BBT Method) –You must take your temperature every morning (at approximately the same time every day) after waking from at least five hours of undisturbed sleep and BEFORE getting out of bed. The thermometer must be within your reach to ensure that you do not need to get up to get it. A record of your daily temperature for three months must be kept so you can learn the temperature pattern for your body. Your temperature rises between 0.4°F and 0.8°F on the day of ovulation. This is due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body. Example: If you have a 28-day cycle, your temperature will begin to rise on Day 13 and continue to do so until approximately Day 15. These are the
Cervical Mucus Method – A few days before ovulation a sticky, thread-like discharge (like eggwhite) is noted and might produce a moist feeling in the vagina. When this is observed, you are most fertile. This usually lasts for 3 to 4 days after which the secretions become lesser to none in the days to come. “Dry days” are experienced right after the menstrual period and a few days before the next one. These are considered the SAFE days. Couples who wish to avoid pregnancy must abstain from intercourse from the onset of “cervical mucus symptom” until three days after the last day of secretions. Don’t confuse semen with the mucus secretions. Also, realize vaginal infections, medication, and birth control can alter conditions and should be taken into consideration when examining any vaginal secretions.
If God commanded mankind to be fruitful and multiply, then isn’t limiting the size of your family a clear violation of God’s command?
God designed the family to be a place for caring and nurturing. It is the responsibility of parents to plan the size of their family. Why? Because life is precious. Every child born into the world is a gift from God, a gift that has to be cherished. Children born to parents should be given sufficient love, care, provision and protection. When parents do not plan their families and have more children than they can adequately provide for, it results in a stressful, difficult living environment for the whole family. God gave the command for man to multiply only twice in the Bible. First, when Adam and Eve were the only human beings (Gen 1:28) and second, when Noah and his family were the only people left on earth after the great flood (Gen 9:1). His original plan was for man to live in sufficiency and not in want. God never intended for children to be born into a situation where they lacked necessities, had poor educational opportunities, and competed for love and attention. We are witnesses to these tragic situations where children and families are living in great poverty. Very poor families often have more children than those who are better off economically. This is why educating our people concerning the need for responsible parenthood and godly family planning methods is very important for the future of our nation.
To Start a Relationship with Christ
Admit you have sinned. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Usapang Pamilya DVD collection Volume 5
Believe in Jesus. “For God
so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish; but have eternal life.” John 3:16b
Features THREE family issues: • Ako Si Tatay (Fatherhood) • Kalinga (Effective Child Raising) • Si Nanay ay Si Tatay (Single Parenting)
onfess and leave your sin behind. Stop sinning. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 To continue growing in your relationship with Christ, fellowship with other believers, read the Bible and pray!
Available at House of Praise, OMF Lit Bookshops, PCBS, Amazing Grace Bookstore, St. Francis Bookstore and APMedia Office. Also available online at www.usapangpamilyavideos. multiply.com.
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