Ubuntu Explorers Trip to the Philippines
Ubuntu sisters will visit anti-poverty and community building programs and project sites supported by United Methodist Women, including communities of indigenous peoples, the urban poor and street families; participate in a two-day leadership event with Filipino Methodist Women that will include sharing of mission experiences, discussions on human trafficking/migration and leadership/participation issues women face in the church; and we’ve been told, “will participate in worship service the Filipino way!”
“Women of Faith Journeying Together: Celebrating and Re-affirming our Call for Leadership and Mission”
That they may all be one. As you, God, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. -- John 17:21 [NRSV]
- To share stories of mission work and leadership experiences as women of faith through a women’s leadership training event.
- To visit and immerse in programs and project sites supported by United Methodist Women, such as communities of indigenous peoples, urban poor, and street families.
- To learn from one another’s cultures and ways of worshipping through fellowship and dialogues during the Sunday worship service.
- To build networks and partnerships for mission and ministries for women, youth, and children.
Itinerary (Subject to Change)
September 3: Arrival Day
Pick up at the airport and go to lodging house.
September 4-6: A National Women’s Leadership Event
A two full-day leadership event for Philippine and Ubuntu Explorers participants will commence the Ubuntu Explorers program, with bible studies and discussions on human trafficking, Philippine women's leadership and the Philippine Methodist Church.
September 7-8, 10-11: Visit to Programs/Projects Supported by United Methodist Women and Global Ministries
- Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc. (urban poor communities/children’s ministry), Manila
- Harris Memorial College Outreach Program (indigenous people), Province of Rizal
- Asuncion Perez Memorial Center (street children and their families), Manila
- Lingayen Christian Center, Lingayen, Province of Pangasinan (programs for women, youth & children)
- Asbury College, Anda, Province of Pangasinan (school ministries)
- Community of Aytas (indigenous people), Floridablanca, Province of Pampanga
September 9: Worship Service in Local Churches
Ubuntu Team will experience worship service in a Filipino Methodist way at local churches in Manila.
September 12: Debriefing/Closing Ritual
Sharing experiences of the Ubuntu Team in their faith journey here in the Philippines as well as creation of possible spaces for mission partnerships in the future.
September 13: Departure Day
Shop near lodging house and have some rest before going to the airport in the evening.
Team Leader (Philippines): Jennifer Ferariza Meneses
Ms. Meneses is the Ubuntu, Philippines hostess/team leader. She is a young adult leader of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines who serves with the office of the Board of Women’s Work of the Philippines Central Conference. Her primary work is to coordinate and implement programs and ministries for women, youth, and children with the different women’s groups within the church. She also serves as a facilitator for awareness-raising campaigns and advocacy work on issues pertaining to women’s rights, gender, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, sexual reproductive health, and youth leadership development.
Jennifer was an active youth leader serving the West Middle Philippines Annual Conference and Iba Central United Methodist Church as a youth president, program coordinator, and representative to youth events within and outside the Philippines for the past 15 years. She continues to mentor young people for active participation in the life of the church by inspiring them to take leadership roles and engage in mission work. Presently, she’s completing her master’s degree on Pastoral Sociology at Asian Social Institute Graduate School of Transformative Praxis in Manila, Philippines.
Team Leader (U.S.): Jeanie Blankenbaker
Jeanie Blankenbaker is the Team Leader for Ubuntu, Philippines. She lives in Hilton Head, SC. She retired in August, 2006, as Assistant General Secretary for Mission Volunteers (MV), Global Ministries, and then served as a consultant for GBGM coordinating the Individual Volunteers program. She continues consulting work with the Ubuntu Program and Women’s Division, and led the Ubuntu Hong Kong, SAR, P.R. of China and Ubuntu, India teams. While at GBGM, she helped “birth” the Ubuntu program and has conducted team leader trainings for Ubuntu team leaders. She has also led MV Primetimers events.
She has traveled to numerous countries on behalf of the United Methodist Church, led numerous team leader trainings, enjoys reading, yard work, Pilates, and connecting people across our connectional system. In her local church, she serves on the Mission Outreach committee, is a lay delegate to Annual Conference, led their first UMVIM team to UMCOR Sager Brown, sings in the Chancel Choir, has advised the community ecumenical volunteer group, volunteers for Back Pack Buddies and the Soup Kitchen, and was elected to the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences.