Eric and Sandra Read, Philippines

Eric and Sandra Read, Philippines

Encouraging and practising creation care-centred food production and teaching children and youth to enjoy, appreciate and care for nature

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In the Philippines, there is an urgent need for farming to become more climate resilient and sustainable, and for people to embrace creation care.

We practise creation care-centred farming and are working towards a more productive, nature-driven approach (syntropic farming) and encouraging others to do the same.

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More about Eric and Sandra

With the Philippines predicted to be one of the countries most adversely affected by climate change, there is an urgent need for farming to become more climate resilient and sustainable.

Because syntropic farming also addresses other problems, such as a lack of workers and poor soil, adopting the practice will greatly benefit local farmers.

We are also demonstrating it to the local department of agriculture office in the hope that such practices will be adopted more widely and have even greater impact.

The Philippines has a young population: 35 per cent of people are under 18 and the median age is 25. So within creation care, our focus is children and youth, running day camps for local school children where they learn to stop, enjoy and appreciate nature. We believe creating interest and enjoyment of creation in children can give them a lifelong interest and maybe more in caring for the natural world.

We don’t introduce ourselves as mission partners but as farmers who want to live out the gospel in the day-to-day life of the local community and let this form the basis of holistic ministry. We started a midweek Bible study group to deepen and encourage faith based on the Bible. Slowly, we have begun to hear encouraging stories of God working in the lives of those in the group.

We have another group for youths who we have got to know through past children’s activities on the farm. This group focuses on friendship, fellowship and living out Christian values. The young people are now starting to take turns in leading short Bible studies.

Eric is from England and Sandra is from the Philippines. Eric is an agricultural engineer by training and used to work on designing and manufacturing landmine clearing machines. He spent six years with a Christian peacemaking charity, first in the Philippines and then in Uganda.

Sandra is a nurse and spent many years doing medical relief with Christian agencies in South East Asia and Africa. We started our married life living in a mud hut in Uganda.

In 2006 we joined Church Mission Society and, together with our children Peter and Atiyyah (who are now adults), spent four years in DR Congo, training local churches and working with them in holistic mission, before moving to the Philippines.

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