Elmer and Miyen Lobusta say the community has been their “second family” since they relocated to Singapore from the Philippines.
Through the CFC, they have gained greater parenting skills and helped them understand better God’s plans for them in marriage, says Mr Lobusta.
Mrs Lobusta also says she is glad that CFC’s Kids for Christ ministry helps her children learn about and love God from a young age.
CFC celebrated its silver jubilee with a dinner and dance on June 9 and a Parish Appreciation Dinner on June 7 to thank priests, parishes and other Church organisations for collaborating with it on family programmes.
CFC conducts a 12-week Christian Life Programme (CLP) comprising talks, group sharing and fellowship aiming at spiritual renewal for the individual.
This programme, for couples and singles, is conducted in several parishes twice a year, sometimes at the request of parishes.
Following the programme, participants are invited to become members of CFC’s various ministries. These are:
- The Couples for Christ main ministry which caters to married couples.
- Kids for Christ, which caters to children four to 12 years old, whose parents are members of CFC.
- Youth for Christ, which caters to the 13-21 age group.
- Singles for Christ, which caters to singles between 22 and 40.
- Servants of the Lord and Handmaids of the Lord, which are ministries for mature single men and women respectively. These people could be unmarried, separated or divorced, living as single parents, or with the other spouse working abroad.
Members meet regularly for household or cell group meetings, praise and worship, Bible sharings and teaching sessions.
Other activities include conferences on spiritual growth, courses on marriage enrichment, financial stewardship and relationship skills, and family bonding camps.
As CFC is an international ministry, members can continue their spiritual journey with the group even if they relocate to another country, as CFC is available in 120 countries.
Ms Kathy Castillo a member of Singles for Christ, was formerly a member of Youth for Christ back in the Philippines. She said that these ministries have helped her forget her shyness and discover her talents in song and dance.
Through these ministries, she has learnt to be more prayerful and appreciate her family more, she said.
Helping local parishes
CFC was first established in Manila, the Philippines, and later achieved Vatican recognition in 2000.
The ministry arrived in Singapore when it was introduced to the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. CFC has since been helping parishes build up their family ministries.
Its youth ministry has also helped out with the Church of Divine Mercy’s youth camp.
CFC Singapore’s first Christian Life Programme here was conducted with most of the participants coming from the Hougang area as the organisation’s base was then at Nativity Church Centre.
As of December 2011, CFC has about 1,579 members. The percentage of Singaporean members is estimated at 20 percent while the rest are foreigners, says CFC Singapore’s national director, Mr Patrick Thong.
Looking forward, Mr Thong says his organisation is looking forward to working “more closely with parishes … to build up family life”.
In addition to its spiritual programmes, CFC has also assisted poor families in Singapore and sponsors the education of impoverished children in the Philippines through scholarships.
CFC Singapore also sends volunteers to conduct the CLP and other CFC formation programmes in Timor Leste, Laos, China, Thailand and Australia.
By Darren Boon