Manila Men’s Motor Club creates a community of faith in the Philippines
In the Philippines, attending church is considered, in some circles, to be ‘unmasculine’—but a group of men from The Salvation Army in Manila are trying to change that.
Bonding over a shared ownership of—and passion for—motorcycles, they’ve created a community of Christian men who not only support and edify one another, but also contribute to the health of their communities through service projects and visitations.
Major Elmer Orben: A figure father is very important in the family. We want them to participate, because in the church we always see that women are more active.
Paul Sabado: In our culture, normally, it’s very few men that go to church. Very few. Women is the most dominant numbers in the church. Most of the fathers or men, is trying to look masculine, trying to look tough. If they saw a man go to church, they think that’s — that’s a weak man. So that’s what we try to at least erase that culture. If you’re strong enough, if you’re brave enough, be the man of God.
We had a men’s meeting, and to our surprise, almost every man that came to the meeting has a motorcycle. So, like, why we don’t form a group that will go ride and do charity works and stuff?
Major Elmer Orben: We started in 2020, small numbers in each Corps.
Paul Sabado: We normally meet once a month. We go to different Corps in every month. First we do worship, we do bible study or bible discoveries.
Major Elmer Orben: And then, we also do some practical Christianity, or helping other Corps.
Paul Sabado: We go to Corps that needs help.
Major Elmer Orben: Giving them instruments, giving medicines, construction and other humanitarian work.
Paul Sabado: We try to help, pitch in everyone, say hi, hello, if there’s any problems, and also encourage each and every man.
Major Elmer Orben: That’s why when we ride, it is with a mission in riding. It is not just a ride to enjoy, but it’s with a mission.
Paul Sabado: It’s fulfilling that yep, they enjoyed [it], but our heart is overwhelmed.
Major Elmer Orben: Well, it’s very fruitful. You know? It gives joy. After our fellowship, the joy in our hearts is very unexplainable. That’s the reason why we keep on having our meetings.
Paul Sabado: Honestly, it’s — for me, it’s a stress reliever. Whenever I talk to them, whenever we meet, we laugh. Every stress, every bad vibes, will disappear. We’re just, chit-chatting, we’re just talking the word of God. I’ve learned a lot.
The church needs men. The church needs men. If the father leads the family to church, everyone will come. It’s possible that men will gather and be the strength for everyone. You’ll be an example to your family, to your wife, to your daughter, to your kids, your son, to everyone around you. Not just a man at the house, but to be a man of God.
Major Elmer Orben: I just want to thank the Lord for this opportunity to serve. And I love being with them, and, I love serving Christ together with them.
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