Property Possibilities in Candumaay, Sta Isabel, Matnog

As mentioned in the June 2021 PAMI newsletter, we’d like to purchase this seaside/roadside property in Candumaay, Santa Isabel, Matnog which includes 102 square meters of land, the red roofed church building, and green roofed parsonage for $15,000. This post is meant to give a little more background on this Candumaay property. We’re thankful for Living in Christ Church (a Filipino congregation in Brampton, Ontario) who pledged support for half of it, but we’re looking for other sponsors to cover the rest of it and to help with future property improvements. PAMI was allowed free use of this property for 5 years, but the owner (Sister Eva) now needs to sell it after her husband (Brother Obet) died from COVID-19 last year while working in the Middle East. Sister Eva lives in Manila and has two daughters in college. Without her husband’s overseas income, she is struggling to meet expenses of housing, tuition, getting a business started, etc. Out of a desire to reach/help under-served provincial village people, Bro Obet and Sis Eva bought this Candumaay lot in 2005, constructed a church building and living quarters on it, and eventually invited PAMI Ptr Gumer to do outreaches there after hearing him on the radio doing Christian broadcasting. After Ptr Gumer got occasional ministry started there, Ptr Michael and Michelle Hista moved there about four years ago to plant a church, and have been really active ever since, including outreach to kids, youth, parents, and policemen–at church, schools, and throughout the community–in two different parts of Matnog (Candumaay Sta Isabel and Culasi). Although Sis Eva’s financial situation is tighter without Bro Obet, she is offering us the property at a significant discount (it’s market value is probably over $20,000) since she wants us to keep doing ministry there. She also plans to continue to contribute to the ministry as she is able. As an example, she sent her husband’s keyboard to Candumaay several months ago for the church to have.

Here’s a video tour of the Candumaay Matnog property, filmed by PAMI Ptr Michael Hista in Nov. 2020. He lives in the green roofed parsonage with his wife Michelle and their toddler Zabdiel Psalm.

Note that Ptr Michael points out in the video that the property extends a ways past the back of the church, and that they pray the church building can eventually be extended to accommodate growing membership. Although PAMI has already made a few improvements the last couple years, we hesitate to invest too much into this property until we actually own it. It may take an extra couple thousand dollars to extend the church building. Ptr Michael also points out in their living quarters that they just have a cloth sheet separating their bedroom area from the rest of the room. They’d eventually like to install a regular wall for more privacy, but this is estimated to cost about $350.

Regarding this extra space behind the church and parsonage, it’s interesting to see in recent pictures how the church young people helped clear the land and put up a temporary bamboo framework covered by blue tarps. In turn, this was used to handle a couple large gatherings with enough social distancing, including celebrating the church’s fourth anniversary/group baptism on April 25 (see previous blog post), and a special Youth Gathering on July 3.

While the current priority is to raise funds to buy the Candumaay Matnog property, Ptr Michael Hista has mentioned other projects that could eventually use funds as well. Some of these relate to his other major branch of ministry that is 13 km (8 miles) across town in Culasi Matnog. For background on how the Culasi ministry got started, see the September 2019 PAMI newsletter. While Candumaay Sta Isabel is a seaside barangay north of downtown Matnog, Culasi is a remote seaside barangay south of downtown Matnog. Since it’s a rough, mountainous road between Candumaay and Culasi, it takes a toll on Hista’s tricycle (motorcycle with sidecar). The current motorcycle always seems to be breaking down and needing repairs. It probably makes sense to eventually buy a new, beefier motorcycle that can better handle the extra load of a sidecar and these rough roads. A new motorcycle might cost about $1600. The sidecar could then be switched to the new motorcycle, while the old one could still be used as a basic motorcycle for excursions when a sidecar is not needed.

Another long-term goal might be to eventually buy a lot and construct a church building in Culasi. Up until now, the Culasi church has been meeting in the home of Sister Joyce Manabat. And perhaps someday it might be nice if Culasi has its own pastor.

For more reference, here are the last few monthly reports from Ptr Michael and Sister Michelle Hista:

PAMI Matnog Christian Church July 2021 Report

PAMI Matnog Christian Church June 2021 Report

PAMI Matnog Christian Church May 2021 Report

PAMI Matnog Christian Church April 2021 Report

Also for reference, here is Hista’s PAMI Matnog Ministry Profile and Goals for 2021

And to give an example of previous property improvements made in Candumaay Matnog, see Hista’s Matnog Ministry Report from June 2020, which shows new sliding windows, a refurbished church Comfort Room (outhouse), and a new sign board.

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