Drug Traffickers meet Jesus

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Attendance has almost tripled at Danga United Methodist Church in Calumpit, Bulacan, Philippines, due to an outreach program called Banyuhay. Many of the program’s participants and their families and neighbors have joined the church. Photo courtesy of The Rev. Mienie N. Tolentino.

By Gladys Mangiduyos
March 16, 2018 | UMNS
Amid the war on drugs in the Philippines, Danga United Methodist Church in Calumpit is seeing its membership grow.
The 28-year-old church in the province of Bulacan used to have 20 to 25 attendees each Sunday; now, 70 worshippers are in attendance most weeks, thanks to a new program aimed at former drug traffickers and addicts.
The Rev. Mienie N. Tolentino, Danga’s pastor, is among clergy who responded to a call from municipal Mayor Jessie de Jesus to join in his reformation program, called “Banyuhay.” The program offers spiritual enlightenment to those involved with illegal drugs in an effort to help them start “a new chapter of life.”