A five-year-old mission agency with offices in the United States and Manila is coordinating a unique prison ministry in the Filipino capital city of 2 million, and a number of jail inmates reportedly have made Christian commitments as a result.

Action International Ministries (U.S. office) with Christ for Greater Manila (AIM-CGM) sponsored Christmas programs in eleven municipal and provincial jails of metropolitan Manila. The number of inmates in each jail varied from 40 to 1,730, and about 4,000 total heard Christmas music and a Gospel message, played games, and received gifts of toiletries during the programs.

AIM-CGM staff members distributed “New Life for Now,” a booklet in the native Tagalog dialect, that they say encouraged many to receive Christ. CGM, which has about forty Filipino staff members, works with Filipino churches in literature and personal evangelism programs, and with the city’s poor.

“The government has been super about letting us into the jails,” said Tom Bacanic, a co-founder of AIM-CGM who works at the U.S. headquarters in Lynwood, Washington.

AIM-CGM also distributed gifts and conducted Christmas programs in two detention centers for runaway and underprivileged Filipino “street children,” in a mental institution, in five large squatters camps, and in a center for Vietnamese refugees. The agency had funding for its programs from several interdenominational mission organizations, including the World Relief Commission, World Concern, and two relief organizations based in England.

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