This month we highlight Anne Benthien. Anne joined the MEANS board in March of this year.
Anne comes from Victorias, Negros Occidental, Southern Philippines. She received a B.S. in Accounting from West Negros College in Bacolod City and a Masters in Christian Education/Church Music at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary in Baguio City, Philippines. During her college days she was a member of her school’s Varsitarian Singers. Anne came to know the Lord through this group as well as through the local Intervarsity—Philippines (IVCF—Philippines) chapter at her school. She became active with IVCF—Philippines, taking varied responsibilities like Bible study, being a cell group leader, and serving as camp counselor at IVCF conferences. She also served as an officer of the IVCF’s Bacolod Leadership Council. Her leadership skills were honed while attending the month long IVCF training at Kawayan camp.
After graduation from college, Anne continued to serve with IVCF’s Graduate Christian Fellowship and Grad Team, doing pioneering evangelistic work in several universities in Bacolod. She also taught Sunday school at her church and served as choir director in various churches in Bacolod, Baguio City and La Union, which is in Northern Philippines.
She works and practices her accounting training part time in a small Real Estate/Property Management company, and in a Veterinary Clinic. She serves as the Youth Community Coordinator at the Filipino American Association of Wisconsin (FAAWIS) in Milwaukee. FAAWIS Youth Community Service help in serving meals to the poor, sort donated goods with Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, visit nursing homes, and help raise funds and goods for the recent floods in Manila and Iloilo City. Anne also serves part time as a music teacher in a Christian school and is involved in a home nursing ministry, and teaches private music lessons at home to 6 students.
Anne met her husband, Steve, when she was studying at PBTS where Steve was teaching in Ago-o La Union and Dagupan City. Steve helped develop the curriculum for Lay Institute program at Ago-o Christian Fellowship and Dagupan City during his tenure with Conservative Baptist Mission. They are blessed with three lovely children: Richard, 19; Danielle, 17; and Steven, 14. Anne has three brothers and sisters, and all are Christ followers as well. Her family got involved in sponsoring MEANS’ Read To Grow (RTG) literacy project.
In 2008, Anne had the opportunity to visit Bacolod, and thought of introducing the project to her Alma Mater. What was the Don J A Araneta Elementary School, where Anne graduated, is now F. Gonzaga Elementary School. Anne had the opportunity to meet with the current principal and over the course of their conversation, she discovered that the principal was a Christian and the teacher-coordinator for the school’s feeding program. Through this meeting the new principal opened up an opportunity for The Lord’s Lampstand Christian Ministry, an outreach program of Lampstand Church—a local evangelical church, to minister at the school. Thus, through partnership with MEANS, the “Salvador Oscianas Reading Center” was started in the Grade IV class in memory of Anne’s late uncle. MEANS and its donors partner with Lampstand to support the RTG program and members of Lampstand provide the “manpower.” The RTG program has grown to support the school’s feeding program, as the school was unable to sustain it. In addition, the opportunity to teach the Biblical values to every classroom was opened up. Lampstand also has a desire to start a Bible study among the teachers. God has truly blessed the development and growth of the ministry at F. Gonzaga Elementary School! Anne continues to raise funds for this project through her voice studio class.
Anne requests that we continue to pray for Lampstand: that more people would be able to help minister at the school to teach; wisdom for Lampstand as they form a ministry team for the F. Gonzaga Elementary School outreach; and for 3 church members who attended ISCF high school training conference.