Flavor of the Month: Katie Borromeo

2011 Katie BorromeoThis coming fall, MEANS’ “first baby” will be heading to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Growing up . . .

Katie has grown up in Illinois.  She attended a Catholic school for 9 years before attending Wheaton Academy her freshman year of high school.  After her freshman year she transferred to West Chicago Community High School.  It was at Wheaton Academy that Katie took her walk with the Lord more seriously.  There she really saw Christianity lived out.

Katie played soccer as a child until high school, and played varsity basketball her freshman year in high school.  She had ankle surgery after freshman year and this cut her basketball career short.  Katie does plan to play intramural basketball though at Rensselaer.

In addition to sports, Katie also enjoys hanging out with friends and family.  She is also fond of traveling and seeing new places.  Of the places she has traveled, one of her favorites was the Philippines.  While there, she felt like she could really relate.  Katie also enjoys reading anatomy books that have been recommended to her by her teachers.

Plans for the future . . .

It seems to make sense then, with her interest in anatomy, that Katie plans to get her degree in Bio/Cognitive Science, and also hopes to go to school for neurosurgery.  She has always been interested in the way people think.  While at Rensselaer, she plans to be involved with Rensselaer Christian Association, which partners with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.  Eventually, she would be interested in being involved with Doctors Without Borders.

Involvement at MEANS . . .

At MEANS, processing the donors’ checks is an integral part of the organization, and Katie is very much a part of that process.  She also helps out with the mailings, is one of MEANS’ photographers, and helps out wherever else she is needed.  Her laughter is also contagious and will be missed!

How we can pray for Katie . . .

  • Pray that she will continue to follow the plan that God has for her
  • Pray for an easy transition into college life
  • Pray for good friends that would encourage her at school and in her walk with God

MEANS Partners with Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church on HIV–Aids Workshop

The “Overcoming Stigma and Responding Biblically to People with HiV and AIDS,” workshop was held on July 5-6, 2011 in Bacolod City under the initiative and leadership of Pastor Godfrey Serfino of Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Bacolod City, Philippines.
Pastor Serfino reported that “The workshop exceeded the expectations of Rev.  Dwayne Thielke,  a missionary of the Christian Reformed Church in the Philippines.”  The workshop, was facilitated by Rev. Roy Berkenbosch, theological adviser for Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and a board member of Micah Challenge – Canada. The two-day event  was participated by 55 individuals, 45 of whom are MEANS ministry partners from Ebenezer CRC,  Jerry Basiao from FIG Tree group,  The Lord’s Lampstand Christian Church,  Bacolod CRC, and Villamonte Reformed Christian School.  Bacolod organizers prepared, cooked, and bought lunches for 60 people.
At the end of the workshop, the group all formed a big circle and almost everyone gave a testimony of how the Lord has blessed him/her on new biblical learning and changed attitude/concern to people with HIV & AIDS.  Expressions of thankfulness and desire to participate again in another workshop were said.
At least two TLLCC leaders are thankful that this interchurch biblical workshop was held at their worship center and hoped to have another similar seminar or conference held there in the near future.  Ebenezer CRC group also told TLLCC leaders their gratitude for welcoming all the workshop people at their clean hall.

Balikatan 2011

A Challenge to Filipinos in the Diaspora

“Scattered and Shared” was the theme of the annual Balikatan (IVCF alumni group from the Philippines in North America) Conference, held at UC Berkeley, CA from July 1-3.   One of the speakers was Miriam Adeney, PH.D,  author of the book, Kingdom without Border, missiologist, and  professor at Seattle Pacific University.  Below is an excerpt from her message.


“One thing Filipinos offer is the massive experience of out migration that has brought opportunities for service. But what more? In what ways are Filipino Christians God’s particular gifts to the church and the world? Our Creator delights in diversity. He creates in colors. He generates smells, from onion to rose. He shapes every fresh snowflake. He births billions of unique personalities. Is it any surprise that he programs us with the capacity to create an amazing kaleidoscope of cultures to enrich His world? God ordained culture. But customs that glorify God are not the only reality that we observe around us. Instead of loveliness, harmonious creativity, and admirable authority, we often see fragmentation, generation gaps, alienation, lust, hate, corruption, selfishness, injustice, laziness, disorder, and violence cultivated by our culture. We are not only created in God’s image. We are also sinners. Because we have cut ourselves off from God, the cultures we create reek with evil. We are called, then, not only to rejoice in the patterns of wisdom, beauty, and kindness in our culture, but also to confront and judge the patterns of idolatry and exploitation. Who is to judge? Indigenous leaders who are immersed in the Word and the Spirit. Outsiders work with and under them.


When I lived in the Philippines, I saw strong families. Warm hospitality. Lots of time lavished on children. Enduring friendships. A heritage of economic freedom for women. The ability to live graciously on little money. Sauces that extended a small amount of meat to many people. A delight in sharing. Skill in the art of relaxation. Lithe, limber bodies. The ability to enjoy being with a large number of people continuously. Since every good gift is from above (James 1:17) and since all wisdom and knowledge come from Jesus Christ (Col. 2:3), such beautiful qualities in Filipino culture must be seen as gifts of God.

But one cultural pattern caught my attention. During an IVCF staff session on culture, someone asked me, “Why do we Filipinos adapt graciously to our conquerors? And how can we be proud of such a culture?” That led eventually to my Ph.D. dissertation. I studied “action models” in ten narratives, including the novels of Jose Rizal; Nick Joaquin—Portrait of the Artist as Filipino and The Woman Who Had Two Navels; N.V.M Gonzalez—The Bamboo Dancers and Season of Grace; and Carlos Bulosan—The Laughter of My Father and America is in The Heart.. In these stories, I found four recurring “action models” in the face of cultural invasion: the rebel, the victim, the “tuta”; and the balancer. I came to see the last model—DYNAMIC, RESILIENT BALANCING—AS A DISTINCTIVELY FILIPINO EMPHASIS, WITH POTENTIAL TO BLESS THE WORLD. From a historical perspective, given the Philippines’ location at the crossroads of powerful countries, resilient flexibility is an adaptive survival mechanism. It is not a weakness but a strategic response. Wave after wave have washed up on these shores. Successive torrents of Malay, Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Spanish, Americans, and Japanese have arrived. Generally Filipinos have allowed these new forms of life to take root and grow. Yet Philippine culture has not been drowned. Continuity in spite of massive change is evidenced by ongoing values like respect for elders, utang na loob, awareness of the supernatural, skillful speaking, and skillful flexible balancing.

Balancing is rooted in Filipinos’ bilateral kindred, which contrast with Chinese, Arab, or Indian patrilineages, where sons are all important and daughters are married out. In the Philippines you have the opportunity to create new relatives through ninongs every time someone is married and every time a baby is born. But you already start out with 400 relatives because of all the kin and in laws on both sides. This trains you in dynamic, flexible balancing, dancing among relationships. Symbols in the literature are the kawayan, the tikling birds, the tinikling dance and the pandanggo sa ilaw dance. Yet Filipino virtues are not always gracious and polite. My dissertation is titled “Filipino Narrative: A Model for Ethnic Identity balancing Pakikisama and Protest.” Perhaps the most beautiful example of protest was the People’s Revolution of 1986 when Filipinos of all backgrounds called on God and put their bodies on the line to deliver their country.

Reprinted with permission from Balikatan Newsletter (August 2011 issue)