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But many Filipinas have also benefited from her solid business background.

“I gave serious counseling to a single woman who was sending all of her money home to her family in the Philippines,” she says. “I taught her how to budget her finances properly. Now she has land, a house and a productive farm from which her nieces and nephews are earning incomes from selling the produce.”

Ms. Sibug decries the poverty that drives her compatriots to go abroad in search of work.

“What is important is to provide food and education for our children, but some people exchange the embrace of our children for a dollar. That’s sad when some are away from their families for 20 or 30 years.”

The Teresian Association provides the two lay missionaries with materials, education and the formation necessary to support spiritual direction, psychosocial integration and emotional and human development.

The main venue for their activities is the Pontifical Mission Library in the heart of Amman’s Jebel Hussein district, which the Teresians have administered with Catholic Near East Welfare Association for decades. Every Friday, more than 60 people from the Filipino community gather there for the noon Mass led by the community’s chaplain, Father Gerald. Afterward, they enjoy friendship and fellowship over a meal, followed by spiritual instruction and reflection.

In addition to their outreach with the Filipino migrant community, the Teresians use the center as a place for education and formation for students of the area’s Catholic schools and even as a studio to produce programs on a variety of topics that are streamed through the internet for the remote Bedouin Christian villages in the south of the country. Religious instruction includes preparation of children and adults for receiving the sacraments and for serving at the altar, adult faith formation and health care assistance for the elderly. The Teresians also reach out to Iraqi refugees, offering courses in English as a second language, which is open to Christians and Muslims alike.

“The Teresians know how to relate to the migrant worker community in Jordan,” says Ra’ed Bahou, CNEWA’s regional director for Jordan and Iraq. “At our Pontifical Mission Community Center, migrants know they have ‘a home away from home.’ They receive counseling and ways to manage stress, including advice on dealing with problems encountered with their employers.”

This ministry, he adds, is growing in both size and need.

“We are potentially adding 28,000 Christians to Jordan’s population, and this is very important,” says Mr. Bahou of Jordan’s small but influential Christian community.

“More and more programs will help these people. They need to know their rights and how to resolve problems.” The Philippines’ ambassador to Jordan has even spoken at the center on guest workers’ rights and responsibilities.

“Although you may be alone in Jordan, you don’t know loneliness,” says Fo Salas, 49, from Manila. “I have grown spiritually because I am in this community of believers, and also attend church.”

Ms. Salas has been in Jordan for 12 years, the last six of which have been spent working for a Swiss diplomatic family.

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