The founder of Agape Ministry, Merrian Raths’s heart broke to hear the stories of the children in poor living conditions in Cebu.
She saw the same image of a building with children throughout the year and the burden to build a school grew heavier. However, burden and vision alone without money and resources would not be sufficient to build a school.
March 2010: Searching the Purpose and Meaning of Life
Having her new life with her wonderful husband, transformed life, joyfully serving her church and people, great job, fulfilled and contented. However, she felt something was still missing! This life is too comfortable. She was searching for a much deeper purpose and meaning of life, not just for herself, but for also for others.
July 2010: Faith and Courage to Step Out
The burden to go, bring agape love, forgiveness, to bring restoration and hope to the people.
September 2010: Calling
Before Merrian and Patrick built the school she started her ministry in reaching out to the younger children. The children loved her, they would sing songs for her whenever she visited. As she watches the children joyfully sing songs of praise, she heard a still small voice, "See how beautiful these children are? Raise this generation for Me." Merrian broke in tears and was very touched by these children.
January 2011: Miracle
Reality strikes, without money or resources it is impossible to build the school! Merrian hopes she gets a 50% salary increase to have spare money for the school. Six months later, Merrian received a new employment contract showing 50% more salaries! Little did she knew how much the school operation, land and building would cost, the bigger responsibilities of having a school!
February 2011: Finding the right partner
Merrian and Patrick set off to meet her local partner for the building of the school Cebu. Indeed, they met Pastor Lim and wife, who is a teacher and has been praying for six years to have a school in the mountain.
July 2011: Founding the School
Agape Academy in Cagay using the church premises open its doors for the indigenous families, enrolment taken for 14-18 nursery and kindergarten Abugon Campus: Merrian sensed, it's time to grow the school although wrestling with the fact that her husband, Patrick will be redundant from his job effective end of Feb 2012. How can we sustain this?
October 2011: Building our campus in Abugon
Agape Academy, Abugon and Cagay Campus buildings are being built.
July 2012: Heavier Responsibilities
Agape Abugon Campus is opened to take in new students. This year, the growth has been daunting, from 18 children to 54 students! This was an overwhelming responsibilities.
January 2015: Agape Youth
26 young local people on Jan 3rd to cast the vision and inspired them to take ownership - Agape Youth. The Youth served the younger children through free tutorials. The youth served the community different forms.
2016: Mentoring and Equipping Mothers
Some mothers whose marriage and lives have been transformed influenced other mothers. The mothers gather every Sunday to learn values and life transformation through Bible Studies. We created an event of mothers’ appreciation day and to create a quality time with mothers and children, a family culture, it brought them so much joy!
February 2016: Enlarging the Tent
We sensed that since Feb 2015 that expansion will be needed to meet the needs for 2016. We built 2 big rooms in Cagay campus. With a very limited and low budget, Merrian’s old house is expanded with two more big rooms; utilized the 1/F of another old house to create 2 more big rooms.
June 2016: School grows to 200 students
200 students have enrolled for the school year June 2016-2017.