Theological students in the Philippines are set to receive their fourth visit in the past five years from Dubbo Anglican bishop Arthur Jones.
Bishop Jones flies out today for Quezon City, a poor area in the Philippine capital of Manila.
Highly credentialled in the field of theological studies, Bishop Jones will be imparting his knowledge of the New Testament and other biblical subjects. He will spend the next four weeks sharing rice and stories with students at St Andrew’s Theological Seminary in Quezon City.
“I eat with the students,” Bishop Jones said.
“It’s pretty basic fare, rice three times a day. But I like to share meal times with them and get to know them.”
Bishop Jones said the students had to spend one month a year working in the city’s slums.
“It’s a tough life for the people over there,” he said. “People live in impoverished conditions all their lives, especially the Christian priests. Most come from very poor backgrounds. They never have any money as they don’t receive a salary.
“When they go out working in the slums they only get one meal a day – it’s a very tough life.”
Bishop Jones says he has a great affection for the Filipino people, for their graciousness and generosity.
“They are lovely people, very friendly and kind. I love going back and getting reacquainted with them. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between our countries.”
Bishop Jones has spent many years working in developing countries and speaks a number of languages.
He is due to return to his work at Holy Trinity on March 18.
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