You could say it all started in China. Rey and Terry Ibasco began as Cru missionary-teachers assigned to an international school. Rey, who taught Chemistry at the University of the Philippines and who held a master’s degree, had the perfect cover. Terry, an accounting major, worked with the school administration.
When they returned to the Philippines in 2006, they brought with them the seeds of a ministry. And in 2009, CrossRoads was launched. CrossRoads is a character-based program and strategy to win, build, and send educators while addressing youth issues, like teenage pregnancy, mental health, HIV-AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other risky behaviors.
“We envision to TEACH: Train, Empower Academics (or educators) to Change Hearts—so they can be Great Commission educators,” says Rey. Addressing the felt needs of educators, CrossRoads initially conducts a three-day professional training where they present the “Life-at-the-CrossRoads” (LATC) curriculum and the gospel.
From their initial base of operation in Quezon City, CrossRoads now operates in 70 other ministry sites located in 31 cities and municipalities, led mostly by trained volunteers. It has established strong partnerships with the DepEd, LGUs, and churches, among others. “Partnerships, like that with DepEd, build our credibility and help us expand to more schools and cities,” says Rey.
“Internally, we partner within Cru because this builds up the synergy needed to reach our scope: with Student-Led Movement to reach students; Family Life to reach parents; the Agape Rural Project (ARP) to address health concerns; Global Church Movements (GCM) to mobilize churches; and the Digital Ministry to reach the borderless mission field.”
To date, CrossRoads has trained some 5,000 educators across the country through Level 1 Teachers’ Training (3 days F2F or 15 hours online). This equips them to teach life skills and values to students. Some go on to Level 2 Trainers’ Training (10 weeks), which develops leaders. This volunteer growing strategy is indispensable—especially because the ministry is run by just four Cru staffers.
CrossRoads already sits in all of the key cities targeted as evangelism hubs under Cru’s ministry directions for MY 2023-2024.
The Covid pandemic has fast-tracked CrossRoads’ online capabilities. Recently, it crossed borders and trained educators in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. The pandemic presents new challenges and opportunities for CrossRoads, observes the couple. Rey and Terry noted a rise in psychosocial needs among students and teachers: suicidal tendencies, depression, and other needs..
CrossRoads is also carefully considering how it should address sensitive issues, such as the SOGIE Equality Bill, should it be passed into law.
To sustain the building of movements among educators, Rey and Terry have trained a core of Lead Trainers (Level 3) –educators and medical professionals—to eventually provide national and regional leadership of CrossRoads. “This is a ministry that works best with non-staff people,” Rey admits. “They’re the ones in the field and very clearly see things that we don’t.”
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