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Balikatan ng mga Kristiano, Inc.  |  P.O. Box 1021, San Leandro, CA 94577 | 617-331-4551 | Email: TulunganTayo@gmail.com

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“Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart, then because of this the LORD your GOD will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”  Deuteronomy 15:10 (NIV)


Balikatan
Trust Fund History.
It was 1987, during the Balikatan conference in Wheaton, IL, hosted by IV CARES, when I first heard of the Trust Fund (TF). 3x5 cards were passed for people to make pledges to build the TF. The goal was $200,000. Its objective was to bridge the gap between actual donations collected and projected budget needs, and apparently $200,000 was the magic number. Many attendees were enthused and a lot of 3x5 cards were collected (I am sorry, but I do not remember the exact number and amount pledged). And so, year after year, during Balikatan conferences (at least in the years I attended), the TF was mentioned and pledges were renewed.

Fast forward to 1993 – I was elected to the Balikatan Board and commissioned to chair the Trust Fund. There was $7000 in it, invested in a CD, earning 2 to 3% interest. Per the Balikatan Board’s decision, I researched for better ways to invest the money: the guidelines were low risk and a better income than a CD. Mutual funds were the answer. $10,000 was needed to open a mutual fund account, so during the 1995 conference in Florida, the members were rallied. An offer to match donations, dollar per dollar, was made. And because of the members’ generosity, the first mutual fund account was established for the TF. Year after year, donations to the TF “trickled” in. Some pledges were honored fully, some halfway and some not at all. So the TF had at least $20,000. The interest, as mutual funds go, went up and down, and the highest the TF ever went, was about $50,000 (with about $20,000 in principal) and with a $3,000 – $5,000 yearly withdrawal for IVCFP. 

Then in 1998, the market crashed. Kaboom!!! The TF went down to $30,000. I was advised by the investment manager (whose fees, by the way, I was paying on my own), not to panic, not to sell, just let it sit; and the market will go back up. I passed that information to the Balikatan Board. Then in 2001, my term ended and so was my personal account of “what happened to the Balikatan TF.” (I learned since then, that the TF is now in the Philippines entrusted to IVCFP.) 

Balikatan TF – the Here and Now. In 2010, I was back on Balikatan's board, but the TF was not one of our top priorities because there were more pressing needs and the TF was in good hands with IVCFP. The Balikatan TF was only occasionally on our agenda. Then in 2015, during the Alberta conference, I was again commissioned to chair the TF. So what did I learn from the past that needs to change or improve? 1) We have formulated a
Balikatan TF policy statement which is an accumulation of our past experiences, and addresses our past missteps, 2) We have created a Trust Fund Board of Trustees, comprised of 6 members. Three from the current Balikatan Board of Directors and three from the donor base, for checks and balances, and 3) We have developed a donor form to keep you informed and connected as you see fit. 

Now, may I present to you the generous Balikatan TF donors who have provided us the starting investment of $100,000 plus (This does not include the original Trust Fund that is now with IVCFP.): 

Dr. Auriel or “Rely” and Grace Tan 
Ms. Edna Bringas-Gonzales
Ms. Elisa Patag-Skinner
Dr. Michael and Tess Askowitz

We praise our GOD Almighty for their generosity and may HE continue to bless the works of their hands. May what they have started be continued by not only them but by many of us to build a legacy for the glory of GOD:

I present to you the Balikatan Trust Fund Board of Trustees:

Edna E. Bargan – President, Balikatan Board of Directors
Norma Andres – Treasurer, Balikatan Board of Directors
Teresita M. Askowitz – Balikatan Board of Directors and Trust Fund Committee Chair
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Dr. Michael and Tess Askowitz – Donor/Trustee

Our goal is to raise 2 million dollars ($2M). Why $2M? Because of 28 years of inflation and the ever increasing need for additional staff to minister to our high school and college students (praise GOD for the many thirsty souls). With the investment market these days, we can get  a fixed annuity with insurance and a 4-8% guaranteed income. So with $2M we will make about $100,000 every year which will be enough to cover the increase (only the increase - not the whole budget), in IVCFP’s needs and Balikatan’s Alumni in Ministry (AIM) program. So here is our chance, fellow “legacy” seekers. Let your money do the work. Our long term goal is $2M. Too much? We were challenged by Pastor Calica at the 2015 Alberta conference to aim for big things, because our GOD is BIG and is able to do big and mighty things. 

Dream with us fellow servants. Let us ensure the survival of IVCFP and Balikatan so that Yeshua, our Savior may be continuously made known to the high school and college students of our native land and to all the world.

If you have any questions about the TF, email me at . A Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs for the TF is forthcoming. To donate to the TF, mail your checks to Norma Andres (P.O. Box 1021, San Leandro, CA 94577) with designation “Trust Fund” or donate online with “Trust Fund” in the Comments section. You can also allocate one year’s interest of your investment portfolio or part of it, to “Balikatan Trust Fund.” You can also promise your yearend tax refund to the Trust Fund. You can also put “Balikatan Trust Fund” as one of your beneficiaries in your Will and Trust.

Please consider that the NEED is current, ongoing and pressing.

May I end with Matthew 6:20 - “But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.” These treasures are the lives we help lead to HIS throne through IVCFP and Balikatan

Teresita “Tess” Magadia-Askowitz, a Nurse Practitioner, works with her husband, Michael S. Askowitz, MD, in his Internal Medicine practice. Tess was a member of Inter School Christian Fellowship (ISCF) at Oriental Mindoro High School in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro and was a member of Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) at Far Eastern University, Manila. Likewise, she started NCF in Miami Beach, Florida with Florence Buenconsejo in 1977. She has been involved with Balikatan since 1987 and member of the Board from 1993 – 2001, chairing the Trust Fund Committee; and from 2010 to the present, chairing the Membership and Trust Fund Committees. She is the mother of Eli, and Nathania or “Nenen".

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