Face the Children History
In 1980 Jeffrey Pessina came to the Philippines to serve as a missionary. The primary focus of the ministry he served was to preach the gospel of Christ through mass evangelism (primarily tent crusades). Though fully committed to that objective, Jeff found himself deeply moved by something he had never anticipated; thousands of homeless children living on the streets, most of whom were malnourished, sick, and sniffing glue, some as young as 5 or 6 years old.
These children were clearly being robbed of a safe, loving, and peaceful childhood; deprived of a dignified life; stripped day by day of their potential, and being denied the hope of a decent adult life. They were clearly “in harms way,” being preyed upon by syndicate leaders, sex traffickers, and numerous other criminal elements. All of this simply broke his heart. The plight of these children remained a deep concern to Jeff and his wife Rowena for many years.
In 1987 Jeff registered and incorporated the Philippine Frontline Ministries, Inc. (Frontline), and continued on as a fully mobile evangelistic ministry. With a full time team of as many as 75 people, Frontline existed as a completely mobile camp of tents and trailers, traveling to hundreds of towns and cities, reaching millions of people with the message of Christ.
In the year 2000, Jeff felt God’s leading to establish a permanent Frontline ministry base. The base would serve as a center for training and ministry development, with emphasis on collaborative leadership and teamwork in evangelism, church planting, and compassion ministries. As a result, Frontline now oversees a fast growing multi-site church, an excellent K-12 christian school, jail and hospital ministries, business-as-ministry initiatives, and a growing ministry to street children called Face the Children (FTC).
It was in 2006 that Jeff and Rowena developed a strategy for reaching and helping street children, and began raising funds to begin this new initiative. With God’s blessing, operations began in 2007. Since then FTC has been privileged to help hundreds of children, has established several child care facilities, and now provides regular full time care, education, and opportunity for dozens of former street children.