In August 2013, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines reached a milestone when a unique construction program completed its thousandth Kingdom Hall there. As is the case in many lands, congregations in the Philippines have often not had the money or the construction experience to build their own permanent Kingdom Hall without help. For years, some met in private homes, while others gathered in small structures built of bamboo.
Steady growth in the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines and in many other countries increased the need for Kingdom Halls. Consequently, in 1999 the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses set up a program for building Kingdom Halls in lands with limited resources. Under this arrangement, local Witnesses contribute what they can, and funds donated in other countries are added to that amount. Trained construction personnel are organized into groups to help congregations build their own Kingdom Hall. In November 2001, this international program got under way in the Philippines.
Iluminado is a member of the congregation in Marilao, Bulacan, where the thousandth Kingdom Hall was built. He said: “I really experienced the Christian brotherhood. So many volunteered—men and women, young and old. We worked together under the hot sun. Even though we were tired after a long day’s work, it was a joy to see what we had accomplished together.”
Non-Witnesses were also impressed by the volunteers’ efforts. The owner of a truck that delivered sand and gravel to the site said: “You people are like ants—there are so many of you! Everyone is helping. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The volunteers completed the building in less than six weeks from the time they started erecting the structure. By constructing the Kingdom Hall quickly, the congregation members were able to maintain their full share in the important work of preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom.—Matthew 24:14.
Ellen, another member of the local congregation, says: “We could not all fit into our old Kingdom Hall, and many of us had to sit outside. The new Kingdom Hall is beautiful and much more comfortable, so we can all benefit even more from the instruction and encouragement we receive at our meetings.”