Christian Life Program in Qatar

Dawlat Qatar (State of Qatar)

People:

Population: 550,000

Ethnic groups: Arab 40%, Pakistani 18%, Indian 18%, Iranian 10%.

Principal languages: Arabic (official), English.

Religions: Muslim 95%.

Geography:

Area: 4,412 square miles

Location: Middle East, a peninsula on western coast of Persian Gulf.

Neighbors: Saudi Arabia on South

Topography: Generally flat desert with limestone ridges and scarce vegetation

Capital: Doha (320,000 population)

Government:

Type: Traditional monarchy

Head of state and head of government: Emir and Prime Minister

Starting out as singles in SFC Bahrain, Raffy and Chona met, courted, found each PP other as God's gift to one another, married and now are couples in CFC Bahrain. But the story isn't over yet; Raffy & Chona Pingul were a couple without a community. Work had taken them to Qatar, where there was no CFC. For a year and some, they were terribly missing CFC brotherhood and sisterhood.

Asking CFC Bahrain for help, they talked with Fr. John, Fr Jay and Deacon Caesar, all of Doha, Qatar. Though Fr. John was a parish priest with no parish church - strange, but that's the way it is in Moslem Qatar – he had parishioners. He approved the suggestion of his two parishioners to start the first Christian Life Program.

CLP in Doha, Qatar. The team was composed of brethren from Bahrain, Parish Priest Fr. Felicio of Sacred Heart Parish and CFC elder Rene Punsalan.

CFC Bahrain sent help right away. Along with a service team of 14 people, Fr. Felicio of Bahrain, Bahrain Chapter Head Richie d'Mello and CFC Manila elder Rene Punsalan came. They conducted the very first Christian Life Program (CLP) of the year, which ran from 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. The CLP venue was initially at Doha Hotel, but moved to the parish hall - still another strange fact, the parish has a hall but no church. The Bahrain community brought the lunch, all the food and paid for any other expenses.

At CLP's end, there was a Prayer Assembly led by Rene. By the next day, the new Household Heads were given the Household Leaders Training (first module). The participants are now on their way to being the newest community, so zealous for evangelization they want to start another CLP.

Since the announcement for the CLP was mainly done at the Philippine International School, most of the CLP participants were Filipinos, except for only one Indian, a church staffer. The 28 CLP graduates were 6 couples, 11 servants, 3 handmaids and 2 SFC women.

Walk-in participants also came. One became a CLP participant when his wife was denied a visa by Philippine immigration to meet with him. Furious, he went to the CLP venue and found himself listening to the talks.

Qatar is the 73rd country of the CFC community. Rene Ponsalan

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