By Nestor Ravilas
St. Vincent School of Theology is a Catholic theological school and a friend and partner of Penuel. In February 17, 2018, Nestor Ravilas, Penuel’s president and academic dean, was invited on their regular social justice forum entitled, “Social Engagement of Christian Churches to Communities from the Margin” to share Penuel’s particular engagement with communities at the fringe.
Nestor starts his presentation with the humble beginning of Penuel. Back in 1983, Penuel’s forebears, all seminarians, conducted Bible studies among house servants somewhere in Quezon City. Inspired by the biblical place, Peniel (Penuel) where Jacob wrestled with God, Penuel chose to wrestle also with God in hard places where you can find most of the unprivileged members of the society.
Since then, Penuel as training institution journey with the poor and marginalized towards emancipation. Nestor shares to the audience, mostly students of St. Vincent, success stories of Penuel students who were able to conquer their fear, low self-esteem, and ignorance and found eventually salvation both material and spiritual. There was a lively Question-and-answer portion afterwards, which shows their awakened interest to a protestant school like Penuel School of Theology.