About Us About Us About Us

In 1983, a group of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) Philippines alumni in the U.S. was informed that IVCF-Philippines was in financial crisis, and was considering closing its doors. Staff salaries had been chronically delayed, staff appointments were cut, publications were halted, and expansion of the work in various campuses was postponed.

A response was imperative!

IVCF Philippines alumni all over the United States mobilized and worked in a concerted effort to meet IVCF-Philippines’ financial need. Preliminary meetings were held in Virginia, West Virginia and New York to map out strategies. Consequently the leaders of the alumni groups in California (ACTS-IVCF), Illinois (IV-Cares), Virginia, New York and West Virginia agreed to organize the first conference for fellowship and to discuss how to help IVCF-Philippines.

On July 4-6, 1984, the annual Balikatan Conference was born! Held in New Jersey, the first was attended by 32 delegates from Illinois, Georgia, California, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and Massachusetts.

As a result of this conference, three goals were established (Original Balikatan Bylaws – Article II: Purpose):

  1. Promote mutual encouragement and fellowship among Christians in the United States and Canada
  2. Encourage continuing prayer and financial support of IVCF ministries and Christian work in the Philippines
  3. Support the worldwide mission of the church

The fellowship was officially named “Balikatan Ng Mga Kristiano”, and was subsequently incorporated and awarded a tax-deductible status. Its official logo is a portrait of the well known Filipino practice of “Bayanihan” wherein people help each other move a house, a crucial possession to a better, safer, more proper situation. This tradition is a poignant visual of the Filipino values of cooperation, support and unity – ideals that comprise Balikatan’s spirit in view of its God-entrusted vision and mandate.

And Balikatan Ng Mga Kristiano, Inc. Was Born...

First Balikatan Conference (1984)
IVCFP Kawayan Camp during the earliest years!

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.