Dr. Canete-Miguel is a great believer in the Biblical message (2Timothy 2:2) of multiplication: “training a few so that they too can train others. That has become my guiding principle in my life,” she says. “I chose to be involved in programs or jobs that allow me to train others so I can have a greater impact.” That’s evident in her long record of service, particularly as founder and executive director of Agape Rural Program (ARP) in her native Philippines — especially in Palawan Province, one of the nation’s difficult to reach and poor regions during the 1980’s. ARP seeks to improve the health conditions of rural communities through holistic health development projects. More than 200 health-care professionals and those in other fields have received the training enabling them to Editha Canete-Miguel provide health services to more than 60,000 Filipinos. They’ve also in turn trained more than 4,000 community health leaders in six provinces of the nation.
In addition to direct-line health care, ARP has also worked to improve community water systems, control diseases that include malaria and tuberculosis, improve nutrition among malnourished tribal children, and implement an educational program for the same tribe. Livelihood projects are also helping alleviate chronic poverty.
Dr. Canete-Miguel readied herself for the founding of such a far-reaching program through her own experience as a community doctor and health trainer in Benguet, under the Barangay (Village) Great Commission Training Center of Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ. She’s also served as a holistic health-care trainer in Sri Lanka and in India. She served as project consultant for a women’s reproductive health initiative and as provincial coordinator for a large forum on domestic violence, the last two in the Philippines. She continues to serve as a volunteer community preceptor of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, where she completed her medical degree in 1978.
As executive director of Alayka Palawan, the first province-wide health program in the Philippines, Dr. Canete-Miguel oversaw the training of thousands of community leaders and village health workers. “It empowered the local people by putting their health care in their own hands,” she says.
Her reach extends to further continents; for more than 20 years she’s coordinated yearly medical projects in China and other Asian countries. She also served as a trainer in the United States, for Global Hope Network International.
“Looking back, I can see God’s hand orchestrating everything for me,” she says. “I am very blessed to have a husband, Jun, who shares the same passion to help those in need, and a very supportive daughter, Jabesse. Together we continue to mentor individuals to be change agents, helping needy communities looking for innovative ways to improve the quality of life of the people we serve.
“We seek to bring lasting transformation by beginning with inner transformation in the lives of the people as they invite Jesus Christ to be the Lord of their lives and their dreams.’Only one life it will soon be passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.’”