As part of ICM’s 25th anniversary, over the next 12 months we will share monthly stories of ICM employees. Some employees have been with ICM for 25 years, some with ICM for just a few months. Regardless of the employees time at ICM and their role, they are all essential in bringing inspiring hope, providing help and creating change to the poorest of the poor. We hope you enjoy getting to know the ICM staff!
Dwight Ariston – Interim National Operations Manager
Dwight started with ICM in 2005 as Leader for ICM’s Feeding Program. With over a dozen years of service with ICM, Dwight recalls the early days, ‘Pastor Jonathan Sanchez hired me in Dumaguete, he gave me a job and an opportunity to serve people. And less than a year later, he asked me to move to Bohol, where ICM was about to open a base. This gave me the chance to help ICM serve even more people!’
Service and ICM runs deep in Dwight’s veins. His father was a member of ICM’s pastor network and Dwight grew up seeing how ICM was giving family’s hope. In 2003, while he was studying theology, Dwight’s mother was diagnosed with diabetes. ‘It was PhP270,000 for the operation,’ Dwight shared. ‘Of course we didn’t have that sort of money. My father’s church helped a little, but still, the amount was so great. And then, ICM offered to cover the rest. We were so grateful that they cared that much for our family.’
When he graduated in 2004, Dwight got a job as a youth pastor. He missed studying and went back to school, to get his BSc in Biology at Negros Oriental State. He was top ranking in his class and entrance. making the Dean’s List for two semesters and winning a scholarship. Dwight then went into the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) – the airforce.
However, Dwight didn’t finish the ROTC. ‘I knew God was calling me back into ministry, so there was no sense in continuing with ROTC.’ When sharing the news with his father, the elder pastor responded, ‘Now you can repay ICM for their kindness to your mother, by going to work for them.’
Pastor Jonathan interviewed Dwight and informed him he could begin tomorrow. ‘There was no salary for the first three months while I was on probation. I wanted to think about that! I went home and read Ephesians 6:1 where it talks about children obeying your parents. So, the next day I started at ICM. And, here I am.’
Dwight hasn’t felt the desire to leave the non-profit world for another type of employment. ‘I love helping the poor and seeing the change and excitement and joy in their lives. Even now that I am based in Manila, I don’t see the participant’s faces all the time, but I have the opportunity to help the staff so they can help the poor. The staff get excited and empowered and this is just as wonderful for me.
Besides opening the Bohol office, Dwight has opened the Dipolog, General Santos and Iloilo offices and now works in the Manila offices. This suits him perfectly. ‘I don’t think I am a pastor just for one congregation. When I was a youth pastor that’s what I wanted to change. I get to see whole provinces and people’s lives changing across the Philippines. I am from Dumaguete and ICM had let me be part of change across my country.’