Blessed Christmas to everybody!
May the love of God envelopes us everyday as we celebrate the birthday of our Lord Jesus!
For this newsletter, we would like to feature 4 wonderful life real life stories experienced by the precious people we serve.
1) Typhoon Nalgae
Typhoon Nalgae, known as Typhoon Paeng in the Philippians affected many homes and even our Learning Center that is not spared. Dirty flood waters entered that school.
I am Francis Boller, 15 years old and a scholar with EduFund. When the typhoon came, the flood water started to rise. Then some of our neighbours called for help! I saw only 2 people out rescuing them. I was excited to help and went down from our 2nd floor house. There were some children that needed to be rescued so I swam towards them. I realized if I don’t help, there may be a lot of children who would drown because they are stuck in their flooded houses.
Even though my body is in pain, I ignored it because if I will entertain the pain in my body, I will become lazy and won’t rescue anymore. I continued what I did because the other rescuers also needed help.
I continued rescuing people even though it water was overhead. I was very careful because there’s a lot of things floating in the water yet I was hit by some wood, etc. When I felt pain in my feet I told God I can’t do it anymore and I asked Him to give me more strength and to send additional rescuers so we can continue to save more children. Some rescuers can’t go inside because the water was too deep already. After I prayed, I rescued another child.
I experienced difficulties with the last house because I swallowed flood water and my feet can’t touch the ground. While my left hand was holding the baby, my right hand was supported by the wall, but I slipped. I thank God because the other rescuer who was guiding me, caught the baby. The baby was safe!
I thanked God for this exciting adventure even though my life was at risk, He never leave me. In what I was doing, He sustained and gave me more strength.
What I’d learned is that, even though it is very difficult, if I will do it out of love and I know that God is on my side. I will never be in danger. Instead God will guide me and give me strength to conquer those difficulties. God will never leave us especially in those moments. Let us always praise Him and always ask God for help so we can overcome difficulties. Let us continue to pray to Him. Even though there are storms in our life, let us worship Him.
We are grateful to volunteers who cooked a hot meal of macaroni and weekly donation of Gardenia bread to feed the victims of this typhoon.
2) Mercy Francisco
In 2018, during our home screening and interview of the potential applicants for the OHHLC Scholarship Program, this family did not apply for the scholarship. When one of the teachers saw the child, we knocked on their door and shared about the scholarship.
Since they were Roman Catholic, they were hesitant to accept it because they said they do not attend church. But as we deliver the benefits of scholarship and shared that we do not force any to convert but to build a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Finally, they applied and was chosen to be our scholar.
Zachary was in OHHLC in 2018 and now, he’s under Edufund Scholarship in primary level. They are very grateful to be chosen as a scholar specially during this pandemic.
Through this scholarship, Mercy Francisco his mother who is a quiet and shy type was encouraged to volunteer as an “Assistant Teacher.” She was touched through our monthly fellowship and weekly Sunday service, and started to study the Word of God.
Eventually, she became one of our Parent-Leaders.
Parent-Leaders meant to be partners with the teachers and Oikos Staff to work in the ministry. They help to gather the parents of scholars for Group Bible Study at home. In this fellowship, parents exchange life experiences, share their faith, encourage and support one another to face problems together concerning themselves, their family and share the the gospel.
Teachers conducted “Basic Leadership and Spiritual Training” for leaders and Mercy was included.
She also attended conferences and seminars/webinars eg. Counselling by TRAC WSCS.
Group Bible Study led by her
She also embarked to share the gospel in a small group with other leaders and teachers.
This month, she shared the message during our monthly Parents Fellowship which is a much bigger group of parents. Praise the Lord!
God also used her mightily as she continues to commit to work in Agape Church-Las Pinas as Children’s Ministry lead teacher.
The fruit of our labor is not in vain. Glory to God!!!
3) Joseph Cebrean
As Pas Rowena was sharing the word of God, God suddenly moved in our midst. The father Joseph shared he hurt and scolded his children a lot because of the pain he felt when his wife had a stroke. He now apologized to them. This was the first time he was able to say the word “sorry” to his children because previously he was always angry. Then everyone apologised and said, “I love to you” to each other. Thank You Lord because God really move in our midst and heal the family! Glory to God!
4) Veronica Corpin
This is Veronica Corpin, aged 76. She started attending Agape Ladies Fellowship in 2010 at New Smokey Mountain (NSM). After the demolition of NSM in 2015, she lived in Aroma. 3 years later, her husband passed on and there was no one to support her since her children have their own families to feed. Life was difficult! She lived on washing laundry and begging. One day, she was caught by the police since begging is illegal. Warning was given and she was released.
She was glad that since joining Agape Precious, ministry among the widows and widowers, she receives 10kg rice monthly from the Feed His Sheep initiative (FHS). This blessing could last her 2 weeks without going to bed with a hunger pangs!
We are glad to announce that FHS has committed to bless this group till Apr 2023! We are hoping and praying that more people could come forward and bless this initiative!