BACK TO SCHOOL?
Whilst we are all so grateful to have survived the severest time of the Pandemic ‘lockdown’, we are now faced with the prospect of navigating our way around the new more relaxed quarantine, which in some ways is rather more difficult. During ‘lockdown’ the rules were strict and clearly defined “Stay Home”. We now need wisdom to legally and safely find our way back to a modified version of ‘normal’ especially in our school.
We were blessed in the Philippines in that until now, the biggest part of the ‘lockdown’ took place during the school summer holidays. The order by the Department of Education is that schools cannot resume classes until the end of August. In response to that order, teachers of POC Christian Academy started their school year early in order to prepare for alternate ways to continue to serve our students. Whilst enrolment is currently underway, it is very clear and understandable that parents are apprehensive about their children re-entering society after months of “Staying safe”, so teachers are trying to reassure anxious parents that we will be strictly following government guidelines.
POCCA teachers have been working for several weeks, preparing modules for their students to work through in the safety of their own homes. They are looking into digital ways to record, download and/or on-line streaming of classes for the students to continue their studies at home until it is safe to return to school. They are also considering the possibility of small face to face class structures with strict social distancing measures for those who struggle with the modules and digital methods of learning. So whilst it is ‘Back to School’ for our teachers, it will be another month or two before our doors can open fully for our students. In the meantime, our older children step in POCCH to assist the younger ones as they continue their studies during lockdown.
For us to continue with the new restrictions and government guidelines, it is going to be very costly. We need to buy at least 4 laptops for teachers to have access to webcams, 4 printers and literally hundreds of reams of paper to source the students with necessary work sheets and modules. This is a big demand on us financially, but our only alternative is to neglect and abandon the 220 students whom God has entrusted to us.
We of course feel a moral and spiritual obligation before the Lord, or to quote the words of the apostle Paul, ‘Necessity is laid upon me” to continue serving and reaching out to these children despite the difficulties.
We are also hoping to be able to take advantage of the delayed opening of classes to do some desperately needed improvements to our school facility. So we would greatly value your prayers for POCCA at this time.
click here for a downloadable version and for the previous issues
As mentioned in our last update, the months of lockdown have been very unkind to our facilities and we are in desperate need of renovations. We praise God that due to some very generous donations last month we were able to make a start on roof repairs, which of course were the priority as we are entering rainy season. So we thank you so much for that.
We are praying now too that we will soon be able to replace the damaged fencing and gates at the children’s homes as they compromise the safety of the children. So we would value your prayers for that project too. Another serious problem is due to termites. The ceiling in our guest house (where Monique’s family is living) is held up by a tripod and doors hanging on by a prayer due to termites. There is so much to do... In His Time.
Financial provision for all our ministries during this quarantine.
Mailyn has not yet been able to have medical tests and assistance for her kidneys and liver. Please pray for her.
Please pray that the door for on- line or recorded ministry for Iba, San Fernando, 164 and Angeles Male Dorm will be opened to our prison ministry team.
Please pray for these Charity shops who support POCM and other missions like ours, that they can pay their bills and continue after the lock-down. Sparrows Nest, Your Kids Around the World, Drop-Inn and Annie’s Orphans
In our last update I mentioned that it was no longer practicable for Nathanael and I to continue with our scheduled 2020 ministry trip to the UK and Europe due to Covid 19. So we welcomed anyone who wanted to have us take part in their on-line service via zoom interviews or video recordings. We were truly privileged to take part of Meadowhead Christian Fellowship’s (MCF) on-line service and enjoyed a wonderful time on zoom being interviewed with the Associate Vicar Jane Beaumont of St. Mary Madelene church Sale for their on-line service.
If you are interested in POC sending a short video clip or doing a personal Zoom interview for your on-line church services, we will be more than happy to do so. Just contact me Christine Hailes Perillo on FB or send me a quick email to email@example.com
It is truly humbling to encounter churches and individuals reaching out to missions like ours in times of personal need. I know that I speak for all missionaries when I say what a great blessing and encouragement it is to us in troubled times. God bless you.
PRISON MINISTRY UNLOCKED
We praise God that two of the strictest jails we minister in have approved for us to send videos recorded virtual services and bible studies and are eagerly awaiting them. Since we first looked into the possibility of sending videos for the inmates 2 weeks ago, they have been contacting us regularly asking why they haven’t received them yet. Thankfully we’ve completed the recording of 4 worship services and 4 bible studies (sufficient for one month’s viewing) and are currently editing ready to send as soon as possible.
This is a tremendous answer to prayer as one of these two jails had been trying to reduce our time of ministry prior to the lock- down. In stead of us conducting weekly worship services the new warden was trying to reduce us to two services a month. At first this was devastating news especially as we have been ministering there since 1983. We brought this matter seriously to the Lord and asked for Him to either change the mind of the warden or replace her with another who will appreciate the value our ministry to the inmates.
A similar incident happened during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (1991) when roads to jails were inaccessible. After months of no POC worship services, the day roads re-opened, the warden sent a messenger (1 1/2 hour journey) to ask, “Please come, we are having riots.”
I don’t know if they are having riots in the jails, but the wardens are certainly eagerly awaiting our presence albeit virtual. So we are praising God for this wonderful answer to prayer and change of heart of the warden. We ask you to please continue to pray that the doors will be open for virtual ministry and that after the pandemic God will restore to us our weekly ministry visits to the jails.
MORE DELAYS: Construction on our family home was scheduled to resume 2 weeks ago, but has been delayed yet again. Lord willing work will start on June 22. Monique and Simeon have had no update on their home yet.
Edmon is thankful for prayers for his ongoing dialysis while out of work due to Covid 19, as is Mailyn whom we will be assisting to get to hospital for much needed check up on her kidney and liver situation.
Thank you all so much for your love and support especially during the pandemic, we couldn’t survive this without you, our partners and sponsors. Our prayer is that the Lord will keep you safe and cause you to prosper in spite of the difficult times we all face. God Bless!
Love in Christ,
- Chrissy, Dondie and your POCM Family