Listening to the news and social media, I observe that so many people are concerned that Covid-19 is going to ruin Christmas. When the angels brought good tidings for “all people” it was to announce the birth of “The Saviour of the World, who is Christ the Lord”. If Christ is the centre of our Christmas, the good news is that He hasn’t changed. He was the Saviour then and is the Saviour now. Covid or no Covid, Typhoon or no typhoon, He will never change. He is still saving and changing lives. As Christians, we don’t need to feel deﬂated at the prospects of a “Covid Christmas.” We still have good reason to rejoice and be glad. He never disappoints.
Raphael and Lucy look forward to receiving video calls from their mother detained in 164 jail. They rushed to the oﬃce to have their usual chat only to hear her say that she had been sentenced and will soon be transferred to prison in Manila to serve her time. That was such a devastating blow for them.
Our kids dream of being reunited with their parents. Bursting into tears, teenage Raphael told his mum how he longed for the day when he would be able to wash clothes for her once again. Lucy, too young to fully understand broke down in tears too as she saw her big brother sobbing. It is so hard for our children to receive such news just before the Christmas season too. I couldn’t hold back the tears either as I watched the children’s hearts break before me. It is for reasons such as this that we pray for special treats for them at Christmas and to bring them some joy in the midst of their sorrow.
There will of course be changes because of Covid. Our children cannot do their traditional ‘Christmas Night Market Shopping’, which was their once a year chance to shop and choose their own clothes or toys. We are praying however that if God wills it so, we can treat them to doing an “on-line shop” in stead.
We have been praying that our children will be blessed at Christmas, especially as they have been locked behind closed doors (or in the garden at best), since mid March, unable to attend church, go to school or visit malls. We prayed that we would be able to take them out for a fun day at the Beach and Water Park, ‘White Rock’.
It is the only possible venue for this year as it is the only resort vast enough to accommodate us without violating social distancing restrictions from other bathers (should there be any). It is also close to POCCH so we won’t be violating any travel restrictions. Ordinarily White Rock is very expensive so we appealed to the owner for special consideration in light of the current situation. Praise God we have just received the news, while typing this newsletter, that our request has been approved. God is so good. This is the ﬁrst time the owner has accepted our proposal without questioning our oﬀer. Please pray for us that we can still bless our workers at Christmas, who rely on their bonus to provide for their families.
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News and fear of typhoon Rolly’s arrival quickly spread as the Philippines braced for another super Typhoon. The memories of the devastation of ‘Yolanda’ that claimed thousands of lives in November 2013, still clearly etched in our minds. No one wanted to repeat the same mistake and under estimate Rolly’s potential.
On November 1, ‘Rolly’ left much devastation in its wake in the Bicol region (Dondie’s home province in the south) and it was on schedule to hit us here in Subic at 11pm. We received great comfort from several of our friends and supporters who messaged to assure us of their prayers. Praise God, that by His grace, the typhoon responded exactly according to our prayers and it lost intensity and changed direction. We didn’t even experience a power cut or heavy rains. It really was a miracle for us, especially as much of our furniture and belongings are stored precariously outside under the carport since we were forced to move last month.
Our hearts and prayers do go out however, for all those who suﬀered great personal and ﬁnancial loss by “Rolly”.
Financial provision for all our ministries during this time especially with Christmas approaching.
Please continue to pray for Mailyn. Miracle healing for her thyroid condition. And Thelma for a miracle healing from lung cancer.
Please pray that the door for on-line or recorded ministry for Iba, San Fernando, will be opened to our prison ministry team.
We would value continued prayers for churches, businesses, charity shops, and individual sponsors who support POCM and other missions in spite of the pandemic. Pray that God will continue to provide seed to the sowers and blessing upon their lives.
Crystal, who has been with us since she was a month old, and was diagnosed with microcephaly ; is turning 5 years old this November. Though she looks like a 2 year old, she is becoming too heavy for our houseparents to carry around the house. So we had a customised walker made for her to move around the house, but as she was walking the houseparents noticed that she could not ﬂatten her feet on the ﬂoor to stand or walk. The doctor recommended she get checked at the Philippine Orthopaedic Centre in Manila.
Praise God, because of her faithful sponsors and supporters we were able to do this. There we learned that aside from the problem with her feet, her hips are also a cause for concern as she frequently bends over while seated. They recommended we get an X-ray to see if this another major concern. The Doctor also recommended she stop using a stroller. Aside from it no longer being able to carry her weight, it isn’t helping her posture. She will need a special Wheelchair made for children with cerebral palsy to help her sit up properly. If she is left untreated, not only will it be very painful for her; as she grows her condition will worsen and it will leave her bent over permanently.
For the problem with her feet, she will need ankle splints and Occupational Therapy twice a week. So please join us in praying for her condition and for the provision of her medical needs. Life has certainly not been easy for her. Aside from all of this she is also very sensitive to light. With just a few moments of exposure to the sun she gets severely burnt. So, she isn’t even able to go outside and have a walk around during the day to cheer her up. We value all of your prayers and support for her.
One of our boys Eljohn, was hospitalised in March due to low blood and needed a blood transfusion. We have since been monitoring his health regularly, making sure he gets the proper vitamins and supplements needed. But sadly, again he’s platelets are very low. After testing he was diagnosed with thalassemia, which is an inherited blood disorder caused when the body doesn’t have enough hemoglobin. There is no cure for this disorder, and he needs regular checkups and most likely will need future blood transfusions. Since this is an inherited disorder we also need get his 2 other siblings checked up. Please join us in praying for his condition, though doctors say that there is nothing we can do to cure him we believe that nothing is impossible with God.
More Updates We would greatly value your prayers for our Charity Shops, Sparrow’s Nest, Your Kids Around the World, Annie’s Orphans and Dropinn. These are faithful supporters not only of POCM but of other Children’s Missions throughout the world, and the Lord has used them mightily in meeting urgent needs in times past. As most of their shops go into lock down, please pray for them that the Lord will provide all their needs, so that they will be able to resume business and their support of world missions after the lockdown.
We would like to give God the glory for answered prayer regarding my dad’s hearing. He suddenly went deaf in his left ear. Due to having to isolate and lock down he was unable to get the necessary medical care. Of course we took this need to the Lord in prayer. After several months of being completely deaf, his hearing the same sudden manner in which it was lost, it was restored. So we rejoice in the Lord for this.
I also thank the Lord for the quick recovery of my brother Stephen, his wife Sara and daughter Rebecca. They all caught Covid 19. Stephen was particularly vulnerable as he has struggled for some time with diabetes. So we are so blessed that the Lord restored him so quickly. God is good.
Yesterday we were able to meet with the Engineer responsible for building our house, for the ﬁrst time since March. He assured us that we will be able to move into our new home within the next few weeks. So the end is really in sight. Exciting!!!
Once again we want to thank you all for your faithful love, support and prayers. We too remember you in our prayers too, that the Lord will bless, protect and keep you, especially those of you who are in lock down and/or isolating at this time.
God Bless & Love in Christ,
Dondie, Chrissy & your POCM family