As the Philippine Government try to lift the enhanced community quarantine it is met with opposition from those who fear it will increase the spread of the Corona virus.
Despite public fears however, things are slowly starting to change. Some businesses are starting to re-open and small numbers of workers are starting to return to their jobs.
There is still a strict policy of “No mask, No entry” and “social distancing” in all public places which is most likely to continue for many months to come. We are also still limited as to which days we are able to enter the grocery stores which is determined by our home address. Strict restriction on travel continues and check-points remain a common feature in our streets and highways to ensure the rules are kept. So the changes are small but there is deﬁnitely a great deal more traﬃc on the roads.
Praise God we have had some essential work done, such as the much needed siphoning of septic tanks!!! We were able to get three done for little more than the price of two, so you can imagine how desperate the need was!! Eek!!
Life is so much more pleasant now. It’s a breath of fresh air.
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RAINY SEASON WOES
We are nearing the end of summer here in the Philippines and have already encountered the ﬁrst typhoon of 2020. The rainy season will soon be upon us in its full force. Under normal circumstances we try to do all the school maintenance during the summer holiday. However, due to the pandemic of course, we have been able to purchase materials under lockdown.
Though not all the hardware stores are open yet we are hoping to ﬁnd suﬃcient supplies as we are in a race against time to repair the roofs on all the POCM properties before the typhoons and monsoons come and take their toll. There is in fact so much maintenance work needs to be done in the children’s homes and school after the months of lockdown. Please pray that the Lord will provide especially for the roofs which are our priority and the most expensive repairs to be done.
We praise God that last year the majority of the school roof was replaced. As the Principal’s oﬃce and one classroom (the largest classroom that doubles as the stage for all the schools programs and performances) are an extension to the original building they were not included in the roof replacement contract. However, we are now in a desperate hurry to repair the remaining two rooms before the rainy season comes and causes further damage inside and out.
All our properties come under a lot of pressure do to excessive use and harsh weather. So we would value your prayers that as we start to have access to building materials, we will be able to continue with necessary repairs to ensure the children’s safety, as some of the needs present a serious hazard risk.
In the photo here you can see that one of the main gates to our girls house has rusted away to the point of being unusable and has been temporarily boarded up. Both main gates are in fact in a similar state of disrepair. As the gates and fences were installed at the same time, the fences are in a similar state.
Of course if the entrances and fences are not secure, then neither are the children living inside them. We really need to do something about resolving this situation, as soon as possible so we ask that you join us in taking these needs to the Lord in prayer.
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 online 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
Teenagers in our children’s home eagerly await turning 18. However, as with all children’s homes in the Philippines, once they are 18 they are required to leave the homes. Though they look forward to their independence, most of them have no family or home to go to outside their POCCH family.
On account of their family circumstances, most of our children are not high school graduates at 18. We don’t want to abandon them when their future is in jeopardy. We want to give each of them, at the very least, the opportunity to graduate from High School and we also encourage them to pursue a college degree if they desire. We do all we can to help them reach their potential.
Whilst we don’t have a formal program to oﬀer, we do have halfway homes, (the ﬁrst of which was founded by Mama Wendy from Sheﬃeld) to at least provide them a place to go. There are potentially 7 young people waiting to make that move, but sadly the homes are not yet equipped to receive new tenants. Before they can be accommodated, an additional bedroom
is needed at the boys’ and both homes are in desperate need of beds, closets, bedding and general
supplies. We are praying that we will soon be able to sort this, as the kids have no suitable alternative
and time is running out for them.
Of course, we don’t have 100% success. Some of our 18 year olds are so overwhelmed with the thoughts of independence that they choose to reject the help we oﬀer to spread their wings and ﬂy. Though it is with sadness we let them go, experience tells us that they will most likely be back when they learn that the “freedom” they longed for is expensive, insecure and often very lonely at best. Of course we love these kids like our own, we will never turn them away if they realise their mistake and turn again to us for help
Since the lockdown the prisons are not allowing any visitors or ministry teams into the jails in order to protect the inmates and guards against an outbreak of Covid-19. Past experience (during lockdown caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991) this is really detrimental to the spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing of the inmates resulting in increased ﬁghts and rioting. We have therefore been praying much for the inmate throughout the lockdown. Inmates struggle with abandonment under normal circumstances, so our concern is that the inmates might even feel abandoned by their pastors and missionaries. Now that quarantine restrictions are starting to ease, we started to plan our gradual return to prison ministry too. I contacted a few of the jails asking if it would be possible to minister to the inmate through video recordings of our usual type of services or bible stored on ﬂash drives.
The warden from Angeles District jail responded immediately and was very pleased to accommodate us and even oﬀered the use of video calls and/zoom meetings with the inmates. So this is a very exciting step forward for us. We have prayed much for this. So we are so excited about this answer to prayer
During the pandemic, producing and mailing hard copies of our newsletter is not the safest, so if you are able to receive our update by email it will help. If you read our newsletters on your church website or bulletin board and would like to be added to our email list contact us at email@example.com
Due to the Pandemic, Nathanael and I have regretfully had to cancel our scheduled 2020 trip to the U.K. Denmark and Germany. If you are a pastor or church leader and would like to host a personal interview with us via Zoom or Video call, or would like us to send a short videos of our ministry to be part of your on-line church services, just contact us and we will be happy to arrange that.
Edmon and his family are deeply grateful to those who gave ﬁnancial help during this very diﬃcult time. Mailyn has also asked us to extend her thanks for your prayers.
We never cease to be amazed at the faithfulness of you are sponsors and partners. We continue to pray that God will bless and protect you in these day as you reach out to others in time of personal need. Love in Christ,
- Chrissy, Dondie and your POCM Family