Cebu, Philippines: Thanks to the generosity of our donors along with recent improvements and ongoing successes at our farmland, at-risk children are experiencing life transformation

Photo: These children are thankful for our outreach program where they enjoy Bible study, fun games and activities, and fresh-cooked meals and snacks every Saturday.

Today we want to share some encouraging news from our farmland enterprise on the island of Cebu, Philippines. In August we sold one mature pig at market which gave us a profit of $180, and we recently added 2 new piglets to our piggery to sell in the future once they have matured. We are also currently in the process of repairing our piggery as the bars of the fence had accumulated a lot of rust and the concrete floors were cracked. We are thankful that soon our piggery will be a stronger structure to safely house our piglets and pigs.

In August we also harvested 100 pounds of mature fish from the large pond structure at our fishery which provided a profit $108 when we sold the fish at market. In addition, thanks to improvements recently made on our secondary fishery pond, we were able to add 3,000 fingerlings which we will feed and raise to be harvested in June. With your support we are seeking to raise $210 in order to purchase 12 aerators for our large pond and small pond at the fishery in order to keep the fish healthy. The aerators will enhance both pond fish habitats, improve the water quality, reduce algae, remove phosphorus, break down unwanted bacteria, help with mosquito problems, and remove foul odors from the ponds — all by circulating the water and adding dissolved oxygen.

We currently have 40 children (ages 5-18) enrolled in our Children’s Hope Center after-school care program where they are receiving nutrition support and tutoring in English, science, math, social studies, their native Filipino language, music, art, physical education, health, and religion, which they are studying at school until the semester ends in October. Thanks to your support, we were recently able to give all of the students T-shirts and jogging pants to wear during their physical education sessions at the Hope Center. We are also happy to report that 15 of the students enrolled in our Children’s Hope Center received recognition for academic excellence during the first quarter of the school year — they all received A’s on their periodical exams in August. We are very proud of our students for their hard work, and grateful for our dedicated Hope Center staff who help these children succeed.

Along with education and nutrition support, our Hope Center staff offers a Vacation Bible School (VBS) style outreach program for the enrolled children as well as local children in the community every Saturday from 8:30-11:00 am. This fun program includes age-relevant Bible study, singing songs, and Bible games and quizzes that help the children learn Bible verses, the books of the Bible, and Bible stories. The children also enjoy recreational games such as sack races, tug-of-war, volleyball, and badminton. In addition to our Cebu Hope Center, we started a new VBS outreach program in 3 areas of a local mountainous region and the enrollment has recently increased to 400 children. We offer all of these children nutritious fresh-cooked meals, juice, and chocolate porridge.

One child who has greatly benefited from the VBS program is 9-year old Danilo*, who is also enrolled in our Children’s Hope Center. He has attended the VBS program for one year, and he is very thankful because it has nourished him and guided him with Biblical principles. He has also had a lot of fun with the other children enjoying his favorite VBS activities: Bible quizzes and sack races. Before attending the VBS outreach program, our director reports that Danilo was a stubborn and disobedient child, disinterested in school. But thankfully it is now apparent that the program has changed his life. His parents have noticed an immense change in his attitude, with much more respect for their guidance, and he is now enjoying school much more, studying his favorite subjects, math and English, in the 3rd grade.

Lastly, the grandchildren of the previous owner of our roadside plot of land are contesting the legality of the sale completed 90 years ago. Thus, we need to raise $3,503 for the lawyers’ fees to deal with this unfortunate situation. We greatly depend on this land for our farmland enterprise and the entrance to our Girls Home and the Children’s Hope Center. We cannot afford to lose it. We are continually grateful for your generosity. In the words of our field director: “All can be done because of your untiring effort and support of our programs and projects here in the Philippines. The works are increased and many people are blessed through our programs. Praise the Lord for His mercies which endure forever and His protection being always upon us. The safe life and good health abound to us.”

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* Names are changed to protect our program beneficiaries.

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