January 2020 Newsletter
Dear <<First Name>>,
Leyte was hit hard by another typhoon on Christmas Day. We are thankful that just one boat was destroyed and only two others had significant damage. Ninety-eight boats came through the storm with only minor damage. We are working on the replacement of the boat which was lost and on repairs of other boats. Most of the fishermen are back in the water with some of them having already huge blessings of large fish to sell at the market.
The put put bicycle taxi Bible study on Fridays grows in number each week. We rejoice that several drivers and family members have been baptized in the past year. Many are being trained on sharing the gospel with their passengers.
Pastor Jonas is all smiles as he baptizes one of the put put drivers on Dec. 26th.
Just a few days after the typhoon, families were heading toward a thanksgiving celebration in one of the village churches. In this photo, they were at low tide so they were coming in slow, feeling their way along with a pole.
Partnership based feeding programs -- As soon as school resumed in the first week of January, supplies were dropped off and feeding began at all sites.
Along with the physical feeding, we continue to have opportunities for spiritual feeding in the classrooms. This photo is from Atan Owe Elementary School...Grades 4 and 5.
As a new feature to the feeding programs, we are instructing students on proper hand washing techniques and how to properly brush and care for their teeth. Each student receives a toothbrush and toothpaste, along with bar soap being given for all school grades.
At the Gadeco Elementary School in Balik-Balik, there is no longer a usable school building. The children continue their classes under temporary tarps propped up with wood. Many other schools are in the same situation due to the recent earthquakes. Feeding programs continue at the school and are still really needed. Thanks to the many donors who support the daily feeding programs.
Bible Distributions: Another Bible distribution was done in December in the Paquibato District among tribal pastors.
Four hundred Cebuano Bibles, clothing, and bumper stickers were distributed at a fellowship lunch with the pastors, funded by SOD donors.
After a short Christmas break, we started bringing cases again to the Tebow Cure Hospital and reopened the REST House.
It is always a special time to see Francis from Leyte. On his last trip to Davao, we were able to buy shoes for him, as he is about finished with his club foot process.
Ace was back for another appointment and also shopped for his first shoes. We are delighted to have Bruce Forrest here from the West Point Community Covenant Church in California. Bruce wears many hats. He is now a licensed pastor as well as a retired nurse with many years of experience with orthopedic cases.
Both Ace and Francis will be attending Night to Shine in February. Bruce will be there to cheer them on!
As the new year begins, we see lots of new faces at the REST House. Already, we have hosted 15 family units (child and mother), who are having surgeries and other processes done at the Tebow Cure Hospital. We are thankful for donors who support ongoing financial needs of the REST House and those who help with the provision of soaps, toothpaste and other hygiene related items. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Pag-Asa Davao for these Care Kits.
Four new cases and one older case are in this photo. They were joined by three other new arrivals yesterday.
The Davao School for the Blind continues to allow Sunday afternoon church services. Our first service for the 2020 year was last Sunday, facilitated by the youth from the Padada Youth Center.
Over the past weekend, we hosted scholars from the Marilog High School of Agriculture. Some are now in college and are also sponsored with an allowance for their studies. They were so happy to be on a field trip to Davao and even attended a 7:00 AM church service with us.
Dinner time with the 20 visiting students.
Calamity events continue to hit the Philippines. The Padada Youth Center has substantial damage to the restroom and kitchen areas. Repairs are underway from the damage caused by the recent earthquakes.
We are so grateful for many year-end donations and commitments for support for the 2020 year. God has blessed us with a good financial start for the new year. We know when he specifically leads us in a direction, people have been praying.
With much gratitude and rejoicing,
For the SOD Board and many recipients of your prayers and blessings