HOH 2010 End of Year Update

Hello to all of our friends in Christ around the world,
God has given us many opportunities in the past year to show his love through acts of kindness made possible through your prayer and financial support. Truly, we feel blessed to have so many people who pray for the kids and staff each day. We also are so thankful for those that faithfully give donations of clothes, vitamins, books and funds to support God’s Kingdom work here. This newsletter is a bit long but we want to share how God is continuing to use you in the work in the Southern Philippines.

Flooding at HOH – We are OK but….a bit smelly here some times.
Flooding seems to always be in the news in the Philippines. At the orphanage, the grounds have been flooded several times because of the monsoon-like rains in our area. This is not just rain water as a main channel to the ocean is in front of HOH and overflows….no need to say more. Kuya Jivson, our maintenance person/driver, had to carry the children on our motorcycle or bring them in the jeepney to school. In spite of this, we are grateful to the Lord because the “water” has always stopped at the final step of stairs before reaching our floor. Still it leaves a mess as you can see from this picture.

Children’s Academic Achievements – We are so proud of them!
The following children were recognized as being in the top 10 in their classes during the 3rd quarter evaluation:
Arlene Resurreccion, Grade 6 – top 8
Ivan Ybanez, Grade 5 – top 7
Limson Median, Grade 6 – top 3
Kevin Ybanez, Grade 1 – top 10
Edilina Yalon, Grade 5 – top 8

The following children excelled in extra-curricular competitions:
Limson Median – joined the Sci-Damath Contest and won in the school, district, and division levels which gave him the privilege to represent his school division in the Sci-Damath Regional Competition in which he received 4th place, to the delight and pride of his school.
Tiraima Median, 1st year high school, joined the skirting contest (table decorating) and won first place in the division level. She also competed at the Regional level.

GNBC’s Children’s Camp (Good News Baptist Church – Digos)
October 29-30, 2010
With the theme, “Running the Race with Hope”, our kids joined the GNBC children in a two-day camp near the beach. The children were taught to memorize verses, get along with peers, obey instructions, read the Bible and sing Gospel songs. They also discovered new talents by joining various games, contests, and group presentations. The children came home rejoicing!

Kids Annual Christmas Trip To Davao
Weeks before the Christmas Trip to Davao, our children excitedly prepared for this event. They informed Ate Ana, our house manager, of the amount they wanted to withdraw from their savings accounts. They also made a list of the things they wanted to buy for their classmates, teachers, for themselves and for their friends and family.
The children and staff headed to Davao very early in the morning and ate a sumptuous American breakfast at the Cowles’ home. They were also surprised with unexpected Christmas gifts from the family. The children spent their morning shopping at China town under the guidance of the staff. This activity helped our children to budget and improve their skills in decision-making.
The children and staff ate their packed lunch at a city park and then they proceeded to SM mall to watch a Narnia movie. Watching a movie on a big screen was a first for many of our children. The experience was something that they will not easily forget.
The children’s experience was topped with an eat-all-you-can dinner before we headed for home. The children were very happy and grateful for the wonderful experience.
Over the holidays, 10 of the kids were also able to leave the orphanage at different times and spend several days with the Cowles family in Davao. This was an important experience for them in seeing the world from a family perspective, having a greater English exposure, eating different foods and attending many events.

Christmas Parties in School With Classmates & Teachers
The HOH Children wrapped gifts for their friends and classmates and enjoyed singing, dancing, playing games and cooking during their Christmas parties at school.

HOH & CRC Christmas Celebration
The night of December 24, some of the family members of the children joined HOH & CRC in celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We enjoyed the games, the presentations, the gift-giving, the food, and the message from the Word through Sir Philip. It was a wonderful night of remembering the matchless love of God for the lost world and the hope and salvation brought about by the coming of the Lord Jesus to earth.

Strengthening Local & Foreign Ties – Unexpected Blessings!
A couple from the States whom we know dearly, unexpectedly gave HOH an early Christmas gift to be used for fixing the children’s decayed teeth. It will also be used to install new screen windows in the girls’ rooms and to put up a permanent signage for the orphanage. We give glory to God for this blessing!
Another individual from the States gave us an amount so the HOH staff could enjoy and relax for a day in Davao. What a blessing! Thank you!
Also, a few schools, individuals and families from Digos City visited HOH and shared their birthday or family Christmas celebrations with the HOH children. They brought food and gifts to the children. Some individuals from prominent families dropped sacks of rice, biscuits, sardines, snack items, and loaves of bread for our children during this Christmas season. What an overflowing of blessings! Our hearts are very grateful to the Lord for the kindness and generosity of these supporters. May the Lord bless them as they have blessed us.

Blessings from the Alumni of Cor Jesu College – Alumni Gathering Blesses HOH
The Alumni of Batch ’85 of Cor Jesu College Elementary Department held their 25th Year Homecoming at Haven of Hope Orphanage on December 30th. Since many of them have been abundantly blessed as professionals (doctors, dentists, nurses, politicians, lawyers, teachers, etc.). They blessed us in return with material gifts such as sacks of rice, school supplies, Milo, Milk, socks, etc. They also provided the staff and children with “chicken joy” from Jollibee and entertainment from the energetic Jollibee mascot to the delight of the kids. They also hired clowns to perform magic tricks and organize games which gave laughter and enjoyment to all.
Some of the alumni are doctors and dentists and offered free checkups to the staff and children. As they were blessed, so they blessed the least fortunate in return. The organizers and the participants of this Alumni Homecoming felt happy and fulfilled as they did something beautiful for the HOH children this Christmas season. They hope to do the same for other less fortunate people in the city the next time they gather together again as a class.

Welcoming the New Year with Hope & Joy
The children and staff prepared hotdogs and marshmallows on the barbecue, a few other food items and enjoyed fruits as they waited for the coming of the New Year. They played hilarious games and watched the colorful display of fireworks from the sky that were done here in Digos City. Their year ended with hearts full of thanksgiving to God for His love and faithfulness to them throughout the year, through your prayers and generous support. They ended the year grateful, and welcomed the New Year with hopeful and expectant hearts.

Thank you for everything you are doing to support the ministries here. Your partnership is so important to us and we praise God for all of you, adlaw adlaw (every day)!
We deeply appreciate your prayers, generous and faithful monthly support, the boxes and packages that you’ve been sending to us, the efforts you’ve exerted to raise funds for us, and every contribution you have extended towards the success of this ministry. May the Lord bless you all! Have a grand and exciting 2011 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! HAPPY NEW YEAR! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO ONE AND ALL!
With Love and Appreciation,
Josephine Pabalate (for the staff and kids)
Executive Director, Haven of Hope Orphanage