Since being back in Manila from the States, things have moved pretty fast. The kids started school in June and it has been full speed since then. They attend Cuatro Christian School (CCS) which is also run by Kids International Ministries. With the start of school also came the start of sport seasons.
Since I have participated in sports since I could walk, I obviously enjoy that some of our kids from NFFCH love sports as much as I do. I knew that CCS did not have a volleyball coach for the high school team this year so I offered to help coach. Three of our girls from the Children’s Home play on the team so it was so fun to get to coach them and get to coach all their friends too! It was challenging to try and train 17 girls when I have never coached volleyball before but I loved it!
The first part of the season was pretty rough but it was great practice for the girls. They may not have won a whole lot but they learned how to work as a team, encourage each other through the tough times, play hard, have a lot of fun, and honor God through their sportsmanship on and off the court.
The last two tournaments were the highlight of the season! The girls placed 2nd in the Dan Landry Tournament and 2nd again at the Buhay Sports Tournament. For both tournaments, we had two girls each time earn a place on the All-Tournament Team which was a great honor and meant the world to them. Both tournaments were hosted by Faith Academy which is such a relaxing environment to play at and they even have wood courts! Since the girls usually practice and play on cement courts here, they love when it is time to play at Faith. It is pretty entertaining to see how excited they get when they walk into the gym!
It was a great season overall and was such a blessing to be able to coach! Some of my players have even asked when we will start training again and it has only been a couple weeks since we finished! It is very encouraging to see how much they enjoyed the season and how their love for the game is growing strong.
Many of you know from reading my past blog postings that there have been a lot of changes within the organization that I work with, Kids International Ministries, but here’s a quick update from the past few months. Several months ago, we closed our Children’s Home in Malaybalay and moved the children from that home to join our New Faith Family Children’s Home in Manila. I made that physical move to Manila along with the children so I could help them adjust to a new family, and also so that I could work with our staff in providing a quality, loving place for all of the children to grow up together.
During this transition, the decision was made to give responsibility for Paglaum Learning Center over to the local Filipino organization that I had partnered with in Malaybalay. Our hope was that they would continue to run Paglaum Learning Center with guidance from me in Manila and with financial assistance from donors in the States. They have decided to continue, and to expand, the Alternative Learning Systems where teens and adults work toward getting their elementary or high school diplomas. This is a great help to the families of our students because they can earn a higher wage with a high school diploma and can also help their children with school work. But, it was decided that they will not continue the preschool and kindergarten classes you partnered with me to start.
In light of this, we were able to provide all of the previous students with new back packs, school supplies, medical supplies, tooth brushes and toothpaste, soap, rain jackets, and flip flops. The parents understood our situation and were so thankful that we were still able to help get their kiddos prepared to make the transition to their local public schools.
I am sad that Paglaum will not be offering preschool and kindergarten at this time, but I know that God has a plan and that the children you helped me serve were well fed, educated, and shown Jesus’ love over the past two years. I have already received many updates from parents saying how well their children are doing and most of our previous students are honors in their classes! It brings so much joy to my heart that these kids are doing well at school! Thank you to everyone who played a part in these kids’ lives for the past two years, what an impact Paglaum Learning Center had on their lives!
One of the responsibilities I have taken while working at the Children’s Home is writing a monthly newsletter. I am going to include you in the list of people who receive that because it will help you understand what is going on in my life and the lives of the children I help serve. Please feel free to unsubscribe or email me back if you would rather not receive the newsletter updates.
Thank you for praying for me and the kids. You do not know how much it means to me that there are people like you who are praying that my efforts here bring children closer to our Lord and Savior.