(Gift-giving for Leyte and Samar kids)
The Christmas holidays in the Visayas region, strikingly 2011 up to 2014, have been ravaged by typhoons with shocking death tolls and destructions. For those who have witnessed in the news the horrific climate crises in the Philippines, one can only imagine the sufferings of children in the provinces of Leyte and Samar, Eastern Visayas.
JECPP churches in the Visayas region have since taken part in the nationwide relief and humanitarian aid to trauma and grief-stricken victims. This Christmas 2014, JECPP aimed to soothe the pain of the weakest victims, yet packed with God-fashioned strength and resilience in their soft hearts and quick smiles despite tragedy after tragedy. The hope of Christmas belongs to them, the Filipino children of Leyte and Samar.
Last December 22 and 23, Evangel Family Churches in Leyte and Samar spent the Christmas break gathering about 600 children from various barangays. The little kids were treated to a party filled with games, prizes, food, toys, and most of all, a Christmas Bible message of love and hope. The children were introduced to their strongest advocate and defender, Jesus Christ himself, who calms the storm and the fears it brings.
In Ormoc City, Evangel Family Church-Ormoc spearheaded the event they called GASA: Kids Christmas Party and Gift Giving 2014. The activity, from the Visayan word gasa which means gift, was well appreciated by one hundred children from two barangays who flocked to the church for a morning of fun-filled party led by Pastor Bobby Subong and the energetic Hearts on Fire (HOF) youth.
The GASA team proceeded to two other barangays where 52 children awaited them in the afternoon of the same day. The next morning on December 23, another group of 83 children in Brgy. Talisayan, Albuera, Leyte received the surprises, and so did the 65 kids in Brgy. Montebello, Kananga, Leyte.
Children’s laughter rang loudly not only in Leyte but also in Calbayog City and Sta. Margarita in Samar on December 23. Evangel Family Church-Calbayog also launched the same gift-giving event they called Evangel Children Christmas Party Samar Section led by Pastor Gerry and Pastor Ailene Fernandez. About 200 children from three barangays in Calbayog City were the recipients of this activity as well as the one hundred children from Brgy. Magsohong, Sta. Margarita.
The children gave their merriest “thank you” to this generous project of Rev. Dr. Robert and Rev. Marion Lim and all JECPP Spiritual Leaders and church volunteers.