By Rosella S. Abenio
Christmas is an opportune time to share Christ’s message to those whom Jesus noticed as having the humblest hearts- the little kids.
For this reason, EFC-CDO volunteers held various Christmas parties for kids in different outstation churches like Molugan, Manolo, Calaanan, Pualas, Tagoloan, Paglantaw, Puli and Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City during the holiday season.
Every Sunday afternoon, these volunteers go down to these outstation churches to minister to people, teaching them in the Lord. Some of them joined in the ministry when they were just college students until they got their degree and worked in their various fields and professions. Despite the demands of their daily grind, they still go to their outstation ministries after the church service without expecting something in return. They go there not only as ministers, but as part of a family growing in the Lord. Furthermore, their passion to touch lives has never burned out.
And because of that, it’s been a blissful effort for them to spend Christmas with the people there, most especially the kids. With the aid of EFC-CDO, they came with a program for all the kids to enjoy. The volunteers also prepared food and gifts for the children at their own expense. And seeing the kids’ smiles, they knew their sacrifices were not in vain.
“We will not be able to give these kids all that they have wished for this Christmas, but for one day, we’re giving them an opportunity to celebrate together with us and to be grateful to God for the blessings that they have received throughout the year. There’s this one shimmering day of the year when we can just embrace them with the love of God (translated in English),” said Meryl Dominguez, on her fourth month as a new outstation volunteer at Lapasan.
At the Manolo Outstation, both the residents and the volunteers joyfully prepared the party. Some church members also brought more food in addition to what the volunteers prepared. Volunteer Catherine Yapchai said that she can see the pure joy even though it was only a simple party. The children under the care of Catherine and other volunteers were very grateful for the financial help of Pastor Andrew and Pastor Rowena. As a way of thanking them, the kids made a letter, each expressing their gratitude and love towards the Pastors.
Volunteer Edil Sulapas at the Pualas Outstation Church noticed that though people there work every day to make ends meet, they chose to listen to God’s word instead on that day. At Molugan outstation, not only were the kids blessed but also their parents when they saw their children’s happy faces. Many children also attended the Christmas parties at Tagoloan, Puli and Calaanan outstation churches.
The party wouldn’t be complete without Christ’s message of love imparted to all. This was the kind of love that the volunteers also displayed by giving their lives selflessly to make the kid’s Christmas party a blast. They do not count the cost but the cause to carry on the work.