Jun 11

Christmas in March

God is SO amazing! We originally didn’t plan to stay in Dalaguete until Saturday but our first day there, Alma and Lisa invited us to stay the extra day to distribute the Christmas Child Shoe Boxes from the “Samaritans Purse” to the children. We were so excited since neither of us had ever been on this end of the distribution! We have only been on the other end, where you pack the shoe boxes and send them off to a child somewhere in the world of whom you will probably never meet this Side of Heaven! Since it was the girls first time doing this as well, there was an eager anticipation of how it was all gonna go and to see how the children were going to respond! We knew this was going to be the “icing on the cake,” persay to an already amazing time!

Well, I think we woke the rooster up this morning!! So much to do…the children would be arriving around 8:30 to come enjoy this special day of surprises of which they had no clue!! Alma filled us in on the instructions sent with the Samaritans purse on how they want it done…first singing songs with the children and then some fun games where all can participate, a salvation message from the pastor and then the boxes!! Doreen couldn’t hold the tears back, it was a very special time for both of us especially since we had found out that this would be the first time most of the children had ever received a gift!! Also, we recognized  the boy that we prayed for the day before with the swollen eye was there and there was NO MORE swelling!! (see April 16 post, “serving in the philippines) Joel was so excited as well, realizing that it was Gerald, he asked if his mother or somebody had put something on his eye to help it but Gerald said, “No! It was just the prayer!” (thank you Jesus!) Seeing the joy on these children’s faces as they opened gifts revealing toys, school supplies, shoes, etc…was a precious gift for us as well!!

After a quick lunch, it was time to take the tricycles, (three wheel motorcycles with covered side car) full of people and boxes up to the next distribution point, on the mountain top!! This was the same mountain road we had walked our first day in Dalaguete only this time we hitched a ride! It was a breathtaking view from the clearing where the distribution would take place and of course, it was HOT!! So we set up the blankets in the shade of a few palm trees and watched as the children arrived. It was such a joy watching as Pastor Greg played the guitar and Alma and Lisa led the children in song while Joel sat with a younger group of children, reading a children’s bible story.

They were captivated, some hearing these stories for the first time!! Our hearts rejoiced as we witnessed seeds being planted in these little hearts and laughed as they took the Jesus stickers and stuck them all over their bodies!

Some of the parents would slowly walk over and watch as the children laughed and sang and listened to Pastor Greg tell them about a loving God!  It was so beautiful as we watched their eyes fill with hope as they pondered this man named Jesus! Though most of the parents did not have a relationship with the Lord, some had come to know Him through their children, the fruit of VBS and other children’s programs through the Shekinah ministry!
We sure hated to see this day end, as we hugged the children goodbye, knowing we would probably never see them again this side of Heaven,and headed down the mountain to board the bus back to Cebu City! The Joys and blessings of Dalaguette will linger in our minds for a long long time. Thank you Jesus!!!!

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