Love—this wonderful but difficult-to-define quality is celebrated around the world in the month of February.
Feb. 14 is celebrated in the Philippines much like in the U.S., except for the mass civil weddings that help hundreds of Filipino couples become legally married.
Cuatro Christian School has a tradition of holding its Ministry Day during this month to show and share God’s love.
For the first time our 5th and 6th grade students went into five surrounding communities to share God’s love to non-CCS families. The students were divided into small groups, practicing daily after school to be able to read or memorize their part in this outreach activity. Our teachers and one of our board members talked in advance with the students to make sure they understood the gospel message themselves, and several of our students accepted Christ as a result.
The elementary student parents abundantly contributed and packaged canned goods, noodles, clothing, and rice for their students to take to the families they visited. Then on the set day, each group went with two teachers to five or six homes. It was exciting seeing how our parents, who were familiar with the communities, helped to locate the homes to visit. Unlike residential areas in the U.S., these communities are a maze of tightly squeezed, self-made shelters joined by narrow paths. Upon being invited inside a typically one- or two-room home with perhaps a piece of linoleum covering a dirt floor, the students sat on the floor and began to share with the resident the gospel message.
The residents were so respectful and appreciative of the students’ efforts, message and gift of goods. One of our students shared later that he decided to accept Christ himself, as he listened to the message being presented. Some residents even said they would be willing to have a Bible study in their home. It was a joyful time for these young students to realize that they could respond to God’s love by sharing it with others.
Also this month, high school students from Faith Academy, a nearby international school, joined our high school students to develop friendships by visiting the homes of a CCS student accompanying them. Our students prepared ahead of time so as to be able to host their new friends, e.g., explaining in English that over here is where we prepare our food and here is where we sleep…again, sometimes the same room. Our students were surprised to realize that despite their struggle with English, the students were able to communicate. They also discovered that both groups of students shared similar concerns that enabled them to relate to one another.
One Faith Academy student was so moved by what she saw that she struggled to fall asleep that night, worrying that the family had no food to eat. Seeing and interacting with our students in their uniforms at school and then seeing their home situation can awaken an awareness of poverty that is difficult to grapple with. To be moved to reach out to help a fellow human being is an expression of love like God’s love for mankind. He saw our need that we could not meet and then reached out to meet it on the cross.
Lastly, as part of our "Hearts Day" celebration, we held an event for our high school students that was a follow up to last year’s True Love Waits program. Several of our teachers shared their experiences, being married, being single, being in painful relationships, and ones that are honoring. The students had many questions for the teachers, who were able to help the students realize that their teachers have had the same feelings as their younger counterparts. Hopefully, the students were able to hear both the warnings and encouragements to keep them on a path that honors God, is joyful and enables them to finish their schooling.
Watch "Thank you to Faith Academy" video.
A surprising and appreciated expression of love was shown this month when Faith Academy (mentioned earlier) donated many high school books for science, math, history and Bible that can be used in our high school program. What a blessing as we continue to move forward with the plan to build our own high school that includes grades 11 and 12. Please continue to pray with us for guidance and resources to accomplish this exciting endeavor.
Thank you, Tad and Barb Wulliman, for donating balls for our students. What great fun!
A hearty thank you to all of our donors and friends who respond to God’s love by praying and caring for CCS.