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Words are inadequate.

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

I have struggled so many times trying to write down what God has done these last 4 months. It overwhelms me. How do I even do it justice and communicate the scope of His working? God did something amazing and describing it makes me feel inadequate. So I move back from the keyboard...

Over two million meals were served. 70 new partnerships with Churches. Three new ministries launched, over 70 students followed Christ, many more were baptized. Youth were changed before our eyes into passionate followers of Jesus and reaching their peers for Christ. These 4 months have literally transformed KIDS into something totally new. We will never be the same... I will never be the same. The bottom line is that God is using COVID to transform the ministry into something new.

So I am going to try to write it down, one more time... hopefully I finish this time. Since words seem inadequate I will try to use less words and more pictures and videos.

Youth Lab - The beginning

Three weeks before the lock-down of Manila, we decided to start a new ministry. Youth Lab was intended to be a dynamic youth outreach in our community with a goal of reaching youth for Christ, disciplining them and plugging them into the local Church. We were only able to have 3 meetings and then the government declared a lock-down of all areas of Manila. We were so disappointed but had no idea what God had in store for us, something so much better than we had ever planned to begin with.

Hunger in our community - feeding at the market

Serving food in front of the ministry center

In wealthy countries, when people don't work they still have money for food. This is not true in the Philippines. Within a week of lock-down we knew we had to do something. Parents of CCS students were hungry and asking for food. The community around us was in need. Going out feedings like we did in the past were impractical due to government restrictions. Looking at the market in front of the YMC an idea was born. What if we setup a station to serve hot food at the market? There are already crowds and we are not adding to them. Our parents can come to the market to get free food.

And so it began...

Meals and Values - the expansion

We started with 2 pots of food and it was gone in 5 minutes. The next day we cooked 6 and it was gone in 15 minutes and people were still asking for food. We increased to 12 pots of food every day. Enough to feed 1800 people. Then the word started to get out.

Church who helped us feed 1200 meals daily

Before COVID, we ran a program called Meals and Values that we cooked and distributed food weekly to around 100+ pastors. We would cook around 40 pots of food a week. We shut down the program due to COVID but soon some of those pastors started contacting us. They had heard of the feedings in the market and asked if they could get some food for their communities. We agreed, but we had no idea what was in store for us...

Fear not, trust God

Pastors picked up food in many types of vehicles

Many of our previous pastors in the Meals and Values program would not go out to feed due to fear of COVID. One pastor texted us and asked for food and we asked if she was afraid. Here was her response:

"Pastor, we are not afraid of Covid-19... We are more afraid of people dying because of hunger...It breaks our hearts that there are families with kids who are not eating for 3 days. We are giving out food from our church but it is not enough. "

Government Partnership

Meeting with the 'Kapitana' to get permission

As the program expanded we experienced issues with getting vehicles through checkpoints. We decided to go into the barangay (government) office and ask for permission to distribute food. Not only did we get permission but they requested us to give them 20 pots of food each day because they had many communities that were hungry and asking for food. Because of this partnership we got the ability to travel around Manila now with official 'Frontliner' badges and no longer had issues delivering food to areas in need..

How can we cook more food???

Trying to scale from 40 pots of food a week to eventually almost 300+ pots a day is not an easy thing. We cooked all night long, we added more burners, we tried to optimize everything to make it faster... but the more we cooked the more was needed... We desperately needed help. Our kitchen staff was overwhelmed. Fear of COVID prevented us from getting a lot of volunteers in the kitchen. Then we came up with a crazy idea.