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this guy was born!

I don't know that story, at least not all the details.  But I know it was August 8, 1976.  And that it was a special day. God brought Joemar into this world, knowing full well the kind of blessing he would be to so very many people.  Fast forward several years to July 15, 1985, when Joemar was admitted to CSC.  The details of those in between years are also not all known, but I can guarantee that he saw things or exerienced things we wish he never had.  He was probably scared at times, maybe even hurt and he undoubtedly went without.  That is, of course, why he came to CSC.

It is easy to forget that Joemar has a story that precedes CSC.  He is so at home here.  He belongs here and it just would not be the same without him.  It is also easy to forget that he ever knew pain or heartache because he is just so joyful.  He loves life with a contagious fervor.  I cannot help but smile when he greets me at my vehicle each morning, saying, "Ning, Sy" (Good morning, Lindsay).  He then holds out his arm to take my computer bag for me. He then walks with me to my office, carrying my bag the whole way until he puts it next to my desk.  He immediately begins sweeping the floor and sharing with me whatever news he has.  Some of it I can put together, other bits only he really knows what he is saying.  Either way, I like having him there.

The excitement Joemar had for his birthday was palpable.  His house mother informed me that he had woken up before 4am---too excited to sleep anymore.  In the several weeks preceding his birthday, he had talked to me every day about the cake for his birthday.  He knew I was the one that got the cakes and ice cream for each party.  But the flavor he wanted changed every day!  We finally decided on ube and he stuck to that.  But the day before his birthday, he had mentioned that he was going to have 3 cakes and he held up 3 fingers.  Now, Joemar does not always get his numbers right, but I had to laugh anyways because he was still indicating that he wanted more than 1 cake.  :)

Unbeknownst to him, there would be 2 cakes for his day.  One cake (ube) would be for him and his guests at his birthday, but there as another cake that was brought to him while he was working.  Joemar works at McDonald's every day.  He loves it and they love him.  The employees at McDonald's are so happy to see him and love having him there.  Even if we take Joemar to a McDonald's at a different location, he inevitably has friends there.  This cake was a birthday cake and a "Thank you, McDonald's cake," for all that they do for him.

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Auntie Sandy, (or Sausy) as he calls her, and I had surprised him there at the end of his shift.  He was happiest when he had visitors!  But he still felt pressed to do his job, he left for a bit to clear off some tables and he was worried that the second level of the restaurant needed his attention!  After the picture taking, he started to leave with us but the other workers called out that he had forgotten his food.  They sent him home with a chicken and spaghtetti meal, some Coke and a McFlurry.  He was beaming!

It was a day of celebrations culminating into the big party at his house.  He could not wait.  If you talk to Joemar, within 5 minutes or so, Superman will usually enter the conversation.  Joemar LOVES anything Superman ("Perman" usually followed by the flying arm movement)!  There were going to be Superman gifts and he was so excited!  But there were also Superman decorations!

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Joemar was also looking forward to having Uncle Sio and Uncle Eldie attend his birthday party.  He often assists Uncle Sio or watches what he is working on as Uncle Sio is always doing interesting projects around the grounds.  

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Uncle Eldie is one of our counselors and Joemar makes a point to visit his office during the day also, to share news with him.

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Last but not least, was the gift opening!  Superman everything and he couldn't be happier!

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What a joy to celebrate Joemar's birthday with him!  And what a privilege to get to know him and be a part of his life.  He is such a precious gift from God and he has blessed CSC in countless ways over the past (almost) 30 years he has lived here.

Thanks for all of your facebook messages for him on his special day and thanks for all of the prayers prayed and the stories shared about Joemar!

 

 

"Eureka" Moments

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The Science and Math Culminating Activity at Cebu Children of Hope School was an incredibly enjoyable event where students could showcase their passion for science and math through a day filled with thrilling challenges and learning opportunities. Students were divided into two teams—the Einstein and Galilei teams—and they were enthusiastic about engaging in activities that tested their knowledge and teamwork skills.

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The morning session started with entertaining math games that not only sparked healthy competition but also fostered a strong camaraderie. Each level required one student to achieve five correct answers, showcasing their quick thinking and problem-solving abilities. Teams cheered each other on, creating a vibrant atmosphere of unity and collaboration. The math relay further emphasized the importance of teamwork, as students had to combine their mental and physical abilities to navigate obstacles and solve problems.

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The afternoon was dedicated to science, offering students a platform to unleash their creativity and critical thinking skills. They conducted experiments that ranged from crafting bird flyers to attempting the floating egg challenge, exploring the principles behind flight and buoyancy. The 'Protect the Egg' challenge was a testament to their understanding and problem-solving skills, as teams had to devise innovative ways to safeguard an egg using only limited materials.

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Throughout the event, students learned about renowned scientists like Einstein and Galilei, after whom the teams were named. Prizes were given to the students, and everyone felt proud of their accomplishments.

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The Science and Math Culminating Activity was a blast. It showed everyone how fascinating science and math can be when fully engaged. Kudos to the students and teachers for making it such a memorable day!

Small Pain, Big Gain

Mar. 7, 2024By: Zennefer Baya

Kids or adults, men or women, nobody loves to see needles. It's still a needle, no matter how tiny its hole may be or how small it is. Giving vaccines could be challenging as it would hurt the child, the person holding the child, and the one giving the shot in different ways. Poking tiny little arms or thighs with a fluid-filled syringe containing different ingredients that help the body to build immunity against various diseases is not pleasing stuff. However, as adults and advocates of these vulnerable kids, we chose to submit them to these immunization shots because we know it will bring them better protection against illnesses later. That is what love is sometimes, as the scripture says in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just as the Father sacrificially gave His only son for us imperfect people to have everlasting life with Him, we also, as stewards of these kids entrusted to us by God first before the government, always give thought and act on what is good and for the best interest of these kids.

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When Love is the Key

Feb. 29, 2024By: Shiela Mae Prieto

Love is defined differently by every one of us. It is, after all, a very significant matter. The necessity of this in our day-to-day existence is something we cannot fight or ignore. When it comes to writing, I am an inspired and driven teacher. I enjoy sharing my opinions and thoughts on various topics, including my own experiences. I simply enjoy expressing myself, perhaps to uplift and encourage others to feel comfortable doing the same, or even just to simply tell others about the goodness of God in my life.
I want to share my cooking experience with the sixth-grade students at CCHS. I am blessed for the opportunity given to me. It all began on a lovely Friday afternoon in January, with gathering the supplies and ingredients needed for my students.

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Even though I'm not really into "cooking," I had great joy and excitement while I was preparing. To get compliments from everyone who tastes what we prepare will be fun. While the students started to get inside the kitchen, I was honored and excited. We snapped a quick picture before the activity started. I observed their joy and enthusiasm by their broad smiles. Take a peek at our cooking adventure!

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It's now time to start cooking. The pupils were occupied in chopping the spices. One of the students among the four is already proficient in handling a knife. Even though the others aren't accustomed to it, they're making a sincere effort to learn how to chop spices with care. I could tell how much love they had for each other and how much they enjoyed what they did. Here, "love" is defined as having a strong passion for what you are doing. Despite their lack of experience or fear of getting a cut while using a knife, they persevered and made an effort to successfully mince and grind the spices into little pieces.

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I helped them combine the remaining ingredients once they had minced the spices. All the ingredients (ground pork, eggs, veggies, salt, and other seasonings) were combined in a bowl. I taught them how to wrap after I had mixed them up. Amazingly, they did a great job. They wrapped successfully and neatly. They were able to wrap about 50 pieces, and they started cooking. I love seeing them happy and enjoying themselves. They love to help each other and to accomplish the activity together. They're wrapping and cooking lumpia rolls together. They shared laughter and shared compliments for each other's efforts. We were all happy, and I felt the real ingredient and secret joy of harmonious activity—love.

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It's time to start serving the food! They prepared some drinks as refreshments and arranged the lumpia rolls on paper plates. The lumpia rolls were delicious! After learning and discovering the fantastic taste, we were overjoyed!

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Love is the key ingredient; everything works out when there is love. That was all we knew up until we had the opportunity to eat. The best result arises when love is the key. Unbelievable or impossible things can come true - thanks to the mystical power of the four-letter word love! It encourages us to push ourselves to connect with others' skills, talents, and individuality while also assisting in understanding one another and accepting differences. Indeed, it is a gift from God because He is love. It has no end and is priceless.

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Birthday Prayer

Feb. 22, 2024By: Jinkee Reasoner

Meet a delightful five-year-old who is eagerly anticipating his birthday this month.

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Four months ago, whenever I had a chance to talk with him, the topic of our conversation was always his birthday. He was already excited for his next birthday! But, unlike other children who come up to me telling me what birthday gifts they want to receive, this boy had asked that he and I should celebrate our birthdays together, since mine is in April. He wants me to pray for him on his birthday and that he will pray for me.

This exchange of conversation has been going on since then. What struck me the most is this five-year-old boy giving a particular importance for prayer, birthday prayer to be specific. This is our hope. For children to have a heart of prayer. And for us at CSC, to be picked by the birthday celebrant to pray for them is such an honor. If you are celebrating your birthday or just celebrated your birthday, I pray that you will be a blessing to others and that the Lord will use you mightily!