One of the values that guides CSC is especially important to me. We need to be thankful people. And we need to express that thanks. It starts with hearts of thanksgiving to God, the Giver of all gifts. Even though we may thank Him regularly in personal or family prayers, it is important to be intentional about group times of thanksgiving, like staff or team meetings or through corporate prayers at church or small groups. At CSC we need to unify our thinking around thankfulness, because, without God's provision, our efforts are just not enough.
But we also need to be thankful to those around us. At CSC, we need to continually express our thanks to those who support us financially and through prayers. In many ways, this kind of thankfulness is an organizational lifestyle. Every gift should be acknowledged and in a timely manner. The personal touch is important; we should send personal notes with receipts. We are even working on sending occasional thank you notes from the staff in Cebu, when possible. Every form of thanks is important and beneficial because, without the provision of our friends, the efforts of the staff are just not enough.
Here in Cebu, we are aware of the need to teach thankfulness to our CSC children. Although they have had difficulties in their lives, God has been good to bring them to CSC and to give them a second chance at family. People give sacrificially to help provide for their care. Aunties and staff show them kindness. The food is good and plentiful. Their medical needs are met. They have a great school to attend with loving and talented teachers. And many of them will eventually go to an adoptive family that will open their homes and lives to them. We need to help build a foundation of thankfulness for their lives that will help them understand their debt of gratitude to God, CSC and their adoptive families. I wish you could join our kids for their nightly prayers with their houseparents or a staff member. They almost always remember to thank God for our dear supporters, as they should. The kids know that it takes a lot of money to keep CSC going and to allow them to live in a healthy and comfortable way. And they know where it comes from.
Thank you for visiting our site and for reading this blog. Thanks for your interest in CSC and for the gifts and prayers that you might be willing to offer to help us love and care for these children. Thank you so much!
Every year CSC participates in the Adoption Awareness week in Cebu, which is a program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. One of the features this year was a competition between children from various agencies that are involved in adoption or foster care. It was a Draw and Tell contest where the competitors draw a picture depicting the theme of "Spread Unconditional Love Through Legal Adoption," then describe what they drew. CSC was represented by Jerald, a 10 year-old boy who has lived at CSC for eight months. Prior to coming to live with us he had not had much in the way of consistent schooling. But he is a talented boy and, with the encouragement of Teacher Cora, he did a great job. He won the contest! Lots of excitement around Children of Hope School, CSC and the Duterte Home. And Jerald's smile was the highlight of everything.
This is certainly a season of change for CSC. We have new staff, new policies, some new job descriptions, a new organizational chart and some refurbished facilities. Although our ministry remains the same - caring for homeless children with the love of Jesus - we have some new ways of doing things.
And we have an entirely new department! We will soon be launching our new Human Resources Department. We have been talking about this for some time. With more than 125 workers, the need for HR is obvious. Finally the pieces are in place and we will soon be hiring an HR Director. We already have the office space created. Soon the department will be fully in place and we are really excited about what this will mean for CSC, our workers and, ultimately, the children we care for. We know that having an HR department will help us do a better job of servicing our employees, seeing to their compensation, training and morale. We want our workers, who are the backbone of the ministry, to feel more connected to each other, and to feel better about their part in the success of the ministry.
Many thanks to those whose hard work helped lay the groundwork for establishing this department, specifically Joel Reasoner, Peter Arneson, Marcel Pacada, Mitch Ohlendorf and Jake Schulz.
Once again our faithful supporters rallied around CSC and helped us make our budget at the 11th hour. Actually, it was more like the 12th hour. Matt Buley and Jill Grasley had kept us abreast of the situation and what we needed for income during the last few days of the year. It seemed insurmountable, but somehow the money came in and we reached our income goals for the year! Thank you to everyone who gave at year-end, and throughout the year.
There are lots of changes around here! We have new staff, a refurbished office, some new kids and some new plans and procedures for the coming year. What remains the same is our commitment to providing the best care possible for the kids that come into our homes. That has remained the same for 37 years. And our confidence in moving forward is grounded in the reality that our supporters are faithful and true. And generous. And amazing.
To our supporters, thanks for being a part of this ministry and what CSC means to the children who call this place home. Thanks for caring, for praying and for giving.
Christmas was a fun time for the kids and staff. We featured the secular and the sacred. The kids enjoyed Santa's visit and the wonderful gifts we were able to give out. They liked the pageant presented by the staff and visitors with a live manger scene. They loved presenting the play Angel Alert at school and presenting gifts to a poor family in the city dump site. Lots of activities and lots of fun.
Now we turn our attention to the reality that we face every year. This is crunch time financially for CSC. The week after Christmas is usually the biggest week for income for the whole year. We need a huge week to meet our budget for income this year. If you have already given we want to thank you! If not, and you are able, please consider a generous gift to the ministry. We will use the money prayerfully and carefully for the children that God has placed in our care.
We thank God for the people who give so faithfully to make it possible for us to take good care of them. May 2017 be a great year for you and your loved ones.