"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
― Robert A. Heinlein
I came upon this quote a few days ago and it's quite fitting to cite it as I share about this little boy. Jaycob came to CSC a few days before his 5th birthday. He didn't seem interactive, something unusual for a new kid his age, but not surprising since we knew beforehand that he has autism. It was a challenge that the staff decided to take, but it was more challenging as the days progressed since he was often irritable and out of control. Furthermore, he was constipated and toilet training was difficult.
Moreover, we found out that Jacob has Hirschsprung's disease, a congenital disease affecting the colon. His doctor advised surgery but in order to do that we needed to decrease the size of his colon. A colostomy was the first option. With Jacob's behaviour we were convinced that a colostomy would be too traumatic for him. The doctor said there was a second option and that was to do daily rectal irrigation. Within a few days, Jacob started to interact with his caregivers. He would no longer push a playmate away. Having this procedure was indeed a relief for him. With love for this precious boy our nursing team performs this challenging procedure – everyday.
More than three months after the daily irrigation, the much awaited colon surgery was done. Now he is able to go on his own. You can see him laughing and playing around just like the other kids. Oh, what a joy it is to see him smile.
Morning meeting is a great day opener at CCHS!
Each day begins with a group gathering for ten to fifteen minutes. Children say greetings to each other, do some movements, share ideas, and listen to the teacher's message for the day. It is something that children look forward to!
One morning meeting, I raised this question to my class for sharing time, "If you were to ride in a rocket and bring someone with you, who would it be?" I gave my students one minute to think of an answer. Everyone was so quiet and serious except for one boy who kept smiling the whole time.
After the time given, each of my student happily shared their answers. Most of them wanted to bring a friend. One thought of bringing his brother. When I asked the student who was smiling, he didn't answer right away. After a few seconds he said, "Tarzan!" Everyone in class laughed out loud (which was the reaction he was hoping for). Before our morning meeting ended I asked him his reason for wanting Tarzan with him. He didn't give me an answer, just a sweet smile on his face.
It is fun being at school, learning new things together with the kids and trying to widen our understanding of the world. Our class has been focusing on the theme "City Wildlife". My students enjoy noticing the "wildlife" around CSC- the goats, cows, birds, geckos, insects, and occasional snakes.
One beautiful cold day after flag ceremony, my students were getting ready for our Morning Meeting. Part of our Morning Meeting is "Inviting God" so we sang a praise song entitled, "It's a Beautiful Day". While singing, one student noticed something moving inside an empty magazine box. Suddenly it flew out of the box and left our classroom. It was gone before we could even react of what we saw. We just watched it fly away. Who would have thought that there was a bat (wildlife) inside our very own classroom? Maybe there's wildlife also in your community where you least expect it. Watch out!
September 17 was quite a day at CSC. It was the day of our annual Sportsfest held on the CSC playground, involving all our Children of Hope School kids and many of the Aunties and Uncles. There were lots of different events from three legged race to an egg toss, hot air ping pong and lots more. Also on he 1 7th we had visitors from Australia. A family who had adopted a little girl from CSC several years ago were back to visit and see the place where she had lived. She and her brother joined the sportsfest; the more the merrier! We also had a visit from a team of volunteers with Converge, USA who represent churches in the Colorado and Wyoming areas, who wanted an introduction to our ministry. So they came for lunch and a tour. And we also had Joan Gleddie and Eleanore Karsdorf from Canada, who represent our Canadian board, who were here for a special visit. Between the kids, the worker and our visitors we served around 210 meals. And we had a great day. A little wild, perhaps, but lots of fun for everyone.
The Philippines has an interesting history. In the 1500s it was conquered by Spain and remained under its authority for nearly 300 years. Spain's rule continued until the US fought the Spanish for control of the Philippines in the 1890s. Once the Philippines was under American rule the Filipinos rose up to fight for freedom against America. America didn't give up possession of the Philippines until the 1940s. Despite only being recognized as an independent country for the last 70 years, the Philippines has a rich culture and deep pride.
At Cebu Children of Hope School (CCHS) we celebrated our Filipino pride recently by having a half day festival called Buwan ng Wika. The afternoon started with the kids getting into four groups and rotating through different "game stations". At each station the kids played traditional Filipino games. They had a great time!
The highlight of the cultural festival was the program! Each of the classes performed a Filipino dance to the loud applause of the houseparents, aunties, uncles, several toddlers, as well as our high school students who had school off that day. The CCHS teachers even got in on the fun with a Filipino dance using scarves (they wisely positioned me in the back row). Four pairs of representatives highlighted the culture and fashion of the different regions of the Philippines. The teachers at CCHS did a wonderful job planning this fun event!
We love to celebrate kids at CCHS and the culture we are a part of! Thank you for helping support all of these memorable moments for the children at CSC. Because of you they can be kids again, laughing and playing just like any other child.