So much goes on every day at CSC and CCHS. Kids are comforted when they are scared or sad. Kids are fed (no small task when that means preparing over 200 meals a day). Kids are educated and encouraged to persevere when the lessons are challenging. And so much more!
Of all the things we do at CSC, what is our highest priority?
For the past month at CCHS we have been preparing for our biggest event of the year, our Christmas play. The teachers have been spending a lot of extra time to prepare the set, figure out the choreography, and help the students memorize their lines. The students have been practicing the 12 songs they have to memorize as well as the actions. Many hours have gone into preparing for this event. Why?
Our highest priority at CSC is for the kids in our care to learn about God, who they can tangibly see through our actions. 1 Corinthians 13 talks about how love needs to be the driving force for all we do or our efforts will be ineffective. James 1:27 directs this love, especially, to vulnerable children and adults. At the intersection of love and action is CSC.
John, a 9 year old boy who CSC recently rescued from living alone on the streets of Cebu, is part of our choir for the upcoming Christmas play. His first real glimpse of God is through the songs and message of this play. As he learns these songs about God becoming a baby because He loves us, John will experience the physical-ness of these words through the care he gets at CSC.
We are able to show God's love to these great kids because of you. Thank you for supporting this ministry so kids like John who have experienced some of the worst of life can sleep safely at night, knowing that God is always with them and tomorrow will be a great day.
"The Bible in the memory is better than the Bible in the book case." -Spurgeon
Every week students at Cebu Children of Hope School memorize Scriptures assigned by the Bible Time Coordinators. Then we meet once a month for a whole school gathering to share the verses that the students' memorize and answer the Bible Trivia questions.
Memorizing verses in a group encourages our students and holds them accountable to really do it. It is always a joy to see their excitement in saying the verses independently or with the group. The teachers play a vital role in challenging them and coaching them, making sure they have the right words. For the entire month of October they memorized Psalms 119:20-27, learning two verses each week.
Our goal is for our students to keep God's Word in their hearts and for them recall the Scriptures they have memorized, claiming God's promises. As they go through life's challenges and joys our hope is for them to learn to praise God and thank Him for His great plans. They have been through a lot before coming to Children's Shelter of Cebu. Who knows what they have been through while they are here with us and will be going through when they move on to the next chapter of their lives. It is always comforting to know that God never leaves us nor forsake us.
Join us in memorizing Scriptures and let God's Word encourage you and remind you of how great is our God. Life is an adventure with a lot of choices to make. If we are deeply rooted in His word nothing should move us away from His will.
Teaching preschool learners is different from any other grade level at Cebu Children of Hope School (CCHS). There is a big difference from higher-level classrooms where you'll find profound discussions and group work to preschool's less serious, learning through play environment.
One of the lessons we had in Science was all about magnets. At our first meeting I explained to them how magnets work with the help of a flip-chart and an educational video. After, I showed them some magnets and how they attract objects that have metal.
The following day it was the time to apply what we had learned from the previous day. I gave them a checklist of objects. Together we found out if the objects were magnetic or nonmagnetic. The learners had fun doing the activity because they found out that not all objects are magnetic. Eureka!
To culminate the lesson we incorporated play into learning. The students went fishing! Yes, you read it right, "f i s h i n g." As what O. Fred Donaldson said, "Children learn as they play. More importantly, in play, children learn how to learn."
"Are you ready to go fishing?" I asked my preschoolers after we had a quick review about how magnets work and what they did yesterday.
"Yehey! We will go outside!" said one of the learners.
"Are we going to the Safari?" another learner asked.
I told them that we don't need to go outside just to do a fishing activity. "We will bring the fishing activity in the classroom!" I said and the learners giggled with excitement.
How was it done? Simple. I made an improvised fishing rod with the use of a ruler, yarn, and a magnet as a hook. And with the fish, I printed a fish template in different colors and attached a paper clip to the mouth. The science curriculum in CCHS helped me a lot in initiating the activity since it gives suggestions on how to enhance and apply the lesson in different learning areas.
At the end of the activity, Learner D caught 12 fish, Learner J and A each got 8 fish, and Learner L hooked 6 fish.
Who would have thought that learning about magnets could be amusing and insightful!
In the past month 54 kids have been treated for respiratory illness. Yesterday was the first day in several weeks that we didn't need to go to the doctor, and four kids were ecstatic to finally go home after being in the infirmary here at the Shelter. The infirmary has six spacious rooms where children are monitored by our medical staff and cared for by our child care workers 24 hours a day when they are ill. There are 12 kids still isolated so we hope to send them back to the houses in a couple of days.
Thankfully, Shenly and Wilmar were discharged from the hospital and are recuperating at home, but Wilmar misses having air conditioning and his own TV!
The hospitals are full and masses are sick with the same type of illness, so we are praising God for miraculous healing, as we have never had so many sick kids at one time.
On October 3 Sam's mother gave birth in a taxi so was rushed to Cebu City Hospital, which is temporarily housed at the City Fire Department. He was exposed to many dangers in the first hours of his life. Since the mother was unable to care for her baby we took him and admitted him to the hospital we use called Cebu Doctors Hospital, where he is fighting a severe infection. Thankfully, he is drinking well, and has gained a bit of weight.
Without hesitation we bought 77 pillows yesterday for $300, knowing that our supporters would be thrilled to know that each of the kids has a brand new clean pillow. The kids are excited to see the huge mound of pillows piled up in the Duterte house just waiting to be passed out after school today.
Thank you so much for your concern and prayers for everyone at CSC.
Every month and every week there are lots of great things happening at our school, the Cebu Children of Hope School. One of these great things, the Reading Challenge, has been ongoing this month. This year's theme is a quote from the author, Mary Pope Osborne, which states that "reading is a passport to countless adventures."
For this month-long activity the teachers from each grade creatively planned a goal for their students to reach as part of the Reading Challenge. All the students took the challenge seriously while at the same time still enjoyed reading. The thrilling activity lasted for almost five weeks! The most awaited part for the students was on October 11th when we had the Reading Challenge Culminating Activity. During this event the teachers announced the names of the students who reached their class goals as well as the winner from each class. The gathering was very exciting! All the students were celebrated for their hard work and encouraged to continue on "countless adventures" through reading more books. Everyone received a snack as their reward and the winner from each class also received a new book. Those students who reached their class goals got to stay after school to watch a movie.
We are blessed to have a wonderful library at CCHS, something that most schools in Cebu don't have. So many people have donated to our library through the years and our kids have greatly benefited from these excellent books. The Reading Challenge excited our students to continue to check out books every Wednesday so they can have more adventures and learn new things through a book.
Our students at CCHS love reading and it is very apparent. We, their teachers, are so proud of them and are excited for the new adventures they will go on this year!