We all want some sort of "normal" these days, don't we? In our homes at CSC, we try to make the days of our children as normal as possible—lockdown style. Time for chores, time for naps, time for school and time for play. We celebrate holidays and have a good time during activities and events.
More importantly, we celebrate birthdays. We are blessed that we are able to celebrate each child on his or her birthday. Most of the children that comes to CSC never had a birthday party before. Some children are shy celebrants, others wait for their gifts with round eyes, while most cannot contain their joy and radiates a palpable smile.
Although we celebrate 70 plus birthdays each year, we want these celebrations to be focused on the child. Each child gets to choose the menu for his or her party, the flavor of his or her birthday cake and gets to invite 2 friends. Each child can choose an adult he/she wants to pray for him or her. Each child gets to be celebrated, even for a day.
And yes, a lot of preparation entails when throwing a birthday party! Food preparation, table setting, decoration, and the birthday gifts. But it never gets old. Why? Because each child is different. Each child brings a different flavor in each birthday celebrations.
We praise the Lord for all the people who loves CSC. We praise Him because He makes everything certain during an uncertain time. We praise the Lord that we are able to give our children a "normal" birthday party, lockdown style.
Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
Its easy to keep traditions going when circumstances remain the same. But during a pandemic its a lot harder. Such is the case with the Christmas traditions at CSC. In a normal year we would have lots of different activities for the kids. We have been having a school musical program for as many years as we've had a school. We have had Junel's Box, a program for our kids to give from their own allowance money to help out a poor family in the community with food and hygiene items, for about 20 years. We have a progressive dinner, gift giving with Santa, a fancy Christmas dinner and a manger scene with live manger animals. This year, although it is not possible to hold all these activities, I am so happy to see that our staff in Cebu is trying hard to present as many of these as possible for our kids. Hard as it is to maintain a feeling or normalcy during these days, they are showing creative minds and loving hearts towards them. I am so proud of our staff for all they do and have done throughout the quarantine. Not only have they kept our kids and themselves from getting the virus, they have worked tirelessly to offer educational, recreational and social activities that have kept moralle high within the CSC compound.
I am far away from CSC these days, and it is especially hard at Christmas time. I have always said that there is no better place to be in the whole world than CSC at Christmas. This can be attested to by many folks who went to Cebu to visit us in December and celebrated our Saviour's birth with us. They were all recruited to help with the cookie baking, gift wrapping and story telling. Some were asked to play Santa or one of his helpers. I remember one year we had a visiting couple who were Asians and we recruited them to be Mary and Joseph in our pageant only to find out later that they were Buddhists. One year the live manger scene created some issues when one of the sheep went berserk and wrapped his rope around one of the shepherds (Uncle Patrick's) legs while bleeting to high heaven. All of these contributed to the fun of Christmas at CSC.
How i mjiss it, the kids and the whole CSC family in Cebu. Thanks to all who support his ministry. You are putting tools in the hands of our very capable, hard working and creative staff under the excellent leadership of Field Director Roberto Atienza. God bless you and CSC.
As a school administrator I get a little excited for summer break. It's a time to reflect on the past school year, celebrate the great things God did, and dream about "what could be" for the next school year.
Class at CCHS is out for the summer, I'm sitting at my desk planning for the upcoming school year, and I still hear kids. What's going on?
I peek my head out of my office and I smell a wonderful aroma. Auntie Lourdes, a longtime house mom, is leading a cooking class in the school kitchen. She is teaching our older kids how to cook a delicious Filipino meal.
After sitting and eating with them (I just had to have a few bites) I walk into the Big Room. Our Program Director's husband, John, is facilitating guitar lessons with an excited group of girls. He is leading several different guitar groups during the week. Everytime I see Rovilito at the Shelter he talks about learning the guitar. This morning he ran up to me and said he knows how to play two songs already!
In another classroom violin lessons are taking place. Cris has been super excited to learn how to play violin and a CSC volunteer is making it happen.
I have the pleasure of leading a small group of budding marathoners in our Summer Run Club. We meet twice a week and have fun running and playing games together. They love running up the road from the school though they quickly learned downhill is much more fun!
If you walked into the new Banawa McDonald's recently you would have been greeted by some CSC kids who were part of McDo's Kiddie Crew. Many of our kids took part in this yummy summer "job" and they did everything from take people's orders to make cheeseburgers to tell departing customers, "Thanks for coming to McDonald's. See you again soon!"
Summers at CSC look different from year to year but they are always well-planned and filled with lots of fun! Just ask the kids!
Recently CSC received an award from the Pag-IBIG Fund, the Philippine government financial agency that is handling the mortgages for our 60 employees who are receiving Habitat for Humanity homes. The award recognizes the role of CSC in this project on behalf of our employees, who are all automatically members of Pag-Ibig.
This award is a testimony to the work of Paul Reasoner, who raised funds to help alieviate the financial burden for our workers and make their mortgages more affordable for them. We are an organization that values our employees and we have been concerned that they have decent housing. Many have lived in sub-standard houses prior to this project, and would not have had even the hope of having their own house and lot without the cooperative efforts of CSC, Pag-IBIG Fund and Habitat for Humanity. This award reflects that concern of CSC, and the partnership of the agencies who are all dedicated to getting deserving people into safe and affordable housing.
Pastor Fred Verdeflor, who is the husband of our CSC nurse Arlyn and President of the CSC Happy Homes homeowners association, went to Manila to accept the award on behalf of CSC.