Staff Reflections

All In God's Timing

May. 26, 2022By: Kirby Stoll  ›  Author Bio

I was anticipating a trip to Cebu this week to meet with Roberto, our Field Director, and other leaders, to see the ministry of CSC firsthand and to see the kids and their bright smiling faces. God had other plans. The day of our departure we received word that COVID had once again reared its ugly head. It is not clear yet how many positive cases are at the shelter, but it's best to not travel and to allow for "all hands on deck" to minister to the needs of all who need care. Prayers are appreciated for our CSC leaders, employees and children.

God's Timing Is Perfect
This got me thinking about "God's timing" and how His ways are often not mine. But it's hard to understand, right? Had we gotten word just 8 hours later we would have been in the air heading to Cebu, landing and not knowing the situation that would have been unfolding before our eyes. I am very thankful to have found out BEFORE we began our trip.

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We will never know—this side of eternity—why some things happen and why other things don't. Truth is, my heart has been breaking over the last 48 hours for those families who have experienced such great loss recently. It seems natural to ask the "why" questions when tragedies impact children and families, especially. This is true whether in the U.S. or Cebu. Yet, I believe that God does have a plan for each of us, even in the midst of the hurt and pain we all experience. Trust in God, He knows what He's doing. And rejoice! He give peace that goes beyond our understanding.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:4-7

It Is Well With My Soul
In closing, let me share a song that's been at the core of my thoughts, the familiar hymn It Is Well With My Soul. This hymn was written by Horatio G. Spafford in 1873 upon enduring great personal tragedy and incredible family loss. Even in the midst of great sorrow, he and his wife were able to look to God and His timing to say that whether in times of peace or in times of great sorrow, He tells us to declare, it is well with my soul.

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When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Grace and Peace,

Kirby Stoll

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The Classroom Routine

Apr. 24, 2022By: Alfie Abella (Teacher)

Teaching younger children is a great challenge. I need more patience in dealing with different behavior and preferences of my students. By God's grace, I am happy facing it every day. One of the things that I really treasure this year is having a classroom routine.


It has become my secret recipe in maintaining a friendly and a fruitful day in class. When I adapted Responsive classroom it allows me to create a more functional routine and it gives me confidence in managing my class effectively. It also provides students more opportunities to choose to be a responsible learner. I learn to consider students' expectations not just giving my expectations to them.


To make classroom routine effective, I need to be consistent with the set expectations. There are challenging days and inspiring days too. And I thank the Lord for both. As a teacher I need to stick to my plans and know that each passing day brings new learning and each new day gives new hope and a new beginning.
"If you have a good habit, time becomes your ally. All you need is patience."
– James Clear

 

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A Change of Scenery

Prior to Covid, one of the things that children at CSC looked forward to was an appointment off campus. Older kids loved going to the dentist and getting an ice cream treat after. Younger kids were excited just riding in vehicles and seeing all the cars and motorcycles. These have not been an option since the shelter has been on lockdown. Medical consultations have been completed online, lab tests are done in the infirmary, and even eye check-ups are done at the shelter now.


There were a few exceptions, including for this five-year-old boy, who left campus recently for a hearing test. On the way, he looked through the window of the vehicle with a sparkle in his eye! It was as if everything was new to him. He pointed and described every truck and car, as well as the people and animals on the road.


This boy was so sickly prior to the pandemic, and he spent a lot of time at clinics to see a pediatrician or pulmonologist. And there he was now, just going for a routine hearing test. The CSC lockdown has somehow kept him healthy, away from all the dust that caused his frequent asthma attacks. But it has also limited his exposure to the environment outside the CSC walls. Through it all, he was one happy kid, having to spend a few hours outdoors.

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Happy New Year from CSC!

Jan. 6, 2022By: Kirby Stoll  ›  Author Bio

Happy New Year to you all! I wish you all the best in the year ahead. Let me take a minute to reflect on the year 2021 from a CSC perspective—the blessings and the struggles. In the midst of all that is going on in the world today, worry and anxiety could very well consume our thoughts, even at CSC. For all the things that might or might not happen, we rest in confidence that God has a plan for our TODAY and has good things in store for the coming year.

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2021 began with the global pandemic still in full swing and the lockdown at CSC in place for nine months. The year ended with super-typhoon Rai making landfall on the islands of the Central Visayas, Cebu at the eye of the storm, leaving a devasting path of destruction. Typhoon recovery is happening slowly just as the next coronavirus variant is beginning to have a negative impact again as well. HOPE is present, though, knowing that our CSC children and staff remained safe and provided for during the storm and afterward, and all are in good health! Our CSC Field Director, Roberto Atienza, shared this week how CSC is a beacon of light in the darkness, offering hope, clean water, a place to "hang out" and charge electronics, providing encouragement to all those who come to us.

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2021 was also a year to celebrate milestones! Birthdays of children, a couple of adoption placements to loving families, work anniversaries of faithful employees, and a new strategic initiative launched! We're excited for all that 2022 will hold and look forward with optimism and HOPE.

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In closing, let me share some verses that I hope will be received as an encouragement to us all:

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

Grace and Peace in 2022,

Kirby

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Time with the Aunties

Nov. 19, 2021By: Meravic Nalang  ›  Author Bio

The counseling department has been proactive in equipping the child care workers, helping them to be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy, so they can provide the best care for our children. During this pandemic, the importance of mental health, has always been emphasized. Thus, activities among locked-in childcare workers, whom we simply called aunties, were done. Sessions of aunties and kids together were also held so that workers will gain a better understanding of the child they cared for.

This activity strengthens the relationship of the residents and workers through mindfulness games. Residents are encouraged to talk about their feelings to their aunties in their daily routines and the workers to understand the children's expression, character, behavior, recognize what children can do, be better listeners and have a better approach in dealing with each child.

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Residents are given time to bond with their choice of aunties and have time to know each other. Counseling is also extending time to workers for their spiritual nurturing through sharing and prayer, understanding their work, and how they face day to day challenges especially while away from their families.

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In morning devotions before breakfast and Sunday night after dinner; encouraging them to share their thoughts and ideas of being grateful to God. An illustration was shown about a glass of water. Each one was asked to express what they are thankful or grateful for then the glass will be poured of a little water until everyone has shared and the glass was filled with water. It is just like a thank you tank, once filled it can supply the community or people who needs it. God loves to send down blessings if we are also grateful and thankful to Him. We also express it through songs and Bible verses.

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