I remember as a kid, going with
my father and brother to pick out the Christmas tree. I want to say it
was on Christmas Eve but my memory fails me. I do know it was always as
late as possible so that we could get the tree as cheaply as possible. I
remember my father being upset because the tree cost $5. Imagine that?
We had a poor people’s Christmas with some presents and a special
dinner but none of the great festivities of the middle and upper
class who had constant parties and company and dinners along with all
kinds of treats.
Now, some 50 plus years later, here I am awaiting my 62nd Christmas. I
find myself praying for a special turkey dinner and maybe a few
presents. It seems we have come, full circle. I read about others on the
internet that are hoping for a new car or an ipad/ipod? ( I really
don’t know the difference. Kids getting $500 computers and electronic
games that cost more than my rent. Yet here, (not the Philippines) but
here in Payatas, one of the most destitute areas in this land, most
people will wake up on the 25th to just another day, wondering how they
will feed their family. There will be no special foods , no presents of
any kind, not even a card. All over the Philippines people celebrate,
sing, eat, exchange presents, but not here. There will be none of that.
There is however, one little Church which every year gives a
Christmas Celebration for 100 poor kids.PBC! We tell them about the
Christ of Christmas, we give them a nice meal and dessert; they get a
pair of pants or a skirt according to their gender. Also, they receive a
shirt, footwear and a toy. We have games and contests and everyone wins
prizes and when it’s time to go home, they bring a small bag of food so
their family can enjoy a Christmas meal.
For eight years we have done that but for whatever reason, we only
have $400 of the $2000 needed. I see on the internet all the
preparations for many glorious Christmases in other places so I don’t
think it’s the money. Perhaps it is the very cold weather that has
caused hearts to become cold?
Our celebration is on the 13th and we will watch to see what God will
do. As the poor Christmases past, we are not so used to frivolity and
such blessings are extra to us so we will continue to experience the
love of the Saints and faith in Jesus Christ.
My larger concern is for them who have heard the Holy Spirit prodding
them, reminiscent of Scrooge being disturbed while he slept and crying
leave me alone. My concern is that your time of trouble may come and
none will hear you. As I heard from a man one time, those who have
little, when they fall, their fall is cushioned as it is not too far but
those who have much suffer a great crash when they fall because they
have much to lose.
Please think on the poor of Payatas this time of the year and always.
It seems we have lost another supporter of $100 per month. There has
been no reason given, just stopped. I believe God will sustain us but
the sad part is we do not hear anything as to why. We pray for all our
supporters and if there is a problem we would like to know. So now our
ministry operates on somewhere around $1100 per month for all expenses
of Church and home yet the people of Payatas still look to us to present
them with the word of God. To give them hope and peace through Jesus
and to encourage them in their salvation.
More People – More Help
Even with all the problems, new people are coming to our Church each
week. The two little girls who live with their disabled grandfather are
continuing to learn their studies at the church. Malou was able to get
their birth certificates (a most difficult process) and the girls should
start school in June. Pray that we are able to continue to help these
children. We have two in college, one of which is in her last year. Our
children at Church have brought their report cards to our education
leader and their grades have improved tremendously. Praise God!
Laura just finished the 8th grade and Linda the 4th. Now they will need another $500 to get their books for the New Year.
Our youth had a great time out at the youth Rally at Community Baptist Bible Church.
It is so good to see all the different Churches getting together to learn, fellowship and worship together.
We need to GET OUT
We still need to move by next month. The landlord is selling the
house. Houses are cheap if you have the money. A relatively nice house
is $50,000. That may as well be a million for us. We do have property
that we own in SC. It is about 26 acres. It is up for sale at $80,000.
If it sells, we could by a house easy. The market is slow. God also
Pray that God will show us what He will do.
Our vision is to reach the 240,000 people here in Payatas. Please pray that we will be able to reach every home!
For our supporters who read this newsletter and see the need. This
will also allow you to see how you have been used by God to continue
this ministry. We will not give up, we will not give in. we will
continue to fight the good fight! Thank you so much and may God bless
your every need.
Pastor Jack, Malou, Laura and Linda