“An Epic Youth Sports Fest”
By Karin Jose
IT Tender has been blessed with a lot of visitors this summer, and this year we were extremely excited to get a return visit from our friends at Coast Hills Community Church in California. The team (who visit us through our partner Extreme Response) came last year and many of the youth and leaders returning were coming as friends – but they also brought along some new friends too!
Coast Hills is an extremely generous (and fun!) church partner that IT Tender is grateful for. Last year the team painted our SLC Daycare classroom, and this year they sponsored and hosted a Basketball Sports Fest for some of our Night Life clients.
On August 12th, thirty street youth between 12 and 18 joined us for a 3-team tournament at a brand news sports facility that we were able to use free of charge courtesy of the local government. The team from CHCC were great sports (literally) on the day with all the guys playing on mixed teams with the youth and all the girls assisting with stretches, time keeping, scoring, the medal ceremony and most importantly – snacks and lunch!!
Jake and Michel – two of the youth from CHCC shared a short inspirational talk about team work and God being in control whether it feels like we are winning or losing in life and how important teammates and friends are in keeping you focused and encouraged despite what you are going through.
The whole day was a huge success. The Coast Hills team was amazing, and the IT Tender staff, volunteers and extra helpers recruited from partner churches put in so much effort that we all had a great time. Most importantly the youth had an unforgettable time; they felt encouraged and loved, enjoyed being part of a global team and of course, had a fun day of basketball! Special shout outs to ‘The Green Team’ who were the champions on the day, to Ernie Impas who was voted MVP and to Jayson Labastida who scored the most points on the day.
To summarize in a way far better than I can explain, here are a few personal comments from some of the youth who attended the event:
“What I really like from the game was even though we did not win we still have an award. They are all nice and fun to be with – I am really thankful for the jersey and that the visitors really love children.” – Christopher, from Putatan
“It’s really wonderful to play basketball and I really enjoy the game. We are all happy and glad that there are awards. My teammates are good players and we had a good coach. Thank you very much for those who sponsored the Sports Fest and the food and uniforms.” – Jonard, from Alabang
“It is so fun to play, thank you very much that I amone of those who was able to be part of the Sports Fest. I am so happy to meet the visitors.” – Jonel, from Alabang
By Lorna Carro, Night Life Coordinator
IT Tender is excited about a new partnership with the Honest Hands program at Action International. Honest Hands is an 8-month discipleship program which provides daily bible classes, life skills trainings, and tutorials to help youth work attain their elementary and high school degrees. IT Tender currently has three youth from our Night Life program at the Honest Hands center. These youth make a living scavenging through garbage dumps, some are addicted to sniffing solvents, and some haven’t yet learned how to read or write. Thus the individualized attention and training they will receive at Honest Hands is an exceptional opportunity.
The staff at IT Tender has already seen the change in these three youth after just a couple weeks at Honest Hands. They confided that this is the time they have been waiting for in their lives to become better people and to reach their ambitions.
Every Friday afternoon they return to their community for the weekend. They scavenge through the dumps on Saturdays to earn money for their weekly transportation to Honest Hands, and they are now attending a local community church on Sundays. We are praying for a few more donors to sign up to give monthly to IT Tender so that we can include their weekly transportation in our Tender budget.
Many small changes in the attitude of these youth gives witness to a greater transformation that is ongoing. For instance, they have been cursing less and they have not been quarrelling anymore with other street youth. They talk about what God is doing in their lives and how God is using people to help them reach their goals.
IT Tender wants to thank the Honest Hands ministry (especially Greg & Sarah Seiling and Pastor Mel) for giving our youth a second chance and more opportunities in life. Thank you for mentoring these young men and sharing our burden to empower them to become future leaders in their community and responsible men of God.
Things we are thankful for:
*For our partnership with Action International through which we were able to send eight of our Night Life youth to a 5-day camp where three were selected to be part of an 8-month education and discipleship program
*The Coast Hills team for sponsoring a 3-day retreat and IT Tender’s Sports Fest
*Janet Faire from England who spent a week with IT Tender and encouraged us greatly
*Sara Stuart who was with us for 3 weeks from Canada, who really became part of our team
Things we need prayer for:
*Consistent monthly support for the running costs of IT Tender’s programs and support for its full time staff
*Rest, energy and vision for the staff who have had a busy few months and are looking to start planning for 2015
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