15 Jan 2015
January 15, 2015

Work Hard, Play Hard

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(Edited from “The Coffey Press” blog by John Coffey, Director of IT Tender)

After all the hard work of 2014, we ended the year with an epic Christmas party for the children. Both festive and cultural, the party kicked off with some “special numbers” from the staff, including a native dance from the Philippine island of Mindanao. The “Kappa Malong-Malong” dance showcases the different ways a “malong” (traditional garb) can be worn. All the hours of practise were with it to see the smiles on the children’s faces as we entertained them with our dance.



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126 children and youth joined this fun-filled day to enjoy games, prizes, a photo booth, an ice cream stand, a large meal, and Christmas gifts for everyone. Assigned to the sack race game, Jam & I witnessed the simultaneous joy and intensity of the competitors as they bounded and shuffled toward the finish line. The other highlights of our day include spontaneous dancing and worship from our visitors with Gabby on the guitar, an impromptu concert from our Night Life youth during clean-up afterwards, and the realization after the party that even the staff enjoyed a stress-free and wonderful time. I’m thankful for the passion and preparation that each of the staff applied to make the event run so smoothly (…a special thanks to the head coordinator of the event, Jizza Malquisto, for leading and delegating with confidence and class!).

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We also couldn’t have pulled off a party of this scale without the hard work and support of our volunteers from Extreme Response. A team of Americans and Canadians came to assist with the party and also brought games, prizes, and gifts. We’re also endlessly grateful to all the donors who supported the event. An event of this scale requires months of preparation and hundreds of helpers. Even the youth from our Night Life program arrived early in the morning to help set up decorations and gifts. And we can’t imagine the years of practise Vernon Tapp (from Extreme Response USA) put into becoming such a great magician. Below you can see him sharing his talent at the party. His act included the true meaning of Christmas and the story of salvation for everyone through Christ.


The blessings of giving continued throughout December with our annual “grocery giving” for the families from our Sponsor-A-Child program. Today parents still stop me on the street to thank us for the large bag of groceries they received with all the essential items for a family Christmas dinner and celebration. I hosted a small party for the toddlers and parents of SMART Kids. Thanks to our friend Katrina del Rosario, we were able to give gifts to the toddlers as well. Another special Christmas party was held at Tender thanks to a group of compassionate OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers) – we want to thank Kuya Angel and friends for blessing our children! Finally, more Christmas cheer came from overseas in a suitcase from Hamilton, Ontario. The luggage was packed with gifts from Bethany Gospel Chapel’s Sunday School. The children in our Night Life program are enjoying the toys and school supplies from these thoughtful gifts, and they want to thank the children and families in Hamilton for sharing their blessings.

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Happy families receive groceries at our annual Sponsor-A-Child grocery giving.


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Toddlers from SMART Kids delight over new sandals and toys.



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Our Night Life kids enjoy gifts from Bethany Gospel Church in Hamilton, Ontario


For the last two weeks we’ve been very blessed by our new short-term missionary Amy Goodwin from England. She has a humble, servant attitude and easily mingles with the street children and youth. She is a great help, assisting with our various programs and even helping with our renovation project at the center. Amy will truly be missed by children and staff alike when she completes her mission at the end of January.



In other news, Cecille (our preschool teacher) has successfully undergone surgery for the removal of an ovarian cist. We are thankful to everyone who supported her operation and we praise God for the recent confirmation that the cist was not cancerous. We ask for your prayers for a smooth recovery. Her and Gabby are also praying for support for their continued college education. They are both praying to enrol again next semester in preschool and high school education respectively. For more information on their college education contact John at john.coffey@iteams.ca

Thank you and God bless!

One Response to Work Hard, Play Hard
  1. Great newsletter. You all continue to do excellent work!


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