What do you think Christmas will look like this year? Countries around the world are still struggling with Corona. Also in Germany it is now questionable in which form and with how many people you can celebrate Christmas this year. For thousands of people here in the Philippines, these thoughts are very far off their minds. For them it is about what they will have to eat tomorrow, how they can find a livelihood again or where they can sleep safely tonight from the dangers of the streets. Families who were already living on the streets before Corona now have even less hope for a life away from the streets than before. Even their small livelihood of 2 to 3 € per day has been destroyed by Corona. Stories we hear not infrequently. The need is greater than ever.
To counteract this need directly, we have launched a new program since September 1st - the Family Center. In the heart of Cebu City, directly at one of the biggest main streets of the city, we opened the doors of the new Family Center. After renovation work, we were able to welcome the first street children and street families at the beginning of December. Christmas is very far away for these children and families. Normally this is a time for the street children in which they get "especially much" to eat, because people are more generous at Christmas. But this year, the streets of Cebu City also remain empty. Most people work from home and go out of their houses only in urgent cases, maybe to the supermarket or to the doctor. Thus, street children are absolutely not in the Christmas mood, because with a hungry stomach, the Christmas joy is absent.
Even if Christmas parties, big celebrations and parties have to be cancelled this year, Christmas will not be cancelled because of that! We bring Christmas to the streets, where children and families struggle to survive. After all, the first Christmas, also took place on the street, or in a stable. The real reason we celebrate Christmas is Jesus Christ, who brings light and hope to this world. And when has this ever been more needed than now, at this time, in times of corona here on the streets where children and families are starving.
Normally we celebrate a big Christmas Party every year with over 1,200 street children. This year, however, our team had to get a little more creative. Our team is widely known among the street children due to 28 years of feeding Programs in Cebu City. Over the past few weeks, our team has been identifying street children and getting to know families that are nearby our new Family Center.
For several weeks our team has been busy buying hundreds of gifts, customizing and wrapping them. Many tons of rice, noodles and other groceries were purchased to help people through the Christmas days into the New Year. And of course, some sweets, cookies and drinks cannot be missing here. Because we come with a message: God became man because he loves you. God loves you, God loves me and God loves every street child in Cebu, in the Philippines and worldwide. And this message cannot be stopped by Corona.
We want to encourage you to join us in prayer for these children that we will reach in the coming days divided into small groups. So that their stomachs may be filled, the worries of their parents may subside and the good news and joy of Christmas may fill their hearts.
This is just the beginning of our new Family Center downtown. Our team has many projects planned that we will tackle in January. If you would also like to be a part of it, you can easily - give hope at the following link.