Help & Hope in the midst of the Pandemic | Family Center
It is now exactly one year since the start of the Covid19 pandemic. After nine months of strict military lockdown in the Philippines, the need is greater than ever. Millions of people have lost their jobs. Millions of people who were already living on less than 1€ per day before the Covid19 pandemic have now lost their last source of income. Even before Covid19, many families could not afford school fees. Now that the school is partly online, Internet fees and expenses for cell phones and PCs are added to the existing school fees. Many families were only able to afford school for one of their many children. Through Covid19, these children have now also lost their opportunity for education. For street children and families in the squatters and slums, life mostly took place on the street. Their "home" is a small self-made hut in which usually 5-10 people live together. Now that they have had to live in cramped quarters for months at a time, cases of physical and sexual abuse have also increased. The problems are overwhelming. The possibilities are limited, because there are still very strict regulations, which also give us as a ministry only limited possibilities. But right now the help, is needed more than ever. We expect that the current restrictions will remain in this form at least until the end of the year. People need HELP and they need HOPE. And that is exactly our heartfelt concern. Even during the military lockdown, we already got together as a team to create new approaches. This has now resulted in the new FAMILY CENTER. In small groups we can now work very specifically with street children and their families. We have already been able to start with 30 families and their children from the street. Every day we invite 30 street children to our Family Center for "HOPE SESSIONS". The Hope Sessions begin with a time of prayer, worship, singing and dancing, and stories from the Bible. Even though the problems of the pandemic build up before us like a giant, our God is bigger than all the problems of the world. King David was able to experience this when a giant also built up before him. Stories that give the children hope, of a God who is the same, at the time of David against Goliath, but who is also the same today. After that, we go directly to the tutoring that our team has prepared for the children. The goal is to help the children prepare for school so that they can go back to school in the coming school year. For the children who have not been to school at all, we make it possible for them to start in the 1st grade in the coming school year at our own Nehemiah School of Opportunities. After the tutoring, we then conclude the Hope Session with a healthy and hot meal. Most of the children are very small for their age and malnourished. Our team also closely monitors the health of the children by checking height and weight and also treating sores and wounds. Of the first 30 families, we are also committed to working closely with the parents. The goal is to help the parents achieve a better and more stable income. With our network of employers, we have already been able to arrange the first jobs. There is also a monthly service for the parents who are also overwhelmed with the current situation. We are grateful that through the Family Center, despite the Covid19 limitations, we have found a way to bring help and hope to the families on the streets. We would like to invite you to support the families and the team at the Family Center in prayer. Thank you also for all the financial support that makes the Family Center possible.