Ending 2021 with a Grateful Heart

For many of us, 2021 has been filled with uncertainties and challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent calamities continue to foreshadow a grim future. But in the middle of these troubled times, we want to remain grateful for all the blessings and opportunities Tiwala Kids & Communities received in the past three months. Here are the things we are thankful for this last quarter of the year:

Generous Gifts

We rejoice at the generosity of the Lord shown through our ministry partners like you. For example, for our DigiEskwela Project, we received four new educational tablets and one prepaid wifi! These gadgets are a great addition to our existing tablets and would extend assistance to more kids as they continue to work on their distance learning modules. Schools have yet to resume face-to-face sessions here in Albay. Therefore, students mostly rely on videos and modules to learn their academic subjects.

Aside from the tablets, Tiwala also received a generous monetary donation for school supplies from Links International – USA. These are a big help to our beneficiaries because their sources of income were adversely affected by the pandemic. Almost 250 children happily received bags and school supplies.
Moreover, we received bulk orders for the Batik face masks and pouches that Tiwala moms make under our livelihood projects. The proceeds from these products augment the income of poor families. That’s why we’re grateful that Tiwala friends bought and even marketed the livelihood items to their own network!
Meanwhile, we exceeded our target for our “Balde ng Biyaya” (Buckets of Blessings) initiative. Every year it has become a tradition of Tiwala to give Noche Buena packs to selected needy families. We originally planned to give to 60 families only. However, through the generosity of people, we were also able to share food items with 50 more families attending a partner church! Maraming salamat to those of you who shared your blessings towards this endeavor!

Face-to-face Sessions, Christmas Parties, and Guests at last!

In mid-November, the Legazpi City local government finally lifted the restrictions for children and teens! After more than one year, we were finally able to resume our classes and huddle time with our Tiwala teens and scholars! It was so good to finally gather them, even though we had to wear face masks and maintain minimum health protocols. The teens and scholars eagerly attended our sessions. To top it off, we were allowed to have face-to-face Christmas parties for the Tiwala teens and moms. They were so happy to celebrate together after almost two years of mass-gathering restrictions!

Although we have yet to meet face-to-face with the more than 150 younger kids (7-11 years old) enrolled in our student enrichment classes, we continued to do regular home visits and online classes for them. We also held an online Christmas party and delivered food house-to-house to spread Christmas cheer among them!
Another highlight in December was being with our friends from Global Aid Network (GAiN) – Philippines. They were finally able to visit us and meet the mothers behind the livelihood projects and the Tiwala scholars they are supporting in Legazpi City and Manito Albay. It was indeed a joy to meet and spend time with them. They shared inspirational messages with the scholars and mothers and even serenaded them with beautiful music!

Growth and Transformation

Tiwala Kids & Communities seeks not just to provide practical help to the poor, but also assist them to live out God’s plan for their lives. Thus, we help them make God’s Word the very foundation of their lives. This quarter, the Lord allowed us to get glimpses of growth and transformation in their lives which encouraged us to continue to sow God’s Word in their hearts. For example, ten mothers joined our “Tuklasin” (Discovery) Group to study the Bible and get to know Jesus more. These ladies were so hungry for God’s Word they would continue to meet together even when the weather was bad. Not even stormy weather could stop them from studying the Bible together!

Meanwhile, teens who attend our weekly youth programs also consistently participate in the youth fellowship in one of our partner churches, Generation Christian Fellowship. They even invited their friends and siblings to attend the youth activities.
Thank you so much for helping us make a difference in the lives of many children and families here in Bicol, Philippines! Your prayers, friendship, and support enable us to build strong foundations in their lives. We are grateful for your partnership with us! We pray that the Lord will continue to give you many reasons to give thanks this coming year. We wish you a fruitful and blessed 2022!
Forever grateful,

Tiwala Kids & Communities Team