Growing in Gratitude

In some areas of the world, November is a time of gathering together with family and friends in order to give thanks for the blessings received. Although we do not have Thanksgiving Day as an official holiday in the Philippines, we still would like to take the opportunity to give thanks for a month of blessings, learning, and fruitfulness:

Material Blessings

We are very grateful to several individuals who expressed their support to Tiwala by giving monetary and in-kind donations. For example, three new donors stepped forward this month to support the education of three new scholars. This enabled us to provide scholarships to kids on our waitlist. The parents were very thankful for the help extended to them and signed an agreement to do their part in their children’s education. We are excited to see how the scholarship will help these kids gain a brighter future!

Aside from financial donations, Tiwala also received various donations of books, toys, clothes, and hygiene kits from friends in Manila and Legazpi. Excitement and joy were on the children’s faces as we handed out the items last November 5. They were very grateful for the items they received. Christmas came a month earlier this year for these kids!

New Church Partner

The Lord’s provisions this month was not just material. He also granted us good favor in the eyes of the school officials of Puro Elementary School so we could use a classroom and expand our weekend classes to more children. As if this was not good news enough, we also found out that a former Tiwala volunteer just recently started a church plant in the same village. Sensing God’s leading and perfect timing, we enlisted Arise & Shine Community Church as a partner. They are now assisting us in our weekend classes and we are working together towards establishing a weekly Bible study for the parents of the children attending our program in their village.

We are also thankful that more than 180 children in six communities in Legazpi City are regularly participating in our Saturday classes. The theme for this quarter is “Christmas: The Promise Fulfilled” and our culmination activity is our Tiwala-wide Christmas party on December 8!

Changed Life

One of the things that we are very grateful for is seeing genuine transformation take place in the life of Lolit, one of the mothers who regularly attend our small group sessions in Victory Village.

Lolit is a widow and takes care of six grandchildren. Because of a difficult life, she was always worried about how to put food on the table. She was anxious and stressed out that it affected her relationships with her children and grandchildren. When she got invited to attend Tiwala’s sessions, she considered it as a waste of time. But as she continued participating in the small group, God’s Word began to take root in her heart. She found the lessons interesting and relevant that she would make sure to get a copy so she could review it before sleeping.

Lolit is now learning to cultivate the habit of thankfulness in her life. Instead of worrying about the future, she is growing in her awareness of God’s blessings. She recently testified that even in the midst of problems and setbacks, God’s peace and joy overflow from within her heart. Her daughter also said that since her mom attended the small group sessions, she has become more appreciative of her children and grandkids, often verbally expressing her love for them. Lolit has volunteered to host Tiwala’s sessions in her house and expressed willingness to extend help to other Tiwala moms who need assistance. She not only regularly attends Sunday services at Generation Christian Fellowship (one of our partner churches) but is also actively involved in the women’s ministry of the said church. What a joy it is for us at Tiwala to witness God’s transformative work in her life!

And of course, we thank God for each of you. Your partnership with us enables us to help children and families here in Bicol cultivate a life of faith and gratitude. Thank you so much for letting God use you through your prayers, financial support, and practical help. May He continue to bless you and fill your heart with thanksgiving always.