CHRISTMAS 2012

Greetings in Jesus!

  Christmas is upon us once again.  How time flies!   This Christmas season, many of us are looking forward to take some time off from work for that much needed vacation,   while others are anticipating being with family and friends to celebrate it.  To most adults, it means parties, shopping and celebration.  To many children, Christmas means long vacation from school, new dresses and presents. 

To us at MEANS, Christmas is a season of giving to our partners as they serve those who are not as fortunate as we are. 

Help and Share this Christmas. At Christmas, we want to remember our independent missionaries who have been laboring in the mission field, working among children-at-risk, embracing them with the love of Christ, by serving them and providing education, food, clothing and shelter.  We want to bless them and through them share our goods to the poor, the marginalized children, and those who are at risk for child labor and prostitution.

Help and Share with children at risk. One of our missionaries, who recently witnessed the wedding of a 15 year old girl who lived with them since she was six years old, said “she longs for them to be blessed and have a bright future.”  Having stayed in Maesot, Thailand, a border town near Myanmar, for 12 years as an independent missionary, with no scheduled vacation time,   our four (4) Filipina independent missionaries has remained faithful after they started Elpis School, a school for migrant children.  They invited girls at risk to live with them in Faith Haus, their mission and guest house.    Some of these girls have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through their witness.

Help and Share with the poor. For two years now, MEANS has focused to obey the biblical mandate in Micah 6:8.   We do this by embracing projects that will express our passion   to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly before God.  We have forged partnership with ministries that work among the poor, those who are involved in feeding malnourished children, caring for the environment through care of creation,  medical/dental/vision care, leadership training, and read-to-grow projects.  Through the Read-to-Grow project we have helped our ministry partners in providing Christian books and Tagalog bibles (Old and New Testament) for use in their ministries. We had recently provided 2,800 Tagalog Bibles to high school students. 

Help and Share with your resources. We have also started a relationship with ministries that are working in difficult areas in southern Philippines.   It is always a joy to hear reports about the expansion of the Kingdom of God in those areas.  Early this year, we sent 5,000 stuffed toys to flood victim children in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, Philippines. 

Help and Share for a great causes this Christmas. Small Steps. Big Impact.

 1. $10.00 Care Of Creation Project.  To provide garden tools and fruit tree seedlings for a community garden in Guimaras, Iloilo Philippines

2. $10.00 Read to Grow Programs (RTG)  – To help start Reading Centers in communities the Philippines where public library is not accessible

3. $10.00 for New Testament Bibles – To help provide 5 New Testament Bibles

4. $ 10.00 for 2 pairs of Flip-Flops – To help provide 2 Pairs of Flip-flops for 2 children in need.

5. $10.00 Helping Student Center in Muslim community – to help in the job training for Muslim students in the community.

Most of the projects I have mentioned are focused on the new unreached generation, the 4/14 window generation.   A missiologist calls this the new “unreached people group.”  These are children who make decision for Christ between the ages of 4 and 14.  There is a great urgency to reach them for the gospel of Christ, because it is between those ages that they are most open to Christianity.   Over one-third of the world’s population, 1.8 billion children, is under the age of 15. One and a half billion of them—almost 85 percent—live in the Two Thirds World.  What a challenge to all of us to reach out to them with the gospel before they slip from our fingers! 

Thank you for your faithful partnership with us for many years.    Would you once again consider helping us in our projects for the needy in our midst?  We want especially to continue our focus on the children so that through our partnership with churches and missionaries, they will be ushered into the Kingdom of God.   As you do, may God bless you and multiply your resources so that “there will be no more room to receive it.”

As we collaborate with our ministry partners in some parts of Southeast Asia and the Philippines, we pray that through these projects, they will experience God’s love and compassion. “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 59: 10-11

May God bless you richly this Christmas season. 

Catalina Padilla

MEANS Board Chair

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