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Update from Rehoboth in the Philippines
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July/August 2014 News

Friends of RSM

Rehoboth Sampaloc Ministries
Sampaloc, Philippines  

Dear Friends,

So much news from Rehoboth !

Firstly, we are so excited to let you know that Samuel, Nicole and Catherine left Rehoboth with their forever parents on August 11 to go home to Canada. Here is a photo of them all together ! Such a beautiful family.

Zyra also left to be with her forever family the day our last newsletter was sent out! Please pray for these children and their new parents as they embark on this journey of family together.


We also have a new little bundle of joy ! His name is Marlon and he is 1 month old. Please pray for him and his birth family. This is a huge time of adjustment for all of them.


Last month Edgar celebrated his 7th birthday with spaghetti and cake. We got the first haul of fish from our aquaponics system (10kg / 22lbs), and the KRIS foundation provided some much needed shoes - even some for our staff. See below for photos.

On the road to adoption are Cedric, Ralph, Regina and Regino  - their paperwork is making small steps in the adoption process through ICAB (the Inter-Country Adoption Board). Please pray for the right matching and acceptance of them in to a forever family.

Marian Jane, Marian Joy, John Mark and Jomar all returned safely from the "Summer of Hope" program with host families in the USA. Please pray for them as they readjust to being home, and pray that the wait for a forever home is not long for them.

This past month Rehoboth has been abuzz with volunteers onsite. What a wonderful time for the children. So much stimulation, new activities and new faces.

Also in this newsletter -
  • What happens when the volunteers go home?  A story which gives a little glimpse in to the phenomenal way that Rehoboth staff nurture the children in their care. 
  • Meet Baaba, our adopted grand-mother and read about her treasured work at Rehoboth  - overcoming obstacles that might deter some from volunteering.
  • Catch up on the excitement of the 2 Heathdale Christian College teams who visited last month from Australia.
  • Give thanks with us for Alayne and Megan White who served on-site recently.

We are still praying for staffing of the clinic (in particular a doctor and dentist) so it can operate on a permanent basis. If you know anyone or would like to volunteer yourself, read more below and contact Ken.

Date for your calendar: September 21-27, 2014 Work One Day for Rehoboth Children's Home Participate in our annual fundraiser for Rehoboth. Check your inbox next week for more details.

Thanks for keeping up with everything Rehoboth !

Please keep us in your prayers
Elisa

What happens when Volunteers go home...

Until last week, I had often wondered what happens in the aftermath of a group of volunteers coming to Rehoboth. The change from an outpouring of attention, activities, energy and excitement (all part of the beauty of teams serving onsite) back to the normal routines at Rehoboth must have an impact. Is there a time of adjustment - an unsettling when things start to settle again?

The answer is Yes. There is a time of unsettling - as there would be with any child who has had some exciting special event in their little life ! Does it outweigh the value of visitors? - no - but the response of the staff and in particular our administrator Fe, has left me awestruck and reflective.

Before the teams arrived the children did not want to waste anything, but after, they began to refuse food in anticipation of something different. The level of mischief and misbehavior increased and there was a less respect toward the Mamas (care-givers).

In response, Mama Fe, the administrator, gathered the older children together to talk to them. If you've ever met Fe, you will know that grace oozes out of her skin and her calm and gentle manner is like an umbrella for all of her actions. With loving tenderness she discussed with the children what they have at Rehoboth - food to nourish their body, a roof to sleep under, a comfortable bed, shoes on their feet and clean clothes on their back, school for the nourishment of their mind - and mamas who love them and care for them. She showed them a few images of children living in poverty and discussed with them scenes that they see often in their local town Tanay - children on the street with no shoes, selling bags in the market - who are hungry, wet and dirty. They reflected together on the blessed place in which they live. Not a place of material abundance, but a place where their needs are met.

In the light of this 2 things happened....
First, a trip to the supermarket to buy small packets of snacks. Their next outing was not to the pool or the waterfall or Jolibee for lunch - but to the street kids with the opportunity to hand out food to children who did not have enough, who had no comfortable bed to sleep in, no shower, a maybe a small corrugated iron roof over their head. With this gentle and simple reminder to be thankful for what we have - the little souls at Rehoboth were nurtured with a depth that can not be measured. At Rehoboth, there is not money left over for snacks - so snacks are a real treat. But sharing with others who have less, not just the left overs, but things that are desirable, became a lesson of generosity and thankfulness, learned in love.

Second, the older children were able to accompany some staff on the monthly grocery trip. This is a mammoth task, but each child was given a list of groceries that they were responsible to buy. Fe explained, in her mother hen way, that "everything is good for the eyes, but we will buy only what we need". After finishing buying the groceries, they shared a simple meal together at a local restaurant - sitting around the table together.

After their discussion and outings, there was an immediate change in the children - they are once again taking care of their toys and shoes, not wasting food and are able to see more clearly the blessings around them.

I remember Fe once saying to me "How can the children learn to give to others if they are always receiving? What kind of a life with a forever family are we preparing them for if they always expect gifts but never learn how to give them? What kind of people are we raising who can only receive? How can we expect them to love their new family if we don't teach them to give and receive love? If they only receive pity for their circumstance, how does this start to life not become the anthem of their life?"

One of the many things I admire about Rehoboth is how the staff provide the love, compassion and care needed for these little ones - whose start in life has been difficult - without fear to nurture and guide the children with what they need, when they are ready. This requires great wisdom.

Is Rehoboth the best place for these little ones?  For the moment - Yes. Forever - No. Rehoboth's aim is "Every child in a loving and caring family" and they are doing their best to prepare the children for a forever family whom they can give to, receive from, care for, love and be loved.

 

Volunteers


Meet Baaba, a dear Japanese widow who has felt called to serve Filipino children as a grandma and a piano teacher.
Her name is Kazuko Ishihara, but she is known as Baaba to us, which means "grandma" in Japanese. Her husband had been a pastor and psychologist in Japan, and she raised two daughters who have their own families in Japan.
She is working at least half-time at Rehoboth as a volunteer caregiver, and she adds a new dimension to our multi-cultural facility (Filipino, Australian, British, American, and now Japanese).
She has courageously faced the language barrier as neither Tagalog nor English are her first language. She has an electronic translator and a quick mind to learn both languages, and she is doing very well.
One of the things that makes her truly a 'Baaba', is her gentle interactions with the children and staff - expresses more than words ever could hope to achieve.
We have loved welcoming Baaba on-site. Please thank God for her and pray that she will experience the truth that "God has made a place for her" at Rehoboth.

Volunteers: Heathdale Christian College Teams


Heathdale Christian College in Werribee, Victoria, Australia has been sending volunteers to Rehoboth since 2005. This year they kept themselves and the kids busy with two teams at Rehoboth over the past month. What a blessing it was to have them onsite. The children were treated to a trip to the beach and waterfall as well as plenty of fun games onsite. What shone most brightly though was their heart to serve the children and staff at Rehoboth. Coming alongside to bring hands to help, hands to hold babies and hearts to love unconditionally; makes volunteers a precious and important part of Rehoboth. 

Thank you to the team members, their leaders Jim, Michaela, Travis, Mary and Moira  and to our resident Aussie Sarah, for all her work as the RSM Volunteers Coordinator. The commitment of your hearts and time is so incredibly valuable.

Thank you also to the staff, leadership and school community of Heathdale, for the continued support of Rehoboth by supporting these teams. The impact is long lasting and the Rehoboth staff still ask after members from the very first team.

Shoes !

The KRIS foundation recently donated some much needed shoes ! There were even some shoes included for our staff members. What fun was had trying them on. Thank you so much KRIS foundation.
Thank you Alayne and Megan White from Australia ....
for volunteering onsite at Rehoboth. You fit right in with the daily schedule, helped the staff, played with the kids and were generally just awesome. We will miss you. Please come again soon ! 

Medical clinic - Volunteering Opportunity


We are looking for 1, 2 or 3 doctors, a dentist and dental technician to volunteer on an extended basis in the clinic. It would be preferable to have local Filipino volunteers, as the paperwork process for foreigners can be cumbersome and involved. But, if you are a foreigner and happy to dive in to the paperwork and willing to volunteer, Rehoboth would love to have you !  With Rehoboth's financial issues, we have no resources to give an allowance, but we have a few designated donations that would pay for some support staff and medicine/supplies for a while. What we can offer is lodging on-site.
Any kind of health service that we could provide regularly would be enough to get the medical clinic wheels turning faster and begin to establish its roots in the community.


For more information please contact Ken: clinic@rehobothsampalocministries.com



If you are interested in volunteering in another capacity, please contact Sarah: volunteer@rehobothsampalocministries.com or visit our website for more infomation

Aquaponics

Last month we had out first haul of fish from the Aquaponics system. Amazingly we were able to collect 10kg (22 pounds) of fish. They were delicious ! The boys loved getting their hands dirty scooping the fish out as you can see in the photos below.
 
Some photos from Edgar's birthday celebrations
Happy Birthday Edgar !

It's Typhoon Season ...


It is that time of year again for us - typhoons otherwise known as hurricanes.

Please pray for three specific things as you hear about these on the news.

 
1) That the roofs stay on. The two over the kids' homes should be replaced.
2) That the small canal that runs through our property will stay un-clogged. If it clogs, we will have flooded buildings.
3) That the kids and staff and staff's families will remain safe. Some of the staff are not in such good housing situations.

 Work One Day for Rehoboth Children's Home
September 21 - 27, 2014


Could you set aside one day's wages for Rehoboth? 
or consider getting your friends, colleagues or workplace involved ?
Look out for details in your inbox next week.

Volunteer Opportunities !

Rehoboth is looking for some assistance in the following areas
  • Human Resources
  • Communications
  • Newsletters (can be done from your home)
  • Fundraising (can be done from your home)
Do you have skills in this area, a heart for RSM, a little time and willing hands to help? Please pray about the possibility and contact us for more information.

Rehoboth Partnerships - can you help?

At the moment Rehoboth is looking to establish new partnerships with churches, schools, individuals and community groups so it can continue this important ministry. If you are interested or you think your church, school or community group might be interested in assisting Rehoboth, please contact us by emailing Elisa at  
donate@rehobothsampalocministries.com

Please Pray for...

  • Marlon - the newest addition to Rehoboth - he is 1 month old.
  • The new adoptive families that have recently picked up their children from Rehoboth.
  • Wisdom for our social workers and ICAB staff in working together for the best outcomes for Rehoboth children.
  • safetly and protection in the typhoon season for Rehoboth, the staff and the wider Sampaloc community.
  • the volunteers who have visited and will soon visit Rehoboth. Thanking God for their servant hearts and willingness to give their time, energy and talents.
  • Staffing for the medical clinic so RSM can serve the wider community in this important way.
  • Rehoboth Staff - that they will know and always be reminded of the vital work they undertake every day
  • continued finances to keep Rehoboth running.
  • the Board and leadership - that they will remain focused on allowing God to provide and following His direction.
  • a Human Resources and Communications volunteer
  • the Work One Day for RCH fundraiser coming up in September.

Ways you can help...

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