I wanted to share with you a letter from the pastor of John's project (PH843). I made some of my favorite parts bold.
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Iloilo, Philippines.
My name is Heman M. Itona, and I am the pastor Pavia Christian Reformed Church. For almost five years now, our child development center has partnered with Compassion International to serve your sponsored child. Our city is located in the central part of the Philippines on Visayas Island, a known tourist destination in the country.
Firstly, allow me to express my sincere gratitude to you for sponsoring your sponsored child. Through your prayer and generous support through Compassion, we are continuously ministering and achieving the visions and goals primarily for children.
To help you understand more of our community and our church ministry, here is some significant information that I would like to share with you.
Our municipality has a population of 30,000 comprising 5,000 households. From this figure we have identified 220 children representing 200 families as direct beneficiaries of our program. They belong to the so-called less fortunate families. In our country less fortunate means a family lives in small, crowded homes with limited access to health services, medication, education and economic opportunities. This poverty is the prime factor and challenge that hinders the crucial development of children and the families we serve.
I am happy to tell you that through partnership with Compassion, we are able to provide a holistic ministry responding effectively to the needs of our children. Our children have now access to good health and medical programs, parents capacity to send their children to school is now greatly enhanced through provision of school assistance, academic performance is improved through tutorials, stimulating learning activities and other development programs offered at the center.
We are delighted to see these benefits enjoyed by the children, but the results that give more delight to our church are the spiritual changes that are taking place in the lives of the children and their parents. All of the 220 children have made a first time profession and commitment to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. They are regularly joining and participating in our church activities especially during Sunday school. About 60 percent are attending our worship service during Sundays, and 80 percent are attending weekly Bible study.
I also praised God for our staff, composed of spiritually dedicated, talented leaders of our church. They are excited to serve the Lord through children's ministry, and they also love the children. Our staff is responsible for the management as well as the implementation of the program of the center.
Let me say to you the vision statement of our church, "We are a fellowship, a dynamic and growing church rooted in an obedience to God's Word, influencing society with the reformed faith and life, and actively involved in a credible and responsive kingdom witness." I praise God that our partnership with Compassion enables us to fulfill this vision, more lives are touched, and more children are cared for in Jesus name.
Thank you so much for your support. It has done so much to enable our church to minister to our children. On a personal note, I would like to let you know that our children are very excited when they receive letters from you, their sponsors. Please pray for our church and for the children we're ministering to.
Furthermore, we do remember you in our prayers that our mighty God will sustain and bless you and your family and as you joyfully support your sponsored child.
God bless you.
Your partner in the ministry,
Rev. Heman M. Itona