Published on: 19/12/2019

Reeve's Supporters Newsletter -  December 2019

We are in the middle of the Christmas season!

We would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas. We miss you all especially at this time of year. We wish you a really blessed time & that all the events you have planned in the UK, other parts of the world & various churches go really well.

Christmas Celebrations are in full swing!

The past month has been busy with all the Christmas preparations and planning. Although since September we have heard Christmas music and decorations have been in homes since October. Everyone loves Christmas (Pasko) in the Philippines!

The school children have been working really hard to learn their lines, songs and dances for the nativity play which has a superhero theme this year, it is in Tagalog, so the jokes go over our heads.

It is great to see them rehearsing and really enjoying performing. Their teachers really are doing an amazing job in getting these 3- & 4-year olds ready for the events, not an easy task!

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The parents have been in competition again making Christmas trees and star lanterns from recycled materials.

December 15th was the youth Christmas party the grade 10 students from the schools where we run Alpha in Santa Monica were invited. We had 20 young people attend, for many it was their first time at City Gates. The fun started with games and activities, seeing them trying to unwrap & eat a frozen chocolate bar with a knife and fork wearing Christmas hats and tinsel was hilarious!

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Christmas Chocolate game

The following day we held Children’s Club Outreaches Christmas Party which saw all 4 areas we hold clubs in come together at City Gates, 142 in total. We have not seen a van packed with so many children at one time, when it arrived it appeared to be a never ending “stream” of excited children.

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We started with an action song, then a performance of the school nativity followed by some Christmas themed games, which is no mean task with 142 extremely excited children! Miss Rozel and the parents cooked a vast amount of spaghetti, the traditional Filipino celebration dish.

All the children were given a loot bag to take home, filled with a colouring book, coloured pencils and a load of tasty treats.

We were excited to accompany the children from school and their parents to McDonald’s for City Gates Academy Christmas party. McDonalds opening on Coron has been a big talking point. However, many of the families who attend City Gates Academy have not been or in a position financially to be able to go.

Although this may seem like an everyday excursion for kids in the UK, here in Coron it was a real experience and one they were all excited about.

Sunday school this December has been following the Christmas story each week and the children have really enjoyed building a nativity scene each to take home (below). It’s amazing what the children made from paper, cardboard rolls and double-sided tape!

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We are looking forward to the Christmas services and to the church family Christmas breakfast service.

We ask you to join with us in praying for all who have and will attend the Christmas events that they will understand the real reason for Christmas. The birth of our saviour Jesus Christ.

Fiesta time in Guadalupe

December is the month for a Fiesta here in Guadalupe, the area of Coron where we based at City Gates. For the opening of the Fiesta there was marching bands and a procession of all the teams competing in basketball, volleyball and Zumba competitions. Filipino food stalls can be found where families cook homemade food to sell. Barbecue pork skewers, spring rolls and battered quail’s eggs are some of our favourites!! It is great to see families gathering together and we felt very welcomed by all in the community.

The events go on late into the evening with the competition matches, music and dancing.

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Visit from Elim New Zealand

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We were so blessed to receive a visit from Pastor Bob and Pastor Craig from Elim New Zealand. It was great to show them all that God is doing here in Coron and at City Gates and to also show them some of the beauty of the area. We were really excited to hear about the possibilities for them to send teams of young people here in the future. We know everyone here would be really blessed by this and we pray for the future opportunities this may hold. We both have a heart for hosting mission teams as we know personally how much short-term mission can have an impact on an individual’s life, but also the blessing it can bring to the local churches and communities at home and on the mission field.

Visit to Manila

We had a brief visit to Manila to complete biometrics for our missionary visa and collect gifts and supplies for the Christmas parties. Going to the shopping malls and markets was a real overload on our senses and the choice overwhelming having been on Coron since August! We were able to spend time with Lynette Orange the Missionary at City Gates Academy in Antipolo, Manila. It was great to share experiences and also gain some wisdom filled advice from her. She has been in Manila for over 8 years and so has a wealth of experience she could share with us. We have to confess we were a little jealous on her fluency in speaking Tagalog. We also got to share an early Christmas dinner together which was lovely. A big thank you to Lynette for her hospitality and especially for the selection boxes that will be much enjoyed over Christmas!!

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Christmas in Coron

Our Christmas will be different this year. There will be no turkey, pigs in blankets, mince pies or Christmas pud but we are enjoying the many Christmas events where we have opportunities to share God’s love with people in the community. After the events and once school has closed, we will have a few days rest and time for reflection on the past few months.

Christmas cards arrived!

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We were very excited to receive Christmas cards in the post, they took some time to get here, some were posted in September!

The post office has kindly given us a PO Box – well to be more precise they have stuck our name on a pigeonhole in the corner of the post office (room!!). Our postal address is
c/o Coron Post Office, Coron, Palawan, 5316, Philippines

Praise and Prayer

  • Thank God for protection during the recent Typhoon. Coron has previously been badly hit & so we were very thankful that this time it passed by without any damage.
  • We thank God for the Alpha courses in the schools being well received and the young people are asking questions and exploring for themselves. It was great to welcome them to the youth Christmas party at church.
  • Please pray for the continued work with the children’s outreaches.
  • Please pray for us as we continue to build relationships in the community and for opportunities that this may present.
  • Please continue to pray for us as we learn and have opportunities to practice Tagalog.
  • Please pray for us to find suitable accommodation to rent. Although we are very blessed to have a room at the project it would be really good for us to have our own place and somewhere we can establish a home here.
  • Please pray for us as we are missing family and friends this Christmas. Pray also for our family at home & that they will also have a blessed time.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter, we are so thankful for all your support and could not be doing any of this work without you.
Many Blessings
Love from Andrea and James

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