In Matthew 25:35-36 (ESV) says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” This Bible text reminds us on how we show our love and care to the needy and lowly. And on how we extend our compassion and benevolence to the poor and to the less fortunate people.
During the earthly ministry of Jesus, He showed the greatest example of love to all the people in the entire universe. And as His followers, we are also to reflect the love of Christ to all the people around us. We will use whatever God has given us for His glory and let us freely give it back to Him through the benefit and welfare of our fellowmen. We received these blessings freely and freely we must give them away.
We are grateful enough that God uses His people to be His hands and feet, and to be His instruments in reaching out those who badly needed help.
According to Mrs. Ellen G. White, “God desires us to give cheerfully, willingly and gladly.” And that’s what happened to the blessings coming from abroad.
CPUC was blessed to be one of the recipients of the Giving Children Hope Program.
Giving Children Hope foundation sent out a container van for the third time loaded with vitamins, vita meal and book supplies for the Philippines all the way from California through the collaboration of the United Filipino SDA Church and through the effort of Mr. & Mrs. Gary Stanhiser, volunteers.
The GC Hope container van arrived in Cebu on April 15, 2016 but it was temporarily put on hold by the Department of Customs for almost two months due to some lacking documents. Anent to this, Pastor Nestor Ramos, the pastor – in – charge of United Filipino SDA Church in California, immediately flew to the Philippines and made some arrangements and negotiations with the personnel of the Department of Customs. However, the latter insisted that they should pay Php70,000.00 so that the container van will be released plus the owner of the container van demanded them to pay a cost of Php100,000.00 for the delay of use of their vehicle which amounting to almost Php200,000.00 all in all.
However, we kept on trusting God for His guiding power to touch the hearts of the people involved. Every morning, after the devotional, Pastor Ramos gave updates of the pending container van to Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC) workers. We prayed and even have an intercessory prayer in our morning devotional claiming God’s promises. After a week, the container van was released without paying that much. It was brought to the Adventist Academy of Cebu (AAC) (formerly East Visayan Academy (EVA)) last June 09, 2016 for the unloading of supplies which were placed in some of the offices of Literature Ministry Seminary (LMS) before its distribution to the different missions and conferences.
A lot of people helped during the unloading of supplies on June 10, 2016. Even our beloved CPUC president, Pastor Agapito J. Catane, Jr. and our CPUC treasurer, Mr. Ginetho A. Suniega were also there together with some of the directors and fellow workers who were available that time.
“It is really a blessing to our people in our territory to be the recipient of this Giving Children Hope program because they are supplied with vita meal, vitamins for kids and adults, and books for nursery, elementary and secondary,” CPUC president, Pastor Agapito J. Catane, Jr., said during an interview. He added that because of these supplies, feeding programs in different churches and institutions would now be initiated. “Moreover, we would like to appreciate also the effort of Mr. Gary Stanhiser for coordinating this charity work,” Pastor Catane concluded.
Meanwhile, the supplies were distributed to the six missions and conferences all throughout the Visayas. The recipients were grateful beyond for the blessings they received.
Nadeth B. Quinto is the associate editor of MIZPAH in Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC).