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Christmas at Door of Hope 2013

December 24, 2013

On October 15th, the Philippines was hit with a 7.2 earthquake, and a 4.5 aftershock one month later. Many relief teams were activated and sent out from many different sources. Then on November 8th, the worst storm recorded in history slammed into the Islands of the Philippines. The camera and video coverage that followed of the devastation, shocked the world. In the weeks after, the world has watched as the death toll rose to over 5,200, with 1611 people still unaccounted for. (At Door of Hope there was no damage, only heavy rains and winds. - Editors note.)

But in the midst of ruin and calamity, stories of hope have sprung up... stories of light shining in the darkness... of people on the other side of the world caring enough about their fellow human beings in need, to put their faith into action.

On the Island of Palawan, a children's home, called the Door of Hope, has experienced the love of people they've never met, in the form of Christmas Packages that were packed up and sent back  in July. Great joy has arrived to the Philippines and just in time for Christmas.

At a time when the nation has been knocked down, and is struggling to its feet, the Christmas Packages bring a beacon  of HOPE... they are a tangible message that says that people on the other side of the world really do care.

The Christmas boxes arrived early this year. I had the privilege of witnessing the distribution of the packages to the kids at the children's home. The joy on their faces, as they carefully looked through the contents of their packages, filled me with warmth, like a fragrant Christmas candle.

Adel hugged her stuffed animal so tightly, then tried on the hat and sunglasses. Her eyes lit up when she saw the fun snacks. She stopped to inspect a pencil case, filled with pencils, erasers and pens. Colorful school supplies, add a sparkle to dreary school days, with dirt floors, dark rooms, and hard benches. Snacks are a fun diversion from the monotonous diet of rice, rice, and rice again.

Flashlights aren't just a toy. They are a life saver, when they light up the path way and help the children to avoid stepping on poisonous spiders, 9" centipedes, massive scorpions, or snakes.

As the kids opened their packages, exclamations of joy, squeals of excitement, and giggles of fun filled the room... for an hour or so they examine the contents of theirs and each others packages. But when the night is over, the fun is just beginning. For days, and weeks, they learn how to use the gadgets they've received. Every time they see the bright colors, and use their new gifts, they are reminded of God's love, sent to them from someone who cares.

"Salamat sa liwanag mo... Muling nagkakakulay ang Pasko!"

Thank you for shining your light. You brought color back to our Christmas!

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