New Year’s is a time of celebration and gratitude, a perfect time to reflect on the blessings one received. In the winter of 2021, Sixteen13 Ministry was privileged to share their blessings with those less fortunate in the Philippine community. Majority of the children are not fortunate enough to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. Most of the children in the Philippine community are members of poor families who are living in a secluded area far from the city. They are unaware of what chocolate tastes like or even what chocolate is. Rice is often their only daily intake. Having chocolates or candies at home is like heaven to those children.
Every year, the team is hoping to gift children with a Bible, hygiene kit (toothpaste, toothbrush, body soap and shampoo), and chocolates. This is exciting since they cannot afford to buy hygiene items. They use salt as their toothpastes and body soap as their shampoo. Bibles will introduce them to the real God (John 3:16). There is no church near where they live and no transportation available.
In 2021 Sixteen13 Ministry, together with volunteers Cherry, Elmhar, and their family in the Philippines, were able to reach 200 kids with a Bible, a gospel track, and a big candy bar.
Here is a message from Cherry and Elmhar’s family in the Philippines:
“I and My family, my mom (Nora), my dad (Modesto), my sister Aicy, my sister in law Rica (Elmhar’s sister) would like to offer you our deepest gratitude for your effort, time and for making the outreach program possible. Our initial plan was to give gifts for a hundred children but we reached more than 200 children and few elders, so we cannot thank you enough. And personally, it was a moving and heart-warming experience because for the past years when cherry and Elmhar were still here in the Philippines, I only helped in packaging the goods, but now since I had a chance to personally distribute the gifts I had an opportunity to go to places and see the people’s reaction and it was priceless I can’t believe the feeling of how nice it feels to lend a hand of those in need and i wish I have done this sooner. So I am looking forward to do this again next year but hopefully with you in person! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”
Pray, as the ministry is planning to do more outreaches, both locally and abroad, to bring the gospel and discipleship training to Filipino families. Thank you to everyone who supported this project and made a difference in people’s lives. God bless!
Elmhar and Cherry serve as volunteers with Sixteen13 Ministry, helping people who are in need of food. Currently, they are working on a project abroad. Each year their goal is to give 200 less fortunate children in the Philippines Christmas gifts which used to be a tradition they always took part in when they were in the Philippines.
Meet cherry and elmhar
In 2019, Cherry Castillio, her husband Elmhar, and Nathan their 7-year-old son landed in Canada, together with many worries and questions, no family or friends. Not having a car made things very hard to accomplish. Having to go to so many different offices by walking with their 7-year-old son in Morden was tough. Morden has no public transportation. Buying a car was not possible because of money and they didn’t know what to do. Cherry remembers still having had jetlag and their son would fall asleep in every office. Elmhar started applying for a job in less than a week after they had landed in order to pay the bills.
During the seconded week in Canada, Elmhar got hired at a barn, 45 minutes away from Morden. God provided, Elmhar’s co- worker offered to car pool. Cherry recalls many instances where Jesus performed miracles in their family, one of them when she was driving to drop her son off at school. “It was a cold and snowy morning; we were running late and our car was not winter ready. We didn’t know back then, that we needed to change to winter tires in the winter. I was driving and the car ahead of us stopped, I hit the brake pedal but the car kept moving because of the ice on the road. I froze for a moment and suddenly I felt like someone held my hand turning the steering wheel to the right. Praise the Lord! If I’d turned left, I would have hit the electrical pole. When I finally stopped, I was in shock for a couple of minutes. I remember praying and thanking Jesus. I know he is the one who saved my son and me from a possible accident.”
The Castillios had a rough start in this country, some things they had to learn the hard way. But they say bad situations don’t last and it is true! Whenever Elmhar and Cherry are in a bad situation and about to give up, Jesus sent people who supported them.
Cherry and her family became involved with the food ministry of Sixteen13 after receiving their help and since then have stayed connected with Harold, and the ministry. After taking part in Bible studies and attending a local church they were invited to, Elmhar and Cherry realized a lot of things; in their country they went to a catholic church and they discovered that there were a lot of beliefs that were not true. Eventually, the Castillios accepted Jesus Christ as their one true God.