Sunday, December 28

still in a Christmas mood...

tho i feel like i got food poisoned from the chinese food i ate for lunch, i still feel very Christmasy! so how was every one's Christmas? hope you all spent it joyously with your fam.

wasn't really planning on blogging, but when my daughter and i just finished purchasing songs from itunes, i saw that the Christmas countdown started all over again hehehe so oh well, might as well blog right?

well, we spent almost 3days at my brother's new condo in chicago. had lots of games, food and great memories. the only thing i forgot to do is take group pics - ugh! 1st Christmas without it. can't do it on new years coz we're incomplete. =(

although the budget was pretty tight this year, the kids got everything they wished for. i was as always, the videographer and captured some really great, over the top, surprised faces once they opened their gifts. ahh! it was def a kodak moment!

tomorrow's my daughter's 14th bday and boy i can't wait myself. i pray for a God-centered year for her and many blessings for my teen. we're so blessed to have her and we just continue to surrender her life in God's hands. she has grown to be a beautiful, compassionate and with a big heart for the needy and we're so proud to be her parents. advanced happy birthday, camille! we love you!!!

well, i promise to load some pics next time. till then, may the Lord's blessings shower you this holiday season! i still have some great stories to tell, just kinda lazy right now... so nitey nite!

Friday, December 19

Project HOPE's year-end update

Dear Friends,

Hope this email finds you all well. Well, 2009 is just right around the corner and we, the Project HOPE team would like to extend our warmest thanks to you who have stood alongside us in praying and helping the underprivileged all around the globe.

Here's an update of where your donations have brought this ministry. Please join us in praising and thanking the Lord for this opportunity to serve the people in need. Whether they are in need of material or a whisper of prayer, Project HOPE has extended every help we can offer this year.

Fund Drive:
Feb & May: Valentines Day & Mother's Day - we delivered flowers & raised $685
Aug: Garage Sale - raised $143

In May, we volunteered to help the poverty-stricken in Zambia & Zimbabwe, through Bright Hope & Willow Creek's Celebration of Hope: We packed nutrional meals & med packs.

November:
Donated $500 to a family whose father died of cancer and have no way of paying for the funeral expenses.

On Thanksgiving, we helped feed 10 homeless individuals through the help of Wayside Cross Ministry in Elgin. We also have committed to provide food for another 10 homeless people this coming Christmas.

Christmas: For the past two years, we've been adopting 10 extremely poor families in the Philippines. These are families who have no other way to celebrate Christmas, but to sleep in hunger. Our team has agreed to provide each family enough necessities to last them for at least a month and be able to celebrate Christmas with hope that our God cares for them. These necessities are: Rice, Cooking Oil, Sugar, Vinegar, Champorado, Spaghetti noodles, Spaghetti sauce, Corned beef, Meat loaf, Cheese, Biscuit, Coffee, Milo, Packs of noodles, and apples. To them this is more than a Christmas wish come true and our hearts celebrate with joy that is beyond dreams.

I decided to include the list of families we are helping this year, in hopes that your hearts will ache with us and continue to come alongside us in this crusade. This ministry is not a joke. Being the hands and feet of God to this broken and hurting world has opened our eyes to not envy the people above us and instead look at the people below us and be grateful for what we have.

* Mr. & Mrs. Lito&Cynthia Santilleces
Tricycle driver & plain housewife with 6 children from brgy. 10

* Mrs. Aida Tolentino – husband deceased with 3 children from brgy. 10

* Mr. & Mrs. Loreto & Gloria Aquino
Factory driver & lavandera (someone who washes clothes by hand) with 12 children from brgy. Lumbang

* Mr. & Mrs. Fred & Deylin Patino
Construction worker & plain housewife with 3 children frm. Brgy. Lumbang

* Mr. & Mrs. Jomer & Joan Moreno
Welder & helper with 3 children from brgy. Lumbamg

* Mrs. Lilia C. Leyesa- husband deceased
Store keeper & helper with 7 children from brgy. San carlos

* Mrs. Alona Kalalo
Cigarette vendor with 5 children from Brgy. Balintawak

* Mr. Armando Mista
Unemployed with 3 children from Brgy. Pinagkawitan

*Mr. & Mrs. Josie Luja Janitress with 4 children from Brgy. Tambo

*Mr. Eddy San Sebastian - Handicap with 6 children

Friends, know that the task doesn't stop here. The need has tripled due to struggling economy. The task is bigger, but the good news is God is greater than anything. He has touched your hearts to help this ministry in extending the love of God to others. And so we are eternally grateful. We have a big job ahead of us in 2009 and so we continue to ask for your generosity and compassion as we come together in unity to help the poorest of the poor.

Now as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the hope of the season, we at Project HOPE want to thank you for all the help you've extended in furthering the kingdom of God.

Please let us know if we can pray for you in any way this holiday season, for prayer is the best gift we can offer. We'd love to hear from you.

Have a Merry Christmas!

--God Speed!
Lovely Miranda

Project HOPE Team

Monday, December 15

wow! 10days?

and it's Christmas? goodness! i don't know about you, but this year is going by soooo fast. in a way it's good coz i anticipate to see what lies in 2009.

i'm done with Christmas shopping, wrapped all the gifts, met up with some of the girls before Christmas (hoping to see the rest before then too) and let's see, oh! so many good news that happened lately that i'm all smiles these past few days.... i know the Lord was the #1 source of them... so all praises to Him!

changing the subject here... i was so thrilled to see my kids get along so well lately. you know how kids are sometimes... they find it amusing to annoy each other like cats and dogs, but lately it hasn't been the case. my teen and my son have been getting along for the past few days that i actually had to video tape some of them.... hahaha yep! it was like an instant prayer came true! they got along so well that they managed to watch movies together, sleep in my daughter's room, tell each other jokes, and have a concert in the office while playing their guitars... i mean, what more can you ask for? well, i know it won't be like this everyday, but i'm sure glad they're setting a good example to their little sis and really just showing love for each other. we can't have everything, i sure am glad to have God guide our steps everyday.

last weekend my daughter and i volunteered to wrap gifts for the families who cannot afford to buy retail gifts to their children. this church has partnered with Willow Creek's Christmas serving opportunities. however, their idea was good and different. in order for them to raise more funds to help more less fortunate people, they priced the donated gifts (new) about 80%-90% off the retail price. in this way, parents still have the dignity to be able to pick and buy a gift they would like for their children. the gifts they buy is what we wrap. it was definitely an eye opener, esp. for me and my family who i consider still very blessed to have what we have even if we are struggling financially. God is good, i tell yah!

anyway, starting this friday, the 19th, our home church, Willow Creek, will be having a 12 identical Christmas services... it will end on the 24th. if you live in illinois, i sure hope you'll find time to come and enjoy our yearly, wonderfully put together program about Jesus' birth. it's a great way to spend it with your loved ones and guess what? it's FREE! all you need to do is click this link: http://www.willowcreek.org/MiniSite/default.asp and reserve your tickets to the service time of your choice.

hope to experience this amazing true to life story of Jesus, our ONLY Savior!

God speed!

Thursday, December 4

Project HOPE on Christmas!

here's an update for you all:

this coming Christmas, project HOPE has once again adopted 10 less fortunate families in the philippines. these families just like the last couple years we've been doing this, are the once who are not able to buy any food to celebrate Christmas. most of these families force themselves to sleep to be able to ignore their hunger. as an added blessing, we're also providing each family enough food to last them for at least a month.

we've also committed ourselves in providing to feed 10 homeless people last thanksgiving and will be feeding another 10 this coming Christmas through the help of wayside cross ministries.

it has been a privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to these people and we are so blessed to have this opportunity.

as a matter of fact, we are in the process of organizing a "feed the hunger event" this january in the little town of pasig in the philippines. with the help of my mother-in-law and her compassionate team, we will be able to feed as many people, up to the maximum capacity of the vacant town house that will be used to serve these people, owned by our grandma. we will be serving lunch and dinner for one day (date tbd) and will be giving away hope bags for each family as they leave for the night.

all of this because God is just so good and He has touched people's hearts to donate their resources and for many who continues to pray for Project HOPE and our team.

thank you for everything! may our good Lord shower you all even more with His blessings!!!

please continue to pray for us and the projects in store for Project HOPE.

God speed!

Tuesday, December 2

just in awe...

on my way back home from droppin' off my son to school, i was listening to wmbi 90.1 fm and heard the song, "mary did you know". i've heard this song many times, but never really had a chance to listen and ponder the lyrics. this time i did. i could not help, but imagine the beauty of how HOLY Jesus is and how blessed we are to have Him.

as a mom, i also wondered how mary felt. if you listen to the lyrics of the song and imagined for a moment that you are mary... how will you handle it? esp knowing that you're just 13 yrs old. how would you tell your parents? your siblings? your relatives and friends?

i'm humbled by mary's faith and trust in God as she carries this baby boy not knowing what will happen. she just obeyed and trusted what God asked of her. wow! now that's faith!

anyway, today my daughter went to her youth ministry and every time i pick her up, she never neglects to share to me the message she learned. well, guess what? it was about mary. hahaha, God's full of humor, i tell yah! well, our conversation got so exciting that she herself was flabbergasted. she then mentioned to me about the video they watched in youtube. so here it is friends... see for yourself and let it resonate your mind, body and soul...



the message is so powerful that i couldn't really decide which videos to share to you... so i have no choice, but to pick 2 from the tons of videos out there. here's another version...



well, i hope this videos have inspired you as well. God is so AWESOME!