Having A Very Merry Christmas

Trip Start Jun 28, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I have officially made it back to the United States, home sweet home at my parents house in Sturgis. It was hard to leave all my kids and families during such a difficult time, but after parting on a joyous note I feel that all of us were ready to accept the distance for a short time.

On Friday we had our Christmas Party in Cangumbang. Due to some transportation issues I almost thought I'd have to miss it, but my heart pulled me back before I could get too far away and I was able to happily rejoice with the children for the whole afternoon. We played games while some of the women cooked and prepared the food, and of course the children had way too many sweets.

All I wanted for the Christmas Party was joy and happiness. After everything they have been through I just wanted to share some special moments with them and share our gratefulness for being alive, not to mention this is the first Christmas for the Center.

The children planned surprised for me, many songs filled with dancing and singing. All the children from 17 to 3 joined in with smiles from ear to ear. They admitted their goal was to make me cry, and their sweet gesture was enough to bring tears to my eyes. 

I love each of them so much, it seems I now have 100 little brothers and sisters and handfuls of daughters and sons too. They are so incredible. The resilience and optimism of the whole community amazes me.

Christmas is tomorrow, this year all I want for Christmas is the ability to rebuild the communities devastated by the storm. I look back on the past year, and I am in disbelief.

Without knowing what would happen, we built an evacuation center that became the only lifeline for a community during the most horrific storm in history, just in time. The generosity of Holy Angels Church and so many individuals from Sturgis literally saved an entire village from the storm. It is unimaginable what level of devastation would have occurred without the center's presence. I am overwhelmingly thankful to so many individuals, families, and organizations for helping the Filipino people survive after the storm and for supporting me through every challenge since November 8th.

May all of you have a very Merry Christmas, filled with love, joy, and hope for the new year.

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Aunt Debbie on

You are one amazing lady!!!! It's so good to spend time with you!!!! Xoxo

Lori Carlin on

Glad you are spending a well earned holiday resting and in the loving care of your family. Our town & church are very proud of what you have done! Local Lions clubs have some rebuilding money for you...we were very happy to help!
Lori Carlin & family

carolina on

welcome to Sturgis merry Christmas I am glad with God and you ,grand Job.

Mary on

Elsa, We were so glad to see you with your family on Christmas Eve. I know we have said this many times, but you are so special to us and the whole town of Sturgis. You need to know, you have changed of our lives, we have learned to give so much more and you made us feel apart of the whole project. I know the money will be raised for the construction of the new roof. May God continue to bless you and give you some rest over the next few weeks.

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