Volcanic Eruption Near Our Home
January 13, 2020

Volcanic Eruption Near Our Home
by John Coffey (Director of IT Tender)

It was a calm Sunday afternoon when our family went to the mall yesterday for some bonding time after church. After dinner, we walked outside to the parking lot to see every car in the parking lot looking like this...

No, it didn't snow in Manila. This is a thick layer of volcanic ash covering every vehicle (including our house and everything outside in our community). I ran through the ash rain to get the car and bring it closer to Jam and Ali. Driving home was like driving through a thick fog with the ash swirling in the air. The culprit is the Taal volcano just 40km away from our home and also 40km away from Manila.

The photos above were taken by our newest teammate at Tender (Jeyn) and her cousin who live closer to the Taal volcano where the eruption of ash occurred. This dramatic ash explosion of the Philippines’ second-most-active volcano just prompted warnings of a possible “volcanic tsunami” on the way. So a worse eruption could occur yet. The Taal volcano is located on a small island in a lake, and enormous waves from a volcanic eruption can also cause destruction to the homes of thousands of Filipinos living along the lake. The Taal volcano is a popular tourist attraction with many Filipinos earning a living guiding hiking tours and horseback riding on the island.

The explosion, which sent a plume of ash half a mile into the air, came months after the volcano began exhibiting a state of unrest. Tremors were felt on the volcano’s island and in surrounding villages. Lightning and thunder above the volcano raged for hours. Ash rain came down all night even at our home, but please pray for the families and communities nearest to the volcano, as thousands have had to evacuate their homes.

We appreciate your prayers at this time. To my Filipino brothers and sisters in Metro Manila and anywhere nearby the volcano, continue to follow the news, stay inside when warned and stay safe. The ash from the rainfall can be very dangerous to your health.

The True Meaning of Christmas
by Vincent (Sponsor Child / Youth Volunteer)

This last December, many people were very busy. They were shopping for gifts for the people they love. The kids were so excited to receive gifts. They were delighted because of new toys, clothing, sandals and more. But Christmas is not just about physical things. There is something more valuable that we should remember. Christmas is not just about us, but it is also the birthday of our Lord Jesus. "To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).

We should always remember each Christmas season that Christmas is not just about the gifts that we receive from our family and friends. It is about the gift from God the Father who gave his son Jesus for us to be saved and to know God.

At IT Tender, we remembered this with thanksgiving and joy. We shared the meaning of Christmas through our big Christmas party for the kids and families of Tender. Of course, we also enjoyed some presents, food and fun games at our carnival-themed party. Families also received practical gifts of groceries, backpacks, hygiene kits and school supplies.

Enjoy this epic video and these photos that highlight the Christmas celebrations of IT Tender...

Thank you to our donors who helped make this event possible! We also thank our partners who gave resources and volunteers to support the events, including Extreme Response, Halcyon, SCSF, Ayala Malls, and Keith & Grace.

Take care, and thank you for all your support and prayers.

- The IT Tender Family