Greetings from all the Lee family and everyone in Jigsaw. I am reminded this week while sitting in a caravan in Norfolk with Kate and re-reading Vincent Donovan’s brilliant book, Christianity Rediscovered, that the foundation of all Christian mission is to share Christ. We praise God then that this is the foundation and mission of the ministry of Jigsaw Philippines. My role in the mission of Jigsaw continues to be to help direct and oversee its ministry and to encourage and nurture its development towards becoming a locally governed, managed and led Filipino ministry. It is also to direct and manage the work of Jigsaw Kids Ministries UK which is a registered charity that seeks to unite and empower churches, schools and individuals in the UK to be part of God’s mission through supporting and enabling Jigsaw Kids Ministry Philippines (through prayer, gifts, resources, school sponsorship and advocacy).
We are writing this letter sat in a very lovely caravan which some friends of ours have lent us while our three children are braving the elements on the Norfolk Broads. Every Easter for the past five years, Rebekah and James have taken part in a Christian sailing holiday on the Broads and this year Grace much to her excitement is old enough to join them. So we find ourselves in the unfamiliar territory of being on holiday with no children! Strange but relaxing is how I would sum up the experience.
Rebekah is now in her final year of A-levels and has secured a gap year placement at FACT (Fellowship Afloat) where she will be an activity/ sailing instructor. She plans to apply for universities next year once she has her A-level results.
James is almost through his first year at Stevenage Football Academy and is doing really well with his studies in BTEC sport. Frustratingly, he has been out injured for much of the season but he is gradually getting back to full fitness just in time for the cricket season. He has one more year at Stevenage and is keeping all his options open and planning to go to a number of university open days in the summer. James and Tim also had an amazing time watching their beloved Huddersfield Town, having spent 21 hours queuing outside the ticket office last summer which saw them able to get two precious season tickets!
Grace is loving being at secondary school and even enjoys the hourlong bus journey to get there as she has a whole hour to chat to her friends and play on her phone. She settled in quickly and made lots of new friends, many of whom are Filipino and they were very surprised to find out that Grace was actually born in the Philippines. Kate is now doing another stint of being deputy head at her school due to another maternity leave, which is challenging but rewarding.
She is fortunate to work with a great team of teachers and support staff who are all very encouraging and supportive. Now that the children are older it is much easier for her to manage the family when Tim goes away to the Philippines although we are still thankful to have family nearby who step in at the last minute to help out with lifts and serve delicious Sunday lunches. We really do value your prayers and it’s been wonderful to see God at work in the lives of our children as they grow up. Not many children have that many people praying for them so thank you.
Jigsaw Philippines updates
Jigsaw runs six community-based Christian family ministries in Metro Manila, sharing God’s love with over 1,500 children, young people and families from 10 urban depressed, informal and street communities. It’s called to combat poverty within the lives of children, young people and families living in Metro Manila, especially those in most need, those exposed to street life and those with disabilities, through sharing God’s love in practical and strategic ways.
Jigsaws ladies’ sewing ministry growing from strength to strength…
Jigsaw ladies’ sewing ministry is a ministry developed to empower those living in depressed, informal and street communities in Manila, helping women to grow and develop friendships, faith and skills. It is such a powerful ministry and one which is growing from strength to strength and everyone involved wants to thank those who have provided gifts for new sewing machines.
In area 4, the ministry is looking to start an additional weekly sewing session to accommodate the number of ladies wanting to sew and be part of it. Please pray as we really need more trained staff to facilitate and lead these proposed new sessions. The ladies have recently made shorts, skirts and bags for both their families and for their local community.
Birth registration is bringing dignity and new life
Thank you for your life changing prayers for our health and wellbeing ministry. After much work and perseverance, Jenalyn and the Jigsaw team have finally received birth certificates for four of the children we have been praying for.
UNICEF describes birth registration as a human right and one of the key factors in changing poverty. The work of Jenalyn and the Jigsaw team has ensured that four more children now have the dignity and security of being legally recognised with registered names and the rights and security of citizenship. It also opens the doors of possibility to go to school and much more. Birth registration is a basic human right and very important in so many ways; as one child said so poignantly when he received his birth certificate, “I am now an equal human being.” Please continue to pray for the health and wellbeing ministry as it seeks to care for and strengthen lives.
Jigsaw YALE (Young Adults Life Empowerment) ministry
Jigsaw’s YALE ministry is a new Jigsaw ministry that works to bring hope for a brighter future for young people ages 17-25 through education, vocational training and employment support. The ministry is headed up by Jomaico and run by a small dedicated team that helps young people to access and begin education and vocational training.
It also supports young people in preparing for, applying for and having the necessary requirements needed to find employment. It is funded by a monthly seed budget, which is used to give grants for training and provide microcredit loans to a young person for what they need in order to obtain employment (ie: uniforms, driving licenses, birth certificates, carpentry tools etc).
Many of the young people are in real need and it is often very difficult to find the opportunities they need, but the ministry is based on a 1-1 mentoring strategy and inspired by the words of love in 1 Corinthians 13:7: “Love perseveres and love never gives up.”
I spoke to Jomaico about how young people needed hope and he said: “Often a young person has no hope for themselves, in either finding a job or having training of any sort to ensure a better future, so we must have hope for them and walk with them on their journey.”
Please pray as this new ministry becomes established, and pray for Ernesto (learning to be a driver), Keno (ALS), Elmer (a welding course), Vince (supermarket packer), Maan (McDonalds), Joeffrey (mechanic training) and Ver (education). These are the first seven participants in the ministry, praise God.
Jigsaw Kids Clubs remain “safe places to belong, play, learn and grow in faith, hope and love” and remain one of the main foundations of Jigsaw’s Ministry. They run over 30 kids clubs each week for over 1,500 of the neediest children. Every time I visit a kids club, the obvious sense of joy, community, safety and increase of God’s love overwhelms me. The skills and talents of the Jigsaw staff in managing, leading and running the children’s clubs is also of the highest standard and really wonderful.
Sampalukan is a waste area of Manila where many street families have settled in temporary sheltered housing. Jigsaw has been working in the area for some time and would now like to have their own ministry building there. There is a building available and one of our UK churches is partnering with Jigsaw to buy and renovate the building, but we need prayer as the process to buy the building is being held up. Please pray that the necessary people will be able to meet and get the process moving so that Jigsaw can buy and renovate the building.
With love in the Lord