Christmas greetings from Kate and myself, James, Rebekah and Grace, along with Lendehl, Jenalyn, Jolly and all in Jigsaw. Thank you so much for your continued support, love and prayers for both Jigsaw and our family.
God continues to work in a mighty way through Jigsaw to renew, build up and develop the lives of children, young people and families. They live such hard, difficult and vulnerable lives in the depressed, squatter and street communities where Jigsaw ministers.
Jesus said: “I have come that they may have fullness of life,” and this is Jigsaw’s continued vision. There is such darkness in the world but the good news we can share with you this Christmas time is that Jesus’ light is shining, and we see love growing and lives being transformed by his love each and every day.
Happy Christmas and give praise to Christ our King.
Good news – Jigsaw Christmas parties
“Yet again, not again, I can’t believe it’s already here, it only seems like yesterday,” my mum would often be heard saying in November, but by December how she loved to celebrate the birth of her saviour, the Messiah Jesus our Lord. The celebrations and significant events that God marks his creation with are so wonderful and each year we celebrate at Jigsaw the birth of Jesus by having Christmas parties.
The parties are such special and wonderful times, celebrating and sharing the love, joy and good news of the birth of the Saviour of the world. For some attendees, this may be their fifteenth year of Jigsaw Christmas parties while for others the fifth or sixth year but for some more, it may be the very first time that they can experience the warmth of the stable and hear the good news that God sent his son into the world. Oh what joy we see in the faces of children and young people when Jigsaw shares the nativity story and they hear, perhaps for the first time, that God is love and that he loves them so much that he sent Jesus to come and live on earth so that they may have life in all its fullness and life everlasting. The celebrations are full of singing, dancing, hot meals, presents and, of course, a birthday cake for Jesus. We praise God for Christmas and thank him for Jigsaw’s 20 Christmas parties which share the good news of peace, joy and love with over 1,500 children and young people.
We have now entered a new time of family life and “parenting from a distance” as our eldest daughter Rebekah, now aged 19, has left home for a gap year. She is having a wonderful time and, although we are adapting, we are still finding it very hard that she has left. However, God is so good and his love is at the heart of all of the changes. Rebekah is living on a boat somewhere on the Thames Estuary in Essex, working as an outdoor pursuits instructor at a Christian sailing and activity centre called FACT (often known as Fellowship Afloat). It’s really hard work but she is absolutely loving it and has already made some great friends as well as getting to do lots of sailing which she really enjoys.
James is in his final year of being at Stevenage FC and is doing really well with the football, playing regularly in the club’s youth first team and with the BTEC he is studying for. He is also thinking of taking a gap year before heading off to university.
Grace is now in year 8 at secondary school and despite having to get up super early to catch her bus at 7:15 am, she is enjoying school (although she does really look forward to the holidays). She continues to love drama and is part of St Ives Youth Theatre.
Kate continues to teach in the same school and has been deputy head on and off for the past two and half years as people keep having babies.
As a family, we really enjoyed a week at Keswick Bible Convention and time at Spring Harvest in France during the summer. We are looking forward to the Christmas holidays with my sister and her two children coming from New Zealand for three weeks.
Jigsaw works to develop, improve and build up the lives of children, young people and families living in depressed, squatter and street communities in Metro Manila by sharing God’s love in practical and strategic ways through Jigsaw Kids Community Ministries.
My role continues as a mission partner with Jigsaw Philippines. My overall responsibilities are to work alongside Lendehl, the board of trustees and the leadership team to oversee, monitor, review and develop Jigsaw Kids Ministry in all its facets. Jigsaw is growing very strong and I would like to share news of two growing Jigsaw ministries.
Jigsaw youth ministry – life groups
At the heart of Jigsaw’s youth ministry are Jigsaw life groups; these are small groups of no more than 12 young people who come together once or twice a week to share around a craft or game with cold drinks and snacks. They read and learn from the Bible together and pray for one another, supporting each other in friendship and prayer. The groups are utterly amazing and truly life-giving as the young people grow in security, significance and belonging, inviting Jesus into the midst of their hard and tough lives.
Jigsaw wellbeing ministry
Jigsaw’s wellbeing ministry is run by a team led by the amazing Jenalyn, Jigsaw’s social worker. She started life in Jigsaw as a young person, part of its youth ministry. She then graduated from high school and was sponsored to attend one of the top universities in Manila to train to be a social worker, where she graduated with flying colours. Today Jenalyn heads up the Jigsaw wellbeing ministry, which responds to life situations and needs that puts the lives of children, young people and families at risk, either physically, mentally, socially or spiritually.
Jigsaw’s wellbeing ministry works in all 10 of the depressed squatter and street communities where Jigsaw works, responding to the needs and lives of the most vulnerable and at-risk children/ young people and their families. This includes health, housing, abuse situations, registering births and schooling.
However, one of the greatest needs has been nutrition with Jigsaw providing many families with monthly food parcels. Foundational to the ministry is the mission to partner and work with other organisations and individuals.
Thank God then that over the past month, we have been led into a partnership through CBM with an eye doctor and clinic in Manila who are happy and willing to see and treat any Jigsaw eye patients for free! This is the beginning of such a wonderful and important partnership.
Thank you all so much for your continued care and love in partnering and supporting me as a CMS mission partner and Jigsaw through your prayers, gifts, resources and your love. Your continued love in action in God’s mission is enabling his love to be shared in the neediest places, bringing the light and love of Jesus into many lives.
Tim, with Kate, James, Rebekah and Grace