Labor of Love – Christmas Feed the Homeless 2014

Here is my article about my experience with Labor of Love Project in West Covina, California:

from B.C. with Love….

at first i thought three weeks’ stay in California will be a bit too long to be away from my Dersky (my significant other) who is in Beautiful British Columbia, where we are based. my trip was kind of a snap decision, but God knows better, i had a wonderful bonding time with my two sisters and their families as well as with my brother and sister in law, shirley, and nephew, Kiko.

the highlights of my stay were, spending thanksgiving with my two sisters, bonding time with my special niece, Teresa, who is almost a daughter to me,

and last and most fulfilling of all was joining the 2014 Christmas Labor of Love event that happened on December 5th and 6th.

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not only that i witnessed the preparation of the care boxes, i also went with the picking up of donated items/goods courtesy of In-n-Out burgers and Coca-Cola, two major partners of L.O.L., as well as picking up the apples at the produce market (Choppy Produce) in downtown Los Angeles. staff of In-n-Out were unbelievably kind and all smiles while we were there… such a heartwarming encounter!

since i have been remotely maintaining the blog for L.O.L., it was a wish for me to actually be present in any of their events, Easter or Christmas, and this trip has fulfilled my wish πŸ™‚

it is very humble of my sister-in-law, Shirley, and my brother, Tony, to open their home to strangers, who in the end become friends and part of family of L.O.L. i have seen what they had to do before opening their doors to those volunteers arriving early on Friday, December 05, up to the time they clean up and call it a day. moving furniture, arranging tables, setting them up so that preparing the care boxes will be like an assembly line, and making sure there will be enough snacks/drinks for the volunteers and cleaning up the house after everything is over… of course, kudos too to volunteers, young and old alike, from different ethnicity, profession or what nots, who shared not only time, but also their financial or any kind of contribution.

and, to top it all, very inspiring that they offered their vehicles to drive to downtown L.A. and areas where the care boxes will be distributed, i saw the cul-de-sac, all parked cars waiting to be loaded up with the boxes… isnt that ah-maaaazing!!! but this time, more cars but not enough boxes eh??

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as for myself, i did hand some boxes when we went to the area they called “skid-row”, i even listened to a homeless lady telling me she was drugged, beaten up and face slammed on the concrete floor… so sad. all i can do is pray for the poor lady.

overall, my trip was all worth it.. i thank God for my family, i thank God for taking care of them, i thank Him for my sister-in-law’s compassionate heart, i thank God that He allowed me to be with the destitute, God put them there to teach me humility and compassion. i thank God for all those who worked hard too for this cause. i am JOYFUL! it is an early wonderful Christmas gift…. A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO ALL, from B.C. with love,

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To God be all Glory!

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, β€˜It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” ~Acts 20:35

M.

bringing home the sunshine…

i ended my 3 week vacation just in time before the storm hit Northern California last Wednesday. though my flight was delayed for 5 hours due to impending strong winds, i was glad to be back home in B.C. with my Dersky.

before the storm, it was mostly sunny in California, yes it rained on some days, which they direly need as they have been having drought for a long time, but after the rain, there was glorious sunshine again. a friend asked me if i have brought wintry weather from B.C., i said, no,, i will be bringing home the sunshine from California.. you see not only it rains in Vancouver, hence earning her nickname “Raincouver”, it is also waaaay too cold.. not complaining though, i know it’s much worse in the east, so, i’ll be happy with what we have here…

my stay with my beloved sisters and brother was a very joyful and heartwarming one, just like the sunshine that greets me each morning…. being able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them, having spent time with my dearest Teresa, (my special needs niece) who is growing to be beautiful, and heavy…

and also the highlight of my trip was joining my sister-in-law, Shirley’s Labor of Love – Feed the Homeless ministry. I will be blogging in detail about this to post here and on their site, www.laborofloveproject.wordpress.com watch out for it.

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i divided my days among my three siblings, a week with each of them more or less.. i miss them so much that i wish they were just living next to my house.. but life is such, we each have our own destinies God perfectly planned and so be it..

soon it will be Christmas, and it is one of those occasions when we reminisce about the happy pasts… especially those spent while we were growing up under one roof, where Mama used to prepare our Noche Buena (Christmas Eve feasts) of pork BBQ and hot macaroni soup and ham sandwiches, the wafting aroma of halaya (purple yam jam)….. yum yum… sigh! these memories bring the sunshine into my heart in this wintry weather, and i feel JOY!!

Have a Blessed Christmas and may you experience the warmth of this season with your loved ones and of course, with the presence of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to Him be all Glory! Β IMG_5642

M.

Labor of LOVE…

Generosity should be in our hearts 24/7 or 365/12, in short, all the time. i admit, i am a little tightfisted, not that i am stingy (or so i think), i just feel i don’t have much to share, i only have enough. but, how much is enough? the bible says, “give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” Deuteronomy 15:10

i have yet to learn to let go of the things i keep (including money) for the sake of just keeping them. sometimes, God does give us precisely just enough to teach us to share to those who are in need.

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LABOR OF LOVE

this is what my sister-in-law does. she, my brother and their son, live a very modest, simple life, but they are very rich in generosity. ten years ago, with her $100.00 extra in her pocket, she started her own ministry of feeding the hungry, about 25 homeless people, until by words of mouth, her ministry, now called “Labor of Love”, slowly grew from 140 to 400 and now to feed 700 with the help of other people’s generosity and selfless hearts. their story can be read at this site Β www.laborofloveproject.wordpress.com (Note: this site is still under construction – May 15, 2013)

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the first part of their giving happened last December 1 in downtown Los Angeles and in Whittier. part two happens on December 14 feeding 200 people in what they’d call the winter shelter through St. Christopher Parish in West Covina, CA. this happens twice a year, during Easter and Christmas. it is a feat what she started, and to make it grow and keep on doing is much more noble. God truly will bless her and her family as well as all those involved… πŸ™‚

Labor of Love’s motto:
“We love because He first loved us.” 1John 4:19
“Love ought to show itself in deeds over and above words.” St Ignatius de Loyola

M.

(for donations or anyone who wants to get involved, please refer to the website to get in touch with the organizer, may God bless you!)