John & Allison’s Christmas in Cebu

The run up to Christmas was an especially exiting one for mercy in action this year, as with our ‘meal appeal’ in full swing in Bath, John and I left to spend the holiday season with our team in Cebu.

Christmas week found us in supermarkets buying everything needed to put the ‘meals’ together. In addition to this we attended 5 parties, each one with a different group of our clients; street children, young mum, drop in children, students and staff, where we were able to give out the hundreds 0f that had been sent over for everyone by their sponsors and other supporters.

A bucket containing 5k of rice, spaghetti, sauce, 4 tins of meat, 3 of fish, cocoa, sugar, soy sauce and oil as well as soap, toothpaste washing soap and a few treats were to be distributed to 320 families (which represented over 2,000 individuals) on Christmas Eve and would feed these precious families for three days.

It really was a Christmas that we’ll never forget. We spent hours driving around the slums and back streets of Cebu passing the buckets of food to families who had nothing. The smiles on faces as we handed them out with a cheery “Merry Christmas from your friends in England” was both humbling and heart breaking. Knowing that £9 had brought so much help and relief from hunger and loneliness made the work that had gone into planning the appeal so worthwhile.

The most difficult part came when we were mobbed by a group of men demanding that we give them meals too. Our brief had had been to give to women with children or the elderly. We had to drive away, disappointed and slightly uneasy. As we pulled up in the next district, Raffy, a homeless teenager we’ve been supporting for four years walked out in front of us. Having been brought up on the streets of Cebu he knew just where to find those genuinely in need.

A visit to the local hospital later in the day and another trip on Christmas morning meant every one of our 320 buckets had been distributed to those who needed them the most. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously and made this such a special Christmas.

John & Allison Todd



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