Our 2020 Story: Beyond What We Expected
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
For the past years, Uplift Cares has been in an upward trajectory. We have expanded our reach by opening more learning centers in various areas of Metro Manila, East Rizal, South Luzon, and North Luzon. Programs were well-tailored and projects yielded good results. Above all, we have seen genuine transformation in the lives of our out-of-school scholars.
But like the rest of the world, 2020 has stopped us right in our tracks. Our physical classrooms had to close down, our dropout rate increased every month, and our discipleship initiatives have been greatly affected.
A couple of weeks in the pandemic, our team has prayed hard for God’s leading. And lo and behold, God is never a minute too early or too late! He has heard our prayers and He has allowed us to conduct a Go Viral Training for our scholars. This 8-session training has equipped our scholars to share the Gospel to their families and friends. Since we were all on home quarantine, this was the peak time for making the Gospel go viral.
We were also able to encourage our scholars to watch Christ Commission Fellowship’s (CCF) Sunday Worship Services, wherein they use the messages to reflect on their current situations and subsequently write their weekly reflections. To date, we have had 39 weeks of meaningful reflections! Our scholars are also able to meet with their small groups on a weekly basis, allowing them to keep in touch with Godly friends, study the Bible together, and remain accountable with one another.
And after much planning, preparation, and ultimately by God’s grace, we were able to re-open our Alternative Learning System (ALS) classes. This time around, we shifted to virtual classrooms using Zoom as our primary platform. Since our classrooms are now 100% online, we have expanded our reach to out-of-school Filipinos from various areas of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. More so, we are also able to minister to a number of our out-of-school “kababayans” who are currently working as OFWs. From having 36 learning centers in 2019, Uplift Cares is now borderless!
As for our K-12 scholars, God has remained faithful to their testimonies. Through His provision, Uplift Cares was able to continue their scholarships and enroll them to Grade 11, Grade 12, and some were even able to advance to College! Through the generosity of our sponsors, we were also able to purchase mobile devices and laptops for some of them.
The shift to online operations has had its ups and downs. There are days where signal and connectivity becomes a challenge. But thankfully, there are more good days than bad ones. This pandemic reminds us that we should not judge God based on our circumstances, but rather, the opposite. Let us judge our circumstances based on who God is. And since our God is bigger than any virus, He has allowed us to continue even beyond what we expected.
In everything, we rely on God’s promise in Proverbs 19:17, that “whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward them for what they have done.” This year, God may have closed some doors, but He has also opened a multitude of windows which allowed us to see beyond ourselves. The pandemic may have changed the course of our world, but it has not changed God’s heart for the poor. We shall move forward, just as He intended us to.