Brand New Shoes + Beautiful Kids
Circle G Ministry
The Maria Project
If there was ever a time in our newsletters when pictures say so much more than words, this is it. I’ll be brief so that I can squeeze as many beautiful kids onto these pages as possible.
The Maria Project, named in honor of my grandparents Faustino and Maria Cruz, just took place for the second year at our family's home in Tapulao, Philippines.. Because of the generosity of literally hundreds of people, we were able to distribute 613 pairs of brand new Crocs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, washcloths, and soap. Each kid also received info on how they could have a relationship with Jesus. As amazing as that was, we still ran out of shoes long before we ran out of kids, so our goal for next year is 1,000. Based on the kindness and generosity shown this year, I have no doubt that together we can make that happen.
Yep...I'm hugging a duffel bag! Long story short...the folks in customs and immigrations at the Manila airport detained our shoes, and it took several days to get them released. I can't describe the joy and relief I felt when they finally showed up at my Grandma's house.
Just a few days later, the last of the shoe bags arrived with BJ and my sister-in-law Bekah. Finally, all bags were safe and sound!
For the distribution, we sorted all of the shoes by size. The kids were assigned a number on a first come first served basis. When it was their turn, they were sized at one station and then sent to another station to actually choose their pair.
My mom was the one who gave out the numbers. It's so, so, so, so awesome to do this with her in the place where she grew up. This gentleman was our gatekeeper and sent the kids through in groups of five. He went to school with my mom.
As you can see from the back of her card, the sweet gal on the left was #215. She and her friends are dressed in their school uniforms. These kids often have only one set of school clothes, so they take extremely good care of them.
These fellas are looking super sharp in their brand new Crocs.
But seriously--how adorable are these kids?! So many giggles. It was a day of laughter and smiles.
Each kid even got to pick out a charm for their Crocs. My cousin Cindy and her son Noah manned this station. I'm so thankful to her, my Aunt Nenet, and my cousins Jannett, Jun, and Kathreena for all their help prepping and distributing.
This mom waited in line with her kids for hours. Look at her littlest one!
See the card in BJ's hand? That shows that this little guy was sized as a C11. He brought that card to the station where BJ, Bekah, and Kat did a great job helping the kids pick out their shoes.
That's a super happy girl right there!
The line stretched from our gate to the end of the street for more than three solid hours. The kids waited so patiently and were so grateful.
Such a highlight...being joined by our friends Brett and Savannah, who are missionaries to the Philippines. It had been at least 12 years since we last saw them, so this was an absolute privilege and joy for us. I can't wait to see what the future holds in ministry opportunities with them.
How lucky was I to hang out with this sweetheart?? Just fyi, behind us is my cousin Jannett's store. The day before the distribution, this is where we hung the sign with info on The Maria Project.
The tie-dye patterns were such a big hit!
One last thing...
That's all you, friends. Thanks for being the friendship, prayers, and support behind Circle G.
All our love,
BJ + Maryanne Grimmett