Providing hope through ‘Christmas Rocks’

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Carla Bianca V. Ravanes

Christmas is the Filipino’s favorite season. You have never truly felt Christmas until you have experienced it in the Philippines—with its beautiful decorations, Jose Mari Chan playlist, and the never ending Christmas parties and reunions. Filipinos definitely know how to have a good time and have perfected the art of sharing their blessings during this season. There is truly nothing like a Filipino’s generosity.

An example of such generosity is an annual Christmas project called Christmas Rocks by The Rock Church. Headed by Pastors Rodney and Aida Garcia, the couple has been running the yearly outreach project since 2009. They said, “Christmas Rocks started with the desire to give more. We wanted to provide more than just gifts, we wanted it to be an unforgettable Christmas experience. We wanted it to be intentional where there is bonding, where we all get to be blessed and a blessing.”

The said outreach project resulted in the Christmas Rocks concept where adopters are paired with adoptees for a day. Instead of just merely handing out gifts, they are able to spend time together and bond during games and meals.

Pastor Rodney reflects, “It really is a party and there is an element of fun. There’s food, songs, games, and of course, distribution of gift bags. What makes it even more heartwarming is when the pairs say a pray for one another. Through the eight years of Christmas Rocks, we have witnessed beautiful personal revelations that go beyond gift giving. This is what makes it unforgettable.”


Pastors Rodney and Aida Garcia

In their first year, they were able to bless 20 children but in 2016 the numbers grew to 200, “Last year was definitely a breakthrough for us and the number of kids we were able to bless. We were even able to provide food from a well-known food chain.”

Aida says that it wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of individuals who chose to partner with them, “God never fails to amaze us—every year!”

Helping them with their outreach is the organization Reach Youth Ministries, an organization who takes care of street children from all over the country.

“We have been working with them to bless us with a certain number of children for Christmas Rocks and every year they send a new batch of kids ranging from 6 to 12 years old with big dreams!” he shared.

When asked what inspires them every year, they both say, “We believe that this is what The Lord wants us to do every year. We do aim to bless more children, and assist more organizations in the future. Our greatest satisfaction is the joy from not just the kids, but from all who are blessed with this event. This is our fulfillment, knowing that in our own simple way, we have inspired and made an impact to our brothers and sisters.”

They also believe that more than just the gifts they provide, it’s the experience that the children will remember.
“Also, we believe that events like Christmas Rocks make an impact in a child’s life. When we see their eyes light up, we know something amazing is happening in their hearts. Something is awakening. And that is Hope. Christmas is about hope. And if we can help spark hope in these kids’ lives, then we know that they are one step closer in doing great things in their future. Hope is real and it should be realized more so during Christmas.”
And for the couple, this is truly what Christmas means.

“Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Truly, this season is all about Him. Jesus is the reason for this season. But more than the celebration, it really is a reminder of why Christ came to Earth. This is because of His love for all of us. And that in this world we can find hope, real hope that is found in God alone,” they ended.
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For more information visit
www.ChristmasRocks.org
www.carlabiancaravanes.com

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