PHITSANULOK, Thailand. It was a challenging uphill drive to a community located in Man Kao, Phu Tub Boek, in Lom Kao District of Petchabun Province. But the members of Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community (SNCFC) braved the rocky and dusty road for their annual outreach activity on Saturday and Sunday, December 10–11, 2022.
Mr. Alex Jhon Paculba, the current SNCFC president, said the experience was heartwarming and uplifting.
“We feel extra blessed this Christmas because God has let us experience the true meaning of Christmas: giving,” Paculba said.
“We are happy to be able to share our blessings, but we are even happier to see the smiles of the kids.” Indeed, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
10 years of community service
The Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community is an organization of foreign members of the Saint Nicholas Church in Phitsanulok. The majority of its members are Filipinos who meet on a regular basis for the church’s English mass on Saturday evenings. The community has held annual Christmas outreach programs for various Catholic Thai communities throughout Phitsanulok province for more than a decade.
In 2013, the community organized a fund-raising event for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated many parts of the Philippine island of Leyte. SNCFC raised a total of 231,629 baht and donated it to the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya and GMA Kapuso Foundations.
The community’s pioneering president, Miss Leah Doysabas, recalled that the outreach activity began in 2008, when some SNCFC members joined the former parish priest, Rev. Fr. Prasert Sitti, in one of his masses in a small community church on the outskirts of Phitsanulok.
“We started from there until the outreach activity became an annual mission for the members,” Ms. Doysabas said.
The beneficiaries this year received school supplies, food packs, and pre-loved items such as clothes and toys. The children also played games and received prizes from the SNCFC officers, headed by Mr. Alex Jhon Paculba and Mr. John Patrick Benliro, the Outreach Committee chairperson.