Monday, September 3, 2012

The Street Child I Met

One day I was walking around the UP Diliman Chapel and a young girl asked money from me. I rarely give money, fearing this would fuel syndicates and usually gave food. At this time I didn't have any food with me.

I was about to walk away when a voice inside of me urged me to help her.  I felt it strongly nudging me to do something.  I rarely get strong convictions like this so I was uneasy.

I asked the girl her name and then told her I'd buy her food.  Then I felt that inner voice again telling me to eat with her.  I asked myself "WHAAT?" I have things to do, people to meet blah blah.  But I told myself that if this was the voice of God then He might not speak to me ever again if I don't do it so I asked the child if she would like to eat with me.  She was hesitant.

I was quite hesitant myself.  With her bedraggled attire, I felt curious glances come our way but I tried to ignore these.  I then thought "what if a classmate sees me?" I oftentimes scold myself for being too much of a people pleaser so I purposefully shrugged these thoughts off.

It was a feat getting her to pick what food she'd like to eat.  I imagined that she would be so happy to be eating a full meal, fancied she would be happy to be eating with me.  I chatted a little to make her feel at ease.  She would hardly look at me, or her food and it was a major effort to let her eat.  Sometimes she would answer my questions though I could feel she wasn't really enjoying the experience at all.

That meal was one of the most important life changing experiences I've ever had.  I felt like the child's spirit needed rebuilding.  She could not even rejoice at the little treat.  She was not used to kindness.  She was used to being ignored.  

What could I do but reflect on this simple meal in a profound way.  We are sons and daughters of the most high King.  We were made in His image.  We are fashioned masterfully but the artist of artists.  We are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).  This child, and countless other street children need to know this.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tutoring Street Kids

In 2008, a few friends and I wanted to make a difference in
the lives of street children.

We approached Joe Dean Sola of He Cares Foundation 
and asked how we could help.  He said that despite having everything
provided for the scholars of the foundation, many of them still drop
out of school.  They needed tutors.

Being anything BUT a tutor, we still ambitiously proceeded making step
by step to find out more about the children.

We started by putting up a small table along the alley where they lived.

Needless to say, when it would rain, tutoring would be automatically cancelled.  
During the hot summer days, we would cover the table with some tarp
materials but the neighbors would get angry saying we were covering
their laundry and wouldn't dry.

A big blessing came in the form of Brgy. Bungad's Captain Ricardo B. Corpuz 
allowing us to use their 3rd floor as a venue for our sessions.

Here was the big change!  A wide open airy space for the kids
with enough chairs and tables.

At first we decided to only tutor 15 children thinking that we can
muster enough volunteer tutors for 1 is to 1 ratio.

So we needed a lot of help.  We made this video... 

Blessing upon blessing, the North District Singles of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community
assigned 2 groups (1 women's group and 1 men's group) to come and tutor
during our sessions!  Oh joy!

Did the video touch a chord in your heart?

If you can spend a few moments of your time to help a child
get through school, please contact us.