I am blessed with many Compassion children whom I write to and sponsor and also I sponsor several little girls in the Philippines through "His Hands for the Philippines" a group based in the USA.
As a child I had dreamed of being a missionary working with children in the third world. Life took its twists and turns and it never happened, instead I have gone along the traditional track of marriage, children and a teaching career.
With my first pay packet from my first teaching job I sponsored Carla who we had the privilege of knowing for 13 years before she ran away to the capital to join her brother and was gone from our lives but not our prayers.
Five years ago I discovered Compassion and was drawn to a little girl in Ecuador and a year later a little girl in Bolivia. As I began to read the work of Compassion and the lives these children endure I wanted to do more. I wanted to sponsor them all. I discovered the correspondence program and my ministry began with just a few precious children I would write to. As the years pass so my number of children I correspond with has grown including many parts of the world. These are no ordinary kids, they have a strong faith, hope in the toughest environments, and love that can only be matched with Gods love for his people. I am sure they bless me more with their wonderful letters than I bless them.
Two years ago I discovered "His Hands for the Philippines", (HH4P)a small group who help the poorest children with all they need to attend school. It is not a holistic approach like Compassion but children who would be denied education because of no money for levees, uniforms or books as given theses needs, the gift of education and a hope for a better life. As a teacher this appealed to me and I sponsored several children for a tiny fee.
Mid last year I was invited to join HH4P on their next mission trip to the Philippines. The old voices of my childhood said this is your chance to visit the mission fields! So after much thought and prayer I asked my friend if she would like to come with me and visit the children and help with the program HH4P were running. She has a very adventurous spirit and is a seasoned traveler so was happy to join me on this adventure.
It seems a long time since we first mooted the idea but this last week it is beginning to become real. Air tickets purchased, accommodation, food and travel paid for, immunizations and passport done. The adventure is about to begin!
WHAT WILL WE DO WHILE WE ARE THERE? That is a good question, we know with HH4P we will visit many remote and rural communities outside Baguio City where we will be based. We will be measuring and filling in the children in the sponsorship program forms and updating their photos with HH4P. We will spend one day with Compassion meeting at least 2 of my children who are in Baguio City and La Trinidad. We will visit their student centers, then their homes and meet their families. After that we will go out to lunch together and visit some fun theme/tourist park for some free time to enjoy together.
That is all we really know so far, it is all an adventure and I would think a steep learning curve, living alongside a very different culture. It will be a wonderful experience to meet the children I
have been writing to for several years, to hear their voices and carry a conversation that is nor broken by several months of letters coming and going.
We leave on the first of May and I will endeavor to send updates if we have internet access. In the mean time please keep us in your prayers that we will be safe and keep healthy until we return.