Giving children a fighting chance

I believe that no child should EVER have to live on the streets. But here in the Philippines, that’s the daily reality for thousands of children. Most of them have a family, or at least a partial family. Most of them have some sort of house to go to late at night. But it’s never a good situation.

Many of the children I have personally met are being raised by young parents who themselves were born and raised into a life of making their living on the streets. They might sell face cloths or help park cars. Some beg for money and others collect scrap plastic and cardboard to sell at the recycle shops.

They lack education and the resources necessary just to be healthy, much less enjoy a normal childhood. They get sick easily because of their living conditions and the younger children are eventually lured into drugs and crime by the older, wiser ones. Worse yet, many of the young girls are being sold over and over again as sex slaves. It’s like Satan has laid a perfect trap through poverty.

While I absolutely love ministering to these precious young souls, I am also thoroughly disgusted with the conditions that parents, authorities, and local government allow these vulnerable children to exist in.

Here’s how our team is giving underprivileged children a fighting chance.

Sharing the gospel

Without a doubt, the number one act of compassion that we can do for anyone is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Every time our ministry team goes out, they are aware that the the greatest need is salvation. That’s why everything we do is centered around the gospel.

Many children and adults also, are drawn to us because of the food or the clothes or maybe just the love that our team gives. But those things are just the beginning. Behind every other compassionate act is our desire to explain that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Our team members hand out gospel tracts, preach, and have one-on-one conversations. Every year dozens of children hear about Christ for the first time because of their efforts.

Serving nutritious meals

Three times per week our team hits the streets with meals. That’s the outreach part of the ministry where we give food to current clients and also seek to meet new ones. Two times each week we bring children to our rescue center for a sit-down meal.

If we had more funding, and more team members, we could provide meals every day of the week. But for now, we are serving when we can and our meals help to supplement what little bit of food they get during the week. Sister Merliza, who is in charge of the meals, always tries to make each meal nutritious so that it nourishes them as much as possible.

Providing showers and clean clothing

Every Tuesday and Thursday when children come to our rescue center, they are given personal hygiene products, a clean towel and clean clothes. We have four showers for them to use. These aren’t traditional showers like we have in the states, rather they are simple rooms with buckets of clean water and a dipping pail.

This type of bathing is what is common here and it doesn’t scare the kids. We have brought streets kids to our home before and they were literally scared to death of a regular shower that rained down water from above.

Some of the clothing and hygiene items are shipped from the states and some of it is purchased here locally. Last night I met a little boy about ten years old who had on nothing but an old pair of shorts and a dirty t-shirt that was about four sizes to big for him. A bath and clean clothes sure does go a long way!

Motherly love

We have four mothers who work in our rescue center and street ministry team. Merliza, Jovelyn, Melanie and Rama work hard every week to not only help with the physical needs of the children, but also to provide the motherly love that is usually missing.

They are able to guide and mentor with that special kind of love and intuition that only a mother has. They know when to comfort and they know when to discipline. They know when a hug is in order and they know when a stern talking to is important.

Medical care

Our team members always carry backpacks with first-aid supplies. When they encounter a child who has a would or some other type of problem, they are quick to assess the situation and apply the proper care.

There have been many instances when the situation was severe and the child needed professional medical attention. In those cases, we coordinate with local health offices, hospitals, or doctors and take the necessary steps needed to protect the child from further complications.

We have helped kids with tuberculosis, pneumonia, bacterial infections, open wounds and more. Over the years, several lives have been saved due to the quick action of our team.

In conclusion

Our team is not perfect, and we want to do much more than we are currently capable of. These children need love and protection twenty four hours a day. We fully realize that in order to see the results we long for, much more will need to be done. We will need to address their home life and education especially.

But one thing’s for sure, we are in the fight with them. Trying our best to give them a fighting chance!

I’m asking you to join us by becoming a monthly sponsor. For $25 or $50 per month, you can have a part in rescuing these children from their sad reality. Please consider your part today.

Click here for more information. You can also contact Tara at our office at 256-737-0112 ext. 180.