This past week God has reminded me more and more why he called me specifically to not only the Philippines but to Cagayan to intentionally help street children. And although the reminder hasn’t come without seeing harsh realities it’s been really comforting and reassuring for my heart.
Not long after arriving in the Philippines I was overwhelmed by the vast number of people needing help. Whether it was a job, food, a place to sleep, a family, clean clothes, etc. Everywhere I turned people were in need. There were people begging on multiple street corners. There were people asking for money at the most random of places. And for a while I struggled with how I can focus on helping just street children when the need is great for so many others as well.
Journeying through that was tough but God continually reminded me he has a specific target group he wants me to help. He isn’t asking me to save the whole world. Just one child at a time.
Months later here I am completely ok with all of this. If I see someone begging and have a banana or granola bar I will give it to them. But if I have no food on me I have to be ok with talking to that person without tangibly giving them anything.
The other day was a little different however.
As I sat at the stop light it wasn’t a mom with a baby on her hip begging for money. It wasn’t an older man who wanted something to eat. It was kids. Not one. Not two. Not even three. But a whole group of them. Four kids standing at my window on my left. And a group of about 10 kids sitting on the ground to my right. When I say kids I don’t even mean boys and girls who are old enough to cross the street by themselves. I am talking little girls and boys about three to seven years old. And all they wanted was money and food. Someone to help them. Someone to show them they are loved.
In that moment I didn’t have enough money to pay for them to go to school. I couldn’t throw them in the backseat of the car and take them to a house where they could live and grow up being loved and taken care of. I couldn’t even give all of them a nice, fancy meal.
But I cling to the hope that one day I will be able to.
Right now I know God is calling us to start small and learn the ins and outs of what we are doing. To invest in our group of ten kids. To form lasting relationships with them. To show them the heights and depths of God’s love for them.
And as they learn and grow for themselves then God will call us to begin fresh with a new group of kids.
With every day that passes I know work is being done to invest in these children. And to work on building a community where each and every child living on the streets is cared for, loved and known by their Father!