During Betsy's spring break at Faith Academy, we were able to visit three homes for children in the Philippines. The last home we visited was Happy Horizon Children's Ranch in Cebu, Philippines. Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch is dedicated to helping the “street children” of the Philippines. HHCR includes a residential program for at risk children who have been rescued out of prostitution and abuse. Founded in 1994, it has become a leading advocate for children's rights. Below is our impressions, thoughts and experiences from our visit.
"This was by far the most challenging of the places I visited and shared my story. I felt very awkward being there at first. As a white male in my thirties, I really prayed that my presence at the home did not conjure up images or memories of the abuse that the kids there endured. But over the two days learning all of the schoolhouse games with the kids, the awkwardness melted away into love for the kids. While it was challenging to tell my story, I was honored to "preach" a whole Sunday morning service for the first time in my life. Preaching through an interpreter allowed me to collect my thoughts and gave me an opportunity to read the audience and speak in a way that was relevant to their background." - Alex
"Here, we met many children who were rescued from human trafficking. The girls, from toddler age to adults, were full of joy and loving toward one another. Alex shared his story during the Ranch’s Sunday morning service through an interpreter in Cebuano. This morning was the best job he’s ever done sharing his story; he was anointed. The kids and teens identified with and were encouraged by Alex’s story. In the midst of a situation, it’s encouraging to hear another person who experienced a similar situation but has come THROUGH it. I love my husband’s testimony and I love that he can share his story as evidence of the hope, restoration, and healing power of our all things are possible God." - Betsy