During Betsy's spring break at Faith Academy, we were able to visit three homes for children in the Philippines. The first home we visited was Kings Garden Children's Home in Bataan, Philippines. During World War II, thousands American and Philippines forces were marched to their death in Bataan. Many memorials are erected to commemorate this important event in American and Filipino history in Bataan.
KGCH was established in order to provide a Christian home life in the Philippines for the poor, orphaned, abandoned, abused and neglected children and those who have experienced a crisis situation in their family. Through Biblical principles and moral values taught from the Word of God, the home attempts to break that cycle of poverty by providing a vocational education and livelihood skills. Below is our impressions, thoughts and experiences from our visit.
"I was a bit cautious before I visited KGCH, a bit scared and unsure about what I should expect. Would visiting a group home bring up issues in me? How would the kids react to me? Would they even care to hear my story? But as I walked into a building I never entered, it seemed very familiar. Our room had two twin beds similar to my group home room and the kids immediately jumped all over me. When I did begin to tell my story, I could see that the kids were very interested. I encouraged the staff and thanked them for what they did to love the kids in the home and I encouraged the kids that with Jesus, they can know that they are never alone. Some of the staff was in tears as I spoke, which was pretty humbling. I thought it was great that the kids had an opportunity to go to school and church outside of the home and experience 'normal' Filipino life. The home is taking efforts to help kids as they age out from care. The maternal love and friendship that Amy shows the students reminds me of the special staff that I encountered during my life in care." - Alex
"What could make me love my husband of three years even more? Hearing him share his life story in Taglish (a mixture of Tagalog and English) with a group of older children who have been abandoned, abused, and/or neglected. Watching him get dirty playing with younger children on the playground, pushing them, running with them, sliding in the dirt with them (safe!), holding them, listening to them, observing them poke, pull and push for his attention. Seeing his heart for the fatherless in action. Alex experiences a much deeper bond with those who grew up outside of a traditional family situation than I ever could. I am so thankful for this humble man of God being willing to share what God has done in his life with others who can hopefully be encouraged by his story, which is a part of His story.
The kids jumped on us, yanked at us, yelled for us, and didn’t want us to spend time with anyone else. They were desperate for our attention. Isn’t that exactly how each of us should be with Jesus? Desperate for His attention? The major difference in this analogy is that unlike us mortals, His presence is unlimited. When we jump, yank, and yell, He is there. For us. He never leaves us or forsakes us. And when He spends time with us, it is not to the neglect of others. I am so thankful to serve a God who cares personally about me, about you, about all. Who loves us and is with us. There is hope, redemption, and joy in Jesus!" - Betsy