It was by far one of the most heartfelt welcome and hardest goodbyes of my life both at the same time.
Day 1 (Saturday)
It was past midnight of Saturday when we arrived at Shepherd of the Hills, Zambales so we slept first before meeting the kids. Surprisingly to my friends, and myself, I woke up early (around 7am, if I remember correctly). After having our breakfast and going to the market to buy our food and the kids’, we then had the game activities, random bonding time playing basketball, billiards, table tennis, soaking ourselves at the river, watching movie and all with the children of SotH. We were really surprised by how these kids are so accommodating and welcoming with their the hugs, i love you’s, i’ll miss you’s, never ending good nights and see you tomorrows and other sweet messages that are so heart melting. I was having my quiet time that night and I can’t stop myself from crying fearing tomorrow will be my last day with them this weekend.
Day 2 (Sunday)
We met Pastor Nathan, Tatay as they call him, and he told us the unique stories of these kids – some left abandoned in the trash, left somewhere else, put in cage, battered at a young age, etc. And praise God for Tatay’s life that the lives of these kids are changed forever believing that “You just have to give them the right opportunity.” Speaking in front of the Church for the things we want to thank God for, I was crying almost the whole time. There was nothing I can do to stop the tears from rolling down my face. And even as of writing, I still feel nostalgic and a bit teary (I was just there yesterday). God always amazes me with His work. We visited the orphanage with an intent to make an impact to their lives but it was actually that our lives were changed by their existence.
They were robbed off love from a family of their own blood but God’s overflowing love for them transcends, we felt so loved and blessed and in awe. It is so amazing how through Pastor Nathan these kids were able to let go of their sad past and go on with their lives full of joy. Praise be to God!
It was in 2010 when I received Christ as my personal Savior and Lord but for almost seven years, I took my salvation for granted. God proved me once more that I am worth fighting for. Surrendering my life fully to Him this time, I’ve never been this so lifeful. With Tatay’s words, my heart melted once more, “I love your spirit, full of energy. God is at work in you.” Then suddenly I remembered the words of the Pastor I randomly met at Dunkin’ Donuts while I was having a quiet time, Pastor Mort’s message then was, “God has greater plans ahead of you.”
God’s first assignment to me and my friend is to become child sponsors. How privileged are we that God entrusted us this responsibility. And as we promised, we’ll dedicate a part of lives to the orphanage, to the Church – Shepherd of the Hills.
I am really excited, looking forward to that day the Lord will fulfill His promises to me.
“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created (Esther 4:14).”