I woke up with a start in the middle of the night last night. When I couldn’t get back to sleep, I resorted to my usual tactic: listening to BBC radio. The first thing I heard was that a Super Typhoon was hitting the Philippines, coming ashore at nearly 200 mph. At first I just tried to comprehend what that kind of wind would feel like. Then I thought of the term “Super Typhoon.” I learned that phrase from Michael Lai, a blogger from Hong Kong, who asked for prayers a few months ago when a Super Typhoon was on its way to China. (His home was spared.) And then reality hit. Aibie, an 11-year-old child I sponsor through Compassion International, lives in the Philippines!
This morning I learned that she lives in the area where the typhoon hit. Instantly the pictures she has drawn of her house flooded my brain: a wooden structure up on stakes topped with a thatched roof. How would that house have a chance in a typhoon?! (NPR ran interview from the head of the Red Cross in the Philippines who said that rural families are encouraged to dismantle their homes and secure the materials so that they can rebuild.)
I recently received a letter from Aibie; she is a very consistent pen pal. I just re-read it. She says (through Mary Joy, her translator): “It’s a rainy day here now because we have typhoons.” She talks about going to Sunday School and formal school (here she notes that she is “studying well for my ambition will come true.” She ask me to pray for her “physically health.”
Aibie is supported by Compassion through the Shelter of Hope Child Development Center. In a letter to sponsors, the pastor whose church runs the project describes the community Aibie lives in:
“Our community is composed of 368 households. Of this, 99 are squatters, 153 live in makeshift housing, and 155 have no basic sanitary toilets. Water in the community is potable but there are 101 families who do not have ‘direct’ access to it in their homes. Sources of income is very scarce. There are 294 families whose income is below the poverty threshold and 239 families who are below the food threshold. . . .
Children love going to the project where they are handled by six developmental teachers. They are given activities that develop their physical, spiritual, cognitive and socio-emotional aspects of life. . Through this project I believe that time will come when this children trained in God’s word and equipped with the necessary education will be the strong pillars of their families economically and spiritually, and would also be productive and God fearing leaders of the community. Thus the training experiences provided in the project are very necessary.”
Please join me in prayers for Aibie, her parents and five sisters, her community and the
Project of Hope Child Development Center. And perhaps you might consider sponsoring a child like Aibie. A link to the Compassion website [Sponsor a Child] is at the bottom of this blog.