At the Service of Others – Reflection by Jay-ar Dolloso

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Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these varied graces of God, put it at the service of others. 1 Peter 4:10

A few years ago, I did not think of returning to Payatas because I remembered the time when I was there. No food to eat, easily get sick and very skinny. But I realized that I want to give back to the kids in Payatas through helping them since I came from there. I want to help and teach the children who are not schooling the best I can.

When I went back to Payatas with Dominic, I saw the changes to the community. It became worse than before, such as there’s a lot of street children and in every place that we passed by garbage is everywhere.

Honestly, I don’t know what I will teach them. I just pray to God to give me wisdom and show me what to do. When I saw the children waiting on the street for us, I saw myself in them when I was young. I realise that God did not forsake me. I was very thankful because he heard my prayer which is to help me and my brothers survive the obstacles in front of us.

I know the children were very happy when they saw us because their dreams will be fulfilled even in this simple activity. I started to have my own dreams from such simple activities when I was studying in Paaralang Pantao (School for Humanity). I was surprised when three of the children called me “Teacher” after I taught them. I told them my story- how I was like them before. Some of the children were quiet while some laughed when they heard that I was once a street kid and scavenger child. But I am not ashamed of my past. I am proud of who I am because I gradually reached my dreams and because of it I have the courage to finish elementary school and get to high school and serve others as far as I can.

I want to use my knowledge to teach, help and share to the other people especially those children/people who are not/did not go to school. Because sharing the things you have is a big help to the people who really need it. I felt very happy and humbled because even though they are only a small child they still want to learn. I enjoy teaching them. Even though some cannot speak English, they still try. One kid caught my attention. Even at her very young age she shows willingness and determination to learn. She is Christine Rose Janoras. She is just 4 years old.

I want to teach them more and give all my effort for them to have more knowledge that they can use for their future.

by Jay-ar Dolloso

A New Commandment – Reflection by Dominic Cabo

 

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I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you. It is by your love for one another, that everyone will recognise you as my disciples. John 13:34-35

It was my first time to conduct and assist a program like this. At first I thought it will be hard to talk or to teach these children. I was assigned to assist Jay-ar to do simple teaching, library, to make that day meaningful for the children and also for the two of us. Before that day, I prepared all the comic and storybooks for the children to read. It’s quite heavy to carry for the distance to Payatas but I thought about these children who needed these books the most. I felt like with this outreach, I’m helping them in a simple way. This is my chance to give back to the children the help that acts29 have given to me.

When we got to Payatas, we saw them from afar yelling,”Yehey! They’re here!” Their excitement relieved our tiredness. I’m so happy to see their faces filled with joy. At first we eat pancit – a food usually prepared for occasions. I remember the thought when the elderly suggest to prepare this pancit, because they said it extends one’s life or to have long life. I see that they enjoy this food and so did we.

Then we introduced ourselves I see new faces. They are the scholar applicants and other kids that Jay-ar had befriended. We teach them the Song “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson. This song has meaning for me to these children.  A simple act of giving  aids the wounds of this world – hardship, hunger, and poverty where children are the ones who are mostly suffering.

Next, they spend time to read the comics and storybooks. We also teach the younger ones to read. We read stories for them too. Jay-ar conducts a short lesson on grammar afterwards. I’m sure they’ve learned a lot.

I hope that we can reach children from far areas who can’t afford to go to school. We look forward to encourage more of them to come and join our session. We are so glad to see them reading, studying and holding a pen and paper instead of playing outside. We pray to God to give us more strength and stronger faith to make it better. It was one of the best of my encounters with the children.

by Dominic Caboreceived_509800802517105