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.
I walked down the road I walked down the road with a need to have someone to talk to today. I was wondering if this is another solitary day, where friends are busy doing their own stuffs, or when my sister is buried with her books or with her own escapades, with no time to even chat.
The enormous need for companionship is knocking, once, twice, thrice and I battled it with the song from Prince of Egypt, Joseph inside the prison sings: “You know better than I, You know the way, I’ve let go the need to know why, I take what answer You supply, You know better than I.”
I walked down the road with a need for someone to talk to today and I met Teacher Jane and Teacher Princess.
“I really wanted to leave my work, said Teacher Princess, “but the day I listened to the children telling their stories, I decided to stay.”
“What did you have for breakfast?”
“What will you have for dinner?”
“Nothing. Ionly have what you serve for lunch.”
I asked a five-year-old playful boy, “Where is your father?”
He answered, “In the city jail.”
One shy girl shared, “We’re eleven in the family, and I have a twin, my siblings are all working in the dumpsite.”
I walked down the road with a need for someone to talk to today, and I witnessed a smile, a hug, a wondering look, from those who couldn’t even talk. Non-verbal communication!
“Please help me open my biscuits.” “Let’s sing and dance some more…” “Oh, I need another serving…”
I walked down the road with a need for someone to talk to today, and I saw a young father glancing at his daughter from the window, she’s writing a vowel. He didn’t talk to me but I saw his happy face.
Suddenly, the solitary day becomes a wonderful day. Truly, sometimes, the call is to let go of the need to know why, “I’ll take what answer You supply, You know better than I.”
In the end, God speaks in the many moments of my “today”.