Monday, March 17, 2008

Experience in Olongapo

Several years ago in Olongapo (then referred to by Filipinos as Sin City), Ron Homenuke (ACTION Canada missionary to street children in the Philippines) took me to visit Rodney, a boy of 13 who trusted Christ the week before at an ACTION camp for 68 underprivileged children (54 indicated they trusted Christ!). Rodney has leprosy, and it was really sad to see the filthy 3-room home (under an old staircase) he lives in with his mother, her live-in partner, and 3 other brothers and sisters! I encouraged the mother to do all she could do concerning cleanliness and then expressed the importance of inner cleansing through the blood of Christ! Mike and I then prayed for the children, as well as the mother and boyfriend.

We then briefly visited a government center for about 70 children (ages 3 to 17). Ron usually ministers in the center twice weekly. The children saw us coming and began to shout Ron’s name. When the main gate was unlocked and we stepped in, the children overcome with excitement jumped all over us, all wanting to be touched and hugged! As we left about 30 minutes later, each of us had to take kids off our backs, shoulders and legs, children who were holding on to us to the last moment. I was the last to exit. As I stepped outside the gate, it was shut and locked. I turned to say goodbye especially to a little ugly boy with many sores on his face and body, runny nose, and oh so dirty! I put my hand through the bars of the gate and he grabbed on for one last squeeze. By the time I reached our van, I was crying. “Dear loving Father,” I began to pray, “please have mercy on that scar-faced little boy. Bring him to salvation through your Son, the Lord Jesus. Help him to respond to the Gospel which he has heard through Ron. Please care for all these abandoned children for Your Word says, ‘for in You the orphan finds mercy’.”

Pray for more missionaries to work with Ron and the Filipino churches of Manila to take the Gospel and Christian care to the thousands of needy, sick, dying, lonely, and dirty children for the glory of God!

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