From the Streets to Safety
Sponsorship Transforms Lives
By Cheryl Crocker
I wanted y'all to meet Michael. I met Michael on a recent medical trip I led to the Philippines. Michael is 7 years old, believe it or not, and lives at Ang Bahay Parola (ABP), an MTW home for street children in the Philippines. Michael was abandoned to the streets at 3 years old, having been dropped off at the local trash dump. He was "taken in" by the guards there who have a small little hut. They mainly gave him a place to sleep and watched over him a little during the day.
These security guards are a pretty rowdy bunch. They do a lot of drinking and use coarse language when they are off work. Somehow the men heard about the street center and brought Michael there, knowing that they were not the best people to bring up Michael. Michael looks like he is about 4 and also has a developmental level of a 4-year-old. When Michael first came to the home he wanted a little juice with his liquor and cursed like a sailor! He had never had milk before, but they were able to transition him from cocktail hour to having a little milk after dinner.
It has been a hard transition for Michael-he has lots and lots of past trauma of almost every kind and has had (and will have) much to overcome. But now Michael feels safe and knows he has a home.
The thing that drew me to Michael was what I call the "Michael glare." There was another little boy trying to hone in on his "box drum" time and he was having none of it. As one of my teammates said it was the kind of look that says, "If you persist in this behavior, I am not at fault for what will happen to you!" It sort of reminded me a little of my own glare that I have been known to get once in a while myself!
Our medical team was at the children's home doing yearly medical check ups on the boys. There are four boys there with tuberculosis. The boys really need your prayers, as does the staff as they try to keep the boys isolated from the rest of the children and get them to keep their masks on all the time.
We covet your prayers for all these boys, for Michael as he adjusts to his new life, and especially for the ABP staff who are precious. They love those kids so much.
Children at Ang Bahay Parola are sponsored through MTW's ONEChild program. To sponsor a child like Michael, visit MTW's ONEChild Sponsorship page.