Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday's Kids Service - Tondo Kids to POA Kids.

Tondo, Metro Manila, November 14, 2009
These kids come from the poorest of the poor area of Manila. A place notoriously called, Smoky Mountain, after the monstrous mountain of garbage that has been left from years of being the Manila Dump. These children's parents are scavengers, who make their living from pulling things from the smoking garbage heap. These children wear clothes from the dump, they live in shanties made from salvaged debris. And they are the cutest, smartest kids you have ever met.

We spent the day with them Saturday and it was so very rewarding for all of us.

Brenda is with Sister Sonja Trinidad, the pastor's wife. She is a tremendous leader and gifted in ministering to children. She is very organized, thorough and tireless. What a wonderful person.

Sister Sonja had a team ready, they had the children separated into classes, by age, and had detailed information about each of them. That helped greatly in knowing what to put in each child's backpack.

This young man is a bible school student who works with the children every Saturday.
POA Kids, get ready for a whole lot of really neat pictures. These Tondo Kids worked really hard on pictures for you.

It was so touching watching these kids working on the floor, on chairs, and anywhere. When they were done they would come up to us to show us, and then they would read what they wrote to us.

Some of these little guys needed help and the kids staff was so helpful and attentive.

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, clothes, coloring books, crayons... It was awesome.

Mark worked on his with great care. It seems everything he does, he puts extra effort into it. It was really neat seeing him fit right in with the kids. He was not intimidated in the least by the new surroundings and all strange street kids.

Mark, working on his picture, using a chair as a table.

Most of the kids got clothes, the ones that didn't were the bigger ones.

Everyone of the children said, "Thank you Ma'am Brenda."

They also said, "Thank you POA Kids!!" They said that all together and did it really loud.

The clothing sets were a huge hit! These little girls got in their backpacks and were holding them up, oohing and ahhing.

Thank you Little Treasures in Alexandria for donating these 65 brand new, complete outfits.

The hand towels were cherished by all of the kids. Even the boys seemed so proud to be getting them. Sister Sonja and her staff teach these kids how to take a bath, and by the looks of the open sores on some of them, this is a very important lesson for them to learn.

This kid shouted, "Tooth paste, toothbrush, soap, towels!!! Thank you!!!"

Mark with the kids, waiting for their "prize."

Mark's little brother and little sister hammed it up for the camera.

Mark's youngest sister shoes were too small for her feet, but this was the best she had. We are going to see if we can do anything about that.

This girl and her friend were overwhelmed with what they just recieved. Sister Sonja said, with tears in her eyes, "We just have to give them hope. If they have hope it can start them in the right direction. It can save their life."

They all shouted, "Thank you POA Kids!!"

Then they started waving them back and forth saying, "God bless the POA Kids."

The kids were a bit hyped up by all the gifts. We probably should have given them to them after the service. But in spite of that, they still went into prayer in such a beautiful way. I wouldn't trade a service like this for anything.

Mark is definately a thinker. He was listening intently during Sister Sonja's lesson about Jesus.

Sister Sonja walked down the aisle talking to the kids, and made her way over to Mark, and spoke looking at him. It was a real connection. She was telling him that Jesus was more than a statue, more than a God who makes stuff and controls stuff... "He is a friend that is closer than a brother, and He wants to live in your heart."
Mark watched her intently and tears welled up in his eyes as he was moved by what she said.

The Assistant Pastor praying with Mark and his brother.

I did not want to push Mark, or make him feel pressured, so I kept my distance, watching him. However, he looked up at me with tears in his eyes when I walked past, and he smiled, and nodded his head at me. I just felt it was right so I knelt down beside him and talked from my heart to him. Mark listened intently as the tears continued to fall.

Hamburger steak, with gravy and rice for everyone!! What a treat!

Seconds!! All the kids came up for a second helping of rice. I wondered how many of them had the privilege of eating until they were full.

I know... we just gave them toothbrushes and tooth paste but we HAD to give them candy. It was just the thing to do. They each took a turn around the table and got to get one of each.

As we went to drop Mark and his family off, it came a thunderstorm. Mark jumped out and ran to get a tricycle (motorcycle with side car). Brenda stepped out and these neighborhood girls came over to Brenda and asked if she wanted to be under the umbrella.