Here is the third testimony from the kids, representing another group of siblings. The children mentioned in this testimony came from a nearby town and were referred to us by our social worker. The social worker was also able to get assistance for the grandmother of the children.
Pictured are some of our other kids on a recent field trip to Davao City which included three days and two nights in a traditional home setting. We try to give the children an exposure to life beyond the villages and HOH as time and schedules allow.
My name is ______________. I’m from a nearby village along the ocean but we have moved around to other places too. I am 17 years old. I have two other siblings who live with me at the orphanage. Our parents abandoned us when I was five years old and my youngest sibling was only one month and four days old. We haven’t heard from our parents since they left us. Our grandmother took us into her care. She tried to support us by working at a convent as a cook and laundry woman. But there was not enough money to feed all of us. For example, she could not afford to buy milk for my youngest sibling, so she feed her with water mixed with sugar. By the grace of God, we all survived and now that we are at HOH, we are all healthy again.
Our Lola (grandmother) worked hard but she could not afford to send us to school. So she sent us to a distant relative with the hope that we might be given an education. But our lives became more miserable instead. We were allowed to go to school three days a week. The rest of the days, we had to work on our relative’s farm. There, we were often hungry. When I was caught gathering coconuts to relieve our hunger, I was severely beaten. This is still in my memory.
Finally, we were sent back to live with our Lola but she was not able to work anymore at the convent due to her old age. The only work she could find was praying novenas for the dead. The money she received was not enough to feed us. We sometimes would go a day or more without eating. Soon the eyesight of my Lola dimmed and she was not able to read the novenas anymore. So we often had no money for food. That was the time a social worker found us and recommended that we go to live at the orphanage.
At the orphanage, we came to know the Lord who kept us alive during our early years. I was recently baptized. We are all able to go to school! For one of my siblings, who is now twelve, this is the first time to attend a school. I am now graduating from elementary school and hope one day to become an engineer.
We greatly appreciate having regular, nutritious food, clothing, shoes, shelter and many other things such as medical and dental care. Most of all, we appreciate having a place that is safe that we can call our home. I praise God for the people who care for us and for all the people who support HOH.
Although we were abandoned by our family, God never abandoned us.
Grateful for His protection,
Thanks for praying for these kids and for your support.
Jo Pabalate, Executive Director
Haven of Hope Orphanage