It’s been a couple of months now since I signed up to be part of Compassion Bloggers. I’m rather disappointed with myself for not coming up with an article much sooner, getting distracted by my other responsibilities and the usual chores, if not overthinking this whole thing. I have started to question myself why I even signed up for it, especially when I’m already promoting Compassion International by placing one of their banners on this site as well as on my daughters’ website. Until recently, I came face-to-face with the answer and remembered my reasons…
I was with my youngest daughter buying a birthday cake for their aunt as a present, i.e., aside from the personalized gifts both she and her sister had already prepared themselves. While we were there, a boy of 8–10 years of age approached us. He was dressed in a clean shirt and shorts, and he was rather neat to be mistaken for a beggar, not to mention he seemed healthy. He kept asking me for money, even when the staff had also repeatedly asked him to stop and leave the store. For my part, I explained to the boy that money is something that someone needs to earn–even my own children have to work for it by doing certain house chores.
He said he has not eaten yet. I asked what he wanted to eat, but he didn’t reply. I asked where his parents were. He told me that his father’s already dead. I asked about his mother, but all he said was he’s all alone now. I told him then that I would feed him, but after that, I shall ask the police to bring him to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) because children like him should not be left alone to fend for themselves. At least at DSWD, he would have a place to stay and won’t have to beg for food anymore, I added. He said he did not want to go to DSWD, then moved away.
He went on to ask money from the other customers, only this time, he started to become rude. They just ignored him. When he thought that no one was paying attention to him, he brought out a coin from his pocket and started playing with it, tossing it around the floor. I came near him and reminded him that he needed the money, so he must save whatever amount he has, and told him not to play with it.
I know I can help the boy in the manner he wanted me to, by just giving him money, that is. But I couldn’t. That wouldn’t really help him. I have no idea why he’s out in the streets, begging for money, but seeing the way he played with the coin made me suspect that he’s into gambling or playing cara y cruz / kara krus, to be exact.
As much as I’d like to shrug it off, I can’t help but feel sad when I see and encounter kids like him. It’s ironic that despite the technological advances we enjoy these days, despite the number of private vehicles we see on the roads, tall modern buildings being erected everywhere, numerous private subdivisions being developed in the suburbs and rural areas, shopping malls that are always filled with people, specialty restaurants and cafés at just about every turn, hundreds of job vacancies posted online and waiting to be filled… you do get my point, right? How come poverty and lack of education are still a problem in our country? No, we can’t blame everything on our government officials, can we?
As I thought about these things, my own family also came to my mind. I didn’t come from a family of affluence, but I was blessed to have parents, who were responsible and did their best to send me to good schools, provide for my needs, and raise me well. Growing up, I was blessed to have a home, a room to myself, and a comfortable bed that I always looked forward to spending time with my books and toys. When I worked during my teen years (and even now), it was not because I had to, but because I wanted to.
Now, I am blessed to be married to a man, who takes his role of being the family provider seriously. I am blessed to be afforded the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom and not worry about where to get the money to buy my children food, clothes, and other stuff they might need, even some of the things they could want. I am blessed to have smart, beautiful, talented, and healthy children. I have so many blessings and I am blessed to see them, experience them everyday. I am blessed to have Jesus in my life.
But others are not as blessed as I am. Or, maybe others simply don’t–if not refuse to–realize how blessed they are the way I see how blessed I am. Regardless, I want to be a channel of blessings. Even if I would never understand and I shall probably always have this mixture of pity and fury toward the irresponsible parents of these street children. I know I have to help somehow. I don’t have to be perfect, rich, or powerful to be able to help others–none of us does. I don’t even have to help others through finances all the time either. There are so many opportunities to help and we all have talents that we can utilize to help those in need.
After we left the store and the boy behind, all I could do was say a prayer for him and all the other kids like him. I remembered Compassion International too and the things they do for children all over the world to get them the help they need, be it education, food, shelter, or health services, as well as getting to know Jesus.
I wished the boy could be part of Compassion’s family. I hope he gets the help he and his family truly needs and soon. I wish I also did not allow myself to be sidetracked by my thoughts and gave him food, even if that might not what he really wanted that time. I wonder if I’ll ever see that child again. I pray that God will preserve his life and make Himself known to him and his family.
The reason I signed up to be a Compassion Blogger has become clear to me again. I recognize that I can help through writing, in the same way that I have been helping connect people to the Word of God through my translation and editing skills. By God’s grace, I want to be able to help reach others and get people to help one another through Compassion International, using this blog, too. ❤