I came back from a 10 day trip to the Philippines last week. It was a sponsor tour where people who sponsor kids through Compassion International get to meet their sponsor kids and also learn more about what Compassion does to combat poverty.
On the first day in the Philippines, we got a tour of the Compassion Philippines office and got to know our group members better by spending time with them. Patty was our country host and accompanied us everywhere. There are about 80 staff in the Philippines office and they are constantly growing. Their office was quite nice and a lot of the staff had manga figurines in their cubicles. =)
We got a detailed tour of the office. They answered all of our questions and showed us some of the documentation that goes into each child. Apparently, if you are a child sponsored through Compassion, you are one of the most documented children of the third world. =) All of the sponsor letters get sorted and translated at the office. All of the gifts, etc, are triaged here too.
The director was a cool dude named Noel. He was very knowledgeable and told us that sex trafficking was rampant in the Philippines and sadly, some of them even target Compassion girls because they are virgins. Philippines is also the second most corrupt country and it’s hard to pursue legal action but they are working with International Justice Mission to get some justice. He used to work for the private sector but him and his wife realized that they were enjoying the weekends more and more when they got to do God-related stuff. He quit his job and with the help of his wife who urged him to apply for the position, got the director position.
The highlight of the tour was when one of the tour members fainted. She was so overwhelmed by the the Holy Spirit. Just kidding… actually she was dehydrated. We were standing for a long time. She drank a whole bunch of water and she got all better.
After the tour, we had lunch with some of the staff members. I sat next to a woman who graduated from the Leadership Development Program (LDP) and is a pharmacist but is working at Compassion for a while until she takes her test and gets a pharmacist job. She was quiet and soft spoken. =)
After lunch, we got a quick tour of the local mall (mega mall) and exchanged our money. The mall was really big but we didn’t have much time to look around.
One of the persons that stood out to me and my husband was Nellie. She was, at 78, the oldest person in our group. But she did NOT slow us down at all. She was so fit. Also, she was very inspiring. This was her 5th sponsor tour and she has sponsored 12 kids. She currently sponsors 6. She is retired from working at Walt Disney World in food services. She told us that she prayed for my husband (he shared with the group some prayer requests before the trip) and that was so sweet. She also sat next to us on the plane ride. I don’t think I heard her complain one time during the whole trip. What an amazing lady. I want to be like her when I grow up.
I would put a picture here but right now, I’m not sure if I want this blog to be anonymous or not. So… yeah.