We have to help him.

I had a conversation about my dad’s current situation with my 4 year old yesterday.

I don’t remember how my dad came up… something about going to see him in the future or going to Legoland or Disneyland or something??

Anyway, it went something like this:

Me: Well… we can’t go see him because grandpa is in jail.

AJ: Why is he in jail?

Me: Because he had a fight and he bit someone.

AJ: Who put him in jail?

Me. The policeman.

AJ: And we have to tell the policeman to take him out?

Me: No, grandpa has to stay in jail because he did something bad.

AJ: So we can’t see him because he’s in jail?

Me: Yeah.

AJ: But why did the policeman put him in jail?

Me: Well, when you have an argument with someone, are you supposed to bite them?

AJ: No…

Me: That’s right! We talk it out. Well, grandpa got very angry and instead of talking, he bit someone.

AJ: And he was bleeding?

Me: Yes.

AJ: A lot a lot a lot?

Me: Probably.

AJ: And biting is bad?

Me: Yes.

AJ: So that’s why he’s in jail for a long long long time?

Me: Yes.

AJ (Getting teary eyed): ….  We have to help him!

I was surprised that AJ wanted to “help” his grandpa get out of jail. I guess family is family?

In all seriousness, I don’t think he quite gets the concept of criminal activities and jail and lawyers, etc… but wow.. that little kid. The hubby and I always joke that he’s going to bring us a lot of heartache but there’s this compassionate side of him that amazes me. I made a voice recording of the end of the convo so I could remember the moment in the future. And I guess blogging about it helps too?

In my recovery group, we talk about helping others as if it was a bad thing. It’s linked to co-dependency and we talk a lot about boundaries and self care and detachment… and a lot of people attribute it to having grown up with alcoholic parents. But I think that’s not the entire truth. What’s wrong with wanting to help others? Service gets such a bad wrap. All the messages in the world says looks out for number one. But Jesus said to lose your life to gain it, right? I mean, I get it. I can’t give to the point of resentment. But the desire to help someone, to rescue them, the desire itself is not wrong. It’s only wrong if you are doing it to serve yourself. To get something in return. Or to manipulate them afterwards. Even a four year old gets that…. I think.

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2013 – First Post

Hello 2013.

Hello blog.

It’s been a while.

I got a letter from Compassion that my sponsored child will be graduating from the program this year. I am very sad.

I am happy that she has made it thus far. She’s going to college and on the right track… she seemed to have a bit of a burden to provide for her family once she graduates though. They give an option for us to stay in touch if we mutually want to… and I am pretty sure she will want to. I hope she will…

Took the kiddos to Disneyland over Christmas break. Did a bunch of other activities as well… like the USS Hornet in Alameda.

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They liked it. AJ kept on pushing all the buttons and I had to carry him down most of the steep stairs… although, towards the end, he wanted to do it “All by myself.”

I’ve been thinking about my One Word for 2013 for the past few days and I am leaning towards Embrace. Or Enough. Embrase will remind me to live in the moment and to embrace whatever is in front of me at that moment. Enough will remind me that I have enough. That I am enough. That God gives me enough. I am still really liking this way of doing resolutions.

2012’s One Word was humility. Boy, I learned a lot of lessons about that. Mostly about how sinful I am. I scare my kids with my anger sometimes. I scare myself too. I am on step 10 in al-anon so I’m trying promptly admit it when I am wrong. First pick-up from school in 2013 started with, “I’m sorry for… do you forgive me?” Of course, my Christian forgave me without hesitation. Children have such big hearts. No bitterness. No resentment.

Christmas season was a little bit insane for my etsy shop. I totally did not expect that. I raised almost $1000 for Compassion. I shall be better prepared this year!

 

 

Compassion Sunday

Sorry about the lack of posts… I’m not sure why but I haven’t been blogging much lately. I have the next week off so maybe I will blog more?

We held Compassion Sunday at my church 3 weeks ago and I’ve had a table out with sponsorship packets for the 2 Sundays following. Eight children got sponsored and some others took packets home to fill out and mail in themselves. One person told me that they already mailed it in so that’s at least nine children sponsored. Awesome!!!

Husband and I also volunteered for Compassion at the Global Leadership Summit a few weeks ago. Eight children got sponsored over 2 days. That was awesome too!

Oh, I got a new job! Which is why I have the next week off. I am still with the same company but I just have a different position in a different location. I have been working in Oakland for the past 10 years but I will be at Vallejo starting next Tuesday. My work gave me a $200 gift certificate to a spa so I will be enjoying that this week.

A couple weeks ago, we had the leadership retreat at our church. It was great to hear about how God has been working in people’s lives. I wish I was able to get more of that on a regular basis. Husband shared how God had been working in our lives. A lot of people came up to me afterwards and told me that they were encouraged by the sharing. I’m so proud of my husband for having the courage to share what he shared!

“Directly impacted.”

I got an e-mail from Compassion saying that my sponsored child, the one I met two years ago in the Philippines, was directly impacted by the December floods. I got it a while ago. I know that I can get more detailed information if I call the office… but I don’t seem to be able to pick up the phone. I am not sure why. Am I afraid of bad news? Yes, maybe. She probably is still alive, I hope Compassion would have called me if she died… but possibly her family may have been impacted… or their home may have been destroyed.

I sent a family gift and also donated to Compassions’ Disaster Relief Fund. I hope she gets the $ soon. I know it can take months for them to receive family gifts.

Philippines – Day 4

Day four’s theme was “A Day in the Life of a Sponsor Child and Their Family.”

After we got to the center, we got grouped into groups of 4-5 and we went to visit some of the children’s homes. I went to visit Chrizel and Christian’s home that was a few minutes away from the church. A brother and sister were sponsored and the family also had two other children who were not sponsored. The dad worked as a tricycle driver, and the mom worked at home by selling things at a little store they set up in the living room (through the wire windows) and doing other odd jobs like laundry. She also bought a big sack of coal, divided them into smaller bags, and sold them. She made one dollar from doing that. She also gets like 200 little pieces of bread and sells them for like 1 cent each through the window.

As soon as we got to her house, she brought out soft drinks for us… as well as some fried fish. The kids were getting ready to go to school. The local elementary school has SO many kids… that they divide all the kids into two shifts, morning and afternoon. There isn’t any space for all the kids to go to school at the same time. Chrizel and Christian go to school in the afternoon. Preson, Nelly, and Jillian were in my group. We all sat around in the living room and the mom turned the t.v. on for us. It was a little awkward cuz we didn’t really know what to do. We asked about their sponsors and they brought out some pictures and letters to show us. The TV was really really distracting… so I turned it off when the mom went into the kitchen to do her coal work. All the neighborhood kids came to the house to look at us visitors. =)

This was the first day that I heard Jillian sing. She has an awesome voice! She sang with the kids and led them with some hand motions. It was cool!

After a little bit at the house, we went back to the center and they gave us a tour. The center was three stories high. Here is a picture of a bathroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During lunch I sat next to Victoria. She currently goes to college and has had the same sponsor for ten years. TEN YEARS. BUT… it was super duper sad because she has never received a letter from her sponsor. She doesn’t even know what her sponsor looks like. She looked SO SAD when she was telling me this. I was heartbroken for her. Later, I found out that I could write her a letter and that the Philippines Compassion staff would make sure that it got to her so I plan to write to her very soon. Here is a picture of me with Victoria on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the CDC, we got to go to a local high school. Some of us took the jeepney there, and some of us took a tricycle. I got to ride on both (one on the ride there, one on the ride back.)  After riding them, I couldn’t believe that this is a common mode of transportation for most of the people here. The smog that comes out of these vehicles is SO SO bad. I could feel the film of gunk lining my lungs. It was that bad. And I’ve lived in Seoul and LA so I know a little about smog but this is like the worst smog I have ever ever seen. Apparently, the rates of asthma here are really high. Here are what the jeepneys and tricycles look like.

When we visited the school, the kids went CRAZY. We were walking in and all the school officials came out to greet us. All the classes were jam packed and there were classes in the courtyard, under a big tent. The student body president came and greeted us too. All the kids kept yelling and screaming… it was quite the raucous.  After a tour of the school, we went back to the development center.

Saying goodbye to this center was kind of hard… we all got to see what they did for a living and some of us on the tour even got to participate. This lady made snacks and sold them to kids. One of the sponsors help her make them that day and she was able to sell every single piece!  Another guy painted little trinkets as his job. A woman did nails. Some of the jobs that the men had were jeepney driver, tricycle driver and security guard. We got a tiny little taste of what a day in the life of a sponsor child and their family might be like…

Testimony at Church

Hubby and I had the opportunity to give our testimony about the Philippines at church yesterday. Our church is small. Like 25-30 people. I really did not expect God to use us to sponsor more children… most of our church members are sponsors already. Actually, it’s because of them that I got to go on this sponsor tour. (Story for later.)

But God is able to do more than we expect. He stirred the hearts of my sisters and brothers at church and six more children were sponsored. Many from the very center that I visited.

The packets arriving in time was a God thing too. They came on Saturday, the day before our presentation. WOO HOO.