Wednesday, August 6, 2008


New Faith Family Children's Home Manila is currently home to 9 boys ranging in age from 8 - 13 years old. We call them the big boys. Most families don't even have 9 kids, let alone that many boys in this age group. Therefore, as you can imagine, things can be difficult with them at times. The simple fact is that issues are bound to arise when that many boys are living together. Compounding that is the fact that most of these boys have grown up with broken families, no families, no father figure or a bad example of one, on the streets, etc, etc. We want these boys to grow up to be godly men, breaking out of the cycles of violence and neglect that they were found in, in a culture that frankly often writes off boys as trouble from birth. That is usually a self-fulfilling prophesy. But it doesn't have to be.

So, as an activity to specifically focus on the big boys, we recently did a three-day camping trip to Corregidor Island, a major World War II historical site just an hour into Manila Bay from Manila. Here on this tiny island, the devastation of the war is uniquely preserved in the ruins of barracks, gun batteries, and other buildings that still sit crumbling as they did the minute the bombs hit them all those years ago. And there are no ropes and barricades, just a free-for-all to explore these places. Plus, there are countless caves, beaches full of shells and treasures, monkeys,'s a great place for the boys to spend some time away from the Home, just them. And they had a blast. Besides exploring old ruins, dodging bats in caves, and learning a little more about their history, the boys overall just enjoyed camping on the beach and spending hours in the water. They were shocked at first to find how salty the ocean is! Now, in a nation of 7,107 islands we are surrounded by salt water, but not surprisingly, these guys hadn't really experienced that yet. They caught crabs, body-surfed, jumped off the pier into the water, had campfires and made s'mores...all with minimal fighting and a good spirit of camaraderie.

Working with the boys every day can be a challenge for the whole staff, but there is so much beneath the surface of each one of them, so much potential to be the kind of Jesus-following men that will make a difference in this world. We are happy they got to experience Corregidor and have an adventure of their own. There were some great moments there when all the other relational conflicts and dynamics were peeled away to reveal nine boys playing happily on a simple beach. Pray for Rene, Jude, Joseph, Benjie, Jomel, Fritz, Jeric, Regie, and Alvin - that wherever they end up in life, they will be quality men, serving God in their own unique way.

DJ and Rachel

No comments: